Superintendent presents academic awards to four AHS seniors


AGAWAM – Four seniors from Agawam High School received academic awards at the school committee meeting on November 9.

The two awards that were presented included the Certificate of Academic Excellence from the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and the National School Development Council Academic Growth and Student Leadership in Learning Award.

Superintendent Sheila Hoffman said, “Each year the Superintendent of Schools, as the educational leader of the community, has the privilege of presenting the Academic Excellence Awards from the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents. The award is presented to high school students who have distinguished themselves in the pursuit of excellence during their high school career.

She went on to say that the criteria for this award include a student’s three-year GPA, rank in the class, and overall school citizenship. Hoffman added that presentations for this award are made at the start of each senior year to allow for the inclusion of this “prestigious award,” as well as the student’s accreditation record and advisor’s recommendation upon application. at University.

The school committee joined with Hoffman as she announced this year’s award recipients.

The first recipient of the award was Grace Payne. Hoffman said, “Grace took four Advanced Placement (AP) and 13 Honorary Courses during her time at Agawam High School.” Payne’s current GPA is 4.34.

Hoffman said that Payne is involved in a lot of extracurricular activities. She is President of the American Sign Language Club, Secretary of the Save Club, Volunteer of Agawam Chief, Member of the Springfield Youth Advisory Board, College Indoor Track Athlete, College Cross Country Runner, Member of the Empowerment Club, Member of the peer tutoring and member of the National Honor Society Member. In addition to that, Payne has received numerous awards including the Dartmouth Book Award, Excellence in AP and Environmental Science, Excellence in Instrumental Music Making, Excellence in AP US History, First Place in Agawam Public Library’s Poetry Competition, as well as several other recognitions.

The second recipient of this award was Autumn Jones. Hoffman said that throughout Jones’ time in high school, she took three AP courses and 11 honors courses. His current GPA is 4.30. Some of Jones’ extracurricular activities include work, competitive dancing, National Honor Society member, Chief Agawam, Best Buddies Club member, Future Teachers of America Club member, Clarkson Book Award recipient, Excellence in Algebra and French, and an assistant dance teacher.

“Because our district is affiliated with the New England School Development Council, I was offered the opportunity to present another award to two deserving high school students,” Hoffman said. “The National School Development Council Award for Academic Growth and Student Leadership in Learning honors high school students who have consistently pursued a high level of academic endeavor and have also served as positive role models for the student body.

The two recipients of this award were Marissa Hermans and Nicholas Donovan. Hoffman said they deserve “special recognition”.

Hoffman said Donovan completed three AP courses, seven specialty courses and had a GPA of 4.28. In his spare time, he works as an assistant baker and is part of the student government, drama club and won the Citizen Scholarship Award from the University of Vermont.
Hermans took three AP courses and six specialization courses in high school. His GPA is 4.28. She has work experience in a variety of different positions including refereeing, volunteering as a coach for Agawam youth lacrosse teams, managing the boys varsity football team, as a peer mediator, and she won the principal’s award in college. Hermans is a member of the National Honors Society and plays varsity lacrosse, track and field and volleyball, Hoffman added.

ASAC is back

The director of the Agawam School Aged Child Program (ASAC), Andrea Cichetti, provided an update on the program. She said that before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the ASAC program was “flourishing” and had the highest number of students enrolled in its 16 years of operation.

When COVID-19 shut it all down, ASAC moved its online programs to Google Classroom and hosted Google Meets. Cichetti said the program has activities for kids, including puzzles, demonstration sections, science and art activities, scavenger hunts and even dance parties. Due to changes in its services and restrictions in schools, ASAC has temporarily offered its programs to the Assembly of God in Bethany. During that time, Cichetti said, 40 students were enrolled.

This school year, Cichetti said, she is “happy to resume” child care services as they were before the pandemic. Currently, 181 students are enrolled in the program. This is a decrease of just 25 from November 2019, she said. As the school year progresses, Cichetti said she expects enrollments to increase.


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