Milford residents lead Notre Dame Class of 2017

Zachary Bilcheck, of Milford, was named the Class of 2017 valedictorian at Notre Dame High School of West Haven, and Samarth Kasbawala, also of Milford, was the class salutatorian. Both awards were announced as the highlight to the school’s annual Honors Convocation on Thursday, May 11.

Zachary, who will attend Dartmouth College, and Samarth, who will attend the University of Connecticut Honors Program, were both recently named Superintendent Summa Scholar Award recipients by the Archdiocese of Hartford Office of Catholic Schools.

Zachary attended East Shore Middle School and is a National Merit Finalist. He has also been a four-year participant with the Math Team, Christian Student Mission Club, Latin Club, Chess Club and Stage Crew. A member of the National, Latin, and Math Honor Societies, he was elected president of the National Honor Society at the start of the school year. He was also elected president of Latin and Math Honor Society last year.

Selected as a senior peer counselor, he served as captain of the Math Team this past year. He received the prestigious Yale Book Award and University of Portland Biology Award, and RPI medal at the 2016 Honors Convocation, while also receiving the Latin III Award.

Outside of Notre Dame, Zachary spent his summer in an extensive six-week Discovery to Cure internship program at the Yale University School of Medicine. He has also volunteered for the last several years with the Challenger Baseball Program and at Yale New Haven Hospital, while also finding time to take part in fencing for the last five years.

Samarth has been a member of the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society. A key member of the band, he rose to be one of the best musicians in the school. As a result, he was elected vice-president for his senior year. A peer tutor, peer counselor, and Team ND leader, Samarth helped organize a school-wide workshop called the Names Program his junior year, at which he presented a bullying scenario where he became an ally and helped diffuse a situation.

Also active in the community, he has been volunteering at Milford Hospital one day a week since his sophomore year. For his efforts, he received the President’s Volunteer Service Award.