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Ellington Seniors Receive Lots of Money in Form of Scholarships

The Ellington Community Scholarship Association handed out $46,425 in scholarships to graduating seniors.

Recently, the Ellington Community Scholarship Association awarded 58 seniors with scholarships that totaled $46,425, with scholarships ranging from $500 to $4,500.

This year, ECSA raised over $60,000, most of which was pledged during the annual phon-a-thon held in March. ECSA also manages 22 permanent funds that have been established over several years to remember or honor a loved one. The permanent fund donations are invested and the income is used to provide a scholarship on behalf of the fund each year. The permanent fund program currently includes 22 funds with a total investment value of $260,000.  

ECSA is also very fortunate to receive one time and recurring contributions that are awarded as either a named scholarship or combined with other donations, to enable it to offer a significant number of general scholarships.  

2011 Scholarship Recipients

Name College Attending 

Kristen Anderson

Hobart and William Smith College

Lauren Arbeiter

Bentley University

Sara Arbelaez

Smith College

Emily Baker

Mount Holyoke College

Rachel Ballasy

Messiah College

Emily Barnhardt

University of Connecticut

Sarah Bedford

Eastern Connecticut State University

Alyssa Chase

Manchester Community College

Jonathon Cheesman

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Thomas Cottle

Endicott College

Angela Daigle

Johnson and Wales University

Aaron Daley

Eastern Connecticut State University

Danielle DeCarli

Western New England College

Katryna Gouin

Northeastern University

Michael Gresh

University of Connecticut

Samual Henderson

Manchester Community College

Matthew Janiga

Worcester Polytechnical Institute

Kelsey Janssen

Westfield State University

Clairborne Jones

University of Hartford

Kady Joy

Fordham University

Meghan Kacmarcik

University of Rhode Island

Bhrighde Kehoe

Boston University

Samantha King

Delaware Valley College

Zachary Kraus

University of Connecticut

Renee Landry

Westfield State University

Nicholas Larew

Tufts University

Alexandra Maciolek

Eastern Connecticut State University

Brian Malone

College of Charleston

Alexandra Marella

Franklin Pierce College

Tracy Masholin

Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute

Justin Markowski

College of the Holy Cross

Brianna Mellen

Roger Williams University

Dustin Mocadlo

Westfield State University

Emily Nedwick

Manchester Community College

Olivia Palozej

Wheelock College

Stephen Pernal

University of New Hampshire

Krista  Pregony

Central Connecticut State University

Natalie Poitras

Manchester Community College

Emily Rancourt

College of Saint Rose

Brittany Rhodes

Mitchell College

Andrew Roets

University of Connecticut

Jeanette Rowe

Hofstra University

Andy Schneider

Manchester Community College

Joanna Schneider

Manchester Community College

Amanda Schroth

Champlain College

Casey Settle

University of Connecticut

Samuel Sirag

University of Connecticut

Natalie Snow

Assumption College

Ashley Sojka

American International College

Christine Spartz

Kansas State University

Megan Squadrito

Bay Path College

Erika Streib

Endicott College

Michael Thomas

Stonehill College

Heather Walters

Westfield State University

Michelle Walters

University of Connecticut

Cameron Waters

Springfield College

Christopher Wing

Georgetown University

Ying Ye

Manchester Community College

Ellington Community Scholarship Association Permanent Fund Background

Gordon C. Getchell Scholarship Fund

Mr. Getchell, the first principal of Ellington High School, was devoted to education and known to both staff and students as an advisor, educator and friend. This scholarship is awarded to an academically successful student who displays honesty and sincerity.

Katherine Benson Memorial Scholarship 

Sadly, Katherine, a graduate of the EHS Class of 1976, was killed in a car accident in 1987. Her parents wanted to remember her spirit and her loving and generous nature by establishing this permanent fund and awarding a scholarship in her honor.

Anita Benson Memorial Scholarship 

Anita Benson, a beautiful wife and friend, loved the rural atmosphere of Ellington where she lived for forty-five years. As the mother of four children, she also came to have great respect for the town’s school system, so it is fitting that a scholarship in her name be given to an Ellington graduate. Anita died in 2005 after a ten-year battle with cancer, and her family, who miss her very much, honor her life and keep her memory alive with this award.

