Pomperaug High School principal, Glenn Lungarini, has announced the Top Ten highest ranking seniors in the Class of 2015 and their respective post high school plans.
Lucy J., of Southbury, has been named Valedictorian for the class of 2015 at Pomperaug High School. She is the daughter of Zhi-Xing Jiang and Bi-Ping Luo. Lucy is a National Merit Finalist and an AP Scholar. Last year she was awarded the American Physics Teachers Award, the Society of Women Engineers Award, the Alliance Française Award, the Honorary Science Award, and the Governor’s Scholars Award. She has won the Alliance Française annual French essay contest for the last three years and this year ranked nationally on the National French Contest with the Bronze Award. She was a member of the French Honor Society, where she served as President this year and Junior Vice President last year.
Lucy founded the Asian Culture Club as a sophomore with three of her friends and has served as its President for all three years. She was President of the Science National Honor Society, in which she helped in starting up and rebuilding of the inactive society during her junior year.
In all four years of high school, Lucy was a member of the Tri-M Honor Society and school Math Team. She qualified for the American Invitational Mathematics Exam last spring, scored the top score in the school on the AMC 10 as a freshman and on the AMC 12 as a junior, and won a Bronze Medal in the USA Mathematical Talent Search. She has also served as an editor for Abraxas, the school magazine, and the Treasurer for Book Club. She was a member of the National Honor Society her senior year.
In the community, Lucy has volunteered at the Southbury Public Library for the last three years and performed on her flute for local senior citizen homes. She played flute in the school symphonic band, marching band, and pep band during all four years of high school. She also played on the Varsity Girls Tennis team her sophomore year as a third doubles player.
Lucy will study Chemical Biology at the College of Chemistry of the University of California, Berkeley, in the fall.
The class salutatorian is Joanna R. of Middlebury. She is the daughter of Paul and Elizabeth Rizza. Joanna has been highly involved in academics, extracurricular activities, and athletics throughout her four years at Pomperaug. Joanna received an award from the Society of Women Engineers, and received the Western Connecticut Superintendents Association Award in her senior year as well as a Certificate of Special Recognition from Senator Richard Blumenthal. Outside of the classroom, she is President of Interact Club, President of the National Honor Society Bullet Hill Chapter, Treasurer of the Spanish Honor Society, and Co-Editor of The Pawprint school newspaper. Beyond these roles, she has devoted many hours to community service. In addition, she is a member of the Science National Honor Society and Student Council. Joanna was co-captain of the Pomperaug Field Hockey team and a three-year starter. She was selected to the All-Southwest Conference Field Hockey Team, and also the All-Academic Southwest Conference team for three seasons. Additionally, Joanna was selected for the National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic Squad and as a CIAC Scholar-Athlete.
Next year, Joanna will study Chemical Engineering at Cornell University.
After the valedictorian and salutatorian, the following eight students complete the Top Ten list for the Class of 2015.
Megan C., of Middlebury, is the daughter of Daniel and Jill Civitello. Megan is a dedicated student and active member of her community. She has been a competitive dancer for 16 years and also volunteers as an assistant dance teacher every week. Megan participates in multiple clubs throughout her school community including National Honors Society, Link Crew, Science National Honors Society, Peanut Butter and Jelly Club, Student Council, and Spanish National Honors Society where she served as Vice President and Secretary. She has served as Yearbook editor as well as Secretary and Committee Chair in her Interact club. In her school community, she also helps in the special education room to help those students develop social, communication, and life skills. Outside of school, Megan has volunteered at Waterbury Hospital and has worked as a soccer referee.
She plans to attend the University of Connecticut in the fall with a major in Biology on the pre-med track.
Claire D., of Middlebury, is the daughter of Terri O’Brien and David Domogala. She has been very involved throughout her time at Pomperaug. She is Vice President of the National Honor Society, Secretary of the Science National Honor Society, and a member of the Spanish Honor Society. Claire has also served as Secretary and Vice President of Interact Club, Vice President of Big Brother Big Sister, and has been a member of the Peanut Butter and Jelly Club, Link Crew, Math Team, Ultimate Frisbee Club, Pomperaug Outreach Project, and Pomperaug Animal Welfare Society. She is a Yearbook Editor and a Layout Editor for The Pawprint as well as an AP Studio Art student who has exhibited in museums and shows. Claire played volleyball on Pomperaug’s freshman and Junior Varsity teams and also played in the Connecticut Juniors Volleyball Association. Outside of school, Claire is a certified Emergency Medical Responder and will pursue her Emergency Medical Technician certification over the summer. She is a Southbury Food Bank volunteer and participates in Connecticut Youth and Government. In addition, she works as a Southbury Parks and Recreation camp counselor, babysitter, and tutor.
Claire will be attending Philadelphia University’s Physician Assistant program in the fall.
Kelly D., of Middlebury, is the daughter of Terri O’Brien and David Domogala. She is very involved both at school and in the community. At Pomperaug, she is the Tutoring Coordinator of the National Honor Society, the Publicity/Technology Coordinator of the Science National Honor Society, and part of the Spanish Honor Society. She has also been the President of Big Brother Big Sister and the Public Relations Officer of Interact for the last two years. Kelly played on Pomperaug’s freshman soccer team and has also participated in Ping Pong Club, Peanut Butter and Jelly Club, Pomperaug Outreach Project, Link Crew, Math Team, and Mojo to Go. This year, Kelly was also one of two Board of Education student representatives. In the community, Kelly has volunteered for the Southbury Food Bank and was a volunteer assistant coach for a U10 Southbury soccer girls’ team. She works as a Southbury Soccer Club referee, a Southbury Parks and Recreation camp counselor, and a babysitter.
