Wilton High School seniors Dean Kim and Jessica Kobsa are the recipients of 2016 Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) Student Leadership Awards, Wilton High School Principal Robert O’Donnell announced during the Board of Education’s April 28 meeting.

According to the CABE website, the 20th annual awards program honors high school and middle school students in Connecticut, who exhibit the following leadership skills:


  • Willing to take on challenges.

  • Capability to make difficult decisions.

  • Concern for others.

  • Ability to work with others.

  • Willingness to commit to a project.

  • Diplomacy.

  • Ability to understand issues clearly.

  • Ability to honor a commitment.


Dean Kim


Dean is a National Merit Commended Student who has “taken advantage of opportunities to explore potential career interests in computer programming and engineering both within Wilton High School and outside the walls of our school,” said O’Donnell.

In addition to taking on “a very demanding course load throughout his entire high school career,” said O’Donnell, Dean has also been a member of the following Wilton High School groups, clubs and teams:


  • The National Honor Society.

  • Spanish Honor Society.

  • Math Team.

  • Friends of Rachel Club.

  • History Club.

  • Student Government.

  • Varsity boys soccer team.

  • Indoor and outdoor track team.

  • Economics Club.


Last year, Dean was nominated by the Wilton High School faculty to be a member of Project Change, said O’Donnell, in which he has “emerged as a leader” and “set the tone for inclusion and celebration of differences at Wilton High School.”

O’Donnell said Dean’s many leadership positions throughout his four years in high school “speak volumes to his commitment to the school community and willingness to take initiative.”

Dean plays the piano, clarinet and bassoon and “has been dedicated to band for all four years,” said O’Donnell. Not only has Dean been selected to play for the high school pit orchestra, but he was also invited to play in the Norwalk Youth Symphony.

“In the realm of athletics,” O’Donnell said, “Dean began pole vaulting as a freshman at Wilton High School and a few years later, he qualified for the FCIAC championship.”

“Dean’s determination, ambition and leadership qualities set him apart,” said O’Donnell. “He is a young man who is respectful, polite, humble [and] committed to making a difference in his community and lending a hand whenever someone is in need.”

Dean will be attending Cornell University in the fall.

Jessica Kobsa


Jessica, a National Merit Scholarship Competition Commended Student, has taken “a very rigorous course load during her tenure at Wilton High School,” said O’Donnell.

Since freshman year, Jessica has taken Latin and Spanish language courses and competed in National Latin Exams. She is also a member of the high school’s Spanish Honor Society.

“Jessica’s intellectual curiosity is true and genuine and she has been the driving force in her own success,” said O’Donnell.

“During her junior year, she was nominated by Wilton High School to compete in the State of Connecticut Governor’s Scholars Award and was selected as a finalist out of 150 students across the state.”

Jessica is a member of numerous Wilton High School clubs and groups, including:


  • Model Congress.

  • Open Art Club

  • World Languages Festival Steering Committee.

  • Student Government.

  • National Honor Society.


“When Jessica sets a goal for herself, she accomplishes it, without hesitation,” said O’Donnell.

Jessica’s interest in science, research and the environment is “clear from her summer and school year experiences at Brown University, Huyck Preserve and Biological Research Station, Global Youth Summit on the Future of Medicine, and the Discovery to Cure research program at Yale Medical School,” said O’Donnell.

Jessica’s lengthy resumé also included participation in the Science Olympiad, Habitat for Humanity, and serving as student liaison for the PTSA Reflections Program and Buon Amico.

“Jessica has a myriad of interests and has taken advantage of every opportunity offered to her,” said O’Donnell. “She cherishes every opportunity to use it as a tool for growth and exploration.”

O’Donnell said Jessica is “committed to making a difference in the world” and he believes she will “continue to meet all of the goals that she sets for herself.”

Jessica will be attending Dartmouth College in the fall.


To learn more about the CABE, visit cabe.org.