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Middlebrook eighth graders Harrison Forland and Sloan Barker have been named recipients of 2018 Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) Student Leadership Awards for their exemplary leadership skills.

The students were presented with the awards during the Board of Education’s April 26 meeting, during which Middlebrook Principal Lauren Feltz read endorsements from their past and present teachers.

Harrison Forland


Feltz said Harrison’s teachers describe him as a “compassionate,” “kind,” “unfailingly polite,” and “caring” young man who’s “helpful to students and teachers alike.”

According to Feltz, Harrison’s science teacher, Debbie Mallozzi, said he is “always enthusiastic and willing to accept any academic challenge.”

“Harrison’s leadership traits have been appreciated throughout his three years at Middlebrook,” said Feltz, noting that his sixth grade reading teacher said he represented “what it meant to be a CABE recipient.”

“His optimistic attitude is contagious amongst his peers, his classmates and teachers. He’s able to make connections with all students and he was always capable to lead through example,” Feltz said, reading the words of his former teacher.

“All of these skills were, and are still, able to motivate others around him to be successful — a true sign of a genuine leader.”

Eight yellow team leader Allison Rubin said she “wouldn’t be surprised if Harrison becomes the next tech mogul or A-list director or producer.”

“Harrison has taken a computer course at Harvard and likes to dismantle and reboot computers for fun, and to challenge himself,” said Feltz, noting Harrison’s involvement with Middlebrook’s audio-visual and TV studio groups.

“Last year, Harrison won the Area 9 Cable Council Video Award, and he is competing for a Fox 61 video contest this spring,” she said.

“His dream would be to win a Nobel Prize for engineering and for creating a machine similar to a 3D printer that would be able to make synthetic organs for transplant.”

Through all his “endeavors and interactions,” Feltz said, Harrison shows “commitment, care for others and a willingness to take on challenges — all of which make an ideal CABE recipient.”

Sloan Barker


Sloan’s teachers describe her as a ‘kind, compassionate and involved student from the 8 Green team of Middlebrook School.”

“She is not only a student who reaches to achieve her very best in every class, she is a role model for others in her community,” said Feltz.

“She’s an active member of Team Change — a group of concerned students who work with teachers to make all members of the school feel valued and connected.”

Feltz said Sloan has been “such an outstanding member” that she was invited to work with the district’s Team Change committee.

She is also a member of student government and is “a force for fostering positive relationships among the student body,” said Feltz.

“Sloan has orchestrated dozens — if not hundreds — of Happy Days at Middlebrook this year. She nearly single-handedly planned granting most of the Someday Wishes of students and staff alike.”

Beyond her work within the schools, Sloan is active in many sports, including hockey, skiing, golf, tennis and swimming. She is also “an accomplished ballet, pointe and jazz dancer,” said Feltz.

“Sloan is an all-around delight. She embodies happiness and caring,” said Feltz.

Her seventh grade teacher, Cindy Beck-Moore, said Sloan has “all the best characteristics one could hope for in a future leader.”

In her endorsement for Sloan’s CABE nomination, Beck-Moore noted that Sloan is “dedicated to the fair and equal treatment of all.”

“As part of the Upstanders Club, Sloan said that she was not there to learn how to stand up for herself because she feels confident in thats,” wrote Beck-Moore.

“She was there to help others learn how to stand up for themselves. She does that work out of compassion and empathy.”