2018 Governor’s Scholars Honored


Twenty-two of Connecticut’s top juniors were honored at the Twenty-Second Annual Governor’s Scholars Luncheon at the Aqua Turf Club on May 24, 2018. Sponsored by Horace Mann and the Connecticut Association of Schools, the purpose of this program is to recognize academically high-achieving eleventh-grade students in 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 an essay prompt concerning leadership challenges and global responsibilities.  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 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. “Scholars, you are a credit to your families, your schools, your communities, and to the state of Connecticut. We are all very proud of you,” said Deirdre. We particularly enjoy this event because we get to meet in person, the young people whose applications so deeply impressed and inspired us.”

In his opening greetings, CAS Associate Executive Director Dr. Everett Lyons stated, “Today we are continuing a 22-year tradition of honoring a select group of Connecticut’s top high school students in their junior year. 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.” He then introduced guest speaker Mike Foran, principal of New Britain High School Satellite Careers Academy. Mike has been serving the New Britain Public Schools for over thirty years and, in 2012, was named the National High School Principal of the Year. Mike gave an inspiring address about the power of student voice, commending the emboldened students from Parkland High School who have sparked dialogue and spurred changed across the nation.

Speaking on behalf of our event sponsor, Horace Mann, was Regional Director Joseph Ciejka. This event would not be possible without the critical support the company so generously provides.


Congratulations to the 2018 Connecticut Governor’s Scholars:

  • Benjamin Anderson, Oliver Wolcott Technical HS, Torrington
  • Anna Argulian, St. Joseph High School, Trumbull
  • Matthew Barnwell, Manchester High School
  • Pier Bos, Xavier High School, Middletown
  • Peter Crary, Norwich Free Academy
  • Samantha Donovan, South Windsor High School
  • Catherine Gaia, Westhill High School, Stamford
  • Kylie Hall, Lyme-Old Lyme High School
  • Ziad Hassan, Suffield High School
  • Gavin Holbrook, Lyman Memorial High School, Lebanon
  • Perry Katsarakes, Connecticut IB Academy, East Hartford
  • Grace Kneidel, Conard High School, West Hartford
  • Matthew Kung, East Lyme High School
  • Shayna Moffatt, Nathan Hale Ray High School, Moodus
  • Maximillian Mueller, Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy
  • Sean Murphy, New Milford High School
  • Abigail Orbe, Montville High School, Oakdale
  • Daniel Ottavi, Wilton High School
  • Caitlyn Shetland, Griswold High School
  • Michael Tramontano, Wilbur Cross High School, New Haven
  • Jonathan Varga, Harvard Ellis Technical HS, Danielson
  • Conor West, New Canaan High School