2023 Scholarship Recipients
2022 Scholarship Recipients
2021 Scholarship Recipients
Ashley DeRocco

Danvers

2020 Scholarship Recipients
2019 Scholarship Recipients
Alicia Cone

Danvers

Alec Haffner

Andover

Grace Dunn

Andover

Maeve Gaffney

Andover

Kathleen Hartnett

Andover

Hope Joel

Andover

Katharine Leland

Andover

Shaelyn McGrath

Danvers

Jessica Shay

Andover

Timothy West

Danvers

2018 Scholarship Recipients
Jamie Boghosian

Danvers

Emma Dyer

Andover

Mackenzie Evans

Andover

Mikayla Goodwin

Andover

Caroline Medwar

Andover

Olivia Raza

Andover

Grace Sanders

Danvers

Emalie Tjalsma

Andover

Shannon Treacy

Danvers

2017 Scholarship Recipients
Kylie McDonough

Danvers

Megan O’Leary

Danvers

Caileigh Reming

Andover

Kaitlyn Sullivan

Danvers

2016 Scholarship Recipients
Anna Fateiger

Nashoba

Lindsay Richard

Danvers

Erica Taft

Nashoba

Alica Torres

Nashoba

Eileen Vandewalle

Danvers

2015 Scholarship Recipients
William Carleton Jr.

Danvers

Clara Greszczuk

Nashoba

2014 Scholarship Recipients
Courtney Comeau

Andover

Lily Cuzner

Danvers

Our Initiatives

Memorial Scholarships

Step Up for Colleen 5K

Kindness for Colleen

Pink Daisies & Cacti

Rachel Cordio

2023 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Endicott College

 Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Girls Swim & Dive Team, Captain; ANA Synchro Team, Captain; East Zone and NESSA Athlete Representative; MVC All Star Division 1Team; Students to Students mentor; Unitarian Universal Church member & volunteer.

Awards & Achievements: Honors/High Honors All 4 years; East Zone Scholar Athlete

College Expectations: “My plans…are to attend a college to get my license in Elementary Education. Ideally…where they have a 4+1 masters program…It is important to me that their program has a multitude of firsthand and immersive classroom experiences. I am looking forward to student teaching.” 

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Since she was five years old, Rachel has had a passion for teaching. Her stuffed animals would be her “students”. She had a whiteboard, markers and her animals and would set up her living room as a classroom and she would envision what her classroom would be like some day. Rachel has been described as “intelligent, kind, patient, and yearning to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives (particularly children).” When Rachel began working with kids, coaching young swimmers and helping her sister with her homework, she realized her dream of becoming a teacher was a reality. Rachel’s swim coach inspired her to not only believe in other people but believe in herself. As a teacher, Rachel plans to encourage her students to be the best version of themselves.

Luke Bardetti

2023 Inspire kindness scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Amherst College

Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Baseball; Indoor Track & Field, Captain; Unified Basketball, partner/coach; Class Board – 4 years; Students to Students, President; WBNA, co-founder and commissioner; Andover National Honor Society, board member; Pickle Ball Club, founder; Andover DCS Warrior Sports, camp counselor.

Awards & Achievements: National Honor Society; Underclassmen Awards for Excellence in Spanish 2, Phys Ed, Biology, Algebra II, English 10, AP Biology, Pre-calculus, AP US History; Saint Anselm’s Book Award for Character and Civil Engagement; UNICO Merrimack Valley Scholarship; Schneider Electric National Merit Scholarship; Andover Rotary Club Citizens Who Care Student Award.

College Expectations: “The last few years have brought no shortage of uncertainty…We have somehow found a way to grow into stronger, more resilient versions of ourselves…I hope the next four years of college will not only prepare me to weather the storm of tomorrow but also provide crucial support for others.”

 Inspiration for Community Service: Throughout his high school career, Luke fostered kindness in his school, on the field, and in his extracurricular activities. During his junior year, he became co-president of the Students-to-Students program which mentored incoming freshmen at the high school. Especially after Covid, he realized that many students were dealing with anxiety through various activities. Through Luke’s leadership, the program has become one of the largest student organizations at Andover High. Luke has been involved in many athletic sports, however the one that had the greatest impact on him was the Unified Basketball team. He looks forward to continuing to provide support to others. Luke shared “I have realized my passion for working with people, especially kids…So, being an intersection between by scientific interests and interpersonal abilities, I hope to pursue a career in the healthcare field in the future, using my opportunities and abilities to help others.”

Isabelle Galgano

2023 Inspire kindness scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Emerson College

Extracurricular Activities: Key Club Organization – Founder and club president; Lieutenant Governor for New England and Bermuda District Division 8; New England and Bermuda District Secretary; Andover High School Letters to Strangers Club: President and founder; School Drama Guild: Lead Actress for 5 shows; School Yearbook Club: Head Editor; Girls for Girls Club: President; Class Boards: Freshman – Senior; Board Intern for Representative Tram Nguyen; Andover Chapter of Pollinator Pathways: Intern; Student Ambassador; Camp Counselor for Girls INC of the Seacoast; New York Times Summer Academy: DIY Filmmaking Student

Awards & Achievements: University of Vermont Book Award & Citizen Scholar Award; AP Scholar Award; Honor roll 4 years; Excellence in Dramatic Theater Underclassmen Award; New England and Bermuda District of Key Club 1st Place Promotional Video Contest

College Expectations: “Throughout college I hope to discover myself through the opportunities provided at a university level… Life is all about discovering through experience. I want to take in all the numerous internship, study abroad, club, sport, and etc., meaningful college opportunities, to define myself. I am majoring in film production…I want to be part of creating works that are so impactful, they transcend being simple works of fiction and become avenues for connection. Overall, I hope to leave college fulfilled and self-defined- exploring my barren scope of land and making something out of the opportunities laid before me!”

 Inspiration for Community Service: Isabelle and her mom had a tradition of what they called “one act of kindness a day”. Each day, they challenged themselves to go out of their way to make at least one person’s day better. Isabelle shared “Throughout my life, my parents have instilled in me the importance of being kind for the sake of being kind.” Coming into high school, she wanted to bring with her the passion for creating the change she wanted to see. Isabelle founded a community service club during COVID-19 and for the first project they collected.

over 800 cans to help those in need.! She also runs a feminist club called Girls for Girls which

places an emphasis on having conversations about female inequality, encouraging

members to speak up and be comfortable in themselves. Isabelle also worked for

a camp run by Girls Inc. of the Seacoast which is connected to a domestic violence shelter where a lot of kids come from difficult home lives which allowed her to be a role model to young girls all while learning so much about kindness and perseverance from them. Isabelle shared “throughout the duration of my high school career I have always gone out of my way to choose kindness!”

Kate Harris

2023 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Endicott College

 Extracurricular Activities: Students Against Destructive Decisions, President; Freshman Senior Board; Varsity Field Hockey, 2021& 2022 D1 MIAA State Champion Team Member; Varsity Women’s Golf, captain; Seacoast Field Hockey: athlete, referee and coach; Warrior Way; Elm Square Oyster Co. hostess; certified babysitter; Ookalera (Team Motivator and Leadership Position); South Church, member and volunteer; Upon A Star Events and Indian Ridge Country Club, volunteer; Health for Humanity Club.

Awards & Achievements: National Honor Society, Honors/High Honors 4 years, Underclassmen Award in: College Prep Physical Science, Geometry, Honors Spanish II & III, 20th Century Film and American Culture, and Entrepreneurship.

College Expectations: “This August I will move into Endicott College…. I plan to major in Elementary Education and look forward to the hands-on experiential learning…I will grow as an athlete, student, friend and ultimately… a teacher… I will have completed at least 650 internship hours, built an impressive resume, and made the fundamental connections necessary to earn placement in a top school district.. As a teacher, I hope to change students’ lives academically and create a love of learning that I have been so fortunate to experience myself.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Similar to Colleen, Kate has had a passion for teaching since a young age. She has been inspired by various teachers who taught her to love learning and to value education. Kate would play school with her family and friends where she would be the teacher. In middle school however, Kate became interested in interior design and real estate. She felt stressed about what direction to choose. During that time, a close family friend, a young girl, was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away, she had always wanted to be a teacher. Her passing was difficult for Kate but helped her desire to become a teacher again stronger. The flame for her interest in teaching was alive again. Kate has been described as determined, compassionate and resilient who prioritizes kindness and inclusivity. Kate hopes to inspire the love of learning and to help young children understand that their dreams are just as possible.

Devon Higgins

2023 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Providence College

 Extracurricular Activities: Girls Varsity Ice Hockey; Soccer and Track; Student Government; Covid Support Club; Global Goals Club; Homeless shelter volunteer; Kid Care staff; Mad Maggie’s Ice Cream, employee.

Awards & Achievements: Honor Roll

College Expectations: “I will be majoring in Early Elementary Education and Special Education…Opportunities for me will include student teaching in Providence as well as abroad…My goals after college are to teach kindergarten or first grade along with special education. I am eager to have my own classroom to teach students the importance of kindness and how one small act can go a long way.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: In the summer before her Junior year, Devon quit soccer, a sport she had played for many years. She struggled to find activities to fill the void until she began volunteering at a homeless shelter. Devon found the children were happy although their lives were hard and confusing. Devon bonded with the children. She would bring crafts and books with her and would read to a quiet two-year-old every week. Devon realized that spending time with this little girl had made her more comfortable in her surroundings as the girl was always drawn to Devon. During high school, Devon worked as a summer camp counselor and also assisted in the Excel/ABA program for students with severe special needs. Devon was described as calm, patient and compassionate, which allowed her to work with the children at the shelter who had experienced trauma.

Amanda Kim

2023 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Gordon College

 Extracurricular Activities: Girls’ Varsity Gymnastics, Captain; Girls’ Varsity Tennis, Captain; Yellow Jackets Gymnastics Club; Xcel Program Member; Student Ambassador; Yearbook Production; Key Club; Global Goals; Warrior Way; New England Bible Church: Audio/Visual Team Member, Keyboardist and singer, AWANA (Children’s program) group leader and Vacation Bible Church group leader.

Awards & Achievements: National Honor Society; Gymnastics: Eagle Tribune Unsung Hero Award (2022) & MVC 2nd Team All-Conference Award (2023). Tennis: Merrimack Valley Conference 1st team All-Conference; Excellence in World History (Gr. 9); Excellence in UX Design (Gr. 11), Excellence in English 10 (Gr. 10), Gordon College Global Honors Scholarship.

