Tom Giddings Memorial Scholarship

Past Award Winners & Selection Process

Tom's Early Years
Remembering Tom
Tom "Out In & Of Africa"
Past Award Winners & Selection Process
2010 Wrap-Up & Photos
2011 Wrap-Up & Photos
2012 Wrap-Up & Photos
Remembering Jack
Sponsors & Contributors
Officers | Board Committees


Selection Process
In the late spring, each Pittsfield high school nominates three graduating seniors on the basis of Leadership and Service, and all-around excellence.  The Selection Committee interviews these nine finalists, generally in May, and selects the winner, who is announced shortly thereafter.
Twenty awards have now been presented to the Pittsfield graduating seniors who best embody Tom Giddings' qualities of unselfish leadership and service to others. 
Taconic High School graduates have now won eight (8) awards; Pittsfield High graduates have won seven (7) awards; and St. Joseph's High School graduates have won five (5).
We Are Proud To Have These Winners

To Be Named






To Be Entered

To Be Entered....





Sarah Moon, Taconic High School

Sarah Moon....





Michael Burton Jr.,  Taconic High School

"Mr. Burton was an outstanding scholar/athlete.  Secretary of the National Honor Society and Head of Community Service, he was an active Eagle Scout and the 2008 Troop 8 Scout of the Year.  He captained the baseball team and was the 2009 All-Berkshire North catcher. 


Burton was number eight in his graduating class of 198 with a GPA of 95.2 and placed first in the state in the Business Professionals of America 2010 Presentation Management competition.  He plans to enroll in Bentley University this fall."  READ MORE


Ruari Egan, Pittsfield High School
Ruari, winner of the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, was an outstanding scholar/athlete. She captained the varsity cross-country, basketball, and lacrosse teams... plus was the principal flautist for the band. She was number eight in the class with a GPA of 97.7 and was elected a member of the National Honors Society.
A John and Abigail Adams and a Henry David Thoreau Scholar, In September 2009, Ruari enrolled in Carnegie Mellon. 


Timothy Goggins, St. Joseph’s High
Tim, who was number one in his class and Co-Valedictorian, was captain of the varsity hockey and the lacrosse teams, and a member of the soccer team.  He was a delegate to Boys’ State and a state finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award,
He was a class officer, a member of the student council, and the Yearbook Editor. A winner of the Dartmouth College Book Award, the University of Rochester Humanities & Social Sciences Book Award, the McDonald’s McScholar Award, and seven medals for highest average, he entered Williams College in the fall of 2008.


Isaiah Switzer, Taconic High
Isaiah was a lucky (in this case) number 13 in his class.  He captained the swimming team and was on the soccer and track & field teams.  Isaiah was a representative to Boys’ State, a Student Ambassador, a member of the Taconic Quiz team, selected to the National Honor Society, and a four-year member of the Class Council.
Named Class Leader by his peers, Isaiah won the Excellence in Algebra and Geometry awards, the Stanley Koplik, and John & Abigail Adams awards.  He will matriculate at Boston University (after turning Yale down) in the fall of 2007.  By choosing BU, he follows the same path as Tom Giddings’ nephew and namesake, Tom Giddings.


Timothy Bartley, Taconic High
Tim, who was number one in his class, was captain of the varsity cross-country running, cross-country skiing, and track & field teams; a Boy’s State Representative; a state finalist for the Wendy’s Student-Athlete Award; and a member of the Class Council for four years.
Tim was President of Berkshire Youth United; won a Commended Scholar Award; was an officer of Business Professionals of America; received the Dartmouth Book Award and the Excellence Award in Math, History, Physics, and Latin.  He enrolled in Georgetown in the fall of 2006.


Anthony Panetti, Pittsfield High
Tony,, who is in the top ten percent of his class, was captain of the varsity football and track teams, president of the National Honor Society, and served on the Project 540 Leadership Team.  In football, he was All-Berkshire, Berkshire County League Defensive MVP and PHS Team Defensive MVP.  He won the Rudy Benedetti Scholarship and also was a recipient of a Monday Morning Quarterbacks Club scholarship.
Tony was on the High Honor Roll, named to Who’s Who among High School Students and an Outstanding Student of America, and won the St. Michael’s College Book Award.  He was an USAA All-American Scholar Award Winner and an USAA National Award Winner, and matriculated at Bentley College in the fall of 2005. 


Andrew “AJ” Piper, Pittsfield High
AJ was in the top three percent of his class and captained three teams (cross country, Alpine skiing, and Track & Field).  He was treasurer of the National Honor Society, a representative to Boys’ State (where he was selected to be a representative to Boys’ Nation), and was a Wendy’s High School Heisman State finalist.  He was the Western Massachusetts Academic Decathlon gold medalist, and the Academic State Championship silver medalist.
He also was a Special Olympics Volunteer, an Eagle Scout, and involved in the St. Teresa Parish Youth Group and the CYC Rotary Interact Club. He matriculated at Fairfield University in the fall of 2004.


