Da’Nasiah Blackwell, Brien McMahon
This senior has been a member of the varsity cheerleading team since her freshman year and she has a 3.7 GPA by having achieved Honors or High Honors every year.
Da’Nasiah was selected All-FCIAC in cheerleading during her sophomore and junior years and has been a team captain as a junior and senior.
In their roles as McMahon cheerleaders, Da’Nasiah and her teammates participated in and helped raise proceeds for many charity events such as a Heart Disease Walk, an Alzheimer’s Disease Walk, and a Lung Disease Walk.
Da’Nasiah, also a member of the track and field program for three years, plans on studying education at Southern Connecticut State University.
Tessa Piontkowski, New Canaan
This senior excels in the classroom, as a voice/performance singing artist and on the golf course as a phenomenal player on the Metropolitan PGA Junior Tour since 2014.
Tessa has placed very high in many tournaments against the best young players in the tri-state area on challenging courses such as the Fenway Golf Club (Scarsdale, N.Y.), Wykagl Country Club (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and virtually all of the best courses in Fairfield County. She is naturally also a key member of the New Canaan High School girls golf team, having made the 2016 Girls Golf FCIAC All-East team and been a team tri-captain in each of the last two years.
This National Honor Society member has a 3.9/4.0 GPA while making either High Honor Roll or Honor Roll every quarter throughout high school. She was Magna Cum Laude on the National Latin Examination in 2016 after having been Maxima Cum Laude on the same exam in 2014 and ’15.
Tessa has been a NCHS Concert Choir member all four years, she has performed the National Anthem prior to New Canaan High School football games and many other sports and charitable events, and she has had several roles for the Canaan Parish of the National Charity League, among the many organizations she volunteers for.
Mia Trafecante, St. Joseph
Mia plays for the girls lacrosse team in the spring and during the other seasons she has been a member of cheerleading teams which have won two state championships and a national championship.
Now a junior, Mia has a 3.7 GPA by having made Honor Roll in 10 of her first 11 quarters of high school. She is a Spanish Honor Society member and also on the Debate Team.
As a member of Habitat for Humanity she has helped build houses for low-income families in Bridgeport, she helped teach a first grade CCD class for the Saint Lawrence religious education program, and she also works with patients at Apple Rehabilitation.
Izzy Andrezejewski, St. Joseph
This senior has been a member of the varsity cheerleading team during her freshman, junior and senior years and she was an All-American Cheerleader in 2016.
Izzy has made Honor Roll every quarter the last two years to get her GPA in the 3.6-3.7 area. She will major in nursing at the University of Massachusetts.
She was also a member of the girls lacrosse program during her first three years of high school.
Alex Preston, Darien
This senior three-time captain of the boys basketball and boys volleyball programs achieved his lofty GPA of 3.8 (weighted 4.0 scale) while taking demanding AP courses such as Chemistry, U.S. History, English Language and Composition, Calculus AP and Physics.
Alex is a member of the National Honors Society and Science National Honors Society, and he is set to matriculate to Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.) this coming August.
And he has certainly excelled on the courts during the winter and spring sports seasons as well. Alex made the 2016-17 Boys Basketball All-FCIAC First Team, the 2015-16 Boys Basketball All-FCIAC Second Team and the 2014-15 Boys Basketball FCIAC All-Divisional Team; and he also made the 2016 Boys Volleyball All-FCIAC First Team and has earned All-State and Academic All-State honors in boys volleyball.
Alex has also coached youth basketball at summer camps and fall clinics and has supported and assisted Darien High School’s girls volleyball program for three years.
William Wilson, Darien
This junior was selected a team captain for the boys golf team after having helped the undefeated Blue Wave (16-0) win the FCIAC championship last year and he became a National Honor Society member this year.
William has been a member of the Anatomy Club, iGEM (Genetic Engineering) Club and he is prominently involved with Authentic Science Research, a program where students conduct bibliographic research and act on that research through a hands-on mentoring with a professor or doctor. Through that organization William is currently researching therapies and biotechnology in the field of Type 1 Diabetes.
William also has volunteered much of his time to several organizations. Among them are Feed My Starving Children, Community Service Person-to-Person (which provides emergency assistance to families in need), the Christmas Benefit at St. Luke’s Church, and he helped organize and run a sports camp on Nantucket Island.
Morgan Lee, Fairfield Warde
This National Honor Society member has made the Headmaster’s List all four years and currently has a GPA of 4.23.
Morgan is captain of the girls tennis team, she was All-FCIAC Honorable Mention last spring, and she also ran cross country.
The Key Club is among the several community service organizations she has volunteered for and she also plans on volunteering for more in the New Orleans area when she attends Tulane University.
Natalia Zhiltsova, Fairfield Warde
This senior bound for the University of Virginia is a captain and the No. 1 singles player for Warde’s girls varsity tennis team.
Natalia has taken Spanish since the fourth grade, is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and National Honor Society, and she has also received awards of Excellence in Social Studies, Math and World Language, and she is a recipient of the Dartmouth Book Award.
She has served as a volunteer and ball girl at the Connecticut Open, an annual premier Women’s Tennis Association event in New Haven.
Natalia is a writer and editor for the Newspaper Club and she is also an excellent singer. She has performed at Carnegie Hall is the Head Girl and Soprano 1 Section Leader for the school choir.
She also volunteers for many organizations. Natalia is in the Center for Family Justice youth group, with the purpose of bringing information from the center to schools and other parts of the community regarding the dangers of domestic violence. Natalia is involved with the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Primary Puppy Raiser out of Yorktown Heights, N.Y. She helped raise two seeing eye dogs, giving them constant care which includes training, feeding, walking and playing with them.
Blake Newcomer, Westhill
This senior multi-sport athlete ranks 68th out of his class of 499 with his weighted GPA of 4.2 and 101st with his unweighted GPA of 3.4. Blake also scored 1,290 out of 1,600 on his SAT.
Blake was a starting quarterback and a two-year captain of the football team and now a third-year varsity member as a pitcher/outfielder for the baseball team. He played for the basketball program his first two years in high school before he decided it was wiser to budget more time toward his academics, extracurricular activities and other two sports.
He also volunteers his time as a member of Best Buddies, the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (as stated on the website).
Erika Linke, Ridgefield
This junior has an unweighted GPA of 3.917 and has made High Honor Roll or Honor Roll throughout her high school career. Erika also received Academic Recognition in German.
Currently playing with the girls lacrosse program, Erika received the Tiger Pride Good Sportsmanship Award for freshman soccer in the fall of 2014 and for the last two years she’s been a member of the girls varsity soccer team which won FCIAC championships and was runner-up in the state tournaments in 2015 and ’16.
Luka Holderied, Fairfield Ludlowe
Luka has been on the Headmasters List/Honor Roll every semester in high school with a GPA of 4.28 while taking all Honors classes.
She is a two-year starter for the softball program after having earned the Rookie of the Year award as a freshman.
This coming summer will be the second time Luka partakes on the Appalachia Service Project Trip to help renovate houses which are falling apart and she also is a member of the Build On Club and the Key Club.
Molly Reynolds, Fairfield Ludlowe
This sophomore is a two-year starting outfielder for the softball team who received the Coaches Award in 2016 and she was also a starter for the girls volleyball team as an outside hitter.
Molly has made the Headmaster’s List or Honor Roll every semester with her 4.20 GPA.
She is a member of the Build On Club and the Key Club at Ludlowe in addition to volunteering at the soup kitchen.