2016 Governor’s Scholars Honored



Thirty of Connecticut’s top juniors were honored at the Twentieth Annual Governor’s Scholars Luncheon at the Aqua Turf Club on May 19, 2016. Sponsored by Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C. and the Connecticut Association of Schools, the purpose of this program is to recognize academically high-achieving students in h
igh schools throughout the state.

Each CAS member high school may nominate one junior in the top 5% of his/her class to enter the Governor’s Scholars competition. This year, each nominated student responded in writing to the essay prompt “If you were elected president in 2016, what issue would be at the top of your agenda to address in your first 100 days in office, and why?” Members of the Governor’s Scholars Committee, educators throughout Connecticut, chose scholars on the basis of their response to this prompt as well as other factors, including SAT or PSAT scores. In addition to receiving a plaque, each Governor’s Scholar is offered numerous gratis academic opportunities by various colleges and universities throughout the state. Additionally, each Governor’s Scholar may be eligible for a University of Connecticut Academic Excellence Scholarship.

Deirdra Preis, chair of the Governor’s Scholars Committee and housemaster at Fairfield Warde High School, welcomed the scholars and their families and guests. On behalf of the Governor’s Scholars Committee, she offered this sentiment: “We particularly enjoy this event because we get to meet in person, the young people whose applications were so impressive.” Donna Schilke, president of CAS and principal of Smith Middle School in Glastonbury, expressed admiration for the students, describing the demanding selection criteria for the award: “The selection criteria are demanding; the competition, since almost every high school nominates a candidate, is intense; and the process leads to the selection of an elite group designated as Governor’s Scholars.” She then introduced Michelle Laubin, Senior Partner at Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C., who spoke about her own experiences in college that eventually led her to a successful career in law. Dr. Dianna Wentzell, Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education, congratulated the scholars and expressed the hope that they would make important contributions throughout their lives.


Congratulations to the 2016 Connecticut Governor’s Scholars:

  • Nikita Babushkin, Somers High School
  • Suvasini Balaji, Amity Regional High School, Woodbridge
  • David Blain, Harvard H. Ellis Technical High School, Danielson
  • Charlotte Boland, Valley Regional High School, Deep River
  • Jason Campe, New Canaan High School
  • Joshua Chang, Old Saybrook High School
  • Hannah Chua-Reyes, Mercy High School, Middletown
  • Calvin Colby, Xavier High School, Middletown
  • Nicole DiMauro, Immaculate High School, Danbury
  • Daniel DiPrimio, Watertown High School
  • Jacob Fried, Trumbull High School
  • Corey Jalbert, Tolland High School
  • Paul Jeon, Fairfield Ludlowe High School
  • Colleen Keenan, Ridgefield High School
  • Signe Lee, East Hampton High School
  • David Mantese, East Catholic High School, Manchester
  • Peter Morrissey, Naugatuck High School
  • Timothy Noto, Stafford High School, Stafford Springs
  • Tess Oatley, Holy Cross High School, Waterbury
  • Kristen Richichi, New Fairfield High School
  • Natalie Rugg, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Old Lyme
  • Emily Schussheim, Staples High School, Westport
  • Rose Silver, West Haven High School
  • Paul Tamburro, RHAM High School, Hebron
  • Kira Venables, Newington High School
  • Vod Vilfort, Wilby High School, Waterbury
  • Hilliard Wolfe, Branford High School
  • Eric Xia, Daniel Hand High School, Madison
  • Lily Zhong, East Lyme High School
  • Angela Zhu, Cheshire High School

By Tim Breslin, Assistant Executive Director