Two SHS students to receive Superintendent awards

Published on Saturday, 21 October 2017 22:23


SOUTHINGTON -Southington High School seniors Evan Bender and Lydia Yu will receive the Superintendent/Student Recognition awards given out by The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents.

The awards are given for leadership service to the school, academic prowess relative to ability and service to others in the community. A luncheon has been planned by the Farmington Valley Superintendents’ Association Dec. 1 at noon at the Farmington Country Club, at 806 Farmington Ave., to honor them.

The Southington Board of Education will also honor Bender and Yu at its Dec. 14 meeting at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Center.

Superintendent of Schools Tim Connellan said each district can select two students to be honored. Each year, Southington chooses one male and one female student from the high school based on criteria that the superintendent provides to staff and faculty. Using this criteria, educational leaders pick out candidates and ultimately narrow them down to two choices.

“Both students are wonderful young folks who are very engaged and active in their community,” Connellan said of Bender and Yu. “They are perfect examples of the kind of students that the Southington community produces.”Connellon provided the following information on the two students:

Bender is a senior and is ranked No. 4 in his graduating class. He is actively involved in school-based activities and clubs as well as community organizations. He serves as director of tutoring for the National Honor Society, is a member of the Model UN, and is an accomplished athlete on the varsity swim and dive team.

As a member of Project Lead the Way, Southington High School’s pre-engineering program, Bender shares his passion for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields through Camp Invention, a summer camp for elementary school children that fosters an appreciation for science and technology. During the summer months, Bender also works for the preservation of endangered species on Long Island Sound. Bender is a recipient of the Bausch and Lomb Award scholarship, which recognizes outstanding student achievement in the sciences. He intends to pursue Bio-Medical Engineering in college.

Yu is ranked No. 1 in the class of 2018. She is interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in Computer Science Engineering. Although she is a member of Project Lead the Way, she is an equally strong student in the humanities. Yu serves as captain of the Southington Blue Knights Robotics Team 195. She also serves as leader in the active WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Club.

She initiated a mentorship program with middle schools and is the lead student mentor for the FIRST Lego League Robotics Team, teaching students to design, build and program their robot.

Yu is also an accomplished pianist and past historian of the Southington High School Key Club. This past summer, Yu completed an internship with The Hartford Project, an urban ministry experience for teenagers in New England.

The Superintendent/Student Recognition program was designed by school administrators to recognize students who have served their goals and communities while maintaining exceptional academic progress.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News, Southington Herald on Saturday, 21 October 2017 22:23. Updated: Saturday, 21 October 2017 22:25.