Friends of William McMillen

Bill McMillen, a loving family man and civic-minded citizen of Ellington, served as a selectman during the 1980s and was also a co-owner of WordCom, an Ellington direct mail company. He was active in youth sports and other areas of community service and was also an avid tennis player. Bill died an untimely death, but his family and friends wanted his spirit to live on by helping the students of Ellington reach their goals. To honor his memory, this permanent fund was established by members of the two tennis leagues that now carry his name. 

Austin and Clennon Griffin Memorial Scholarship 

The Griffins, father and son, were dedicated citizens who supported Ellington in numerous ways. Austin Griffin was a Deacon at the , a member of the and a .  Clennon was a member of the Board of Education, president of ECSA, a justice of the peace and president of the Ellington Historical Society. This scholarship in their memory is awarded to a student who demonstrates strong citizenship, high moral character and involvement in community service.

Lisa Monti Memorial Scholarship 

Those who knew Lisa remember her smile, her warmth and the sparkle in her eyes. Lisa died in 1996 in the fall of her senior year of high school. For one so young, her accomplishments were many: EHS Student Council President, band member, class officer, National Honor Society member, captain of cross country and a member of varsity track and basketball. Lisa’s strongest legacy remains in the hearts of those she touched, particularly children. As a religious education teacher, youth basketball coach and water safety instructor, Lisa brightened the lives of numerous young ones. Because of these experiences she planned on a career as an elementary school teacher, so this scholarship in her name is awarded to a student pursuing a degree in elementary education or a social service field.

Jean Betz Memorial Scholarship 

Jean A. Betz (Jenny to her friends), was pretty, smart and great fun. Raised without her mother who died when Jean was just six, she did not have the opportunity to attend college.  She and her husband Victor were married after his return from serving in Europe during World War II. After searching to find a rural community with excellent schools where they could raise their family, in 1953 they settled in Ellington, a town they came to love. Jean was involved in the PTA, Brownies, Cub Scouts and many community and church related activities. As Jean and Victor’s four children, Nancy, John, Matthew and Barbara (all EHS graduates) grew, the family appreciated more and more the quality and care provided by Ellington’s excellent teachers and schools. When Jean died suddenly in 1997, knowing of her love for the young people of Ellington, Victor established a permanent scholarship fund to be awarded in her memory to a deserving student.

2nd Lt. Matthew Zielinski Memorial Scholarship 

Matthew was a graduate of the EHS class of 1983. To say that Matthew was involved in many activities while a student at EHS would not do justice to the work ethic and commitment he brought to his school and community. He played clarinet in the band, was captain of the basketball, soccer and track teams and a member of the drama club, was senior class president and a member of the National Honor Society. Matthew was also an altar server at St. Luke’s for ten years, a tutor for grammar school students and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Upon his graduation from Ellington High School, Matthew received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May of 1987. Less than a year later, Matthew died in a traffic accident while stationed in El Paso, Texas. Matt’s memory continues to make an impact on his family and friends. In April 2010, his friends many of which still serve in the military, arranged to have a memorial plaza dedicated in his name at a new brigade complex at Fort Still, Oklahoma. On one side of the memorial monument the words “Hope, Promise and Potential” are carved. One the other, beneath Matt’s picture, is the phrase ”Believe in Yourself – Believe in Others.” Matthew’s family and friends established this permanent fund to honor his outstanding scholarship, citizenship and exemplary character.

Ellington Business Association Scholarship 

Recognizing the importance of education in contributing to a positive and productive workforce, the Ellington Business community has shown its support of the students of Ellington through the establishment of this permanent fund. The business community particularly supports the efforts of Cooperative Work Experience at Ellington High School and provides this scholarship to support a graduate who has completed the requirements of CWE.

Bert Bertelsen Memorial Scholarship 

Mr. Bertelsen, an active member of the Ellington community, was a World War II Navy veteran who served in the South Pacific. Mr. Bertelsen attended Columbia University, M.I.T. and the University of Hartford. He was co-founder of Cub Scout Pack 96 and served as its first Cub Master. He served Ellington on the Zoning Board of Appeals and was a member of the Ellington Historical Society and an active member of the Ellington Congregational Church where he served as a Sunday school teacher. To honor Mr. Bertelsen this scholarship is awarded to an honor roll student who has demonstrated service to others.

