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Minnechaug Evening of Recognition illuminates best and brightest

Tiffany DaSilva (here with principal Marty O'Shea) won five awards: John S. Bordenuk Scholarship, MA Association of Student Councils - Commonwealth Award, Minnechaug Student Council Scholarship, Service Award - Class of 2008 and Stanley Klimkowicz Memorial Award. Reminder Publications photo by Courtney Llewellyn
By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

WILBRAHAM A total of 195 Minnechaug Regional High School students were honored last Wednesday evening during the school's Evening of Recognition.

An awards committee doled out nearly 400 awards to the students, 73 of whom where underclassmen. Awards presented were either district department awards from within the school or scholarships and awards from other entities, including book awards from colleges and scholarships.

Marty O'Shea, principal of Minnechaug, greeted parents and well-wishers before thanking teacher Gary Petzold for his hard work, both in the classroom and for the ceremony. Petzold will be retiring this year after 35 years of teaching at Minnechaug.

"I also want to thank those who worked the hardest and longest in preparation of this event the parents," O'Shea said.

Two separate ceremonies took place during the evening one for the underclassmen and one for the graduating seniors.

"The variety of awards [the students won] is amazing," O'Shea told Reminder Publications. "These kids are truly talented, academically, musically, athletically, in the technologies ... they're so good at balancing everything they need to do. That's great to see as a principal."

Four seniors earned so many awards they were provided with bags to carry them back to their seats. The biggest winners of the evening were Kevin Fogarty and Evan Weinberg, who were awarded 12 and 14 honors, respectively.

Allison Litera received two rounds of enthusiastic applause for her Perfect Attendance award. She was never tardy and did not miss a single day of school throughout her high school career.

Gregory Baker earned an appointment to the United States Army ROTC Scholarship, which allows him to attend a university tuition-free for four years and when he graduates, he'll join the Army as a commissioned officer.

A Country Bank for Savings Scholarship worth $5,000 was awarded to Soren Savoie.

Members of the Wilbraham Peach Festival's court were granted scholarships: Peach Queen Lauren Ross and Peach King Andrew Zimmerman, along with Maria Berthaume, Stephanie Killian, Kyle Roy, Nuria Sotiropoulos and Tanya Vital.

Seventy-four of the 122 seniors earned the President's Award for Educational Excellence, which is presented to a senior whose grade point average is 3.5 or better.

The class of 2008 will be graduating on June 6 at Symphony Hall in downtown Springfield.

More Evening of Recognition photos