College Expectations: “In the fall of 2023, I will attend Gordon College…as a Global Honors Scholar and a varsity athlete on the Women’s tennis team. I plan to major in Middle and Secondary Education with a concentration in Biology. Gordon’s education major includes a teaching practicum early in the program that will equip me with classroom and hands-on. experiences. I expect that challenges will arise… However, I believe that these experiences will help me build long-term skills that I will benefit me beyond my college years.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher:  Amanda has always been excited by learning and she feels it is the guidance from her teachers that has inspired this love. She wants to share the benefits she received from her teachers with her future students. It was Amanda’s junior-year chemistry teacher who taught her the importance of asking for help in order to grow in her learning. She credits her teacher with not only teaching her chemistry but teaching her how to “learn”. Amanda was described by one of her teachers as “a passionate and intellectually curious student” …who will make a very engaging educator”. Amanda has also been described as “a very authentic personality …strong moral character…and exceptionally cheerful”. She shared in her essay “Nelson Mandela said, ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,’ and I hope to participate in preparing the next generation to be lifelong learners.”

Reese MacDonald

2023 Inspire kindness scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Assumption University 

Extracurricular Activities: Class Treasurer; Skywave Acapella; Chamber Singers; Theater; Chorus Executive Committee Member; Color Guard; Theater Board Member; Student Representative on School Committee; Acapella Business Manager; Summer Camp Counselor

Awards & Achievements: Director’s Award in band; Spirit of Chorus Award; Academic Achievement in Psychology Award; Tri-M Honor Society; Varsity Letter Color Guard

College Expectations: I plan to go to Assumption University and study nursing. I’ve wanted to be a nurse my whole life and I’m excited to finally start the process of reaching that goal of mine. I expect the next four years of college will help prepare me for not only my career but my life too…I’m ready to be in an advanced classroom setting and to start learning everything I’ll need to know.. Aside from school, I’m excited to see the skills I’ll gain from being at college and being surrounded by teachers who have life experience that they can pass on to me…I expect college to make me a hard worker, a leader, commutative and organized!”

 Inspiration for Community Service: Reese has promoted kindness in many ways during high school. She has learned through doing community service that she loves working with kids and giving back to them. In many of the different clubs and activities in school that Reese participates in, equality and acceptance was a major part of their missions. Reese is passionate about setting examples for people and making sure that everyone feels heard and accepted. She has done work with the LGBTQ+ community so that they feel accepted and safe in their community. During a school committee meeting, Reese brought up the problem of bullying problem at her school and this helped bring attention to a critical issue that was affecting many students. She is immensely proud of that. Reese plans to continue sharing kindness throughout her college years and shared “Kindness is so important to me and I feel like everyone deserves to have kindness in their lives, whether it’s big or small. Kindness can be so impactful to people and even the smallest gesture or compliment can change someone’s entire day or mood.”

Ainsley Napolitano

2023 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Le Moyne College

 Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Girls Soccer, Club Soccer; SADD Club, Trail Management Club, Global Goals Club; Employed as assistant director, lifeguard and camp counselor.

College Expectations:  “I am excited to be attending Le Moyne College…I am majoring in elementary education in a 4+2 program, where my goal is to get a masters degree in education…I’m super excited to learn more about the values of hard work and independence…I will learn new skills on how to interact with people, especially children, and how best to support and prepare kids for their own futures.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Just like Colleen, Ainsley found her love for helping and inspiring people at a young age. As a child, she always helped her family and friends and did her best to be there for everyone. During some difficult times in her childhood, Ainsley received a lot of support from her teachers, and this is what helped her determine she wanted to be a teacher. She currently works in an after-school program at a local elementary school. This has helped Ainsley learn that all kids are unique and have different wants and needs. She feels honored to be a role model for these kids and is excited to continue learning to become a teacher that will inspire her students the way her teachers inspired her. Ainsley’s guidance counselor stated: “She will be an asset to any classroom, and will truly be a warm, loving and caring teacher to her students. Ainsley knows what it is like to work with children …and has the patience, compassion and overall kind heart that would make an amazing teacher.”

Lillian Owen

2023 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Fitchburg State University

 Extracurricular Activities: Marching Bank, section leader; Winter Guard; Math Team; Market Basket – employee. 

Awards & Achievements: National Music Honor Society 

College Expectations:  “My plans for college is to go to Fitchburg State University as an education major to hopefully become a high school science teacher…I believe I will gain other skills I don’t have yet to become a teacher. These next four years will grow my experience in teaching people and kids…help them with learning as well as mine.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Lillian’s desire to become a teacher started with her grandfather who was a high school science teacher for many years. He would take her to his classroom in the summer to help set it up and tell her stories about the courses he taught and share memories of the students he taught. Lillian’s grandfather helped her discover her love of science by watching shows on the Discovery Channel and explaining Jeopardy questions/answers in the science and nature categories. Lillian credits her grandfather for teaching her to appreciate teachers, of which there were many that inspired her throughout her school years, which has helped her determine she wanted to be a teacher.

Sadie Papamechail

2023 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Salve Regina University

 Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Girls Ice Hockey, captain; Varsity Field Hockey, captain; DECA; Best Buddies. 

Awards & Achievements: National Honor Society; National English Honor Society; World Language National Honor Society; High Honors. 

College Expectations: “My plans for college are to major in elementary education at Salve Regina University and play field hockey…Salve Regina has a strong elementary education program…to build my skills to aid me in becoming the best teacher I can be.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Similar to Colleen, Sadie’s passion for teaching started when she was very young. When she was in second grade, her grandfather would come over every morning to put her on the bus, and before she left, she would take out her “teaching materials’ and pretend to be the teacher to her grandfather. Sadie continued to be influenced by her teachers throughout elementary school. She has never considered any other career. Sadie wants to be the teacher her students look up to and to help them grow in knowledge and describes herself as ‘organized, kind and hardworking’. Sadie shared “I have always loved children, and being able to stand in front of a classroom of my own is a greater award than anything I can imagine.”

Emma Wilichoski

2023 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Endicott College

 Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Field Hockey; Varsity Girls Lacrosse; DECA; Best Buddies; Lynda J. Talbot committee member; YMCA childcare provider; camp counselor; Field hockey coach; Miss Nancy Parties & Programs, employee.

Awards & Achievements: World Language National Honor Society; National English Honor Society; Joanne Paquette Academic All-Star; Northeast Conference All-Star; Salem News All-Star.  

College Expectations: “I will attend Endicott College as an Elementary Education major…I will dive right into the world of education with multiple hands-on learning experiences such as local internships, an abundance of observation hours, and the completion of pre-practicum and practicum…I have been recruited to the Field hockey program…I expect to build new relationships and grow as an individual, all while spending countless hours with little smiles.” 

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Emma shared “A good teacher can teach you something you will remember for a day, a great teacher…for the rest of your life”. Emma’s mother, a 2nd grade teacher, was that special teacher to her. She would love going to school with her mom in late summer to help her set up her colorful classroom for the incoming students. Emma would label books and mailboxes, put her colorful borders, and organize the same little pink bookshelf every year. Spending time with her mom inspired Emma to want to teach as well. She would be out with her mom when past students would rave about what a good teacher her mom was. Growing up this way inspired her to want to make an impact on children’s lives. Emma shared “12 grades, 12 years, and many teachers later, I still patiently wait for my time to become the elementary school teacher I’ve always aspired to be”. She is proud to be following in her mom’s footsteps.

 

Amelia DiGiorgio

2022 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Providence College

 Extracurricular Activities: JV Field Hockey; JV Lacrosse; Freshman/ Sophomore board; JV Basketball; Field Hockey Coach Volunteer; Marry Immaculate Nursing Home – volunteer; Golf – played on the first women’s golf team in Andover High school history. Work: Elizabeth Lee Boutique- employee; Babysitting. Volunteer: Faith Lutheran Church Mission Trip – helped repair homes in Delaware for families in need; St. Augustine’s Church

Awards & Achievements: Underclassmen Award for Latin; High Honor Roll and Honor Roll.

College Expectations: I will be attending Providence College in the fall … I was pleased to learn that the Elementary Education and Special Education major at Providence College is among one of its most popular majors. The dual certification sounds perfect … I would be spending most of my time in classroom settings through their internship program which will prepare me for the future.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Amelia shared that her mom, once a teacher and who she admires, was on of the reasons she wishes to be a teacher.  She hopes to follow her path and become the best version of herself. Amelia explained that the past few years she has become more patient with others and has learned leadership skills that will be vital for any teacher. Amelia also shared that she struggled at times in school but the support from teachers, tutors, and her parents who helped kept her on track. She shared “I hope to become the teacher who students feel comfortable around and one who they find supportive and encouraging.” Amelia knows that some students are more difficult than others, but she is up for the challenge and believes she can encourage students to be the best versions of themselves in and outside of the classroom. Amelia was described by one of her teachers as “a ray of sunshine” and “super positive, a great student and a friend to all……She has a heart of gold and is so determined to be a teacher…. She will make a great teacher someday!”

Hailey Doherty

2022 scholarship recipient and

2022 Inspire Kindness i/m/o Brian Feeney

Scholarship Reciepient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Assumption University

 Extracurricular Activities: Three sport Varsity: Field Hockey, Lacrosse, and Basketball (Captain). Selected Warrior Way Chairman: One of two females chosen out of over 400 students by teachers, administrators and the athletic director. Happy Feet: program includes dancing and playing games with students with disabilities. Unified Basketball Team. Volunteer lacrosse and field hockey coach. Basketball coach summer camp. Babysitting.

Awards & Achievements:Warrior Way Chairman; Honor Roll, Excelence in Physical Education; Excellence in Forensic Science 

College Expectations: “I am planning to attend Assumption University…. I chose Assumption because of its excellent education, and special education program…. I have learned…that my true passion is to become a teacher…This career would provide me with the opportunity to share my joy with others, and to help students become the best version of themselves as they grow. I want to light the way for those I need, through the embodiment of the teacher I wish to become”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Since she was a young girl, Hailey has been drawn to helping others, specifically special education students. In third grade, she befriended a boy who she thought needed a friend.  He helped her as did other peers with disabilities how to better help them. Hailey enjoyed helping them with their as well as learn skills that would be beneficial to them in their lives. Hailey helped them to learn how to participate in a game with their friends, be part of a team and how to interact in social situations. She participated in Unified Basketball team, a team made up of typical and special papers. Hailey also worked in the Peer Mentoring which she would help students in English class. Hailey shared, “my favorite part of participating in both of these programs is when I can bring a smile to their face.” All these activities have made Hailey realize her true passion is teaching.

Hailey is also a recipient of the Inspire Kindness Scholarship awarded in memory of Brian Feeney. Like Brian Feeney, for whom this scholarship is awarded, Hailey has been described by one of her teachers as “the epitome of kind! No matter who she interacts with she is friendly, genuine and always has empathy. She brightens my day, not just mine but everyone’s! She will make a difference in many people’s lives.”

Hailey is the first person to be awarded both and education scholarship and a kindness scholarship.