Timothy Banning Memorial Scholarship 

Tim was a long-standing member of ECSA in the 1990s, acting primarily as publicity chairman. Father of twin girls who graduated in 2001 from Ellington High School, Tim died in December of 2000 from Lou Gehrig's disease. A proud dad and a loving husband, Tim’s courage in battling his illness was an inspiration to those who knew and cared for him. This scholarship was created by family and friends to honor his spirit.

Ellington Volunteer Fire Department Scholarship 

Members of the , which has long served Ellington, are men and women who give their time and talent to keep Ellington residents safe. To promote service to the community, the EVFD has established a permanent fund to award a scholarship to a student who will pursue a career in fire science or emergency medical service or who is a relative of an EVFD member.

Ellington Grange #46 Scholarship 

When the Ellington Grange ended its existence as a formal group in 2002, Grange members decided to create a permanent fund to encourage future students of the town and to recognize the long history of the Grange and its influence as both a social network and a support team for the early agricultural community of Ellington. The Ellington Grange scholarship is awarded to students seeking higher education in an agricultural field.

First Niagara Bank Scholarship 

Funded through First Niagara bank, this scholarship is awarded to support a student pursuing a business degree.

2nd Lt. Matthew Giuliano Memorial Scholarship 

Matthew Giuliano was a 1996 graduate of Ellington High School. In his four years at EHS, Matt shone brighter than most students and left a lasting impression on both peers and staff. “Goog” as he was more commonly called, dedicated his time to his studies, to sports and theater. With great humor, intelligence, and kindness, Matt excelled academically, eventually being inducted into the National Honor Society. He also became a leader within the high school sporting community on both the cross country and track and field teams. However, he shone most brightly as an actor and crew chair during his four years of involvement with the Opening Knight Players. Due to his dedication to the theater, he was inducted into Troupe 5226 of the International Thespian Society. One of his final stage appearances occurred in the play It’s a Wonderful Life which explores the positive effect that one man’s life can have on the community around him. In the few years that Matt lived, he indeed had a wonderful life. Thus, this permanent scholarship fund was established to honor other students who, like Matt, have a commitment to studies, joy in life, and interest in the performing arts.

Paul H. Prokop Memorial Scholarship

Mr. Prokop, a Navy veteran of World War II, enlisted at 17 years of age and earned three battle stars. Deeply devoted to Ellington, Mr. Prokop served as a Selectman, on the Zoning Board, and as a justice of the peace and was also the commander and judge advocate of the Rockville American Legion. Mr. Prokop believed strongly in the ideals of community, civic responsibility and democracy; he never missed a town meeting and considered voting a privilege. After Mr. Prokop died in 2005, Mrs. Prokop established this scholarship to help a deserving student who champions her husband’s ideals in order to make Ellington and the world a better place.

Dr. Eileen Kouba Scholarship

Dr. Eileen Kouba is well respected for her many years of service and dedication to education. She served as a classroom teacher, curriculum coordinator, and then as principal of Ellington High School. Devoted to students, staff and teachers, Dr. Kouba consistently demonstrated professionalism, unparalleled hard work and high standards tempered with compassion. She fostered an inspiring environment in which to learn, teach, and grow. Upon her retirement in 2005, this scholarship was established in her honor and is awarded to a senior of academic talent who has demonstrated a commendable work ethic.

John J. Doffek Memorial Scholarship 

John Doffek, a Business Education teacher at Ellington High School for 34 years, retired in 1997. During his tenure at EHS, he displayed the qualities and passion that exemplify a dedicated educator. For those many years, his love of, and devotion to, his students was steadfast. His dedication to the EHS community included being a two-time Senior Class advisor, serving as Chair of the Business Department, and establishing the school store. Teaching was in John’s blood, and he was well aware of the impact a teacher could have on the life of a student. When John died in 2006, family, friends and faculty created a scholarship in his name to be awarded to a graduating senior planning to pursue a career in Education.

