Leo Catinella and Ahnya Dague, students at , were honored at the 12th annual Middle Level Scholar Leader Awards Banquet, held at the DCU Center in Worcester May 25.
This is the first year that Norton has participated in the leadership program, but Principal Michael O’Rourke hopes it won’t be the last.
“Hopefully it’s a tradition we can carry on,” he said.
Each student was presented an award recognizing his or her achievements. The criteria for being chosen to receive the Middle Level Scholar Leader Award include demonstrating academic initiative and scholarship, providing service to classmates and school, exemplifying positive attitudes and demonstrating leadership in the classroom or school activities.
Over 500 guests, including students, educators and parents attended this year’s banquet, which celebrated the achievements of middle school level students. The guests included 100 students from 50 schools from all over the state.
Catinella and Dague, both in the eighth grade, also got to choose a teacher to bring as a guest to the banquet. Cantinella, who wants to be either an orthodontist or soccer player, brought his social studies teacher Jack Howley, who helped him study for the National History Day competition at Clark University on April 9.
“He’s been a real great help and supportive,” Catinella said.
Dague brought her sixth grade English teacher, Cynthia Reardon.
“In sixth grade, she [Reardon] was concerned with how people were learning and wanted to learn the best way to teach them,” she said. “She’s been very influential.”
Dague's dream is to be an astrophysicist or engineer.
The scholar leader program is part of the New England League of Middle Schools recognition program, which eighth grade English teacher Joseph Spremulli has been a big part of.
“He has been acting as our in-school liaison to NELMS (New England League of Middle Schools) as we move forward to becoming a model middle school,” O’Rourke said.
The Middle Level Scholar Leader Awards is organized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Middle Level Educators and the New England League of Middle Schools, with supporting sponsorship from Lifetouch National School Studios.