Friday, June 18, 2021
Home Education HKHS HKHS Announces 2021 Top Ten Students

HKHS Announces 2021 Top Ten Students

By HKHS Staff.

Maxwell (Max) Cozean, son of Frank and Gina Cozean of Haddam, has been named Valedictorian of the Class of 2021 at Haddam Killingworth High School. Max is an extremely driven student and a dynamic leader within our school community. He brings such warmth, care, and positivity when he walks into a room. Max is an avid long-distance runner, and has been a member of Cross-County, Indoor, and Outdoor Track and Field teams for his whole high school career. During Max’s high school athletic career, he has been a part of several Shoreline Conference Championship titles and multiple undefeated seasons. Max is also Vice President of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and is an active member of Student Council. Max has received many honors and awards including the CAS-CIAC Scholar Athlete and the Brandeis Book Award for Social Action and Civic Engagement. Throughout high school, Max has had a strong dedication to his role as a Junior Volunteer at Middlesex Healthcare Shoreline Medical Center and Emergency Department. This Fall, Max will be attending Brown University to major in his passion of Applied Mathematics.

Julian Spector, son of Robert and Gretchen Spector of Higganum, has been named the Salutatorian of the Class of 2021 at Haddam-Killingworth High School. Julian has thrived as a student, having taken on a rigorous schedule including 30 honors and advanced-level classes.  Julian has received numerous awards for his academic achievement including the Yale Book Award, the Shoreline Outstanding Junior in Mathematics certificate, as well as Excellence in French 3 Honors. Julian has an affinity for music and has taught himself to play new instruments over the years – one of his favorites being the guitar. He has been a part of the HKHS Jazz Band since freshman year of high school, primarily as a saxophone player. Julian received a National Gold Standard ranking from a panel of judges at a recent New York City Jazz Competition. Julian is an avid runner and has been a member of our Cross-Country team as well as Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field teams throughout his four years of high school. He was recognized as Second Team All-Shoreline Conference in the fall of 2019. In his time with us, Julian has participated in Student Council, Art Honor Society, and National Honor Society. This year, Julian was inducted into the French Honor Society. Outside of school, Julian has accrued over 150 hours of community service. Julian plans to attend Northeastern University in the fall of 2021. He would like to pursue a dual degree in Electrical Engineering and Music Technology.

Tessa Wills, daughter of Michael and Suzanne Wills of Killingworth, is ranked third in the Class of 2021. Throughout her time at HKHS, Tessa has proven to be a truly talented student. Over the years, she has enrolled in primarily honors and advanced level courses. Tessa has received many awards for her academics. Last year, she received excellence in Advanced Art Projects Honors, Introduction to Sociology, Pre-Calculus Honors, UConn Physics, and UConn Spanish Intermediate Composition. Tessa has always loved participating in sports. She has been a member of our Volleyball and Basketball teams throughout the entirety of her time at HKHS. Tessa assumed the role of Captain for the Junior Varsity team for both teams. This year, Tessa served as Captain of the Varsity Basketball team. Additionally, Tessa has participated in lacrosse. Tessa is a member of Youth in Action, Student Council, as well as Spanish Honor Society. She is a talented singer as well as artist and has enjoyed the time spent in related classes. Tessa has earned over 170 hours of community service. Tessa’s future plans include attending the University of Southern California with a plan to major in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Malin Nystrom, daughter of Kris and Kimberly Nystrom of Killingworth, is ranked fourth in the Class of 2021.  Malin is an amazing student, athlete, artist, musician, and person who will be greatly missed at HKHS.  Academically, Malin has taken all of her courses at the highest levels and has truly found a passion for both International Studies and Environmental Science. Malin is also a very skilled musician, playing both the piano and the flute.  Over the past four years Malin has won several awards for her musical talents across the state. Malin played Lacrosse  and ran Cross-Country  while at HKHS and was a valued member of both teams.  Malin is a true leader and has held leadership positions in HKHS Student Council, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and as a 2021 Class Officer.  Malin also has a passion for giving back to her community and has been involved with the local Youth and Family Services program for the past three years where she has been engaged with several community service projects.  Malin was able to travel to Sweden during the first semester of her Junior year and was able to take advantage of immersing herself in their school system and culture!  Malin will be attending Barnard College in New York City this Fall.

Kelsey Lonergan, daughter of Jason and Heather Lonergan of Higganum, is ranked fifth in the Class of 2021.  Kelsey is an incredibly well-rounded student who took all of her core classes at the honors or advanced levels.  While Kelsey has prioritized her academics she has also been a three season athlete here at HKHS since her freshman year competing in Soccer, Basketball, and Lacrosse.  She is a valued member of all three teams and will be missed on the fields here.  Kelsey also finds time to be an active member of Student Council, Current Events Club, and served as Treasurer of the Spanish National Honors Society.  As a true master of time management, Kelsey participates in Girl Scouts, and achieved the Silver Award’ for the organization and creation of a tutoring program at the local middle school.  She has served the community as a counselor at her church’s Vacation Bible School and as a counselor at the John Nerden camp.  Kelsey will be attending Boston College in the fall of 2021 where she will study Political Science.

