Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

PaineHarkins NotreDame 700x600Frank Paine, left, and Eric HarkinsNotre Dame High School of West Haven announced the recipients of its two highest honors during the School’s 69th commencement exercises on May 27. 

Frank Paine of Milford earned the Code Award, and fellow graduate Eric Harkins of North Haven was named the Man of the Year.

The Code Award is given to the senior who, according to the faculty, lives his life by the words stated in the Notre Dame Code. The Man of the Year is defined by the student who has made the greatest positive contribution to school life during his senior year.

Paine will attend Bowdoin College.

The faculty described him as capable, responsible, gentle, personable, and a natural leader who has strong family values.

In the citation, one teacher said, “His ethics, integrity, and commitment to family and friends are beyond reproach. His gentle strength is evident in his many hours of volunteer work but his real strength and natural ability are in his quiet, calm, leadership skills.”

Another faculty member wrote, “He is an incredibly kind and compassionate young man. He has traveled to different parts of the country for two different mission trips. He understands how lucky he is to have all that he has and he wants to give back to those who are less fortunate than him. At a time when young people have a reputation of being completely self-involved, he is different and gives hope that kindness, compassion, and charity will carry on in the future.”

Paine was inducted into the National, Math and Latin honor societies. He was a member of Brothers Reaching Others (BRO), Green Machine, AlumKnights the Culinary Club and the track and football teams. He was a Peer Counselor, officer in the National Honor Society and captain of the football team. He was a volunteer at St. Mary's Church in Milford and participated in a number of service missions.

Announcing the winner, Adam Laput ‘89, dean of students, said of Paine, “It is truly his strong moral character, intelligence, work ethic, humility and loyalty that have won him the respect of his peers and the faculty alike. He is an example of what our staff attempts to teach our students both in the classroom and in their daily lives — to be sensitive to other’s needs, generous with their time, and humble in their interactions. He is a credit to himself, to his family,
and to Notre Dame High School."

The Man of the Year designation is given to the senior who, in the judgment of the faculty, made the greatest positive contribution to school life during his senior year. He is involved in the life of the school beyond his studies, as well as a demonstrated leader, respectful of his teachers and peers, dedicated to his classmates, and passionate about Notre Dame High School.

Harkins will attend the University of Connecticut.

Teachers described him as motivated, creative, attentive, witty and unassuming. One teacher wrote, “He is a young man of integrity and truth. He has demonstrated his ability to be his own man and can articulate the importance of this virtue.”

Another teachers said of Harkins, "He has worked to build relationships with students and teachers because he sees the value in personal contacts and friendships. He pushes himself to be better every day and he makes his classmates better because of it.”

Harkins was inducted into the National, Math and Spanish honor societies. He was a peer counselor, belonged to Team ND, AlumKnights, Green Machine, Webcast Crew and Green Knight News and was Student Council president.

He also was a four-year member of the tennis team and was its captain as a junior and senior. He volunteered in the St. Rita’s Vacation Bible School, the Special Olympics and as a counselor at Hamden Hall’s summer camp.

“This level of involvement and his demonstrated leadership skills set him apart from his class.His dedication to Notre Dame High School and his class has won Eric Harkins the distinction ofbeing Man of the Year for the class of 2018,” said Laput, in announcing the award.