 

Lucy Dumont

2022 inspire kindness scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Fairfield University

Extracurricular Activities: Tennis Team. Work: YMCA-after school and summer camp counselor; babysitter. Volunteer: Fox Hill School camp counselor; YMCA snack shack runner; My Brother’s Table wait staff; Cranmore Mountain ski instructor; Relay for Life

Awards & Achievements: National Honor Society; National English Honor Society; World Language Honor Society

College Expectations: “I will be attending Fairfield University where I will be majoring in nursing…. My dream goal would be to become a pediatric nurse ansesitest and Fairfield has a doctorate program for me…. I expect college to help form me into a leader, teammate, and give me the true feeling of purpose…. I will come out of college prepared for the road ahead e, as well as be headstrong and be able to push rough challenges.”

Inspiration for Community Service: Lucy’s parents taught her from a young age to be kind and that to show kindness is to spread love. Lucy shared “some people do big gestures, while others do small everyday things. No matter how big or small, kindness is being in the moment.” Her parents and teachers have shown her that true acts of kindness are genuine, no of convenience. She shares high fives, hugs, helps her brother, facetimes her grandparents nightly, pats a friend on the back or simply shares a thank you. Lucy shared “simple gestures that I hope can bring big changes.” At Danvers High, she was part of a class called “Community and Leadership”, a class where kindness is at the root. Lucy shared “I strive for kindness every day. Though my own personal acts of kindness might not be grand gestures, I believe they are important and helped to shape me into the person I am and the nurse I hope to someday become.”

Nicholas Homze

2022 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: University of Massachusetts – Amherst 

Extracurricular Activities: Falcon Marching Band: Section Leader of the Falcon Marching Band, Tri M Music Honor Society, Vice President, President, Spartans Indoor Percussion Cast Member, All State Orchestra for snare drum, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Senior Districts 1st Chair for Snare Drum, Spring Track, Indoor Track, Cross Country 

Awards & Achievements: Music Theory Academic Award; Outstanding Performance Award; Musicianship Award: 2019 and 2020; Varsity Letter Spring Track

College Expectations: “I plan on attending Umass Amherst next year with a major in general education….after doing my general ed classes take music education classes in order to pursue a career as a music educator. During this time, I hope to march in different performing marching arts ensembles around the country. I hope to use this time to not only learn but travel and experience a lot of different cultures around the country.”

Inspiration to be a Teacher: Similar to Colleen, Nicholas goal is to not just to become a teacher to just to teach, but to shape and influence the lives of his students. He was inspired by his 5th grade music teacher who taught him percussion and always treated him with respect and kindness. Nicholas shared “the positive influence and kindness that he brought to everyone is something that I hope to be able to bring to my future classrooms.” He wants to major in Music Education in college and perhaps become a Band Director. Nicholas hopes to bring Colleen’s passion and kindness to wherever he goes. He shared “Her legacy will be carried on no matter what because of the thousands of people she had helped and cared for during her time as a teacher. I would be honored to be awarded this scholarship.”

Isabel Rodenberger

2022 inspire kindness scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Tulane University

Extracurricular Activities: President, Interact Club: Youth Extension of Rotary International, attend monthly meetings with Andover’s Rotary to organize annual service events & projects which benefit my community and promote international understanding. Senior Center – designed and implemented: mentor program to teach seniors tech skills, pandemic Pen Pal Program, and Winter Hat Drive. Captain, Mock Trial Team, Student Ambassador; Member, Senior Board; Board Member, DECA: Member, Global Engagement Club: Lunch Ambassador; Host, Citizens Who Care: Member, Freshman Board; and Member, Andover High School Girls Volleyball. Volunteer for the Feaster Five, Toy Drive, One Wish Foundation, St. Augustine’s Vacation Bible School; Senior Center Mentor; Aim2Learn; YMCA Mobile Food Pantry; and Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Awards & Achievements: Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award; Excellence in Broadcast Journalism; Excellence in Advanced Film and Video; Excellence in Environmental Sustainability Internship Class; Middle School Graduation speaker: Honors/High Honors; Recognition in the Rotary District Governor Newsletter acknowledging the hard work of the Andover Interact Club; Unsung Hero Award, Eagle Tribune: An award for overachieving, quiet leaders and often overlooked athletes in local high school sports 

College Expectations: “For the next four years, I will be studying at Tulane University. During my time in New Orleans, I hope to follow an international business path and double major in legal studies in business and international development. In respect to my own career path, I would like to pursue a job relating to international business. Language and culture have been a huge part of my life since I was a little girl. Not only will I come out with a better understanding of the world’s global affairs and cultural differences, but I will also finish my four years of education with two degrees from the School of Liberal Arts and the A.B. Freedman school of Business. Giving back to others helps us grow as individuals and become better human beings. Tulane will offer me the opportunity to continue to pursue my passion for service.”

 Inspiration for Community Service: During her high school years, Isabel amassed a considerable record of commitment to community service. She draws inspiration from Socrates who once stated, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” This statement was manifested while serving at the Andover YMCA where she witnessed the economic struggle of those in the neighboring community of Lawrence. At the YMCA, she helped to feed more than 150 families each week and recruited her peers to provide additional services to the Lawrence families.

Asialis Torres

2022 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Northern Essex Community College

 Extracurricular Activities: Member of Freshmen Board; Member of AHS Diversity Club; AHS Amigos Unidos Club; Adullam Christian Church choir; YMCA Swimming Instructor; Volunteer: Daybreak Shelter; Corunum; Ebenezer Cristian Church; Fundraising for missionaries; Time for Change Youth; Ebenezer Cristian Church; Member of “Inner Pieces” Support Group, Children, Friends & Family Services. Work Experience: Managing Quadrupuligic Uncle’s Activities of Daily Living; Managing my grandmother with Alzheimer’s Activities of Daily Living; Child Care Provider; Cashier – Market Basket; Retail Associate – Cracker Barrel

Awards & Achievements: Excellence in Advancement Via Individual Determination Award 

College Expectations: I would like to go to Northern Essex Community College to study early childhood development and get certified to work at a daycare. And go straight into the field. I know that I can still get a position in a daycare without college, but I have a passion for children and learning…While I am studying, I will start off as an assistant and get even more experience. Along with all of this I will still be working in the church teaching Bible studies.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Torres is driven by necessity, in particular, the need for all children to have access to early education opportunities. She has observed the difference in the development of children who have access to such and those that do not. In addition, she believes that all children must know and understand that they are loved and valued. Early education provides children with learning opportunities, socialization skills and expectations for good behavior, according to Torres. She aspires to provide these opportunities for young children.

Brad Wilichoski

2022 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Endicott College

Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Football, Captain; Ski Club; Miss Nancy’s Parties and Programs; Summer Camp Counselor; Best Buddies; Special Olympics Volunteer; Down Syndrome Walk; Danvers American Little League Volunteer; House Painter Summer Job

Awards & Achievements: Captain-Varsity Football- All-Conference 

College Expectations: “I am so excited to meet new people, join an on-campus community and study to become an elementary teacher, my dream job. I plan to get involved on campus and get the most out of my 4-year experience. I am not going to be your smartest or most recognized applicant but what I will be is your most driven applicant. I am going to work hard in college to make my career goals a reality.“

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: It wasn’t until high school that Brad found his calling. He always loved his teachers and had great relationships with them but it wasn’t until he met a 6-year-old camper named Genevieve. She came to the camp he worked at every week and he taught her the fishing experience and she would make him bracelets and draw pictures of the fish she would like to catch. Genevieve asked Brad on the last day of camp ‘Mr. Brad, what grade to you teach and where? Brad’s boss shared a note from Genevieve with him in which she shared that her favorite memory from camp was learning to fish and be a better friend from Mr. Brad. Brad shared “I couldn’t believe my eyes? I didn’t think I had impacted her the ways she had impacted me.” This note was the catalyst to Brad choosing to be a teacher. Brad shared “teaching will give me the opportunity to positively impact children’s lives every day that’s exactly what I want to do.”

Paige Gillette

2021 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Assumption University

 Extracurricular Activities: Three-sport Varsity Captain: Field Hockey, Softball, and Basketball. Hooptown coach. Softball clinic counselor. New England Student Leadership Conference. Employee at Five Guys.

Awards & Achievements: MIAA Student Ambassador; Honor Roll; Excellence in Broadcast Journalism

College Expectations: “I am excited to pursue my dream job and learn how to be great at it…My plans for college are to study education and sociology and then pursue a master’s degree in special education…I have spent a lot of time during my high school career with special education students and with young kids coaching them in various sports, making connections with them and seeing them be proud of themselves is one of the best feelings in the world. College will prepare me for waking up every morning to go to school and do that every day, and I cannot wait.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: It wasn’t until high school that Paige became inspired to be a teacher. She was at lunch when a freshman student from the special education class asked her if he could sit with her. Although she was nervous, she agreed. After that day, she ate lunch with that student nearly every day during high school. He helped her discover her passion for helping him and his classmates. It was through these daily ineractions with a new friend she discovered her calling. Paige shared “He changed my life. I am often told how good I am to him and how lucky he is to have a friend like me, but people do not understand how lucky I am to have him.” Seeing the impact she could have on a student, she knew she had to be a teacher. Paige cannot wait to begin her journey to become a “outstanding, caring and fun-loving teacher.” Paige has been described as someone who “exudes a contagious enthusiasm about life” that makes others want to work harder.

Kaelyn Grava

2021 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Saint Anselm College

 Extracurricular Activities: Dance and Summer camp leader in training/counselor

Awards & Achievements: Excellence in Algebra, National Honor Society

College Expectations: “I think college will prepare me…. to develop the skills set necessary to educate and teach the future generations. I hope to learn how to teach children to find a true love and passion for learning.” 

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Kaelyn struggled as a child in school however freshman year she was inspired to learn more as she met as she described as “one of the most inspiring teachers”. This teacher encouraged her and reminded her she was smart and encouraged her out of her comfort zone. She inspired Kaelyn to become an educator. Kaelyn hopes to be a teacher like her: kind, supportive, and loving. She hopes to be that teacher to her students one day. 

Ashley Kendrigan

2021 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Stonehill College

 Extracurricular Activities: AHS Soccer, Captain; AHS Indoor and Outdoor Track; NE Football Club 2003 NPL Club Soccer; Volunteer: Lazarus House, House of Hope Homeless Shelter, Saint Augustine Parish, Ironstone Farm Challenge Unlimited and Andover Soccer Goal Kickers Program coach; Town of Andover Rec Dept. volunteer and employee; and Warrior Way

Awards & Achievements: National Honor Society; Academic Honors all years; Varsity Letters three sports

College Expectations: “College…. will prepare me for a career in education because it offers a major in Early Childhood Education and opportunities for experiential learning. College will also provide me with many opportunities to grow personally…. Stonehill College promotes community and will provide new opportunities for me to give back.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Ashley remembers, in third grade, her teacher reading a book and the way she read it to her wish such enthusiasm opened her imagination in a way that she could see the story coming to life. Similar experiences through the years helped her realize that she would like to pursue a degree in education. Ashley hopes to be a kindergarten teacher. She shared, “helping children to learn and understand everything that is new to them is rewarding and brings me joy.” She has always enjoyed teaching young children though coaching soccer, she shared, “it has been the highlight of my summer and fall.” Ashley feels that the simple concept of “treat everyone how you want to be treated” is crucial for kids to understand. Ashely was also inspired by Colleen since she was younger as she learned more about her through the 5K and witnessed how many people Colleen had touched. She strives to show the same kindness and creativity as Colleen did in her teaching career.

Jared King

2021 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University:  Salem State University

 Extracurricular Activities: Little League Challenger Program Coach; Class President (10); Football (9), Basketball (9,10); Volunteer It’s My Heart New England; Supervisor at local grocery store

Awards & Achievements: Spanish National Honor Society; Senior Superlative Most School Spirit

College Expectations:  “I plan to attend Salem State University and I am hoping to get a Master’s Degree in History Education. I am hoping that I not only learn how to teach to the best of my ability, but I also hope to learn how to deal with money because I will have to budget very well if I want to make it out of the next four or five years successfully.”

Inspiration to Become a  Teacher: Jared is pursuing an education major inspired by Mrs. Carnavale, a former teacher who had a lasting influence upon his life, and more importantly, the lasting impact Colleen had on his older brother, Tyler. He endeavors to help support students with mental health challenges who, he believes can thrive, with the support of caring teachers.  Jared shared, “He (Tyler) still tells stories of how she helped him through some of his darkest high school days. It seemed like Ms. Ritzer was his Mrs. Carnevale. I would love nothing more in life than to follow in the footsteps of these great teachers, and help guide students through their years in high school. Not only did Ms. Carnevale push me to become a better reader, writer, and public speaker, but she also went out of her way to help me and other students.” 

Jenna Lowd

2021 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University:  Bridgewater State University

 Extracurricular Activities:  Field Hockey Varsity; Tomorrows Teachers; Best Buddies; Cherry Farm Creamery, ice cream server

College Expectations: “I expect the next four years of  my college experience to be interesting and challenging, but also rewarding. I plan on pursing my career in elementary education and interning my senior year at a local elementary school. I expect college to prepare me ….by learning how to deal with students who are not listening and how to handle different situations.

Inspiration to Become a Teacher:  Jenna’s will forever remember her fifth grade teacher,  because she made learning fun and by doing so made her interested in science. She shared “the way she made learning hands on and interesting intrigued me.” Jenna could tell her teacher was someone who loved teaching and had a kind caring manner in which she educated her students. Her teacher made her realize the value of a great teacher and that her technique helped students feel safe and not intimidated. Jenna shared, “this technique is something I will use in my future classroom because valuing students self-esteem increases motivation in students to learn and pay attention.” As Jenna entered high school, she started to think about a career in education as she had always enjoyed working with younger kids. Jenna took part in Tomorrow’s Teachers and volunteered in a classroom. She shared, “sitting in a kindergarten classroom in Danvers opened my eyes to what my contribution and impact can be as an educator.” Jenna is excited and ready to start her journey into becoming an educator.

Benjamin Miragliotta

2021 inspire kindess scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: University of Massachusetts – Amherst

 Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Hockey, Track; Volunteer: Senior Center, Restore/Habitat for Humanity, Atria Marland Place; Employment: Pet Sitter (owner), Brightview (food server)

Awards & Achievements: Excellence in Physical Science; National Honor Society; MVP-AHS Hockey

College Expectations: “I was chosen to be part of the Isenberg Fellows Residential Academic Program, and offers me mentors in my program…I expect to have many opportunities to connect with thoughtful leaders and great people. I will major in Finance, with a Real Estate Certificate, in affiliation with the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship.”

Inspiration for Community Service: When Ben chose to be part of the AHS hockey team, he never imagined the impact it would have on his life, in particular the relationship the team  established with a local senior living community. The team began visiting the residents on a regular basis helping to brighten their day. Ben shared, “I have come to embrace how simple acts of kindness can be so impactful.” He found this experience very rewarding. Ben also is involved with Habitat for Humanity Restore where he discovered “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” When the pandemic began, Ben went outside his comfort zone and began working at another local nursing home. He finds this work very fulfilling seeing the impact he has on the residents. Through these experiences Ben shared, “I have come to fully embrace the value of taking extra time to show someone kindness, whether it be holding the door open for someone or giving an elderly person my undivided attention.” When his mask shielded his smile, he made sure to brighten his eyes so they knew he was smiling.

Liana O'Brien

2021 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University:  Roger Williams University

 Extracurricular Activities: Softball; Swim Team; Club Team Swimming; Class Secretary; Tomorrows Teachers; Teaching Internship; DECA; Band; Best Buddies; Town Ambassador for Project 351; Camp Counselor; Various part-time employment.

Awards & Achievements: Town Ambassador for Project 351; Recipient of Keys for Success Award; Class Officer; High Honors Leadership award for Softball; fundraising coordinator for Holten Richmond Middle School such as the Candy Drive and a Food and Toy Drive at Highlands Elementary school and partnered with the troop-support

College Expectations:  “I will be attending Roger Williams University for Early Childhood Education and Communication. I am hoping to study abroad, do internships within different schools to see the different teaching styles, and get a job. After those four years, I will get a job to start my journey in life, and while doing that I hope to get my master’s.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Liana knew her first day of kindergarten that she wanted be a teacher when she was greeted by her teacher with open arms. Liana shared, “I would always follow her around like I was her mini teacher.” She is eager to help young children just like her teachers. During her high school years, she questioned her dream of becoming a teacher as she shared, “is this really what I want to do? Or, am I just looking to pursue it because that has been my dream since I was a little girl.” However, taking part in Tomorrow’s Teachers for three years in high school reaffirmed her passion for teacher. She was offered the opportunity to work in an elementary school and she explained, “the day I had been waiting for since I was a little girl is finally here.” 

Navya Pandya

2021 inspire kindness scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Northeastern University

 Extracurricular Activities: Youth Group Leader; DECA; Amnesty International Club; Student Ambassador; Camp Invention Leadership Intern; Volunteer: Project Home Again, Relay for Life event leadership, Lawrence General Hospital

Awards & Achievements: National Honor Society; High; Honors; Excellence in Geometry; Excellence in Marketing; DECA State Top Ten Finalist 910), States Third Place (12) and Districts Top 3 Finalist (12)

College Expectations: “I will attend Northeastern University as a nursing major…. The next four years of college will prepare me to be a strong, successful leader. After gaining experience and making connections, I hope to go back to school to become a Child Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner…. I consistently strive to help others. Being a nurse means that I can make a difference in the lives of those who are vulnerable and in need of support.”

Inspiration for Community Service: Navya’s parents always showed her that kindness is a universal language. Navya and her family immigrated to the United States from India with little knowledge of the American culture but knew how to spread kindness and goodwill. It was through friends and an Indian temple her family joined where she found acceptance. “Living in a new country surrounded by people unlike me was difficult at such a young age, but my teachers and friends at the temple showed me diversity was something to be proud of.” In middle school, Nadya was asked to be a youth group leader which she enthusiastically accepted. In this role she chose to spread the kindness that was given to her. Nadya explained, “the idea of giving back to the community means putting all of your skills, interests, and empathy into the pool of talent to provide to those around you.” She explained that in giving back she has learned how to work with a team, voice her opinions, lead projects and be confident. As she explained, “Every act of kindness for the community, big or small, is advantageous for the betterment of society.”

Alexandra Papazian

2021 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: University of Connecticut

 Extracurricular Activities:  Girls Varsity Volleyball- Captain; Club Volleyball; Student Ambassador; Freshman and Sophomore Board; Career Mentoring Program; AHS Women’s Forum; Volunteer: Stonehill Nursing Home, UNITAS, Autism Eats, UNICEF; Employment: Cowabunga’s Indoor Inflatable Playground and, YMCA- Youth Special Interest Employee 

Awards & Achievements: High Honors; Excellence in Algebra II, Excellence in Spanish II and Excellence in Activity Fitness

College Expectations: “My college experience will shape me in a variety of ways. I wish to gain independence, intelligence, and a stronger dedication to my passions…At the school I attend, I will have extremely large access to knowledge from people who have had countless years of experience in a variety of fields. I am excited to master the material and be able to learn the best way to teach others… Most importantly, I am looking forward to being able to be in an environment surrounded by future teachers, those who share the same passion with me. I expect my dedication and passion for teaching to grow as each year goes by.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Growing up, Alexandra always loved going to school. She shared “I think a large factor in enjoying your education is the teacher.” Alexandra credits her second-grade teacher with inspiring her to be a teacher, drawn to her because of her positivity and kindness. Alexandra wanted to be that teacher. Her teacher would let her help correct papers when she had finished her work early, and she shared “being able to hold that red pen made me the happiest kid in the world.” She made her feel like she had the best teacher in the world. Fast forward eight years to Alexandra’s sophomore year when she had the chance to go back to her elementary school as part the Warrior Way program. Through this program she had an opportunity to visit the teacher who had impacted and greatly inspired her. Alexandra shared, “upon seeing me she remembered who I was, which brought tears to my eyes, as well as hers…. I felt so much joy, nostalgia, and also felt proud that she remembered me.”

Madison Serapiglia

2021 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Methuen, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University:  University of New Hampshire

 Extracurricular Activities:  Dance (Center for the Performing Arts since 2006, Performance Team Captain (2020-present), Assistant Dance Teacher; Student Government Member; Peer Mentor for Students with Special Needs; Peer Mentor for Dancers with Special Needs; One Wish Club; and Religious Education Assistant Teacher 

Awards & Achievements: National Honor Society National Honor Society of Dance Arts Underclassman Award- Theater for Young Audiences 2017 Most Improved Award (dance)

College Expectations: “My college plan consists of majoring in Special Education with a focus on communication disorders with an emphasis in adolescents with Autism. I aspire to one day work in schools as a speech and language pathologist for students with special needs. The next four years of my life will expand my knowledge of how to form connections with my future students while enriching their communication skills.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Madison’s passion for teaching was formed early on through her peer-mentoring experiences with individuals with special needs. She shared, “from a young age, I had always known that I was going to be a teacher. I would often compel my younger sister to play ‘school’ with me where I would be the teacher.”  Her mother is a special education teacher and she looked to her as a role model. Madison admired how educators like her mom could have such a positive influence on students who have challenges both academically and socially. Starting in the summer after the seventh grade and continuing through the second semester of her senior year, Madison volunteered in the West Middle School and then the AHS EXCEL programs for students with special needs. Working with these students sparked her passion for teaching and helping others with unique needs. She was also asked to mentor in a new program at her dance studio for dancers with special needs. Madison plans to major in Special Education and a focus on communication disorders with an emphasis in adolescents with Autism. She shared, “I aspire to one day work in schools as a speech and language pathologist for students with special needs. While it may not be the traditional classroom setting, I had envisioned when I was much younger, I am confident that I will carry out my dream of teaching and working with special needs students.”

