They were described as leaders, motivators, overachievers. Many of them not only inspire other students, but also their teachers.
They are the students in the top 5 percent of their respective classes - sophomores, juniors and seniors - at Naugatuck High School. And on Thursday, they were rewarded for their imense efforts in attaining tremendous grades.
"The world seems so focused on what is wrong with young people. An event like this reminds us of all that is right with young people today," Principal Jan Saam told students, teachers, administrators and parents during the ceremony in the school's auditorium Thursday afternoon.
The Outstanding Scholars Program, which is funded through a generous gift from Naugatuck Savings Bank, gives jackets and letters to those in the top 5 percent in the first year that they are in that prestigious categorty. Every subsequent year, they receive lapels for their jackets. Seniors choose one of their favorite and/or most inspirational teachers or coaches to speak about them.
"It’s not by accident that these ladies and gentlemen are here today," Saam said. "They are a testament to what can be done when you are determined and perservere. I know that being in the top 5 percent is accomplished by making choices, choices that often mean doing homework instead of hanging out with friends, or studying for that AP test while the others are playing video games or going to the mall. But I think they would all agree, there are no regrets."
The following is a list of the students who were honored Thursday:
Class of 2013:
Class of 2014:
Yun Chao Chen
Yun Chao Chen
Class of 2015: