FCIAC Exemplary Scholar-Athletes, Fall, 2020

Meghan Sisk, Brien McMahon

Meghan, a senior with a 4.43 GPA taking IB and AP courses, is a two-sport varsity athlete for volleyball and lacrosse. She is captain of her volleyball team.

Meghan is the president of the Unified Sports team, a club that partners with the Special Olympics, and treasurer of the B-Kind Club.

She is currently studying to become an EMT.

Brandon Miller, Brien McMahon

This High Honor Roll student has a GPA of 4.1 and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Brandon is a three-year member of the boys’ soccer team and one of the team captains. This upcoming winter season will be his fourth year as a member of the boys basketball program, for which he was a junior captain last season.

Brandon is a certified referee for the U.S. Soccer Federation. He is a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Board at McMahon and a part of the Full Court Peace organization.

David Camayo, Bridgeport Central

This senior captain of Central’s boys soccer team, who received High Honors for the 2019-20 school year and has a 3.69 GPA, attends Aerospace/Hydrospace Engineering and Physical Sciences High School at Fairchild Wheeler Campus.

David takes Honors and ECE (Early College Experience) courses and is a National Honor Society member.

He also volunteers for several community organizations. David volunteered at Build-On as a freshman, during his sophomore and junior years he volunteered at Discovery Magnet’s summer program, and he also volunteered at Bridgeport Caribe for an awards ceremony.

Lucia Hernandez, Bridgeport Central

Lucy, a National Honor Society member, has a 3.6 GPA while taking AP and ECE courses and she is president of the school council.

She is a two-year captain of Central’s girls soccer team and also a member of the softball team.

Lucy also volunteers at blood drives, the Strives for Breast Cancer fundraisers and walks, and is a volunteer for math in the tutoring program for small children.

Jenna Ferrandino, Danbury

Jenna has achieved a 4.1 GPA and is a High Honor Roll student while taking mostly AP or Honors level classes.

As a freshman she was a varsity goalkeeper, she developed her leadership skills for the girls’ soccer team during the last four years and is now a senior co-captain. Jenna has also played lacrosse for two years and run for the indoor track and field team.

She has been accepted to Peer Leadership and volunteered for the Unified Sports and Danbury Youth Soccer. Having a brother with special needs, Jenna felt rewarded participating in Unified Sports. She tapped into her years of experience to mentor the younger goalkeepers in the Danbury Youth Soccer program.

DJ Donovan, Danbury

DJ has a GPA of 4.4 over his four years at Danbury and has earned High Honors every semester while taking mostly AP and Honors classes.

He is also a member of the National Honor Society, Board of Governors and Peer Leadership.

DJ is a captain of the football, wrestling and lacrosse teams and has lettered in every varsity sport since his freshman year. He was selected to the New Haven Register All-State Football Third Team last year and he also earned the Sportsmanship Player of the Year for football during his junior year.

He was the Connecticut Interscholastic Athlete Conference Class LL 220-pound state champion in wrestling after he won a conference title and then he was runner-up at the State Open and he placed fourth at the New England Championships.

Nicholas Liu, Darien

Nicholas is a National Merit Scholar with a 4.26 GPA and a recipient of the George Washington and RPI book awards.

He has been a distance runner for the cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field programs every season since his freshman year, is currently a cross country team captain, and has run in FCIAC championship meets in cross country and track.

Nicholas is president of the Garden Club and an Eagle Scout.

Sarah Bogdan, Darien

Sarah, a member Darien’s field hockey team which has won two FCIAC championships during her three-year career, has achieved a 4.15 GPA while taking many Honors and AP classes.

She is a member of the Math, Spanish and Science Honor Societies.

Sarah volunteers for Darien SafeRides, is a Senior Blue Wave Anchor and is a director for Darien Athletic Foundation Media Production.

Ally Schwarz, Fairfield Ludlowe

Ally has achieved a 4.24 GPA, making the Headmaster’s List each year while taking seven AP classes and several Honors classes. She has also been the president of her student class since her sophomore year.

She is a member of the National Honor Society, as well as the Math, Science, Spanish, and Mandarin honor societies. She is also the secretary of the Mandarin Honor Society.

Ally is a three-year varsity goalkeeper for the field hockey team, and last year she received the Field Hockey Scholar-Athlete Award. She also played on the junior varsity tennis team during her freshman and sophomore years.

Ally is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award, St. Michael’s College Book Award, St. Baldrick’s Foundation Knight of the Bald Table Award, Fairfield Ludlowe High School World Language Award for Excellence in Spanish, and Falcon of the Month Award.

Ben Zhao, Fairfield Ludlowe

Ben has achieved a GPA of 4.0. He is NHS Eligible and likely to be admitted. He is also part of the Math Honor Society.

He is a four-year member of the football program who was voted captain of the team for his senior year. He wrestled during his freshman and sophomore years.

Ben is the recipient of the President’s Service Award and has volunteered for State Senator Tony Hwang throughout high school. He is also president of the Our Turn to Serve club which is an organization that is dedicated to collecting essential items like food and fundraising for veterans and current enlisted troops.

Clare Edminster, Fairfield Warde

Clare has maintained a 3.95 unweighted GPA while taking Honors and AP classes, and has earned the AP Scholar Award with Honor.

She is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the French, Math, English, and Science national honor societies.

Clare was selected to the All-State First Team and All-FCIAC First Team in volleyball last year as a junior. Her freshman year, before playing club volleyball for a national team, Clare also played varsity softball and ran indoor track.

This year, Clare is a co-captain of Warde’s volleyball team, a section leader for symphonic orchestra, a homeroom representative, and a junior deacon at her church. She has volunteered with the Appalachia Service Project, helping restore homes in West Virginia, and through recycling, has raised over $2,000 which she donated for cancer research.

Ethan Kohn, Fairfield Warde

This National Honor Society member has continually taken many AP and Honors classes and achieved a GPA of 4.0.

He has been a cross country runner since sixth grade, is currently captain of the boys cross country team and also a member of both the indoor and outdoor track and field teams.

Ethan has hopes of continuing his career as a student-athlete cross country runner in college.

Seldon Salaj, Greenwich

Seldon, a High Honor Roll student throughout his entire high school career, has achieved a 4.0 GPA and has been accepted into several nationally-recognized honor societies, including the National Honor Society, Ro Kappa Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, and English National Honor Society.

He is a second-year varsity soccer player who helped the Cardinals advance to the championship game of the 2019 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL Boys Soccer Tournament last year.

Seldon has also volunteered many hours of community service for the Albanian-American community, which he is a proud part of. He participates in cultural and language education for young children with the Albanian Youth Center of Greenwich.

Grace Collier, Greenwich

Grace, who began her senior year with a 4.82 GPA, is an AP Scholar with Distinction who has been accepted into the National Honor Society as well as the Spanish, Social Studies and Science national honor societies.

She is a three-season varsity athlete and captain of the indoor track and lacrosse teams. Grace made All-New England (2020) and All-state (2019 and 2020) in indoor track, including a first-place finish at the 2020 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Girls Indoor Track and Field State Open and 2020 New England Championships in the 4×800-meter relay. She has been a varsity lacrosse player since her freshman year, was selected to Team Connecticut at the U.S. National Championship, and she received the Coach’s Award in 2020.

Grace serves on the Safe School Climate Committee and is an ESL tutor for Building One Community, an organization which helps first-generation immigrants in Connecticut. She recently led the girls cross country team and girls lacrosse teams to raise over $2,000 for this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Grace plans to play lacrosse at Williams College next year.

Emma Schuh, New Canaan

Emma has earned High Honors every quarter in high school to achieve a weighted GPA of 99 and has been accepted into the National Honor Society.

She has been a member of the varsity soccer, varsity lacrosse and junior varsity hockey programs since her freshman year and is now a senior captain for the girls soccer team. Last year Emma was selected to the 2019 All-FCIAC Girls Soccer First Team after having previously earned All-FCIAC Honorable Mention as a sophomore.

Emma is a volunteer with the St. Aloysius Youth Group and an active participant in many community service events with the group.

Henry Lindberg, New Canaan

Henry has achieved a 3.8 GPA and has been a High Honor Roll student every semester in high school.

He was a three-year member of the boys’ varsity soccer and volleyball programs and is a senior captain for both teams.

Henry is a member of the Service League of Boys, where he has dedicated most of his volunteer hours to the Sports Buddies program, a recreational program for young kids with mental disabilities.

He is also an Eagle Scout and volunteers with the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Alexandra Koletsos, Norwalk

Alexandra is a member of the National Honor Society with a GPA of 4.526 (4.0 unweighted).

She has been a member of the girls cross country team for three years and was named team captain her junior and senior years. Alexandra received the team’s Most Improved Award as a junior last year. She has also been a member of the girls outdoor track and field team every year of high school.

Alexandra is a leader of the Bears Reaching Out Within Norwalk Club and has volunteered at the Norwalk Library, Maplewood Senior Living, Carver Center, and Open Doors Homeless Service. She is a member of the St. George Church youth group, Link Crew, Principal Orchestra, and the NHS Class of 2021 Student Government Committee. Alexandra also works at Kumon as a math and reading tutor.

Prem Dave, Norwalk

This National Honor Society member has an unweighted 3.9 GPA.

Prem has participated in boys cross country and boys tennis for all four years of high school, as well as indoor track and field for three years.

He has played number one singles for the boys’ tennis team since his freshman year and he won the state doubles title as a freshman. He made the All-FCIAC Boys Tennis First Team during his freshman and sophomore years. For cross country, he has consistently been among Norwalk’s top seven runners in many conference and state championship meets.

Prem is also president of the B.R.O.W.N. (Bears Reaching Out Within Norwalk) Club, the Class of 2021 student treasurer, the founder of The Evergreen Committee at Norwalk High, a Link Crew Leader, and a member of the debate team.

He has also volunteered at Greenwich Hospital, Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, and has worked as an assistant coach at Weston Racquet Club.

Santiago Briones Lopez, Ridgefield

This co-captain for the boys’ soccer team has taken mostly AP and Honors classes and achieved a 4.134 unweighted GPA.

Santiago has played soccer and ran for the track and field teams during his whole high school career. He and his three fellow middle distance running teammates earned All-FCIAC honors for their runner-up finish in the 4×800 relay at the conference championship meet.

He is on Ridgefield High School’s Executive Board as the community outreach office. He also volunteers often, such as attending the Appalachia Service Project sponsored by Jesse Lee Church.

Rory McGrath, Ridgefield

This High Honor Roll student with a weighted GPA of 4.86 was recently inducted into the National Honor Society for the Class of 2021.

As a two-year participant of the RHS Science Research Program, she completed research and wrote a journal article which is pending publication.

Rory has participated in cross country all four years of her high school career and was named co-captain for this 2020 season. She received All-FCIAC honors her sophomore and junior years and made a major contribution toward helping lead the Tigers to the FCIAC team title last year.

She also ran track and field throughout high school and was a member of the excellent 4×800 relay team which won a state championship, earned All-New England honors twice and qualified for three New Balance national championship meets.

Lauren Pleszko, St. Joseph

This Honor Roll student has been accepted into the National Honor Society and the Peer Ministry program while maintaining a 95.88 GPA taking Honors and AP classes.

Lauren has been the field hockey team captain during her junior and senior years and was a founding member of the golf team.

She volunteers with the Special Olympics and with her youth group.

Brett Ingram, St. Joseph

Brett, who has achieved President’s List Honors, is currently enrolled in five AP classes and has a GPA of 98.

He is a member of the National Honor Society, a recipient of the Suffolk University Book Award and was nominated for Boys State.

Brett is a starting defensive back for St. Joseph’s boys soccer team who also plays club soccer for Revolution United FC. He is also captain of the debate team and a varsity debate champion, and he has a second-degree black belt in karate.

Zachary Tusa, Stamford

This two-year captain of Stamford’s soccer team has registered a 3.96 unweighted GPA and a 4.87 weighted GPA while taking AP and Honors classes, as well as an IB class. Zachary has earned High Honor Roll, and Honors with Distinction.

He is a commended student for the 2021 Merit Scholarship, a member of the Science National Honor Society and National Honor Society (pending).

Zachary has played with the soccer program all four years and he also played basketball as a freshman and sophomore.

He volunteered for Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF) and Stamford Teen Outreach Partners (STOP) and is a recipient of the Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award from United Way of Western Connecticut.

Zachary was among the youngsters in Moffly Media’s “Teens to Watch” feature in Stamford Magazine, he was a Mickey Lione Jr. Scholarship Award finalist, he is a member of Stamford High School’s Leadership Academy, and store manager of Stamford High’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

Shaina Bond, Stamford

Shaina, who is president of her senior class, has achieved a 4.7 GPA while taking most Honors and AP classes.

She is treasurer of the Science National Honor Society and a member of the English National Honor Society.

Shaina has been on the girls volleyball team the past four years and is a middle and right side hitter. She is a two-year captain of the ski team and a manager for the boys volleyball team during the spring. Shaina is also a social media coordinator for the Black Knight Nation sports program.

Shaina received honorable mention for her research at the Globe Student Research Symposium at Boston University, and is a two-time finalist in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program.

She was recognized for her literary achievement by the Ferguson Library, and is also a part of the first group of students to graduate from the Early College Studies program at Stamford High School.

Henry Beck, Staples

Henry has achieved a 3.82 GPA and received First Honors while taking many Honors and AP classes throughout high school. He was also named an AP Scholar the past years.

This three-sport athlete has been a member of the varsity football program since his sophomore year and the senior running back is a team captain.

He also runs indoor track and last year he and his Sprint Medley teammates made the All-FCIAC Second Team. Henry has also been a varsity lacrosse player since his sophomore year.

