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NHS Student Excellence Awards Recipients


On Thursday, Nov. 14, Norton Public Schools recognized four exemplary students for their leadership, academics, and service to the surrounding community. The Academic Growth and Student Leadership Award, Superintendent's Award for Excellence, and MA Association of School Superintendent's Academic Excellence Award were presented at a School Committee meeting held in the cafeteria of the L.G Nourse Elementary School.

"Once again we are recognizing students that continue to impress all of us with the amazing things they accomplish," said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph Baeta. "It's when I get to meet with these students and talk with them about all of their achievements that makes me proud of the work we do here in Norton with our mission of maximizing each student's potential."

Recipients of the Academic Growth and Student Leadership Award must be a high school senior who exemplifies admirable character and accomplishment. Eligible students are personally selected for this award by their principal, high school staff, and superintendent, who choose the students they feel have achieved high all-around distinction in their high school years.

Recipients of the Superintendent's Award for Excellence and the MA Association of School Superintendent's Award must be a high school student with a three-year cumulative average, ranking high in their class, who has been actively involved in their community. Eligible students are personally selected for these awards by their principal, high school staff, and superintendent, who choose the students they feel have given exemplary service to their community and has achieved high all-around distinction in their high school career.

The 2019 recipients of the Academic Growth and Student Leadership Award are:

Declan Diestel

Declan Diestel has taken a variety of Honors, and Advanced Placement courses and excelled in each, displaying great personal responsibility and dedication. He has earned a 4.5 GPA while balancing academics, athletics, and community involvement. Declan's academic success has earned him membership to the National History, English, Math, Science, and French Honor Societies. He was also awarded the President's Academic Excellence award in French for the past 3 years, and the President's Academic Excellence Award in Science during his sophomore year. Throughout his time at NHS, Declan has maintained a heavy course load and still has been able to excel on the NHS's soccer team and in both winter/spring track. Declan has also volunteered his time with the Little Wiffles organization, and taken on a leadership role for the past three years while teaching religious education classes at St. Mary's.

Breelyn Gilbert
Breelyn Gilbert stands as not only second in her class, but for her incredible leadership skills. She is vice president of the senior class, vice president of public relations for the school's highly demanding DECA club, and captain of the school's volleyball team where she helps with organizing practices, summer leagues and must maintain frequent communication with coaches and players. Breelyn also dedicates her time to a part time job at L.L. Bean and volunteering at the Attleboro YMCA. Her teachers note her as being confident, diligent and optimistic. In the future, she hopes to further explore her interests in science by possibly exploring a career in laboratory science or the veterinary field.

The 2019 recipient of the Superintendent's Award for Excellence is:

Vicki Tran

Currently ranking first out of 180 students, Vicki Tran is the president of the Math Honor Society, vice president of the Science Honor Society, and treasurer of the class council. She is also a member of the National Honor Society as well as the English and History Honor Societies. While excelling academically she has prioritized being well-rounded with her involvement in clubs, sports and community service opportunities. Vicki has been on the Varsity Girls Tennis Team for every year of high school, earning MVP for both her sophomore and junior years, and was selected to be the team captain for the 2020 season. Academically, Vicki has been the recipient of many school based awards: Presidential Excellence Award for History (June 2017, June 2019); Presidential Excellence Award for Math (June 2018, June 2019); Presidential Excellence Award for History (June 2019); Presidential Excellence Award for Science (June 2019); and Presidential Excellence Award for English (June 2019).

The 2019 recipient of the MA Association of School's Superintendent's Academic Excellence Award is:

Caroline Daly

Caroline Daly has earned herself an impressive 4.48 GPA with an increasingly rigorous course load, four years of volleyball resulting in captaincy her senior year, incredible involvement within the community all while maintaining consistent honor roll throughout high school. She became a Certified Nursing Assistant through her participation in a Medical Mission Trip to Central America known as the Hands & Feet Mission Group and also won the "Annual Massachusetts Lions Youth Speech Competition" last year, which highlights her excellent communication skills and self-confidence. Caroline's service to the community includes working with the Norton Police Department to bring women's self-defense training to our school district and assisting a local organization known as New Hope to bring attention and awareness to domestic and sexual violence survivors.