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Recognized Luke Leaders 

Every cent donated helps us give scholarships to future leaders like these students below!

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Luke Leaders Recipient 2020

Julia Schad

Graduate of Woodstock Academy
Freshmen at George Washington University.
Major: Security Studies

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Luke Leaders Recipient 2019

Liam McDermott 

Graduate of Woodstock Academy 

2nd year at University of Colorado Boulder

Majoring in Mechanical Engineering

  • Works as a lifeguard at East Boulder Community Center

  • Member of Alpha Company of the Golden Buffalo Battalion, Army ROTC at the University of Colorado Boulder

  • Enjoys skiing and hiking in his free time

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Luke Leaders Recipient 2019

Jane Vongvirath

Graduate of Putnam High School

2nd year at Worcester State University 

Majoring in Nursing

  • Member of the Student Nurses Association, where they do fundraisers for the community and support nursing students at Worcester State.

  • Works as a waitress at the Thai Place in Putnam, CT

  • “My favorite part of [school] this year so far has been lab days, where we get to practice nursing skills on mannequins, and have learned how to take vital signs, give injections, insert a foley catheter, and many more exciting things!”


Luke Leaders Recipient 2018

Anna Murphy

Graduate of Woodstock Academy

2nd year at Elon University

Majoring in Business Management, Minor in Non-Profit Studies 

  • "Scholarships helped me purchase textbooks and contributed to the cost of travel to Sorrento, Italy, where I studied at the Sant' Anna

  • Currently working in the Advancement Office to help raise money for scholarships

  • Volunteers weekly at Newlin Elementary, a Title 1 school in Burlington, NC. 

    • "The life experiences these students have to struggle with at only 8 years old surmounts most of what I have deal​t with in my lifetime."

  • "I hope to impact their lives and inspire them to attain a higher education. That starts now, with a caring show and caring people."


Luke Leaders Recipient 2018

Doria Daviau 

Graduate of Putnam High School 

1st year at University of Connecticut

  • Salutatorian of her class

  • Awardee of Putnam Leos Excellence 

  • HS member of Students Against Drunk Driving

  • Met with Congressman Joe Courtney to address teen driving issues


Luke Leaders Recipient 2017

Jozzlynn Lewis 

Graduate of Bay Path University 

Received a B.A. in Legal Studies with a paralegal certificate

Member of LEX and Maroon Key honor societies

  • Assistant Clerk of the Criminal Division at the Alfred Superior Courthouse

  • Volunteer as a Guardian ad Litem in court

  • “I am a proud mother of a wonderful two year old daughter, Sofia.”


Luke Leaders Recipient 2017

Collin Singleton

Graduate of Woodstock Academy 

3rd year at Boston University

Majoring in Biomedical Engineering

  • At Woodstock Academy founded a chapter of Sparrow, to aid medically challenged students with financial and emotional support

  • Works at Unified (Special Needs) Sports Program

  • Member of All Abilities Alliance

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Luke Leaders Recipient 2016

Bruce Sakindi

Graduate of Woodstock Academy 

2nd year at Loyola Chicago University

Majoring in Political Science and Economics

  • While at Woodstock Academy, began Grow Up Smart, an organization focused on educating needed children in his home country of Rwanda

  • Distributed school materials (books, clothing, and livestock) to 15 schools in the Rulindo District of Rwanda

  • "Collectively, we can make a change"

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Luke Leaders Recipient 2015

Kara Singleton

Graduate of Woodstock Academy 

Graduate of Central Connecticut State University

  • "Always be kinder than you feel"

  • Started the All Abilities Alliance at Woodstock Academy to help break down barriers between people with and without disabilities

  • "It is easy to be inclusive; sometimes people just need to see how easy" 

  • Passion for special education


Luke Leaders Recipient 2014

Brittany LaFleur

Graduate of Woodstock Academy 

Graduate of Keene State College in 2018, studying elementary education and geography

1st grade teacher at Verplanck Elementary in Manchester, CT

  • A student leader committed to equal and adequate education for all children

  • While at Woodstock Academy, developed a project called "365 Days of Kindness"

    • "I will 'pay it forward' to at least one person every day"​

  • Participated in a year of service called the “Urban Education Program” while also teaching full time as a first year teacher in 2018-2019

  • Recognized as a Newman Civic Fellow during senior year of college

  • Named Teacher of the Month for November 2020 at Verplanck Elementary

  • Very active in church community both regional and local


Luke Leaders Recipient 2013

Danielle Faires 

Graduate of Simmons College

Majoring in Nursing

  • Registered Nurse (RN) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

  • Patient Care Assistant

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Luke Leaders Recipient 2012

Elena Mercier

Graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University

Majored in Communications, Music and Theater

Graduate of Boston University School of Social Work

  • Theater Teacher and Choreographer

  • Opened and runs a children theater in her hometown of Canterbury, Connecticut

  • Passion for arts as a therapeutic tool for children

  • Holds an LMSW and works as the Social Emotional Learning Coordinator at Stafford Elementary School in Bristol, CT

    • “I am fortunate that I am able to pursue my passion of working with young people in my current position.”

  • “When the pandemic is over I hope to start an after school theatre program in Bristol similar to the one I ran at schools in northeastern CT.”

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Luke Leaders Recipient 2011

Andrea Plucenik

Graduate of University of Connecticut, Masters from Boston College

Majored in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with minor in Sign Language

Masters Program focused on Curriculum and Instructional Development, Special Education

  • Played on University of Connecticut soccer squad for 5 seasons 

  • Volunteer coach for Unified Soccer, Spirit Squad, and Swimming

  • Pursuing work as a Special Education Teacher (Severe disabilities and Autism)

  • Teaching assistant (Special Education) at Boston College Campus School

  • Actively engaged in Special Olympics


Luke Leaders Recipient 2010

Danielle Strandson

Graduate of Clark University

Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Social Change

Masters in Community Development and Planning

  • Published a book, Layers of Life,  which documents a historic building in Worcester, Massachusetts

  • Started an organization at Clark University to work with refugees

  • Served on the board of an innovative time bank in Portland, ME

  • Lives in Worcester, MA where she works as a Social Media Manager for Clark University


Luke Leaders Recipient 2009

Mike Olm 

Graduate of Woodstock Academy 

Graduate of Springfield College

Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies 

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies 

  • Prior to his service with the Center for Bone & Joint Care, he worked as an Orthopedic Physician Assistant for Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Keene, New Hampshire, focusing primarily in sports medicine. He is currently working as an Orthopedic Physician Assistant at The Center for Bone and Joint Care in Putnam.

  • In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, bass fishing, and politics. He is an avid fan and part owner of the Green Bay Packers. 

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