Outside of athletics, Henry was selected to serve as a senior mentor in Link Crew at Staples High School. He is also involved with SLOBs and co-hosts a weekly radio show on WWPT, the school radio station.

Henry enjoys coaching youth sports, working with both Westport PAL football and lacrosse.

Charlotte Zhang, Staples

Charlotte has maintained a 4.53 weighted GPA, earning High Honors throughout high school.

During her junior year she received the Yale Book Award, and has also received National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and AP Scholar with Distinction honors.

Charlotte has earned a varsity letter for three years for the perennially-strong girls soccer program which won the FCIAC championship last year and two years ago advanced to the championship game of the 2018 Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL Girls Soccer Tournament.

Amanda Sullivan, Trumbull

Amanda has been a constant Honors with Distinction student with a 4.695 GPA while taking Honors and AP classes.

She has been accepted into the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society, and she is also a recipient of the CT Seal of Biliteracy for Spanish.

Amanda is a four-year member of the volleyball program. She has been a varsity player since her sophomore year so she was on the Trumbull teams which won the first FCIAC championship (2018) and the first state championship (Class LL tournament last year) in school history as the Eagles beat Westhill in both tournament finals.

During the summer, Amanda volunteers as a camp counselor at Trumbull’s volleyball camp, and she also tutors kids in math during the school year.

Michael Rizzo, Trumbull

Michael has been a High Honor Roll student for all four years and has achieved a 4.33 weighted cumulative GPA while taking mostly AP, ECE and Honors classes.

He has been a member of the boys soccer program all four years, which included last year’s very successful 2019 campaign when the Eagles defended their FCIAC championship and then advanced to the semifinals of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL Boys Soccer Tournament.

Michael was awarded the CT Seal of Biliteracy for Spanish, was a member of the UNICEF club and is a volunteer at Calvary Church.

Samantha Fischer, Westhill

Samantha has earned a 3.94 unweighted GPA and a 4.78 weighted GPA after taking nearly all AP and Honors classes and has earned High Honor Roll and Honors with Distinction every quarter of high school thus far.

She has been accepted into both the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society, and last spring she won the University of Michigan Book Award.

Samantha is a member of Westhill’s Academy of Finance, Best Buddies, LanD Crew, and Future Business Leaders of America.

She has played for the varsity girls’ soccer team all four years of high school and currently serves as a senior captain. She has also been a JV and varsity player for the girls lacrosse program for four years.

Samantha volunteers as an ESL tutor for local adults through Stamford Family Centers and she also tutors elementary students through Stamford Teen Outreach Partners.

Timothy Silkowtz, Westhill

Timothy has received High Honors with Distinction throughout his freshman, sophomore and junior years while taking almost all Honors and AP classes to elevate his GPA to 4.92.

He has been a member of the varsity boys’ soccer team the past two years and he also plays basketball.

Timothy is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, the Stocks and Investments Club, and is president of the Robotics Club. He also volunteers at the Stamford Hospital.

He is part of the National Honor Society along with the Spanish National Honor Society at Westhill, and was the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania Junior Book Award.

Benjamin Kesselman, Wilton

Benjamin, who has a 4.00 GPA, is Student Body President, a member of the National Honor Society and French Honor Society, and a recipient of the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Student and the Columbia Book Award.

He is a board member of the Wilton Debate Team and served on the Board of Model Congress as a sophomore and junior.

Benjamin, who runs for Wilton High School’s boys cross country team, excels in the sport of archery as he has been a competitive compound archer from 2015-20 and is a Level 1 USA Archery certified coach. He was the New England Indoor Open champion in 2017 and 2019, Connecticut State Outdoor Champion in 2017 and he has also placed high in national championship competitions.

He is working on getting Eagle Scout and a volunteer for the Middlebrook Debate Club.

Benjamin is also a talented and versatile musician – a member of the Jazz band for both tenor saxophone and guitar.

Kira Howard, Wilton

Kira has achieved a 3.96 unweighted GPA while being a three-sport varsity athlete and taking many AP and Honors classes.

She is the president of the Recycling Club, a member of the National Honor Society, and a Link Crew leader. She volunteers as a Ski Patroller and as an EMT. Kira also volunteers with Leaps of Faith adaptive skiers and TopSoccer.

She has been All-State for ski racing since her freshman year and has participated in TEAM CT during her freshman and junior years. She has been a co-captain for the girls ski team since her junior year. Kira has been the ski team MVP since her freshman year. Also, she won the Leadership Award for the 2020 season.

Kira has also been an active member of the varsity lacrosse and varsity soccer teams since her sophomore year.

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