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Charter Oak Awards Ceremony

Northwood’s finest students received awards for their stellar grades and good citizenship at the Charter Oak Award Ceremony on Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. in the theatre.

Staff announced each category of awards in the following order: Academic Excellence and Merit Awards, National Merit Finalists, Renaissance Awards, Medallion Awards, and Charter Oak Awards.

Seniors Lauren Gusikoski, Amrit Rau and Karen Yang received the Charter Oak award, the highest honor of the night, given to a few exemplary seniors who contributed highly to Northwood in the classroom, in extracurriculars and through their characters.

“This award means so much to me because it really makes me feel like my passion for being involved and helping those around me as well as my efforts in the classroom are being recognized,” Gusikoski said.

Juniors Jensen Gao, Lillian Zhu and Annie Gao and seniors Karen Yang, Chris Zhou, and Kaitlyn Xiong received the Renaissance Award, given to students who performed extremely well in several subject areas, were of great value to their teachers and demonstrated values of compassion, mutual respect, and integrity.

“I think the best part was watching the teachers’ videos and knowing that they took valuable time out of their busy schedules just to make you feel special,” Gao said. “After listening to what they said, it made me even more determined to continue putting in maximum effort into my classes to reciprocate all the dedication they put into teaching all of us.”

Two members of each department and the principal gave out pins for the Academic Excellence Awards, given for high academic performance, and the Merit Award, given for work ethic, positive attitude, and commitment. Counselor Anne Goins announced the 26 National Merit Finalists at Northwood, whose PSAT scores were in the top 1 percent nationwide. The Medallion winners received medals, and the Renaissance and Charter Oak winners received engraved plaques.  

The ceremony also featured music performances from students, including Jazz I, led by music director Whitney Tavlarides, and the Chamber Singers, which performed the song “Dynamite,” featuring a solo by junior Vonnie Wei.

“Every student recognized this evening has contributed to making Northwood High School an exceptional place to grow and learn,” Principal Leslie Roach said.