Ailis Tweed-Kent, Pittsfield High

Ailis was second in her class, Student Council President and captain of the soccer and lacrosse teams.  She won numerous academic awards (e.g., Rensselaer Polytechnic Medal, Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents’ Certificate of Academic Excellence, Dartmouth Book Award, USA Today’s All-USA High School Academic Team Honorable Mention, Top AP Chemistry Student, Top Physics Student, etc.).
She also was a Special Olympics Volunteer; involved in Create-a-Dream project; an Alter server, a CCD Teacher, and an Elementary and High School tutor; and served as a soup kitchen volunteer.  She matriculated at Notre Dame University in the fall of 2003.


Michael Pieropan, Taconic
Michael graduated number one in his class.  Active in basketball and baseball, he was editor-in-chief of the class yearbook, and a member of the Student Council and the Student Senate. 
Michael won numerous academic awards (e.g., Amherst College Book Award, the RPI Medal, the Massachusetts Certificate of Merit, and the Superintendents’ Certificate of Academic Excellence), and was also involved as a coach for Youth Baseball and Youth Basketball.  In addition, he performed youth tutoring, and served as a volunteer at the Willowood nursing home. Pieropan matriculated at Swarthmore College in the fall of 2002.


Teressa Holland, St. Joseph's

Tess finished number two in her class.  The Student Council Secretary, she was captain of the soccer, basketball and track teams.  Nominated for a Wendy's Scholar Athlete Award, she was the Student Rotarian of the Month, and won numerous academic awards (e.g., Holy Cross Book Award, Medals for Highest Averages in Advanced Placement American and Ancient and Medieval History, etc.). 
She also has been involved as a Volunteer for Pasta Pizzazz and Sacred Heart Fun Fair, a lector and altar server at St. Mark’s Church, a volunteer at Special Olympics, and a volunteer Youth Soccer coach.  Tess enrolled at Providence College in the fall of 2001.


Michael Whalen, Taconic

Michael finished number one in his class, with a 102 GPA. The Student Council Treasurer, he was captain of the track and soccer teams and the Western Mass champion in the 110 hurdles.  Michael has won numerous academic awards (e.g., Superintendents' Certificate of Academic Excellence, B&L Science & Math Award, Amherst Book Award, National Merit Scholarship Commended Student, Voice of Democracy District Winner, First Place - New England Classical Association Writing Contest, etc. ). 
He has been active in the Concert and Jazz bands, has won various music awards, and also been active in volunteer work and various community projects.  Michael matriculated at Harvard in the fall of 2000.


Jessica Tierney, Taconic
Jessica finished in the top one percent of her class and was president of the class and captain of the cross country and ski teams.  A National Merit Scholar, she was on the Superintendent Search Committee and served as Taconic's representative to the School Committee. 
She was a member of the Class Council and the Student Senate, and participated on the quiz team and academic decathlon.  In the summer of 1998, she was selected to attend the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowship Program at Williams College.  She has been a volunteer with Berkshire Youth United and the Special Olympics.  She entered Williams College in the fall of 1999. 


Sarah Oboyski, Pittsfield High
Sarah Oboyski .who finished first in her class, was the vice-president of the class and the representative to Massachusetts Girls State.  She was the winner of numerous awards including the "Classmates Today/Neighbors Tomorrow" Award, the Bausch & Lomb Science Award, and the Williams College Book Award.
She participated in track & field, was a member of the first place team in the Academic Decathlon, and won the first place for Graphic Art at the National Latin Conference (as well as the silver medal on the national Latin examination).  She graduated from Williams College where she was Phi Beta Kappa.  She entered med school, but had to withdraw for health reasons.  Sadly, Sarah passed away in April 2006 after a long illness.  She is missed by all members of the Giddings Award winners family.


Sean Conaghan, St. Joseph's
Sean Conaghan, who finished first in his class, was the winner of the Archie Roberts award presented annually to the top scholar/athlete in Western Massachusetts. He was president of the National Honor Society, a member of the Student Council, and a delegate to Boys' State where he was elected to the House of Representatives. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, Sean won the Dartmouth Book Award, and medals for the highest academic achievement in six different subjects.
He was an All-Kosior League defensive back in football, and entered Trinity College in the fall of 1997.  Sean graduated from Trinity in 2001 where he was a teaching assistant, a member of the debate club and majored in mathematics.  He received two academic awards and played varsity football.  Sean now works for a large insurance company in Hartford and is a member of the Giddings Award Selection Committee.


