PHS honors students who ‘do the right thing’



Since 2010, Plainville High School has recognized more than 30 students who do the right thing every day without seeking acknowledgement.

Formed as part of the school’s mentoring program, the Students Rock Award is presented twice a year to one male and female student whom staff members feel deserve this award. Every semester high school staff members make their nominations before voting on two award recipients.

This year, however, marks another tie for two student honorees, as staff members chose Nick Costantini and Corey Nickson as two male recipients of the award. They also chose Natalie Michaud as an award recipient this year.

“Of the 15 times this award has been given, this is only the fifth time there has been a tie,” said Plainville’s 2017 Teacher of the Year Maria Colangelo, who played a lead role in creating the award.

Surrounded by their families, teachers and administrators, Nick, Corey and Natalie were formally honored last Wednesday during a ceremony at Plainville High School, where they received book awards and the “Students Rock” plaque, which bears their engraved names and the names of previous award winners.

“For me, it means promoting, peace, love and positivity throughout the community,” said Corey, a senior.

“Through character, you can persevere,” said Natalie, a senior.

“I’m just being the person I was taught to be,” said Nick, a junior.

The three award recipients may have had different high school experiences, but the school climate at Plainville High was a factor that the students agreed played a major role in their individual growth.

Described by her teachers “one of the most prolific art students” who is “happy, kind and conscientious,” Natalie is involved with a variety of academic activities, including the French-Italian Club and the Future Business Leaders of America. Outside school, Natalie coordinates athletic events and other activities at PARC, where she works part-time, and has a passion for working children through her role as a Sunday school teacher.

For Natalie, the teachers at Plainville High made her high school experience a positive one.

“They’re always there to help no matter what,” said Natalie, who will attend Tunxis Community College next year. “They don’t hesitate.”

Known for his outgoing personality, positivity and sense of humor, Corey was recognized by his teachers for his perseverance and honesty in school. Currently, Corey serves as a fire explorer for the Hartford Fire Department, where he trains new recruits, works closely with the fire chief, and participates in a variety of community service projects, such as teaching children to fish and distributing food to the homeless.

Corey said every day at Plainville High has been an exciting time for him.

“Coming from Hartford schools, I learned that you can’t judge a book by its cover,” said Corey adding how his family has made the biggest impact on his life. “You always have to share a positive message.”

Known for the skill and drive he brings to the jazz band and the compassion and patience he brings to the Unified Basketball team, Nick is not the only member of his family to win the Students Rock Award, as his older brother Dan was a recipient last year.

This year marks the third time that Plainville High siblings have received the award.

A peer mentor for the high school’s Positive Kids Influencing Kids program, Nick said

Plainville High School has been a special experience for him.

“We have a very positive environment we’re able to operate in,” said Nick.

Plainville High School students Nick Costantini, left, Natalie Michaud and Corey Nickson received the Students Rock Award.