New Canaan High School Recognizes Accomplishments of Students at Annual Assembly

Hundreds of New Canaan High School parents, students and faculty members on Wednesday morning gathered in the auditorium to honor more than 130 seniors and juniors at the annual Recognition Assembly. A day to recognize the achievements of NCHS students—and to recall members of the school and wider community, some deceased, as several awards are named for them—the event marks “one of those days where these kids make us look very, very good,” said Vice Principal Ari Rothman, who emceed the ceremony. “We are all very proud of their accomplishments,” he said. This year marked the first-ever award named for beloved New Canaan Public Schools teacher Kelly Devine, who died suddenly April 7 at age 36. In a moment that earned a standing ovation from many of those in the crowd, her parents, Jay and Cathy, and two of her siblings, Kevin and Kim (she also is survived by brothers Robert and Daniel) handed out the award to recognize Kelly’s “work, her infectious spirit and her passion for literature and reading.”

What follows is a list of all awards, with descriptions where available, and recipients:


National Merit Finalist: Each year more than a million high school students participate in the National Merit Scholarship testing program.

‘Devine’s Sunshine’: Colleagues, Friends, Students Form Fundraiser Team To Honor Memory of New Canaan Teacher

When Jay Devine’s brother, Tim, died of lung cancer in 1999, he left behind a family that included three small children. Five years later, together with those kids, his wife Cathy and his own children—Kelly, Kevin, Daniel, Robert and Kim—Jay Devine began participating in a fundraising walk that benefitted the cancer center at Norwalk Hospital. Known today as the Whittingham Cancer Center Walk & Sally’s Run, the event grew into an important annual family gathering for the Devines. It became so important to Kelly Devine, in fact, that even those who knew her casually as a colleague in the New Canaan Public Schools district say they understood it was a high priority for the teacher. Kelly died suddenly following a brief illness on April 7.

Did You Hear … ?

The Cedar Knolls, N.J.-based company that brings in coaches from the United Kingdom to instruct youth soccer players in New Canaan hit a snag in immigration this year that’s limited its ability to bring back most of its coaches from last fall. The matter is being addressed head-on with parents by the New Canaan Football Club. The contracted company, UK Elite, has accelerated its search to bring in replacement coaches for the NCFC’s Travel and Academy teams this spring. ***

Police received a report at about 10:22 a.m. Sunday about a distressed dog in a car at the Acme (Food Emporium) lot on Elm Street. The owner turned up and left the with dog, according to Officer Allyson Halm of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section.

‘Kelly—Be Happy, Rest in Peace and Straighten Up Your Room’: Hundreds Gather To Pay Tribute To Kelly Devine

Robert Devine won’t ever forget the offhand remark that Emily—a new friend at the time, for him as well as his big sister Kelly—made about four or five years ago. Though the siblings had only hung out with her a few times, Robert recalled Thursday, Emily “looked at Kelly and me with a shocked expression on her face and said, ‘Oh, I thought you guys were twins and best friends!’ ”

“This worked out great for Kelly, because of course she’s seven years older than I am,” Robert, smiling and surrounded by family, told hundreds who packed the pews at St. Philip Church in Norwalk during a Mass of Christian Burial for Kelly Devine. “After that, I could always count on her greeting me with, ‘Twin, best friend!’ Every picture of us on Facebook would include the caption ‘T&BF.’ That night, Emily captured our relationship perfectly without ever knowing it. She noticed in even just a short amount of time that I saw a lot of myself in Kelly, and Kelly saw a lot of herself in me.

Op-Ed: Through Difficult Times, NCHS Community Makes This Graduate Proud to Be a Ram

I’ve always been proud to be a Ram. From our strong sports programs, leading to many a state championship to our excellent academic reputation, being a graduate of New Canaan High School is something that I’ve always appreciated and honored to be a part of. I’m proud of our school spirit and proud of everything else in between, but there is something that stands out the most when I think about New Canaan High School in general. The community that NCHS builds and has nurtured is something that stretches and continues way past your four years there. We all support each other, student to staff, no matter what.