By Alexa Catania & Julia Filiault

This year, seniors Charlotte Planeta and Alexander Stephan were chosen for the annual  Superintendent’s Award, earned by a student “who shows good leadership, core ethical values, and academic excellence,” said Principal Brian Falcone.

The guidance counselors meet with teachers to discuss which seniors exceeded these standards over their first three years at Coginchaug.

“We don’t look at only the top one and two students,” said Falcone. “We take academics into account as well as leadership.”

Planeta has been involved in multiple activities that have earned her recognition in this award. She is a member of both the Spanish and National honor societies, showing her leadership roles in helping others. In addition, throughout her three years of high school, she has been a part of the club DECA, serving as co-president this year. Planeta has also participated in Community Round-Up for two years helping the towns of Durham, Middlefield and Rockfall collect food for local families. Outside of school, she teaches with Cardinal Figure Skating School at Wesleyan. Planeta has shown strong leadership skills throughout her high school career, not only in Coginchaug but throughout the community.

Stephan has also fulfilled significant roles in and outside of Coginchaug. He has been a part of musical groups in school such as Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Concert Band, Pep Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Boys a Cappella, Chamber Choir and Show Choir, as well as drama productions. Stephan’s passion for music extends beyond Coginchaug in-house events; he was a member of the Shoreline Music Festival (band and choir), Southern Regionals (band), American School Band Directors Association (concert band and wind ensemble), American Choral Directors Association (honors choir), Connecticut Children’s Choir (Men’s Ensemble) and the Middletown Teen Theater (drama productions). Stephan showed his strong leadership skills through his position as Musical Director for the drama production of Annie at Memorial Middle School. In addition, he was a DMYFS Youth Advisory Council member. Junior year, Stephan won the Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology and Fairfield University Book Award for academics. He also won the Most Outstanding Musician, Most Valuable Player Band Musician, Musical Excellence and Outstanding Piano Accompaniment awards as well.

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