Breakfast of Champions Highlights Student Achievement

BRIDGEPORT—“You are here because you have excelled…you have distinguished yourselves and for that we are truly proud of you,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, addressing the elementary and high school students gathered at this year’s annual Breakfast of Champions.

Hundreds of invited guests including pastors, administrators and parents attended the breakfast in Queen of Saints Hall at the Catholic Center in Bridgeport to honor the awardees who received either the St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Sebastian award.

Elementary and high school students chosen for the St. Thomas Aquinas award demonstrated academic excellence and lived faith through service to others. High school recipients selected for the St. Sebastian Award have shown leadership in sports as captain of an athletic team and have achieved success in that particular sport.

Dr. Steve Cheeseman, superintendent of schools, congratulated the boys and girls for their achievements, saying, “they did not get here alone.”

Bishop Caggiano expounded upon that by thanking all the parents, teachers, administration and pastors in attendance for their continued support of the students. “Your schools don’t run on their own,” he said. “They run because they have dedicated women and men who lead them…because they love you very much and want you to succeed in every way possible…that’s what makes Catholic education truly Catholic.”

“We live in challenging times,” the bishop addressed the parents, “I cannot imagine what these young people face…we are grateful that you entrust your young people to us.”

“We strive to create environments that are supportive of the whole child,” said the bishop, “so we can help mold them in mind, body and spirit in the image of Jesus Christ.”

The bishop defined a champion as a person who surpasses all his or her rivals. “But it has a much more important meaning,” the bishop continued.

“A champion is someone who will be given a great prize,” the bishop addressed the students. “You my friends are champions because you have had the opportunity to come into a Catholic school so that you could be set to earn, to be given, to be awarded, to be graced, the prize of everlasting life.”

“To be a Catholic school means we are Catholic first,” the bishop explained, “Jesus Christ at the center of all that we do. What we are leading you forward to do is to meet Jesus in the glory of heaven and that’s a prize worth studying for, fighting for and living your life for.”

(To learn more about Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic Schools visit

Candid Photos by Amy Mortensen

Group Photos by Amy Mortensen

St. Thomas Aquinas Award – 8th Grade Recipients

First NameLast NameSchool
LuisBreaAll Saints Catholic School
EdenCheungThe Catholic Academy of Stamford
DominicChilaSt. Joseph School
AndrewCimminoSt. Thomas Aquinas School
IsabellaCoronaSt. Rose of Lima School
KatieDineenSt. Catherine of Siena School
AidenDoolabhSt. Gregory the Great School
JamesDoyleOur Lady of Fatima School
MichelleFerroneGreenwich Catholic School
AlexanderGodinoSt. Joseph Catholic Academy
SkylerJohansenSt. Mark School
LichelJohnstonAssumption Catholic School
MeghanKopchickHoly Trinity Catholic Academy
AnnaKopecSt. Mary School, Bethel
CarolineManciniSt. Aloysius School
MadisonMooreSt. Andrew Academy
AnthonyNgoSt. Augustine Academy
ClarissaSantaSt. Ann Academy
BriannaSeabornSt James School
SofiaTestaSaint Theresa School
CamilToscanoSt Peter School
MatthewUySaint Mary School, Ridgefield

St. Thomas Aquinas Award – 12th Grade Recipients

First NameLast NameSchool
ThomasAlvarezTrinity Catholic High School
JeremiahAndreKolbe Cathedral High School
AidanKileySt Joseph High School
TylerOuelletteNotre Dame High School
SaraReissImmaculate High School

St. Sebastian Award – 12th Grade Recipients

First NameLast NameSchoolSport(s)
KristenCironeImmaculate High SchoolField Hockey
MackenzyGardenImmaculate High SchoolField Hockey
MadisonHalasImmaculate High SchoolField Hockey
SarahJablonskiTrinity Catholic High SchoolBasketball, Softball and Volleyball
OliviaJohnsonSt Joseph High SchoolIndoor Track & Field
JesseLawsonSt Joseph High SchoolFootball
AceLuziettiSt Joseph High SchoolFootball
TaylorMascettaImmaculate High SchoolGirls Cross Country
ParkerMcKenzieImmaculate High SchoolBoys Cross Country
RobertMihalySt Joseph High SchoolFootball
PhilPasmegSt Joseph High SchoolFootball
LoganPlaistedImmaculate High SchoolBoys Cross Country
AngelaSaidmanImmaculate High SchoolGirls Cross Country
DavidSummersSt Joseph High SchoolFootball
DarrenWarrenSt Joseph High SchoolFootball