Emma Accardi

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: University of Vermont

 Extracurricular Activities: Teacher at Kid Care, South Elementary School, AYS Field Hockey Coach, Student to Students Club Mentor, Warrior Way mentor and Environmental Club

Awards & Achievements: Excellence in Psychology, Career Mentoring Award and ADFS-C. Christine Maynard Scholarship

College Expectations: “I expect that my college experience will prepare me with the knowledge, techniques and ideas of how to fully thrive in my future career as a teacher. My goal as a teacher is to help my young students set high goals and never be afraid to aim for their dreams, and be a role model for them to admire.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Emma knew she wanted to be a teacher since the third grade. She described her third-grade teacher as “…a shining light gracing my classroom, emulating love for each student.” At the end of that school year, she gave her teacher a book “One: How Many People Does It Take to make a Difference” as a gift. Emma gave her the book to honor her teacher’s patient spirit and to let her know how much she had meant to her. Throughout high school, Emma worked at South Elementary Kid Care’s after-school program. It was there she deepened her passion to teach elementary school. She met with her third-grade teacher while in high school, and that teacher brought the book. She shared with Emma that she had kept it on her nightstand and read it when she doubted her career. That filled Emma’s heart with admiration because her mentor, the one that had inspired her to teach, had just told Emma that she had impacted her life as well.

Lauren Bessette

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Trinity College

Extracurricular Activities: Phoenix Swimming Member, Andover High Swim and Dive Team Captain, Andover High School Special Education Summer School volunteer, YMCA Lifeguard and Lawrence General Hospital Pediatric Assistant Volunteer

Awards & Achievements: High Honors

College Expectations: “I want to be a teacher who makes a difference in people’s lives. My classes will prepare me for the content and my experiences with the people who I go to class with and swim with will keep me engaged with my people skills. These experiences in the coming years will prepare me for my life and career as a teacher who makes a difference in people’s lives”.

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Lauren aspired to be a teacher since a young age. She loved going to school and was heavily influenced by her parents who are also teachers. They taught her it was not just about grades but the hard work Lauren put into the work she was assigned. This formed her into a hardworking student who enjoys learning. In high school, she discovered an interest to focus on special needs children. Lauren has worked with special needs children for many years and has been told she has a special gift of working with them. Lauren aspires to be the teacher that inspires her student’s daily basis with positivity and passion.

Chloe Callahan

2020 inspire kindness scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Assumption University

 Extracurricular Activities: DanversCares – board member, Danvers DECA, Basketball, Light the Night Purple – keynote student speaker, DHS Therapy Dog Day, Holiday Hope and Blood Drive – organizer, Kindness for Colleen Day – organizer

Awards & Achievements: Youth Leadership Award, Spanish National Honor Society, Girls Basketball Coaches Award, DECA Finalist, Assumption University Light the Way Scholarship

College Expectations: “The next couple of years are pivotable times in every young adult’s life. It will bring happiness, challenges, defeat, and opportunities that are all learning experiences. I am looking forward to all of that. I will be majoring in International Business and minor in Biology. Over the years of volunteering, I have come across that third world countries do not have the money/funding to get medicine to their country. So, when I graduate, I see myself working as a pharmaceutical industry pricing drugs for their lower commerce countries.”

Inspiration for Community Service: When Chloe was very young, her mother told her she had an old soul that was filled with empathy and kindness. As she got older, Chloe found herself with a natural calling to make a difference in the world by giving back. Sophomore year she joined DanversCares, a community program that supports youth and families. She held a leadership and board position. Through her association with this organization she  created awareness around issues that are prevalent amongst teenagers. Several of Chloe’s proudest achievements were: Kindness for Colleen Day at DHS, a campaign to encourage student to perform random acts of kindness; Light the Night Purple, a community opiate awareness walk where she delivered the keynote message; Anti-vaping and tobacco advocacy day, where she spoke with Massachusetts State legislature about the hazards associated with vaping; and lastly, she was awarded the Youth Leadership award for DanversCares, which recognizes leadership skills, compassion and community involvement. Chloe is looking forward to being a Light the Way scholar at Assumption University where she will continue to volunteer in service of the community. She stated “I am anxiously awaiting my next calling.”

Matthew Comeau

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Bridgewater State University

 Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Football Captain, Varsity Indoor and Outdoor Track Captain, DCS Middle School Track coach and Camp Otter counselor.

Awards & Achievements: Excellence in Physical Education Award, Edward J. Perry Scholarship

College Expectations: “I plan to graduate with a degree in Physical Education Middle School/High School. I hope to one day be a physical education teacher and football and/or track coach. I look forward to taking education classes and learning all I can to become a caring teacher. College will help me continue to learn how to balance the different areas of my life: classes, a sport and a social life”.

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Matthew is the beneficiary of support from many teachers during his elementary and high school years. He has also played many sports and been mentored by influential coaches. Matthew comes from a family of teachers and coaches; he says it’s in his genes. He shares that it was his teachers, coaches, and family that are the foundation for his future success. Outside of school he had found purpose as a coach and camp counselor. He admires his sister, a 2014 recipient of this scholarship, who is a special education teacher. However, he proclaimed his principal inspiration was Colleen. He was in 6th grade when Colleen passed and remembers the impact it had on his community. Matthew shared that Colleen’s quote, and a call to action for all of us, “be good to people,” has provided to him guidance for many years. He proudly wears her pink bracelet for inspiration and stated, “Not only does Colleen motivate me to want to be a teacher, but she influences me to be a better person each and every day”.

Hannah Finn

2020 inspire kindness scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: University of Massachusetts – Amherst

 Extracurricular Activities: One Wish Project Non-Profit founder, Student Ambassador, Senior Board

Awards & Achievements: Hero’s Among Us, Spreading Smiles Award, Youth Hero Award, Distinguished Finalist prudential Awards, Blanket Project Andover Rotary, Honor Roll, Andona Society Scholarship, ADFS – Eileen Woods Scholarship, Anita Howe Memorial Scholarship

College Expectations: “I have gained a tremendous amount of business skills from running my own non-profit organization as well as communication skills from speaking to youth organizations and donors. I have decided to study business and communications in college with the goal being to open up my own public relations firm. Getting involved in clubs and organizations, meeting people and forming lifelong friendships, studying abroad, and pursuing early internships will all help me gain more independence as life after college begins.”

Inspiration for Community Service: When Hannah entered high school, she knew she wanted to help others through community service. Her focus was to make a positive impact in her community. Hannah knew that the neighboring city of Lawrence had countless homeless shelters where children lived. In April 2017, Hannah founded the One Wish Project, a non-profit, with its mission to “make birthdays sweeter for children living in homeless shelters.” Hannah used her love of baking to make custom birthday cakes and deliver them, along with a few small gifts, to children at the shelters. She started with one shelter with eight to 10 kids and today she partners with six homeless shelters and provides birthday celebrations to over 130 children annually. Hannah was recently touched by the reaction of one of the moms of the children, who had tears streaming down her face. The mom hugged Hannah and thanked her for doing what she was unable to do for her child. This has left a lasting impression on Hannah. Even with all the accolades she has received, that moment still stands out to Hannah. She has learned she is changing the world one birthday cake at a time. Hannah plans to continue to provide for homeless children during college.

Madilyn Francis

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Bridgewater State University

 Extracurricular Activities: Andover High Gymnastics Team player and captain, Reading Gymnastics Academy, Warrior Way leader, South Elementary School volunteer throughout high school.

Awards & Achievements: 2019 Merrimack Valley Title Balance Beam, Honor Roll, Krit Kearins Memorial Scholarship

College Expectations: “For a while my top school has been Bridgewater State University. It has an amazing five-year elementary education program with a master’s degree included. I have discussed at length with South School teachers about where they attended and which might be a good choice for me. I toured it and loved it.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Madilyn has dreamt of being an elementary school teacher for as long as she can remember. Many of her family members are, or were, teachers. She remembers visiting her grandmother’s classroom with her mother and helping create bulletin boards and correcting papers. Madilyn enjoyed listening to her grandmother’s stories about the classroom and would reenact them while playing school with her friends. In her teens, Madilyn began working at an elementary school which help affirm her pursuit of a career as a teacher. Madilyn stated that she was fortunate to have grown up with some amazing teachers; they were incredible role models for her. Madilyn looks forward to being a role model for her students and to sharing her own unique classroom stories with her family

Brooke Hardock

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Saint Anselm College

Extracurricular Activities: Freshman and Sophomore Board, Mary Immaculate Nursing Home volunteer, UNITAS Community Service trips St. Augustine’s Church, SADD Board, Hooptown basketball coach, Extended day teacher at St. Augustine’s School, Varsity Basketball and babysitting

Awards & Achievements: Honor Roll, ADFS – C. Christine Maynard Scholarship

College Expectations: “My plans for college are to major in Elementary Education at Saint Anselm College.  To help prepare for my life, I plan to find jobs around campus and be part of many community service trips, clubs and intramurals which will allow me to meet a variety of new people and stay engaged. To help prepare for my career, I will have the opportunity to have first-hand experience, student-teaching in multiple different grades at elementary schools near Saint Anselm. I chose Saint Anselm because it’s known to have kind students who are dedicated to helping others and a welcoming environment with lots to offer.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Over the last several years, Brooke has had the opportunity to work with children of several ages and discovered her passion. She babysat for numerous families, taught at after school care at a local school and also coached basketball at a summer camp. Brooke discovered during this time that while helping kids she was also a positive role model. Working with children has helped Brooke transform from a quiet individual with impressive ideas to a formidable leader. Finding confidence and a direction through her experiences has provided to Brooke strength and patience. Many teachers at her elementary school had a positive impact on her and she was excited to go to school where the teachers were welcoming, kind and caring. Growing up, Brooke was inspired by Colleen’s positive outlook and will use that inspire her as a teacher. Brooke comes from a family of teachers and realizes the rewards of the impact she has had on the children she has taught or coached. She shares, “Children never fail to appreciate the little things, live in the moment and bring out the best in people. This is why being a teacher is my dream.”

Addison Jaromin

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Central Catholic High School

College/University: Indiana University

Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Soccer Captain, Varsity Lacrosse, Varsity Winter Track, Campus Ministry leader, Unitas Service member, Vacation Bible School crew leader, Student Ambassador, Peer Leader

Awards & Achievements: National Honor Society

College Expectations: “In high school, I volunteered as a counselor at Vacation Bible School and school retreats. Through these experiences I noticed a lot of kids struggle with school and do not have a love for learning. I want to change that and believe if I can impact kids early, it will have a positive impact on their entire educational experience. Studying elementary education will give the tools I need to achieve this goal. I’m really excited to get into the classroom early and gain the hands-on experiences necessary to become an impactful teacher.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Addison strives to have a positive impact on children’s lives, just as her third-grade teacher had on her. Her teacher created a fun and energetic classroom where students were all able to learn and grow in a safe and welcoming environment and she challenged her students to explore the things they loved and try new things. Addison wants to instill into her students a love of learning at a young age. Addison believes that giving students praise and support can change how they view themselves and improve their self-esteem, especially for those who may not receive it at home. Addison is very excited to major in something she loves.