John J. Doffek Memorial Technical Scholarship

In addition to being a Business Education teacher, John Doffek also had a great appreciation of, and fondness for, those students who demonstrated technical or trade abilities. He understood that some students built careers based not on college degrees, but on other interests. John encouraged such students to further develop these interests by pursuing trade certifications or licenses, and he was pleased to patronize their businesses. In this spirit, his wife and family established the John J. Doffek Technical Scholarship to be awarded to a graduating senior who intends to achieve certification/license in a technical career.

Dr. Richard Packman Scholarship 

Dr. Richard Packman served as Ellington’s Superintendent of Schools from 1995 to 2006.  Proud and supportive of all Ellington students, Dr. Packman was passionate about teaching and education and believed strongly in the district’s motto, “Where Children Come First.”  This scholarship was established upon Dr. Packman’s retirement to honor his continuing commitment and dedication to the students of Ellington. The scholarship is awarded to a student interested in a career in education and, if possible, planning to attend a Connecticut state college or university.

Susan G. Stein Memorial Scholarship 

A 1985 graduate of the UConn School of Nursing, and an Ellington resident since 1990, Sue Stein was a proud mother, wonderful wife, daughter, sister and friend. She created a legacy of compassion, nursing excellence and caring. Mother of three children in the Ellington school system, Sue enjoyed her years serving her community by working as a nurse in the Ellington schools and at Rockville Hospital, where she was the proud recipient of the Florence Nightingale Award in 2008. Those who knew Sue recall her dedication to her family and profession as well as her contagious smile. Despite her years of medical treatments, Sue’s tenacious personality allowed her to be an inspiration to those around her. Sue lost her battle with cancer on March 11, 2008. Her family and friends wanted her spirit to live on by helping a deserving student fulfill his or her goals in the nursing or medical field.

The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary Scholarship 

Established in January of 1997, The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary was first a group of fire department relatives supporting both the firefighters and the wider community. The Auxiliary holds fund-raising activities which allow it to sponsor many community events such as the Winterfest, the EHS Safe Graduation party as well as support the Human Services Department and this permanent fund scholarship. As its members are all volunteers, the EVFD Auxiliary awards its scholarship to a young man or woman with strong community involvement who has demonstrated exceptional service and commitment to the town.

Annual Scholarship Awards

Ellington Community Scholarship Association Scholarships

This year ESCA awarded 29 traditional scholarships on behalf of the Ellington Community Scholarship Association. These graduating seniors have demonstrated a wide range of academic, civic and community oriented success.

Ellington Football League Scholarships

The Ellington Football League has benefited from the participation of many boys and girls along with the commitment of their families for several years. The League awards two scholarships each year to graduating seniors who were involved as football players or cheerleaders. Students that receive these scholarships have established a solid academic record and have demonstrated to the league’s Board of Directors that their experience as players or cheerleaders has prepared them for their college and career endeavors.

Louis N. Rinaldi Memorial Scholarship

Mark Dishaw and Richard Bisson Annual Scholarship Fund

Mark Dishaw and Richard Bisson established a special awards scholarship in their names to recognize a student that has participated in sports, demonstrated community service and has overcome a personal hardship as he or she has reached graduation. Started in 2004 and continuing to date, the award of $2500 per year has benefitted a student who meets the above criteria. As graduates of EHS, both Mark and Richard are giving back to the community in which they grew up.

The Michael and Anna Vranos Annual Scholarship

Far and away the largest single contributor to the Ellington Community Scholarship Association is the Vranos Family Foundation. Since the mid 1990s, Michael and Anna Vranos have supported EHS graduates that excel in mathematics. This year, the Vranos Family Foundation has provided a $105,000 donation to ECSA in an effort to encourage math excellence. Their support recognizes the five graduates with the highest math SAT scores. Michael was a graduate of EHS and wishes to assist the current students of Ellington.

Melissa Albaugh June 23, 2011 at 01:04 PM
Congrats Ashley Sojka!!! The Albaugh's
Jessica Ciparelli June 25, 2011 at 04:55 AM
I graduated with Matthew Giuliano and knew Lisa Monti -- both good friends and both gone too soon. I also went to EHS when Dr. Kouba (before she became a "Dr.") and Mr. Doffek (learning to type in his keyboarding class was the best skill I could have ever learned) were there and Dr. Packman was superintendent. All good people and I'm glad they're all being honored or memorialized in these scholarships.

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