Kayla Bourcier and Matthew Favata Receive the Gus Adamopoulos Award
Posted On:
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
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The Gus Adamopoulos Award is given each year to two 5th grade Veterans Park students in memory of a former student who lost his life tragically in a boating collision, in August 2010. At the time of his death, Gus was ten years old, had completed 4th grade and was looking forward to starting 5th grade that fall, with his classmates.

Mrs. Melissa Knowles, Veterans Park Principal, explained that this award was created by former Veterans Park Principal, Mrs. Susan Dukeshire, and staff, in 2011. “It has been an honor to continue this tradition,” stated Knowles. “I am very proud to give this award, each year, in Gus’s memory to two deserving 5th grade students.”

“Gus was a remarkable boy who I had the pleasure of knowing,” shared Knowles.“He had extraordinary qualities that made him stand out from the others. Gus always demonstrated what we now, at Veterans Park, call PRIDE.”

“Gus respected everyone,” continued Knowles. “He showed tremendous effort in school and was an extraordinary athlete. He demonstrated leadership qualities in school, with his friends, and on the teams he was a part of.  Gus was always the first to lend a helping hand and cheer on the underdog; he was selfless. Overall, Gus was everyone’s friend. He loved his family, his sports, his teachers, and was proud of who he was.”  

Each year, in the spring, 5th grade students are asked to nominate classmates who demonstrate the positive qualities and characteristics that Gus demonstrated.  Staff are then entrusted with the task of reading each nomination and choosing the two recipients;  one girl and one boy.

Knowles was very proud to announce this year’s recipients:  Kayla Bourcier and Matthew Favata.

Addressing the audience, of the two recipients Knowles proudly stated,  “Today I am presenting this award in Gus’s name to two students who demonstrate the same qualities as Gus, as well as showing PRIDE each and every day. I have no doubt that these students will continue to grow and develop into exceptional individuals.”

The recipients received a certificate and gift certificates to Barnes and Noble and Fenway Golf, donated by the Adamopoulos family. Knowles explained that the gift cards are reminiscent of Gus’s love of learning and playing golf.  

Mrs. Knowles welcomes you to read the nomination information, below, that was submitted for these well deserving students, by their peers and staff.

Mrs. Melissa Knowles, Matthew Favata, Kayla Bourcier, Ms. Ava Adamopoulos

Kayla Bourcier

  • She constantly has such a wonderful contagious smile.

  • She is such a caring friend to me and many other classmates.

  • She cheers everyone on, even if they might not be superstars, she makes everyone feel included. She builds people up instead of knocking them down.

  • She works very hard in school.  She never gives up, no matter what.

  • She appreciates her family and loves everything they do for her.

  • She has athleticism in many different ways.  She shows athleticism by hiking with her friends and family, attending dance class, swimming in her pool, and playing volleyball at the Boys and Girls club.  

  • She handles the hard truth very well and always understands how to make a bad situation into a good one.

  • She shows leadership skills. When there is work to be done she does it.

  • She shows pride everyday by being respectful to everyone, demonstrating leadership, helping everyone she possible can, cheering and supporting every player on every team, thinking of others before herself, putting tremendous effort in everything she does, being a friend to everyone, showing athletic abilities, and spending so much time to make special bonds with her family.

Matthew Favata

  • He has respect for everyone and is the first to lend a helping hand.

  • He soars past expectations.

  • He demonstrates leadership skills by always making the teams fair when we play outside of school.

  • He shows good sportsmanship and athletic ability because he plays hockey, baseball, and swimming.

  • He demonstrates great leadership at school and on his teams.  One day he lead his friend to do the right thing at recess when his friend was about to get into an unsafe situation.

  • He is the first to lend a helping hand.  Once in math class Matt finished a difficult problem and said to his teacher “I’ll go around and help kids” so they can understand too.

  • Every time the class plays a game as a whole, this student can be seen cheering for the underdog.

  • He is genuinely kind, inclusive, perseveres, is thoughtful of others, a great friend to everyone, respectful, responsible, always looks for the positive in every situation and is humble in every way.




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