Winners of the 2023 CEF Scholarships were honored at a reception in the Cheshire High School Commons. From L-R: Michael DeJoseph, Rocco Ocone-Krause, Anthony Distante, Kathryn McCardle, Anna Pociu, Lily Watson, Taylor FitzGerald, Michael Simeone, Elizabeth Braun.

Winners of the college scholarships administered by the Cheshire Education Foundation (CEF) were announced at the annual Cheshire High School senior awards ceremony in May. The 13 students selected by the foundation will share a total of $43,000 to help offset their college costs beginning this fall.

“One of the most important things we do each year is to help these deserving seniors continue their educations,” said Derek Gromko, chair of the CEF board of directors. “Our mission is to enhance the educational experience in the Cheshire Public Schools and to create opportunities for our students.”

This year the Balso Foundation Scholarships will provide four CHS seniors with $4,000 awards each distributed over the next four years. The winners are Katherine Huang, Elizabeth Braun, Lily Watson and Anthony Distante. They were selected by CEF scholarship selection committees according to criteria first set down when the Balso Scholarships began in 1971.

Katharine Huang will continue her education at Cornell University this fall. She was also awarded $7,000 from the Mark S. Jardim Memorial Scholarship and an additional $500 from the Don Wailonis Scholarship, which is sponsored by the Dodd PTA.

The second winner of $7,000 from the Jardim Scholarship is Anna Pociu, who is headed for Northeastern University in Boston. There were also two students selected for the Wailonis Scholarship, named for the former principal of Dodd Junior High. The second is Aidan McCauley who has enrolled at Virginia Tech.

The Meaghan Welch Memorial Artistic Scholarship was awarded to Shivaika Kumar who is headed for New York University. This $3,500 grant is made possible each year by the Welch family in memory of Meaghan who was passionate about the arts.

Cheshire High seniors Michael Simeone and Rocco Ocone-Krause were named the recipients of the annual Greg Schena Memorial Scholarships, which honor the former physical education teacher and coach who passed away in 2010. Michael and Rocco will receive $1,500 each.

The $2,000 Lombardo Family Scholarship this year is awarded to Kathryn McCardle who plans to study agribusiness at Clemson University. The $1,000 Greg J. Florio, ED. D Scholarship recipient this year is Michael DeJoseph. Dr. Florio served as superintendent of the Cheshire Public Schools for 12 years. Michael was also named the winner of an additional $1,000 from the Cheshire Education Foundation’s general scholarship. He is bound for Springfield College.

The CEF committee reviewing applicants for the Daniel P. Martinook Scholarship named Kaitlyn Cannon as the student most deserving of this $1,000 award. She will continue her studies at American University. And a grant of $500 will go to Taylor FitzGerald, the winner of the Chapman School Scholarship, who will be a freshman at UConn this fall.

“The Cheshire Education Foundation scholarships support our graduates, and they inspire our current students to pursue their dreams upon graduation from Cheshire High School,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jeff Solan. “The Cheshire Public Schools are fortunate to have such an incredible partner in supporting our students during their public-school education.”