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Region 15 Schools

Joshua Smith, Superintendent of Region 15 Schools, named six students as the recipients of the Litchfield County Superintendent’s Association (LCSA) award and six students as the recipients of the Western Connecticut Superintendents Association (WCSA) awards for the 2023-24 school year sponsored by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents. 

Students were selected for their demonstration of outstanding leadership, citizenship, academic performance, participation in community service, and extracurricular activities. Students from each member school across Litchfield County and Western Connecticut were selected to represent their district. 

The following students were selected from Region 15 as the LCSA Award Recipients: 

Pomperaug High School

Gabrielle Leonardi

Gabby’s leadership inspires us all as she works tirelessly to bring about positive change to all she meets. Her dedication to serving as the current president of the Asian Student Union, co-founder of the LeadHERship club, and student representative on the Southbury Community Relations Taskforce is truly remarkable. Additionally, Gabby’s passion for figure skating has led her to become a competitive athlete, currently ranked 38th in the country. We can all learn from Gabby’s commitment to making a difference in the world around us.

Eoin Collette

Eoin is a remarkable individual who embodies the spirit of determination and self- motivation. He embraces academic challenges with a focus on gaining knowledge, rather than just chasing grades. Eoin has set personal goals for himself in computer programming and is determined to succeed in his chosen field of computer science. Eoin is a gifted musician, self-taught in guitar, and accomplished as a cellist. He has a great sense of humor and a quick wit, and is always willing to learn from his mistakes and use them as opportunities for growth.

Memorial Middle School

Camila Reyes

Camila exemplifies determination and dedication through her extensive involvement in school and community activities. She actively contributes to the school Newspaper, in which she is a co-editor-in-chief, and Yearbook club, showcasing her creativity and strong work ethic. Additionally, Camila serves as a Wingman leader. She participates in other clubs and organizations such as Exit 17, Chorus, Band, Jazz Ensemble, Cross Country, Field Hockey, and Drama Club. Camila's well-rounded achievements and consistent high honors throughout middle school make her a deserving recipient of this prestigious award.

Ishaan Nalla

Ishaan is involved in many activities in and out of the classroom, from the Debate Club, Math Counts, and Library leadership to showcase his musical talents as a member of the Chorus and Orchestra. Ishaan embodies a passion for learning and leadership while maintaining outstanding academic standards and achieving high honors throughout middle school. With his exceptional academic record, diverse interests, and unwavering determination, Ishaan is poised for continued success in all his endeavors.

Rochambeau Middle School

Olivia Kim

Olivia Kim is an outstanding student at Rochambeau Middle School. She is a leader within our school community and works diligently to maintain academic excellence. In addition, she is an extremely talented musician and demonstrates leadership in our Chamber Orchestra. Olivia has a positive attitude and leads by example - garnering tremendous respect and appreciation from her peers and staff alike.  Within the community, Olivia participates in Southbury Juniorettes and has supported a number of service events to benefit the greater community. 

Joshua Picard

Joshua Picard is an exemplary student at Rochambeau Middle School. He has consistently demonstrated academic excellence and dedication to his studies. In addition, Joshua is a leader within the community. He is a soccer team captain, a talented member of our orchestra and was admitted to the TriM honor society. Joshua was also recognized for his positive character attributes, personal responsibility, and innovation as part of our #RMS Pride Spotlight Student initiative. Joshua is courteous, and positive and sets a fine example for his peers.

The following students were selected from Region 15 as the WCSA Award Recipients

2024 WCSA Award Recipients

9 people standing in line in front of backdrop holding awards

Pomperaug High School

Kali Barbarisi

Kali Barbarisi possesses a winning combination of qualities that make her a natural leader and an admirable individual. She consistently exhibits an affable personality, untiring motivation, fierce independence, stalwart work ethic, and deep empathy. As the Captain of the Field Hockey Team, Kali led her team to victory in SWCs and States. She has been recognized for her leadership skills, receiving the MVP, Athlete of the Week and Year awards. Kali is also very engaged in community service, serving as a member of Impact, participating in Mission Trips, and teaching gymnastics.

Eddie Alarcon

Eddie Alarcon has been an active member of the PHS community. Currently, he holds several leadership positions including President of the Spanish Honor Society, Co- President of the Embracing Diversity Club, Captain of the Indoor and Outdoor Track Teams, and a Link Crew Member. In addition, Eddie was nominated and attended the Summer Envision Medical Youth Leadership Program in California and received the College Boards’ National Hispanic Recognition Award. He plans to continue his education with a major in pre-med.

Memorial Middle School

Gia Palmieri

Gia Palmieri is a bright and motivated student who has left a positive mark on her school and community through her diverse interests and leadership roles. Gia has consistently showcased her talent and commitment, from active involvement in the Tri- M music honor society and yearbook committee to her dedicated participation in chorus and soccer. Beyond school, Gia’s compassionate nature shines through her extensive community service, including volunteering with her religious group for seven years and supporting Kinetic Kids for three years. Gia’s multifaceted achievements and unwavering kindness highlight her as an exemplary individual in her academic and extracurricular pursuits, rightfully earning her this recognition. 

Xian Santos

Xian Santos has demonstrated his commitment to Memorial Middle School and its community by actively participating as a member of Tri-M, serving as a Wingman Leader, contributing to the Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, participating in Unified Sports, and joining the Middlebury Parks and Rec basketball team. Alongside his impressive extracurricular involvement, Xian has consistently achieved academic success throughout his three years at MMS. This award celebrates his diverse talents and his dedication to both academic excellence as well as school and community endeavors. 

Rochambeau Middle School

Eloise Hogrefe

Eloise Hogrefe is an exemplary student at Rochambeau Middle School. Eloise demonstrates outstanding leadership across a variety of settings: as captain of the soccer team, on the basketball team, and as a contributing member of our Student Council.  Eloise is a talented musical performer on stage as well as a member of our middle school band where she plays the flute. During her three years at RMS, Eloise has been recognized by staff as a Spotlight Student for her positive attitude and the integrity that she has demonstrated in our school community.  Eloise adds great value to our school and builds positive relationships with all students and staff. Within the local community, she not only plays lacrosse and soccer but is also a soccer referee. 

Finn Brooks

Finn Brooks is an outstanding student at Rochambeau Middle School who has excelled in the classroom, on the musical stage, and on the athletic field. His strong work ethic is reflected in his academic performance where Finn has maintained exemplary grades and consistently shows his strong commitment to learning. Finn is an active member of our school as a member of our school band as well as a participant in football and lacrosse within the greater community.  Finn is a respectful and responsible student who is committed to being a positive role model for others. His commitment to service extends outward to benefit others and is certainly most deserving of this prestigious recognition.


9 people standing in front of a backdrop holding awards

Picture (2024 WCSA Award Winners 2024) L-R: Jennifer Murphy, Principal Memorial Middle School, Dr. Paul Jones, Principal PHS, Kali Barberisi (PHS), Finn Brooks (RMS), Xian Santos (MMS), Gia Palmieri (MMS), Eloise Hogrefe (RMS), Emily Gervasio, Assistant Principal at RMS and Joshua Smith, Superintendent Region 15 Schools. Missing: Eddie Alarcon, Pomperaug High School.

7 people standing holding awards

Picture (2024 LCSA Award Winners 2024) L-R:

L-R: Joshua Smith, Superintendent Region 15 Schools, Olivia Kim (RMS), Gabrielle Leonardi (PHS), Ishaan Nalla (MMS), Camila Reyes (MMS), Josh Picard (RMS), and Eoin Collette (PHS)