Chiefs With Character Program Recognizes Standout Students


Emma DeFrancesco

The month of June’s Chiefs With Character are displayed on the bulletin board near the guidance office.

Emma DeFrancesco, Reporter

WOODBURY — One of the biggest honors a student can receive is recognition for their hard work. Nonnewaug has a reward system for this exact reason.

Ray Robillard, the Nonnewaug math department chairperson, is one of the teachers who leads the Chiefs With Character tradition.

“A Chief With Character is a student at Nonnewaug who goes above and beyond in ways other than just what’s measured by standard grades,” Robillard explained. “[It’s] someone who exhibits all of the Vision of a Learner traits that we want to see our graduates leave this building with.”

Samantha Kostka, a Nonnewaug sophomore, is one of the many students who have been awarded with this honor.

“I was honored for Chiefs With Character by Ms. [Rebecca] Trzaski,” Kostka said. “She said that I was a very hardworking student and cared about others.”

When students pass by the Chiefs With Character bulletin board with pictures and nominations, one may wonder how a student is chosen.

“At any time, any faculty member can nominate a student by writing up the details about why they would like to see that student recognized as a Chief With Character,” Robillard said. 

After those nominations have been presented, Robillard explained that a committee of NHS faculty members individually vote on who they believe should be the top three. The Chiefs With Character for the month are the students who received the most votes.

From the students’ point of view, the process looks somewhat different — they only see the finished product.

“I was told by Mr. Robillard that I was nominated, I was posted on the bulletin board for a month, and there’s the Chiefs With Character breakfast,” Kostka added.

Overall, Nonnewaug students’ kindness and hard work does not go unnoticed.