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HKHS Senior Receives Connie Bombaci Service Award

Submitted by Connie Bombaci

(July 8, 2024) — Nicolette Hines of Killingworth received the Connie Bombaci Service Award on June 3, 2024 during the Haddam-Killingworth High School Scholarship
Award Night.

Nicolette (photo above, right, with Heather Ferrer) received this award based upon her outstanding service hours given to the Haddam-Killingworth community and her dedication to serving others without credit. Chosen by an independent committee of select family and community members, she was announced as this year’s beneficiary by Mrs. Heather Ferrer, HKHS science teacher and daughter of Mrs. Bombaci.

Ms. Tracey Ritter, HKHS Social Studies teacher, expressed that Nicolette genuinely cares for the needs of others. Nicolette assisted at Camp Hazen, the homeless shelter, and a variety of church activities. Many additional volunteer hours were not submitted for recognition. Her plans include attending one of the nine outstanding universities from which she has received acceptance and earning her degree in neuropsychology.

Her devotion to serving others became “a calling” for her career choice to help and support others in need of mental health services. She stated, “Because I have seen the harm that undiagnosed disabilities and mental illnesses can do to someone, I want to be part of the solution. I will not only be able to help diagnose people but help teach them coping mechanisms that can help make not only their every day easier, but their life as well.”

The Connie Bombaci Service Award was created by former Regional School District 17 Superintendent Gary Mala and the Board of Education in 2006 when Mrs. Bombaci sadly retired from her position as Associate Principal due to medical disability. RSD 17’s purpose was to recognize the ardent service to the school district over Mrs. Bombaci’s years of commitment and loyal devotion to the students, staff and HK community.

Bombaci founded the renowned HKTV Holiday Show in 1990, worked to create a positive and spirited environment for HKHS students and staff, began the mentoring program, found ways to focus on the positive actions of the students and staff, recognized the talents of all students, and energetically supported student education and co-curricular activities. She also served as an active volunteer outside the school by taking her trained, certified therapy dogs into the community, schools and health centers to help others. Additionally, she worked to save and train deaf dogs to dispel the myths that surrounded these special needs animals.

Mala stated, “Mrs. Bombaci passionately believed that all students must learn to give back to others and share their time, talents and themselves—everyone is worthy of love and acceptance. This Award’s purpose is to help encourage our students to pay it forward and ensure volunteer service above and beyond the required hours continues to be present in our high school for many years.”

Photo provided by Heather Ferrer

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