City honors youth for showing respect

Students, teachers, principals, and dignitaries filled Milford City Hall's Auditorium during this year's 15th Annual Respect Campaign Celebration.
Youth honorees were chosen from 17 Milford public and parochial grammar, middle, and high schools. New to the program this year was Platt Technical High School.
The 2015  Respect Campaign was made possible through the support of the City of Milford, Mayor Benjamin G. Blake, the Board of Education, a special grant from the Devon Rotary, and a donation from the Milford Elks #1589.
Each year, students are recognized for many outstanding qualities that earn them election by their peers to receive Respect Awards.
“These students were exemplars of leadership, character, and kindness to others, earning 250 students recognition as Stars of Respect during this year's campaign,” organizers said. “Fifty students were honored as Ambassadors of Respect, and five students were named as 'Best of,' for the 'What Respect Means To Me,' Essay competition.”
Stars of Respect were peer-chosen in each school and received a Star of Respect certificate from Milford's Promise during a special school assembly. Ambassadors of Respect were honored at the recent Respect Campaign Celebration, receiving a framed certificate of honor as well as a State of Connecticut, General Assembly Official Citation, introduced by Representatives Pamela Staneski of the 119th District, Charles Ferraro of the 117th District, Kim Rose of the 118th District, and Senator Gayle Slossberg of the 14th District.
The evening's program also included remarks from Milford's Promise immediate past President Donna Corey, City of Milford Mayor Benjamin G. Blake, Superintendent of Milford Public Schools Dr. Elizabeth Feser, and Platt Technical High School Principal Scott Zito.
This year's Ambassadors of Respect were: Calf Pen Meadow Elementary School: Laila Idone/Gr. 5, Julian Sevillano/Gr. 3; John F. Kennedy Elementary School: Keira Ballaro/Gr. 2, Kelsea Flanagan/Gr. 2; Live Oaks Elementary School: Cameron Ishmael/Gr. Kindergarten, Riley Simons/Gr. 2; Mathewson Elementary School: Deepika Chitirala/Gr. 2, Ashna Punjabi/Gr. Kindergarten; Meadowside Elementary School: Trevor Knotwell/Gr. 5, Emma Nelly/Gr. 5; Orange Avenue Elementary School: Gracie Brooks/Gr. 2, Riley Young/Gr. 2; Orchard Hills Elementary School: Sriya Peddinti/Gr. 5, Daniel Thanas/Gr. 5; Pumpkin Delight Elementary School: Jillian Brotherton/Gr. 5, Bradley Swift/Gr. 3; St. Gabriel’s School: Bridget Bennett/Gr. 6, Hailey Bishop/Gr. 7, Monica Fedak/Gr. Kindergarten, Courtney Olenski/Gr. 8, Maia Schwing/Gr. 5; St. Mary’s School: Erin Albright/Gr. 7, Matt Dunn/Gr. 5, Justin Lasella/Gr. 8, Travis Nguyen/Gr. 6, Evelina Rini/Gr. 4.
East Shore Middle School: Ava Haig/Gr. 8, Owen Kepshire/Gr. 6, Stavros Kikis/Gr. 7; Harborside Middle School: Jason Giambra/Gr. 7, Lauren Stewart/Gr.8, William Weber/Gr.6; West Shore Middle School: Patrick Caron/Gr. 8, Madeline Papcun/Gr 7, Ritu Rai/Gr. 6.
Jonathan Law High School: Laura Gonzalez/Gr. 11, Gianna Laezzo/Gr. 11, Madison Laezzo/Gr. 10, Carol Anne Phillips/Gr. 12; Joseph A. Foran High School: Andrew Hiza/Gr. 10, Robert McGinnis/Gr. 11, Ethan Skutches/Gr. 9, Jennifer Weissauer/Gr. 12; Platt Technical High School: Lena Marrouf/Gr. 9, Jesemari Reyes/Gr. 10, Anthony Rogers/Gr. 9, Kimberly Roy/Gr. 12, Mark White/Gr. 9; The Academy: Max Curran/Gr. 10, Mackenzie Wenz/Gr. 11.
'What Respect Means To Me' Essay Competition 'Best Of' Honorees were:    Olivia Jones/Gr. 3, Calf Penn Meadow Elementary; and from Platt Technical High School: Marcos Ayala, Lupita Barajas, Daniel Beck, and Alyssa Turnquist.
Milford’s Promise, an alliance of the national organization America's Promise, supports several youth initiatives in Milford, and is making youth a priority by committing to the Five Promises. Those are, to provide youth with: A caring adult, a safe place, a healthy start, marketable skills, and an opportunity to give back to the community. For more information visit or email