Kate (Flynn) Grant, Taconic

An honor student, Kate was president of her class for three years, captain of the tennis and soccer teams, and president of the National Honor Society. She was co-chairperson of the Citizens' Scholarship Fund and on the school newspaper for three years (editor her junior year). For three years, she participated in the Chemistry Olympiad and the New England Math League, and was a member of the Taconic quiz team.
She was presented a leadership award from Clarkson University and was selected to study at RPI for two weeks during the summer. She received a scholarship from Williams College and entered that institution in the Fall of 1996.  She graduated in June 2000 with dual degrees in Psychology and English, while retaining her strong interest in information technology. She began her career in Cambridge MA with Exeter as an Associate Product Manager in software development, and moved into education.  Kate is now married, a member of the Board of Directors of the Tom Giddings Memorial Scholarship, and resides in Charlestown MA.


Daniel Niedzwiecki, St. Joseph's
An honors graduate (second in the class), Daniel was a member of the National Honor Society, Treasurer of the Massachusetts Advanced Study Program, and active in the student council. He was captain of the swim team (All-Berkshire and school record in breast stroke), and was a pitcher on the baseball team. Daniel taught English to a Russian family for four years, was president and founder of a mountain biking club, active on the school newspaper, and did volunteer work at the Senior center. He won the Williams College Book Award and a scholarship to that institution where he majored in economics and psychology.  He graduated in 1999, went to law school at Boston University, and now works for a large law firm in Boston.
At Williams, Daniel was a teaching assistant, and the president of the Ultimate Frisbee Club.  The team was ranked 21st nationally. He still enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee in his spare time.  Daniel is now a member of the Board of Directors of the Tom Giddings Memorial Scholarship.


Scott Filiault, St. Joseph's
Scott graduated with high honors from St. Joseph's where he was a member of the National Honor Society, and captain of the football team (All-league two years). He received the Holy Cross Book Award for outstanding scholarship and service as well as the medal for highest achievement in four subjects.
He chaired the Red Cross Bloodmobile 1993 and 1994 drives and the CYC Service Society Haunted House and was named St. Joseph's representative to Rotary and the UMass Chancellor's Test. The recipient of a scholarship from Amherst, he played varsity football there and achieved academic honors; he graduated from that institution in June 1998, and started his business career with Signa Healthcare in Connecticut as an underwriting analyst. Scott has now moved to NYC.


Tricia (Kenney) Roesch, Taconic
Tricia graduated with honors and was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, captain of the softball team, and manager of the boys basketball team. She received the Jewish War Veterans Award "Classmates Today, Neighbors Tomorrow" and performed tireless volunteer work at the Berkshire Medical Center, was active in the CYC Service Society and organized the candlelight vigil for the homeless in December 1992. Tricia was selected for WPI's "Frontiers in Math and Science" program in the summer of 1992 and matriculated at that institution. Subsequently, she received a scholarship from the University of Pittsburgh and transferred there.
In April 1998, she received the Chafee Memorial Scholarship presented to the outstanding senior nursing student, and graduated magna cum laude in 1999.  She began her career as a Registered Nurse at Pittsbugh VA Health Care System and received a scholarship to a national critical care conference in May 2000.  Tricia was elected to the Board of Directors of the Tom Giddings Memorial Scholarship in June 1997 and to Secretary of the Pitt Nursing Alumni Executive Board in April.  She is married and now resides in Catonsville, MD.


Sean Ladley, Pittsfield High
Sean served as vice president of his class and was a representative to Rotary and Boys State. An honor student, he was a member of the National Honor Society, captain of the basketball team and was named to the All-Berkshire basketball team.
He served as an altar boy and youth basketball coach at the Catholic Youth Center as well as volunteering at the Elderly Soup Kitchen. He received a scholarship to Williams College where he played basketball and achieved academic honors, graduating in 1996. Sean now lives in Charlotte, NC.  In May 1998, he was promoted to a position on the trading floor with First Union, trading bonds to large institutions.


Anne Rajotte, Pittsfield High

Graduating with honors, Anne was a member of the National Honor Society and a standout athlete. She was captain of both the soccer (All-Berkshire) and track teams, secretary of her class and the PHS representative to Rotary. She was also involved in the PHS Peer Resource Team and was a lay eucharistic minister in Sacred Heart Parish and secretary of the youth group there.
She received a scholarship to Boston College where she excelled in sports and academics. She graduated in 1995.  After working in Boston, Anne lived in Albuquerque until February 1998, returned to Pittsfield to study to become a Registered Nurse, and was ranked first in her class. Anne was elected to the Board of Directors of the Tom Giddings Memorial Scholarship in 2000, and now resides in West Hartford, CT.