Among those in attendance at the 14th Annual Respect Ceremony on June 4 at Milford City Hall were students and families from 16 Milford public and parochial grammar, middle and high schools
Through the support of the City of Milford, the Board of Education, and a grant from the Milford Elks, students were recognized for many outstanding qualities that earned them election by their peers to receive respect awards.
“These students were exemplars of leadership, character and kindness to others, earning 48 of them recognition as Ambassadors of Respect and hundreds as Stars of Respect,” event organizers said in a press release. “In addition to these exceptional students were six essayists, chosen among 69 entries, who also contributed a poignant piece to this respect ceremony by sharing what respect meant to them.”
The Milford’s Promise event featured an appearance from State Rep. James Maroney, 119th District, who bestowed Connecticut General Assembly official citations to students on behalf of himself, as well as Representatives Kim Rose, 118th District, Paul Davis, 117th District, and state Senator Gayle S. Slossberg, 14th District.
Maroney personally presented the citations to all students for their accomplishments and congratulated recipients. The ceremony also included remarks from Milford’s Promise President Donna Corey, School Supt. Dr. Elizabeth Feser, and Mayor Benjamin G. Blake.
Corey and Dr. Feser each addressed respect in different ways. Corey spelled out the letters of the word as is done in the popular song lyrics that convey an individual artist’s idea of what respect means. Feser explained respect in terms of the golden rule, which she defined as, “do[ing] onto others as you would have them do onto you.”
Finally, Mayor Blake cited Shel Silverstein, who he explained was a childhood favorite poet, by referring to his poem, “The Voice,” which states; “No teacher, preacher, parent, friend or wise man can decide what’s right for you. Just listen to the voice that speaks inside.”
Milford’s Promise supports several youth initiatives in Milford, and is making youth a priority by committing to the five promises, to provide youth with: A caring adult, a safe place, a healthy start, marketable skills, and an opportunity to give back to the community.
The 48 Ambassadors of Respect for 2014 include:
Calf Pen Meadow School
Penny Aubin, grade 4; Kaitlyn Dalby, grade. 5
John F. Kennedy School
Caden Simpson, grade 2; Madison Rascati, grade 1.
Live Oaks School
Gianna Weaver, grade 1; Isabella Fallon, grade 2.
Cooper Pietrowski, kindergarten; Sadie Brinkerhoff, grade 1.
Aidan Berchem, grade 5; Ruby Garnett, grade 5.
Orange Avenue School
Daniel Kron, grade 2; Taylor Collins, grade 2.
Orchard Hills School
Mary Wydan, grade 5; Josephine Wydan, grade 5.
Pumpkin Delight School
Noah Forsythe, grade 5; Hunter Fonck, grade 5.
East Shore Middle School
Abigayle Mitchell, grade 6; Madeleine Marrone, grade 7; Shannon Flynn, grade 8.
West Shore Middle School
Samantha Papcun, grade 6; Francesca Fidaleo, grade 7; Kathryn Goldin, grade 8.
Harborside Middle School
Carly Weber, grade 6; Cristina Ludwig, grade 7; John Fowler, grade 8.
Jonathan Law High School
Amanda Deleo, grade 12; Chris Mercaldo, grade 12; Dillon Rocha, grade 12; Emily Romero, grade 12; McKenna Staurovsky, grade 12.
Joseph A. Foran High School
Kyle Lieff, grade 9; Phoebe Collins, grade 10; Marina Kydes, grade 11; Tyler Porcello, grade 11; Elizabeth Nolan, grade 12.
Louis Heenan, grade 9; Austin Shaker, grade 10; Evan Fossett, grade 11.
St. Gabriel School
Ryan Bereski, grade 1; Jake Luciana, grade 2; Carly Mancinone, grade 7; Hannah Williams, grade 8; Thomas Genova, grade 6.
St. Mary School
Emma Rice, grade 4; Christopher Melillo, grade 5; Erin Albright, grade 7; Claire Legard, grade 7, and Ashley Neeley, grade 8.
Out of 69 submissions, the six 2014 Respect Essay competition honorees are: Aiden Day, Matthew Prete, Hanna Della Bitta-Falkowski, Christopher Lynn, Cassie Harrington and Richard Piscitelli.