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HUDSON -- A group of teachers, a staffer and five students were among those nominated and winning accolades at the annual Parent Teacher Organization luncheon May 4 at Lake Forest Country Club.
The teachers and staffers were each given a plaque and a check for $500. The students were each given $1,000 scholarships to help with the increasing price of college tuition.
"I am so proud to be a part of Hudson City School District and Hudson PTO. To all of our volunteers, thank you so much. There are so many amazing things that happen and so many hours that go into every event," PTO President Shannon Hutchinson told the room full of guests. "I can not mention them all, but please know that PTO thanks you so much. To all the district employees and school board members, if you wonder why we do it, it is because this is an outstanding school district."
The PTO has donated more than $76,000 to the district this year in a variety of ways, Hutchinson said. The annual PTO Pancake Breakfast is the largest of the year's fundraising efforts.
"Because of the breakfast's success, $25,000 was given back in the form of spring grants. We granted items such as standing desks, books, an augmented reality sandbox, an easel, gymnastics mats and a dremel tool," Hutchinson said. "Back in the fall, we offered i-grants,unded by the Run for the Schools, led by Jenesa Lukac and Jen Dobro and our Membership Drive led by Lori Breast and Lindsay Sirak. PTO donated $5,000 worth of items, including various books, sensory tools, wiggle cushions, science materials and much more."
Hutchinson called it a pleasure to serve on the high school scholarship committee.
"I really enjoyed reading through all the essays," she said. "The topic this year was 'What do you consider to be the single most important societal problem facing your generation within today's school environment? Why, and what would you do to help change the situation?"
Hutchinson said it was "fascinating to read the various problems that the high schoolers see as their generations issues."
"Some topics discussed were drugs, teaching to the test, social media, mental health issues and one compared the students at school to the characters portrayed in the movie 'The Breakfast Club,' she said. "The essay was just a portion though. Points were given for other areas such as grades and extracurricular activities, and combined with the essay score. Five students came out on top -- keep in mind that 35 students applied, so this was no easy task."
Caitlyn Menolasino who is involved in the National Honors Society at school and also spends a large amount of her time volunteering at her church was one of the wiiners.
"She has participated in mission trips through Appalachian Service Projects every summer while in high school," Hutchinson said. "Her favorite classes are American Sign Language, AP Psychology and Peer Collaboration. She will be attending The College of Wooster in the fall where she plans to major in either."
Eliza Green is a member of the Swing Marching Band and Wind Symphony Band, where she played the mellophone and the oboe. She was also a member of the Hudson field hockey team, student government, HUDDLE, and was the president of the National Honor Society.
"She will be attending The Ohio State University in the fall and will be studying history education and pre-law in the honors college," Hutchinson said.
Tyler Richey is a part of National Honor Society, marching band, Hudson rugby club and College Credits Plus. He also enjoys being a part of his youth group Porch.
"He will be continuing his academic career at The Ohio State University's Honor College. His experiences in high school through the Business Club, Mock Trial and other various activities have led him to double major in business and political science and he hopes to one day go to Law School," according to Hutchinson.
Will Carson is attending Miami University this fall to study biochemistry and math as part of their honors program with hopes of becoming a physician or a scientific researcher.
"He is a National Merit commended scholar and was involved in various clubs and organizations including National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, French Honor Society and Asian Awareness Club," Hutchinson said."Will was was president and founder of Hudson High School hackysack slub. Will also enjoyed playing percussion for the swing band as well as performing in Wind Ensemble and running cross country all four years."
Chris Cavoli was involved in a number of activities at HHS. He played football, rugby and was in the orchestra.
"He was an active member in Math Honor Society, LCPC and held leadership roles in student government and HUDDLE," Hutchinson said. "He also participated in the Life Teen program at St. Mary's Parish and received the rank of Eagle Scout the summer before his senior year. He is excited to attend The Ohio State University in the fall and plans on studying industrial systems engineering."
Teachers and Staff
"As usual, we had so many nominations that it resulted in a very difficult task to select only a few individuals for this honor," Hutchinson said. "We recognize one teacher in grades preschool to fifth, one teacher in grades sixth to 12th and we recognize one staff member."
Sharon Nivert received three nominations and was this year's Elementary School Teacher of the Year.
Pam Saucier has been nominated the last few years and was this year's winner of the Middle/High School Teacher of the Year.
"The nominator of this teacher is actually another teacher, which I think really says a lot," according to Hutchinson.
Laura DiPaola was named Staff Member of the Year.
DiPaola found out a week before the luncheon and was greeted by applause and cheers by her students at Evamere Elementary School.
"It was nice, awesome and a surprise," DiPaola said of the award. "Especially because I like to fly under the radar."