Erin Lally

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Bridgewater State University

Extracurricular Activities: Best Buddies President and member, Varsity Tennis Captain, Freshman Class Officer, Religious Education Teacher, Northeast Arc intern

Awards & Achievements: High Honors, History Award – 10, English Award – 9

College Expectations: “I plan on spending the next four at Bridgewater State University majoring in Severe Special Education for grades K-12. I anticipate joining Best Buddies. I have applied for the honors program and will be living on campus in an inclusive hall with people with intellectual and physical disabilities. I expect the next four years will be full of opportunities and a community of inclusion.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Erin has been inspired by teachers and knew she wanted to be one from a young age. As a child, one her favorite pastimes was to “play” teacher with her dolls. Erin’s mom is also a teacher; her love of teaching has inspired Erin. Erin would go to her mom’s classroom as a child and found her favorite experience was the special education class. She joined Best Buddies in high school and was President senior year. She also interned with special needs students. Erin wants to see students with special abilities reach their full potential. Helping people with special needs is her life’s passion.

Michael Mahoney

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: University of New Hampshire

Extracurricular Activities: Falconize A Cappella – student music director, Marching Bank – drum major, Academy Theater, Class of 2020 Officer, Rise – church choir, McDonald’s employee

Awards & Achievements: DHS Choral Music Rookie of the Year Award, Woody Herman Jazz Award, Excellence in Choral Music Award

College Expectations: For the next four years I will major in Music Education. Wherever I go they will certify me to teach K-12 Music. Through college and student teacher I will figure out what level I feel most comfortable with and where I aim to spend my life teaching. I can only hope to someday be as strong a teacher as so many of the ones I’ve learned from at DHS.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Ever since he was young, Mike had a passion for music, but in the 6th grade, he realized he also had a passion for teaching. He described his middle school band teacher, Mr. V., as the most passionate teacher he had ever had and was thankful to have learned from him.  Mike learned through his innovative teaching style and he became his inspiration to teach a subject he loves. Mr. V taught him that if you have a love of something then there is no greater gift than to share that love with others through teaching. In high school, he became acquainted with many of his teachers. Mike said that in addition to teaching him complex math, Mrs. G’s door was always open to help him in any way whether it be math, teaching, or higher education. Mike stated, “I want to teach. I want to guide. I want to leave a legacy only a teacher is capable of leaving.”

Nicole Major

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Bridgewater State University

Extracurricular Activities: West Middle School EXCEL Program volunteer/teacher, Andover High Varsity Soccer, Andover High Varsity Track & Field captain, Warrior Way, Interact Club board member, Market Basket cashier

Awards & Achievements:Academic Honors, Award in Biology, National Honor Society, Richard J. Collins Memorial Scholarship

College Expectations: “I am incredibly excited for the next four years because I will be doing the three things I love most: working with kids with special needs (or in this case learning the logistics of how to teach them), playing soccer, and running track. As a teacher, I will need to combine my students’ strengths with my own strengths so that our team can succeed together, but most importantly, so that my student can succeed on their own in the future.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Nicole realized in 2nd grade that she wanted to be a special education teacher. It was at that time that she realized that her twin brother was different than her; he learned in a classroom by himself, while she was in a classroom with many children. Nicole learned that he had learning disabilities and she decided that she wanted to be someone who could help him. She has seen the impact that the love and support that his teachers have shared with him have enabled him to achieve success in his classes, his social relationships, and as an athlete. Nicole hopes to repay the world for the blessings of her brother’s wonderful teachers. She wants to see her students succeed in the same way in which he did. Nicole desires to educate others that people with different abilities are not defined by their limitations, rather the beautiful qualities they share with, and contribute to, the world.

Julie Purtschert

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Endicott College

Extracurricular Activities: Professional Center for Child Development volunteer/substitute, Ballardvale United Church nursery caretaker, Andover Interact Club, Students to Students mentor, church mission trips, Andover High Softball, Andover softball clinics volunteer

Awards & Achievements: National Honor Society, National Merit Scholarship Program – Letter of Commendation, Saint Anselm Book Award, Excellence in AP Statistics, AP Language and Composition, Excellence in Algebra II, English 10, Honors Biology, Marketing 10, Geometry, English 9 and Honors Physical Science 9.

College Expectations: “In my opinion, college is not just a way for me to obtain the necessary qualifications to pursue a career as a teacher, but also an opportunity to develop the skills and confidence to do this job to the best of my ability. I know that I love working with kids. For me, college is an opportunity to reinforce the things that I already know about myself, and apply them to building my future career and life.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: Like Colleen, Julie has always wanted to be a teacher; she can’t picture herself doing anything else. Julie was inspired by the book Quiet, by Susan Cain, that discusses how introverts and extroverts interact differently in society. Julie considers herself an introvert and at times considered this a weakness in the classroom because she was timid and less likely to raise her hand or participate. She now sees this as a strength because it makes her more observant of those around her and feels she will notice things about her quieter students that others may not. Julie’s grandmother was a high school math teacher who was also soft spoken. To this day, she uses her grandmother’s graphing calculator to remind herself that you are not limited by your quietness. Julie has learned how her strengths would help her thrive as a teacher.

Gabrielle Sherrick

2020 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Extracurricular Activities: Marching Band – section leader, Varsity Spring and Winter Track – captain, Girl Scout, Jazz Bank

Awards & Achievements: Salem News All- Star Track, Girl Scout Silver Award, DHS Music Award, Adams Scholarship, National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, National World Language Honor Society

College Expectations: “In college I plan on learning both about life and my career. I plan on learning how to plan lessons along with different ways children learn. It is important not only to learn about teaching and how to teach children, but also to learn more about myself through experiences in college.”

Inspiration to Become a Teacher: From a young age, Gabby was called “happy Gabby.” She always had a wide smile on her face. Gabby knew from that point that she wanted to make people as happy as she was. In first grade, Gabby’s dog passed away and she fondly remembers her teacher sitting with her and putting her at ease, not because she had to, but because she wanted to. It was then she knew she wanted to help children as well. Gabby’s goal is to teach elementary school children more than ABC’s and math, she wants to impart upon her students a love of learning. She wants her students to have the same wide smile she had throughout her school years.

Grayson Beherrell

2017 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Andover, MA

High School: Andover High School

College/University: Westfield State University

Degree: Special Education: Moderate Disabilities Pre-K-8

Current Role: 6th & 7th Grade Math Teacher and 1-on-1 Tutoring

Work Experience: Grayson works at White Oak School, a private school for students with language-based learning disabilities. Because it is a smaller school, she is able to provide individual assistance and has small class sizes. Similar to Colleen, Grayson has enjoyed finding new ways to use hands-on activities in math class to keep the students engaged and wanting to learn.

Extracurricular Activities: Grayson, who is originally from Andover, has relocated to Westfield, MA, where she attended college. She has recently adopted a dog and enjoys coming home to him each day.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Colleen’s scholarship instilled in Grayson the powerful yet simple phrase “be kind” each day. She recognized that being kind to someone could be the best thing that happened to that person that day. Grayson explained that students who attend White Oak School are individuals who were discouraged in their previous school because of their disability. At White Oak they are part of a community where they learn to embrace and celebrate their differences. This allows for kindness to found everywhere in her classroom.

Note to Donors: “Thank you and I hope you have a happy holiday season!”

Kristin McNichol

2017 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Danvers, MA

High School: Danvers High School

College/University: Salem State University

Undergraduate Degree: Early Childhood Education and Psychology

Graduate School: Salem State University

Current Role: Kindergarten Teaching Fellow

Work Experience:  Kristin enjoys being able to work with children and have an impact on their learning. She has also enjoyed learning from her host teacher.

Extracurricular Activities: When not in the classroom, Kristin babysits children ranging in age from 1to 12. She is also looking forward to traveling to new places after the pandemic.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Kristin is very thankful for receiving this scholarship and the opportunities it has given her. On a daily basis, she reminds her students to use kind words. Kristin also teaches them to check on their friends and to always be thoughtful of others.

Note to Donors: “Thank you again for everything!”

Stephany Pallazolla

2017 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Danvers, MA

High School: Danvers High School

College/University: University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Degree: English and Psychology, Education Minor

Current Role: Education/Employment Specialist

Work Experience: Stephany works in Cape Ann area high schools teaching vocational skills to students with disabilities as well as working with adult clients to help them find employment. She loves her job and her favorite part is building relationships with her students. Stephany finds it rewarding to see her students’ hard work pay off through them building their confidence and finding jobs and internships.

Extracurricular Activities: Stephany enjoys reading and spending time with her friends and family. She is also looking forward to taking some classes for human service and American Sign Language which will help her to better support her students and clients.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Stephany thinks about Ms. Ritzer often and aspires to be as impactful of an educator as Colleen was for her students. Throughout college, she always kept in mind the phrase “find the good”. Stephany shows her support for her students through being interested in their lives and showing them kindness. Her goal is to lift up her students/clients and help them feel capable of achieving their goals.

Note to Donors: “Thank you so much for supporting me and so many other aspiring educators!”

Samantha Shea

2017 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Assumption University

Undergraduate Degree: Elementary Education and English

Graduate School: Merrimack College

Graduate Degree in Progress: Moderate Disabilities

Current Role: 5th Grade Science and Social Studies Teacher

Work Experience: Samantha loves making a difference and seeing the “light bulb moment” for her students. She has created great relationships with them and enjoys spending each day with them in the classroom. Samantha also shared that she works with the best team.

Extracurricular Activities: Samantha coached Andover High Freshman Field Hockey this Fall along with assisting the Varsity team during playoffs at which Andover won the D1 2021 State Championship.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Samantha prides herself on the impact she has made on her students similar to the way Colleen did. She regularly talks about kindness with her students.

Michaela Verrette

2017 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Andover, MA

High School: Andover High School

College/University: Plymouth State University

Undergraduate Degree: Elementary Education (K-6)

Graduate School: Merrimack College

Graduate Degree in Progress: Moderate Disabilities (K-8)

Current Role: 4th Grade Teacher, Merrimack Fellow

Work Experience: As a fellowship intern, Michaela has worked with some great general and special education teachers. She works with students across all grade levels and has enjoyed building so many relationships. Her relationships with her students are her favorite aspect of teaching.

Extracurricular Activities: Michaela has had a very busy year. She graduated in May and began her Master’s program the following week. She is teaching full time, attending classes and working in a restaurant on the weekends. Michaela also volunteers each year at the Step Up for Colleen 5K.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness:  Colleen’s scholarship not only provided financial support, it provided Michaela with confidence in becoming a teacher. Each day she sees the “CR” on her water bottle and is reminded that she can do the job of a teacher. She shared “Kindness is the only option in my classroom” and strives to find something good in each day and encourages her student to do the same.

