Two Southington High School seniors were recently named as the 2019-2020 recipients of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) Student Recognition Award. According to school officials, Kelly Bergland and Caleb Richert were selected for their leadership service to the school, academic prowess relative to ability, and services to the community.
“Both Caleb and Kelly are just outstanding all around, well rounded students. Their characteristics didn’t just involve once they hit Southington High School —they’ve been kids worthy of this honor since I’ve known them in sixth grade,” said SHS principal Frank Pepe. “They are just all-around incredible kids, serving as role models for their peers. They are the type of kids that I want my own children to be like. It’s what we all want as parents.”
Bergland, ranked seventh in her class, participates in a challenging academic program and is involved in a number of school and community-based activities. She is president of the Southington Activists for Gender Equality, captain of the SHS swim and dive team, and a member of the Southington’s Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, InterAct Club, drama club, and National Honor Society.
According to the school community, Bergland’s volunteer experience at local elementary schools, and her passion for working with children, is leading her towards a path in elementary education.
Richert, an avid outdoorsman and Eagle Scout, is ranked in the top 1% of his class. He plans to attend college, where he will major in environmental science.
Richert, according to a release from Southington Public Schools, has hiked 48 peaks in New Hampshire, and has completed the Vermont 50 bike race in less than eight hours. The SHS ski team captain became an eastern finalist for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.
“Sometimes they [students] are recognized and don’t know why—I wanted them to understand how prestigious this award is,” said Pepe. “Our high school has over 2,000 students so to rise to the surface, and then sit in the room and read the biographies of all the other recipients – I said to our superintendent, it truly is humbling to see and hear and read what our kids are doing.”
Bergland and Richert were both honored during a luncheon held on Friday, Nov. 8, and will be recognized again during the Southington Board of Education meeting held on Thursday, Dec. 12, beginning at 7 p.m. at the John Weichsel Municipal Center, 200 N Main St., Southington.
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