Next year, Kelly will attend the University of Rhode Island where she will double major in Industrial Engineering and Spanish as part of their International Engineering Program.
Megan K., of Southbury, daughter of David and Karen Kutzner has been active in the community both inside and outside of Pomperaug throughout her four years of high school. Megan is a National Merit Commended Scholar and also qualified for the regional Chemistry Olympiad. In her junior year, Megan was the recipient of the Smith Book Award. Her freshman and sophomore years, she participated in Pomperaug athletics on the soccer, track, and field hockey teams. She was an active member of Student Council, Interact and Big Brother Big Sister. Her junior and senior year, she became involved in additional clubs such as Link Crew, which runs freshman orientation for the incoming classes, and The Pawprint, our school newspaper. As a senior, she is President of Spanish Honor Society, which is largely active in the Southbury/Middlebury community and is responsible for the Evan Gagnon Memorial Scholarship dinner each year. Megan is also Secretary of National Honor Society. Additionally, Megan is an editor of the PHS yearbook. During her free blocks, Megan enjoys working with students in the special education department.
Outside of Pomperaug, Megan is a member of a youth group affiliated with UCC Southbury. She participates in local projects and group-run activities as well as week-long mission trips during the summer. In the past two summers, Megan has traveled with the group to Toms River, New Jersey and and Ripon, Wisconsin. Her sophomore year, Megan also volunteered to coach a Parks and Rec soccer team in Waterbury in their spring season. After the Sandy Hook tragedy, Megan helped distribute “We Are Newtown” t-shirts and care packages to students in Newtown schools. Megan now works at a preschool after school four days a week.
Next year, Megan will be attending Villanova University as a part of their Arts and Sciences Honors Program.
Justin L., of Southbury, is the son of Dr. Yi Wang and Dr. Siqi Lin. He has completed online courses as a member of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. In his junior year, he received the Rensselaer Scholar Award for Excellence in Math & Science. He placed first in his school at AMC 10 in his sophomore year and also qualified for the American Invitational Math Examination in his junior year. He was an AP Scholar with Honor and National Merit Commended Scholar.
Outside of the classroom, he is a member of the math team for the past four years. He is a member of Science National Honor Society. He plays trombone as a member of the Symphonic and Marching Band. He is a member of the Varsity Ski Team for all four years of high school. He volunteered in the HuaXia Chinese School of Connecticut on Saturdays for the past three years.
Justin will attend Carnegie Mellon University, majoring in mathematic science with a computer science minor.
Sydney M., of Middlebury, is the daughter of Joseph and Marjorie Malaspina. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is secretary of the Spanish Honor Society at Pomperaug High School. She has also volunteered for the Peanut Butter and Jelly Club and is a Link Crew leader. She has participated in a variety of Pomperaug athletics, including freshmen soccer, varsity basketball, varsity cross country, and varsity outdoor track and field. Sydney is also captain of track and field. In cross country, Sydney was 2nd Team All SWC and finished in the top 20 in the state meet. Sydney was selected as a member of the SWC All-Conference Academic team for basketball, cross country, and track, and was recognized as an Academic All-Star for cross country by the Republican American. She was a member of the St. John of the Cross Church parish council, and is currently a peer minister and lector for the church. She is very involved with Special Olympics, and has been a partner for Special Olympics volleyball and a coach for Special Olympics track for three years. Sydney was a nanny for a Southbury family, and a part-time babysitter for a Waterbury family during the school year. She also works at Edgewood Bath and Tennis Club and as a camp counselor during the summer.
Sydney will be attending Ithaca College in the fall, and will be majoring in physical therapy.
Colleen O., of Southbury, daughter of Jeff and Janet O'Sullivan, has been a highly active member of the Pomperaug High School community. She is part of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Science National Honor Society. She served as captain of the Pomperaug High School Debate Team and received such recognition as first place novice team in Connecticut in 2013 and sixth place varsity team at the state level in 2014. Colleen held leadership positions in the school's chapter of Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, including treasurer and vice president of membership. She is also the co-founder and president of the PHS Book Club. Colleen was also a key competitor in the Math Team and the Science Quiz Bowl Team. She has received the award of AP scholar.
Colleen will be attending the College of Wooster in the fall. She is currently undecided as to her major.
Frank S., of Southbury, is the son of Frank and Lisa Sinapi. Frank was a varsity member of Cross Country, Swimming, and Outdoor Track & Field for four years, and was a captain of the Cross Country and Track teams senior year. He earned First Team All SWC for Cross Country and Track and CIAC All State for Swimming, and was named CIAC scholar athlete. He is a member of the Science National Honors Society, and the secretary of the Tri-M Music Honors Society. Frank has played in the pit orchestra for two Spring Musical Productions with the Pomperaug Theater Company, and he is a member of the Pomperaug Jazz Band.
Frank will be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he will study Chemical Engineering and run as a member of the Cross Country and Track & Field teams.