Note to Donors: “Thank you so much to the Ritzer family and the donors for your continued support over the last 5 years. Everything you do goes above and beyond.”

Rachel Drew

2016 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Boston College

Year of Graduation: 2020

Degree: Elementary Education and Biology; Minor in TELL and Bilingual Education

Employer: Fulbright Scholar, Sumperk, Czech Republic

Awards & Achievements: Fulbright Scholar

Grade & Subject: English Teaching Assistant: Brings authentic English and cross-cultural exchange to a high school in Sumperk, Czech Republic

Work Experience: Rachel works in the cultural exchange of traditions, food and language in the Czech Republic. She is learning about different systems of education and is becoming part of her school community.  

Extracurricular Activities: Rachel is currently living in the Czech Republic for the duration of her Fulbright grant. She is the only American in the town she lives in and the only American most people she knows has met. She is navigating living and teaching in a new country with a language she did not know. Rachel also has a network of Fulbright grantees with whom she will be doing school exchanges.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness:  Now that Rachel is on her own and surrounded by a language she doesn’t fully understand, she shared that it can be easy to see the negatives and get frustrated easily with people, however, Colleen’s legacy of being kind and finding the good in every day has pushed her to always find positives and meet people with kindness. She works hard to make it clear to her students that effort is what is appreciated and that all attempts by any student to speak English or participate in English, will be met with kindness and positive affirmations.

Lillie Hodgkins

2017 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Assumption College

Degree: Human Services and Rehabilitation/Communication Science and Disorders

Grade & Subject: Grade 6 – 8, Special Education Teacher Assistant

Work Experience: Lillie enjoys the close-knit relationships she is able to form with her students and to watch firsthand the growth and improvement they make. She also enjoys accompanying the students to their other meetings and seeing other important professions such as speech therapy, physical therapy, reading, etc.

Extracurricular Activities: Lillie is the Site Coordinator at a local elementary school for their after-school program. Lillie enjoys traveling and being out in nature.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: As an activity in her classroom, Lillie has compliment circles and kindness lessons.

Note to Donors: “Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity the last few years.”

Kristen McCarthy

2016 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Danvers, MA

High School: Danvers High School

College/University: Endicott College

Undergraduate Degree: Education with a Minor in Mathematics

Graduate School: Endicott College

Degree in Progress: Special Education

Current Role: 1st Grade Teacher

Work Experience:  One of Kristen’s favorite things is seeing her students’ excitement about learning new things. Their smiles and laughter remind Kristen that her hard work is well worth it.

Extracurricular Activities: Kristen, a star athlete, coaches Varsity Field Hockey at Danvers High School where she once played. In addition, she is an assistant coach for the girls’ ice hockey team.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness:  Kristen is forever grateful for this scholarship as it helped her get through her college years. Currently in her classroom she is doing a December kindness challenge. The challenge consists of students filling in two squares of a heart anytime they do something kind in the classroom. When the heart is full, they will get a special day.

Maddy Reppucci

2016 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Springfield College

Undergraduate Degree: Secondary History Education

Graduate School: Syracuse University

Graduate Degree in Process: Special Education

Current Role: 9th & 10th Grade Global History and Geography in New York

Work Experience: Maddy feels like she is finally doing what she has always dreamed of and that her younger self would be proud of her. She thoroughly enjoys developing strong relationships with her students and creating engaging and diverse lessons that make her kids love learning. Maddy couldn’t be happier with how her life has turned out and with her teaching.

Extracurricular Activities: Maddy is a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army who was commissioned in 2020. She is also the coach of the Varsity Volleyball team at her school. Last year, she also coached Varsity and JV Volleyball at Andover High School. Maddy currently lives in New York with her puppy Kade.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Maddy strives to be the best teacher she can to honor Colleen. She wants to show her students that they are loved and cared about and wants to spread Colleen’s message of kindness wherever she goes. Maddy’s number one rule in her class is “to always be kind and be respectful.” She shared that she thinks that would make Colleen proud.

Note from Maddy: “Never give up on your dreams. Your dreams may seem so far away and out of reach sometimes…all your dreams will come true someday. If you continue to work hard enough, set goals, and be kind to yourself, I promise you, your dreams will come true.”

Erica Taft

2015 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Stow, MA

High School:  Nashoba Regional High School

College/University: Tulane University

Year of Graduation: 2019

Degree: Social Policy and Practice, Political Science; Minor Psychology

Graduate School: Boston College

Degree: J.D. and Masters in Social Work – In Progress

Year Graduate Degree Completed: 2024

Employer: Revere Public Schools

Current Position: Erica is currently a student at Boston College in her second year of graduate school for her dual degree program in law and social work. She is enjoying meeting new people and learning more about the crossover between social work advocacy and public interest law. Erica is motivated by her passion for supporting children and their families.

Extracurricular Activities: Outside of class, Erica enjoys trying new recipes and spending time outdoors hiking.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness:  Erica, a former student of Colleen’s during her first year teaching in Stow, has appreciated the opportunity to learn in Colleen’s memory. She is motivated to be kind and see the world around her as she remembers Colleen’s unwavering smile and cheerful encouragement.

Note to Donors: “Thank you so much for your generosity. Receiving this scholarship has also given me the opportunity to share Colleen’s story and message with so many classmates and friends over the years.”

Casey Flanigan

2015 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Andover, MA

High School: Andover High School

College/University: Saint Anselm College

Undergraduate Degree: Mathematics & Secondary Education

Graduate School: Boston College

Graduate Degree: Curriculum and Instruction

Current Role: 5th Grade Math Teacher

Work Experience: Casey enjoys her school community and getting to know her students and their families. She finds it fun to learn about her students and better understand who they are in order to build strong relationships with them. She enjoys seeing their growth and progress throughout the year.

Extracurricular Activities: Casey has recently graduated from Boston College and completed the Urban Catholic Teacher Corps program. She has relocated to Boston and loves living in the city.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Now that Casey has her own classroom, she always tries to bring Colleen’s legacy into her teaching and hopes to make an impact similar to that of Colleen. She encourages her students to spread messages and acts of kindness in the classroom. Casey strives to create a welcoming and safe classroom community in which all her students are kind and respectful towards one another.

Note to Donors: “Thank you so much for continuing to donate to this incredible scholarship. It was such a gift to be a recipient of Colleen’s scholarship and I am honored to be a part of her legacy.”

Rebecca Hardenstine

2015 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Providence College

Degree: Elementary/Special Education & Psychology

Graduate School: Endicott College

Degree: Education: Mild to Moderate Disabilities

Current Position:  Rebecca is currently a special education teach in a 1st grade classroom. She feels fortunate to work with a great co-teacher and enjoys having fun teaching and collaborating together. Rebecca transformed her room into Toy Story. She loves working as part of a cohesive environment which provides a great example of teamwork for her students.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Each day Rebecca reminds herself that she can find something good that has happened, even if she had a difficult day. In her classroom, she talks at length with her students about kindness and they learn that being kind is a superpower. Through books that they share in the classroom, she is able to have the important conversations about how to be kind to each other and celebrate moments of kindness that they experience each day.

Note to Donors: “I am incredibly grateful that Colleen’s scholarship allowed me to pursue m y degree at Providence College…. A strong foundation in elementary and special education…empowers me to be the best teacher I can be.”

Meghan Johnson

2015 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Smith College

Undergraduate Degree: Education & Child Study and Environmental Science & Policy

Graduate School: University of Pennsylvania

Graduate Degree: Teacher Education Program – Independent School Teaching Residency

Current Role: 6th Grade Science Teacher

Work Experience: Meghan enjoys watching her students figure out how something works in science. She enjoys all their questions and ideas and seeing it “click” for them when doing an investigation. Meghan also enjoys getting to know her students through advisory and informal time in the hallway between classes.

Extracurricular Activities: Meghan, a Lifetime Member of the Girl Scouts, volunteers with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts. She enjoyed her experiences as a child in Girl Scouts and enjoys being able to help the next generation of Girl Scouts try new things and reach their goals.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Receiving the scholarship helped Meghan receive a fabulous education that allows her to work to continue Colleen’s legacy of kindness. She builds a culture of kindness and gratitude in her classroom by helping her students make informed and kind decisions and reflect on experiences as a way to be the best versions of themselves.

Note to Donors: “I am continuing graduate studies at UMass Lowell…. currently enrolled in their Leadership in Education (K-12) Ph.D. program. My goals are to grow my leadership skills…and continue to teach in public education for my career…. I am interested in using this degree to teach future teachers at the collegiate level.”

Haley O'Shea

2015 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Danvers, MA

High School: Danvers High School

College/University: Boston College

Undergraduate Degree: Applied Psychology; English

Graduate School: Endicott College

Graduate Degree: Moderate Disabilities

Current Role: 2nd Grade Special Education Teacher

Work Experience: Haley feels blessed to be surrounded by incredible people at her job every day. Her coworkers and her students make her work a happy place. Haley loves that she is constantly challenged and she loves seeing the student’s faces of joy when they grasp a difficult concept. She is surrounded each day by people who push her to be a great teacher.

Extracurricular Activities: In 2019, Haley traveled to 23 states, then moved to South Dakota to teach. She had made plans to travel abroad however the pandemic put those plans on hold. With a deep desire to see new places and meet new people, Haley hopes to travel abroad next summer.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Haley shared “Ms. Ritzer’s legacy continues to impact me every day. In many ways, it is her memory that drives my passion for teaching.” Despite her youth, Haley has faced her share of trials over the past three years; from teaching on a reservation in South Dakota to having her first three years of teaching be during a pandemic. She realizes that teaching is so much more than simply teaching academic content. Haley has devoted a substantial amount of time this year to social emotional learning. She shared “Teaching with kindness and love teaches kindness and love.” Haley hopes that her students learn what it means to be a good person.

Note to Donors: “I feel incredibly blessed to be able to carry on Ms. Ritzer’s legacy of kindness and am forever grateful for the opportunities that the scholarship has provided me with over the years. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Katherine Rex

2015 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: University of New Hampshire

Degree: Human Development Family Studies/ Minor in Special Education

Graduate School: Merrimack College

Degree: Moderate Special Needs

 

Jenna Romano

2015 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Danvers, MA

High School: Danvers High School

College/University: Roger Williams University

Undergraduate Degree: Elementary Education/Psychology

Graduate School: Merrimack College

Graduate Degree: Special Education

Current Role: 5th Grade Teacher

Work Experience: Jenna has found teaching to be such an amazing experience so far. She thoroughly enjoys working with her students and watching them grow and learn each day. Jenna feels lucky to work at Sanborn Elementary with amazing colleagues, administration, and the best students.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Jenna is grateful for being selected to receive a scholarship, not only for the financial reason, but it has provided her with the opportunity to reflect on Ms. Ritzer’s legacy and continue to spread kindness in all areas of her life. Working at Sanborn, Colleen’s elementary school has been a special experience for Jenna, and knowing that Ms. Ritzer was a student at the school where she is teaching is surreal. She feels so honored to continue Colleen’s legacy in such a special place. Jenna often lessons about empathy in her classroom. Each month her students work toward a “trait of the month”. September’s trait was empathy, October’s was kindness and November’s was friendship.