Matthew (Matt) Jennings, son of Jonathan and Sarah Jennings of Killingworth is ranked 6th in the Class of 2021. Matt is an exceedingly accomplished student and athlete within the HK community. He is not afraid to speak his thoughts and take on leadership positions with great success. Matt represents his peers as a member of the Conference on Connecticut’s Student Equity Advisory Board and is a Student Representative to the Region 17 Board of Education. Within our school, Matt is the President of National Honor Society, Vice President of Student Council, President of Current Events Club and Class Officer for the Class of 2021. He is the Captain of Cross Country and the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field teams where he has achieved All-New England, All-State and All-Conference Honors. Matt has received the University of Rochester Young Leaders award and is an Ambassador to the Hugh O’ Brien Youth Leadership Seminar. Matt will be bringing his overall drive to succeed in both academics and athletics to Yale University this Fall. Matt will be majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics while running Varsity Cross Country and Track.

Jaden Mack, son of Lance Mack of Haddam and Susan Mack of Higganum, is ranked seventh in the Class of 2021.  Jaden has done all of his course work at HKHS at a very high academic level and has found a true passion for everything STEM-related. Jaden has also stayed very busy outside of the classroom at HKHS participating in Strategic Games Club, High School Bowl, Math League, Current Events Club, Environmental club, and the Robotics Club.  Jaden has been a four year member of both the Indoor and Outdoor Track teams’ throwing programs, competing in shot put and discus. As if his school commitments were not enough, Jaden has been busy serving the community by volunteering at the Brainerd Library for two summers and volunteering with his church’s Teens in Action Youth Group.  One very interesting thing about Jaden is that in his free time he has taken on the difficult task of learning the Russian language and taught himself a great deal about computer coding over the years.  Jaden will be attending Northeastern this fall where he received a prestigious National Merit Scholarship.

Kaitlyn Parri, daughter of Brian and Kerrie Parri of Killingworth, is ranked 8th in the Class of 2021.  Kaitlyn takes her academics very seriously and has pursued all of her coursework at a very high level. While academics have been a huge focus for Kaitlyn, she has a huge love of the game of soccer which has also helped to steer her ship.  Kaitlyn has been a member of the HKHS Soccer team for four years and a Captain of the team during both her Junior and Senior seasons.  During her sophomore season she was awarded honorable mention for the Shoreline Conference and was named First Team All-Shoreline for both her junior and senior seasons.  Kaitlyn has also spent a great deal of time competing on the CT Rush Club Soccer team for the past seven years and was afforded the opportunity to travel to Sweden.  Off of the field, Kaitlyn has participated in Peer Advocates, Student Council, where she helped organize a blood drive, Spirit Club, French National Honor Society, and National Honor Society.  During the summer Kaitlyn even finds time to work at her family’s restaurant and is a trusted babysitter for several families.  Kaitlyn will be attending Union College in the fall where she will be playing soccer and pursuing a degree in Biological Science on the Pre-Med track.

Katja Berardino, daughter of Bill and Kerstin Berardino of Killingworth, is ranked ninth in the Class of 2021. Katja has quietly distinguished herself as a student and as a member of our academic community. As someone who has long had a passion for film and video, Katja became involved in our Media and Communication program in tenth grade and never looked back. Katja has become an integral part of our program and has been a behind-the-scenes force for most of our filmed events for the past three years, including serving as Producer of the Holiday show this year. While Media and Communications has been Katja’s passion, she has excelled in a variety of challenging classes at HKHS and has been recognized for her outstanding work in French and English. Katja is a member of the National Honor Society and Secretary of French Honor Society. Through her work as a Peer Advocate, she mentored a younger student in social skills weekly last year. Aside from her work as a student, Katja is a dedicated dancer who has been dancing for sixteen years. She also makes time to volunteer regularly, including at a retirement community and an animal shelter. Next year, Katja will attend Fairfield University, where she plans to study Film, TV, and Media Arts.

John Bosco, the son of John Bosco of Haddam and Jennifer Bosco of Clinton, is ranked tenth in the Class of 2021 at HKHS. John is an all-around academic force, who is capable of outstanding work in a range of academic subjects. John has taken on many of our most challenging classes and thrived. Outside of the academic realm, John is a three-year member of our Select Choir, three-year member and current Co-President of IGNITE, an HK Youth Coalition, member of National Honor Society and the Current Events Club, and a member of the Indoor and Outdoor Track teams. Outside of school, John works at a local restaurant. John is a confident and forthright person, and was recognized for his leadership abilities by being named a HOBY Leadership Award-winner in tenth grade. This year, John was recognized as a National Merit Finalist. John will be attending University of Southern California next year, where he plans to study Business.

Photos by John Steady Photography.

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