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Catholic Schools Teach Gratitude While Honoring Scholars
Posted 04/24/2018 12:22PM

On April 23, 2018 The Archdiocese of Hartford’s Office of Education honored 48 scholars from eight Catholic high schools for their superior academic achievement. Six of these outstanding students hailed from Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford. 

To qualify for the award, students must be in the top 5% of their graduating class based on cumulative grade point average. During a ceremony and reception at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael S. Griffin recognized these extraordinary students and expressed how grateful all the represented school communities are for the teachers, coaches, and mentors who inspired these young scholars as well as all the students in their care. 

What made Wednesday’s ceremony doubly special was its celebration of the people who guided these students. Each scholar was invited to name a teacher, coach, or mentor from a Catholic elementary or secondary school who had been influential in the student’s education. These teachers were invited on stage and presented with a certificate of appreciation. Then each student spoke about the impact his or her chosen teacher, coach, or mentor had on his or her academic life. What became instantly clear was that these remarkable adults not only influenced the scholars’ academic lives but their entire lives.

Northwest Catholic’s Kayla Randolph, a senior from Enfield, honored Señora Ana Barrett, who has been teaching at the school for 47 years. Randolph asked the audience, “You know the amazing feeling you get when you experience literature? Señora Barrett showed me that, and in a language other than my own.” James Rybczyk of Bristol thanked Mrs. Deborah Metzler, a math teacher at NWC for 21 years, with these words: “Not only do I credit Mrs. Metzler for my performance in math and on the SAT, but she has also helped me in my college search.” Rybczyk will enter the Honors Program in UCONN’s School of Business in the fall. Molly Conway of West Hartford, who will attend Boston College this fall, honored Mr. Ronald Swanson, a veteran teacher of 36 years at NWC. Molly said, “Mr. Swanson’s passion for both history and Latin is truly inspiring, along with his dedication and commitment to the Northwest Catholic community. Thank you, Mr. Swanson and Northwest Catholic!” Alex Kanya of Wethersfield recognized NWC alumnus and social studies teacher, Mr. Joseph Ohlheiser. Calla Kremidas of West Hartford thanked another NWC alumnus, Patrick Williamson, I.T. Special Projects Coordinator and Cross-country and Track Coach. And Dylan Rispoli of Windsor honored his English teacher and Mock Trial Coach, Joan-Keating-McKeon.

Each Summa Scholar received a bronze medallion engraved with his or her name, the crest of the Archdiocese, and a prayer: "May you find truth through faith, knowledge, and wisdom.”


Northwest Catholic’s Summa Scholars and where they are headed this fall:

Molly Conway, Boston College

Alex Kanya, College of the Holy Cross

Calla Kremidas, Undecided

Kayla Randolph, Emerson College

Dylan Rispoli,  Yale University

James Rybczyk, University of Connecticut


To learn more about Northwest Catholic High School and its academics and college preparatory programs, please visit 


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