Note to Donors: “It is incredible that when my journey began, I was a senior in high school hoping to become a teacher someday. Now, I am a 5th grade teacher in Andover, loving every minute of it. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support over the years.”

Sarah Rothmann

2015 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Andover, MA

High School: Andover High School

College/University: Bates College

Undergraduate Degree: English and Minor in Education Studies

Awards & Achievements: Fulbright Scholar

Graduate School: Harvard Graduate School of Education

Graduate Degree in Progress: ELA Teacher Education

Current Role: 11th Grade American Literature Student Teacher

Work Experience:  Sarah loves thinking of new ways to scaffold and differentiate lessons to best meet her students’ learning goals and needs. She also enjoys collaborating with her mentor teacher. Sarah ensures that she is establishing a loving, inclusive, equitable and safe space for her students.

Extracurricular Activities: Sarah, a star athlete in track & field, is planning to help coach indoor and outdoor track and field in the winter and spring.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness:  Sarah shared “I am also grateful for the support of Colleen’s scholarship; this support inspires me to keep engaging with my education in such a way that makes me the best possible teacher for my students.” Sarah has Colleen’s words’ “Be Kind” on her door at home to serve as a reminder to walk into her classroom with kindness, love and support as the heart and soul of her community. Colleen’s legacy inspires Sarah to always look to establish a sense of belonging and trust with her students, colleagues and peers.

Christine Aumais

2014 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Andover, MA

High School: Andover High School

College/University: University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Degree: Public Health; Minor in Education, Psychology, and a Specialization in Developmental Disabilities and Human

Employer: Jumpstart for Children

Current Position: Christine is the Site Manager at Emerson College. Jumpstart’s mission is to advance equitable learning outcomes for young children in underserved communities by recruiting and supporting caring adults to deliver high-quality programming to children and drive systemic change through teaching, advocacy, and leadership. Christine’s role is to recruit, train, and assist college students in implementing reading and social emotional curriculum in 5 different Roxbury pre-schools. Christine has found her fit at Jumpstart as it combines all of the different things she is passionate about in the field of education.

Work Experience:  Christine is able to spend time in the pre-school classroom working directly with the children, seeing them learn and grow, as well as studying education inequity, the systems that drive it, and how we can impact change.

Extracurricular Activities: Christine has enjoyed living in Somerville these last three years. In 2019, she adopted a rescue dog from Puerto Rico named Henry. He has been a great companion for her during the pandemic and enjoys taking him on hikes and long walks.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Christine thinks of Colleen’s scholarship during challenging days, it reminds her of the bigger picture – of why teaching and education are so important, the impact that educators have and all the reasons why she loves what she does. In Christine’s work, kindness is at the foundation of everything she does. She has learned that treating the children and the college students with kindness that it helps in building relationships, community, and trust.

Note to Donors: “Thank you for your support!”

Elizabeth Dever

2014 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: University of Connecticut

Degree: Elementary Education

Graduate School: Merrimack College

Degree: Special Education: Moderate Disabilities

Grade & Subject: 2nd Grade Teacher

Extracurricular Activities: Tess studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa where she taught extremely underprivilegd students during college. She stated that it was  a “life changing experience” where she learned lessons of empathy, compassion and patience that she carries with her today in her classroom. 

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness:  Tess has carried on Colleen’s legacy in college and now into her teaching.

Note to Donors: “Thank you so much for supporting me through my degree, it has been quite the journey that has flown by.”

Emily Felter

2014 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Endicott College

Undergraduate Degree: Elementary Education

Graduate School: Endicott College

Graduate Degree: Special Education

Current Role: Grades 1, 2 & 4, Special Education Teacher

Work Experience: Emily loves her students and their families. Each student brings a unique set of interests and strengths to school and Emily thoroughly enjoys learning with them.

Extracurricular Activities: Emily moved from Massachusetts to Maryland in 2020 is is enjoying learning about the Maryland/D.C. area. She enjoys trying new restaurants and making her town her home.

Colleen’s impact & Kindness: Emily continues to be grateful for the scholarship and considers it a very important component of her career. She incorporates kindness in her classroom every day and talks with her students about the importance of kindness. She helps them learn how to express kindness to others and to see the impact that kindness makes in other people’s lives.

Note to Donors: “Thank you for your continued support for upcoming teachers!”

Jessica Ferronetti

2014 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Andover, MA

High School: Andover High School

College/University: Assumption College

Degree: Secondary Education/Spanish; Minor Psychology

Distinction: Magna Cum Laude

Current Role: High School Spanish Teacher – Level 1, 2 & Honors

Awards & Achievements: Fullbright Scholar

Work Experience: Jessica loves teaching Spanish to beginners. She likes introducing students to the language and watching them become interested in it. Jessica also gets to travel with the students and introduce them to the Spanish-speaking world. In April 2022, she will be leading a trip to Peru with her students. 

Extracurricular Activities: Jessica spent a year in Argentina in 2019 as a Fullbright Scholar. She currently volunteers for the Girl Scouts, oversees a club at school called Lead Like a Girl, and is an advisor for the Spanish National Honor Society.

Colleen’s impact & Kindness: Jessica incorporates kindness into her curriculum and participates with her students each year in #Kindness4Colleen. She begins each school year by making an agreement with her students to spread kindness.

Note to Donors: “Thank you for all the support you’ve given us for all these years!”

Catherine Lamoly

2014 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Danvers, MA

High School: Danvers High School

College/University: Roger Williams University

Degree: Secondary Education and Social Studies

Current Role: 6th Grade Ancient History Teacher

Work Experience: Catie loves so much about her job. Seeing her students work hard, enjoy learning, and be successful, brings her the most joy. She enjoys getting to know her students, their unique, little personalities. For Catie, what stands out for her teaching at Holten Richmond, is that she works alongside many of her former teachers, some of whom were her inspiration to be a teacher.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Catie, a former student of Colleen’s, thinks about Ms. Ritzer every day. She has a photo of her and Ms. Ritzer hanging in her classroom. Catie shared that receiving this scholarship was and still is one of her biggest motivators. She incorporates kindness and positivity in her classroom whenever possible. Catie shared, “As a student, this is what I needed to feel comfortable, safe, and ready to learn. I think it’s why I appreciated Ms. Ritzer so much.”

Note to Donors: “Thank you for supporting us in achieving our goals after all these years and continuing Ms. Ritzer’s legacy!”

Andrea Lang

2014 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Danvers, MA

High School: Danvers High School

College/University: University of North Carolina Wilmington

Undergraduate Degree: Elementary Education

Post Grad School: Montessori Lower Elementary Training

Current Role: Grades 1 – 3, Lower Elementary Teacher 

 

Mary Leahy

2014 scholarship recipient

Hometown: Danvers, MA

High School: Danvers High School

College/University: Wagner College

Undergraduate Degree: Childhood General and Special Education, and Psychology

Graduate School: Southern New Hampshire University

Graduate Degree: Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Dyslexia Studies and Language-Based Learning Disabilities

Current Role: 5th Grade Special Education Teacher

Work Experience: Mary started at a new school and a new grade this year and she is loving it. Her role is a co-teacher so she is able to spend a full school day with the same cohort of students. Mary enjoys that she teaches both special education and general education students and is happy to be teaching in person.

Extracurricular Activities: Mary teaches dance classes, ballet, tap and hip hop, to students ages 4 to 12.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Mary tries to find the good in each day, and teach her students to do the same. Each Friday, she has her students share 2 positive things that happened to them that week. She also incorporates kindness in her lessons, including reading books on kindness and talking to her students about how they should treat their classmates. Mary talks about strategies that the students can use in the classroom on how to cheer up a classmate or ways to sprinkle kindness around the school and beyond.

Note to Donors: “I have been so fortunate to be a part of the Colleen Ritzer Scholarship cohort. All of the generosity and kindness from this scholarship brings me joy every time I think about it. Thank you!”

Sarah Mountain

2014 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Salem State University

Degree: Elementary Education, American Studies

Graduate School: Salem State University

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness: Sarah, a former student of Colleen’s, feels like just yesterday she was in high school dreaming of becoming a teacher. She is excited to be carrying on Colleen’s legacy in her classroom.

Note to Donors: “I would like to thank them for supporting me…because of their help I have been able to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. I would also like  to thank them for continuing to honor Ms. Ritzer and her passion for teaching.”

Carly Sakellarios

2014 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Andover, MA

High School:  Andover High School

College/University: Assumption College

Degree: Elementary Education and English; Minor in STEM

Graduate School: Merrimack College

Degree: Early Childhood Education

Grade & Subject: 1st Grade Teacher

Work Experience: Carly is so grateful to be living her dream of being a teacher. Although her role in the classroom has changed as a result of the impact of COVID, her love of teaching and love for her students has been steadfast. Carly’s students continue to remind her that there is good in every day.  

Extracurricular Activities: Carly recently became engaged to be married.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness:  Carly begins each school day with a meeting on a rug – during that time, they sing good morning to everyone with a song that shares how glad that they’re in school today and a moment for everyone to take a turn to share something good. This is one of Carly’s favorite parts of her day because she loves how they choose to begin the day with gratitude. As a way to encourage kindness in her classroom, they have a “kindness tree” on the wall that began as a winter tree with no leaves. When students are being exceptionally kind, their deed is written on a leaf to be added to the tree. The students have loved watching the tree blossom because of their kindness, and it has been a beautiful addition to Carly’s classroom wall where they are able to display every day acts of kindness!

Note to Donors: “The financial impact of this scholarship continues to impact my life. I’ll be forever grateful.”

Samantha Walters

2014 scholarship recipient

Hometown:  Danvers, MA

High School:  Danvers High School

College/University: Salem State University

Degree: Mathematics

Graduate School: Salem State University

Degree: Secondary Education

Employer: Revere Public Schools

Grade & Subject: Grade 8 Math

Work Experience: Samantha teaches 8th grade math and one her favorite parts of her job is creating resources and developing activities that make her students smile and laugh in math class.

Extracurricular Activities: Samantha, a former Danvers resident, has relocated to Central MA and is engaged to be married in 2022.

Colleen’s Impact & Kindness:  Samantha, a former student of Ms. Ritzer’s, considers herself lucky to have known her and to be among the inaugural group of recipients. In addition to math, Samantha teachers her students the importance of being kind and a good person, both in and out of the classroom.