Westport Teens to Watch 2023

These kids are destined to change the future. With passions ranging from computer science to sustainability, this crop of Westport Teens to Watch are class salutatorians, athletes and artists with extraordinary talents in mathematics, stage performance and fashion. The one thing they all have in common is a love for community and connectivity with their fellow schoolmates and institutions. Meet the ones to watch …

Westport Teens to Watch 2023

1. SAMANTHA BAUER

St. Lukes

Samantha Bauer is currently interning for fashion designer and entrepreneur Kate Connick’s Consept 12 company, managing the brand’s social media, researching partnerships, styles, fabrics, and working with partner organizations. Samantha’s talent as a thespian is evident through the various leading roles she had on-stage such as Roxie Hart in Chicago, Mrs. Whatsit in A Wrinkle in Time, Meg March in Little Women, and Caroline Bender in The Best of Everything. By the time she graduated, she had performed in 16 SLS productions. Samantha has received 7 Halo awards and nominations and has won a top SLS Thespie award and an Academic Distinction in Theater. Bauer helped reinvigorate the St. Luke’s Sustainability Club and served as a co-president. She was elected to serve on the school’s Honor Council, where a select group of peers hear cases of academic misconduct and help the accused students reflect on their actions. Bauer was a member of St. Luke’s School Service Board, which organizes and oversees service events for the greater community and served as a drive coordinator. Samantha is following her dream of experiencing “a true liberal arts education” by attending Tufts University in the fall.

What is your favorite subject in school?
I like almost every subject in school, but my favorite has to be English. Beyond my love of reading classics by David Foster Wallace and Edith Wharton, I got the opportunity to strengthen my writing skills under the guidance of the iconic Ms. Doran, who really changed my life. For my final project in Advanced American Literature, I had the chance to study a play called Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl. My presentation included a brief overview of different acting techniques such as the Meisner, Strasberg, Stanislavski, and Hagen techniques. I performed a monologue from the play in front of the class. It was one of the most rewarding and intriguing projects I’ve worked on in English.

What activities are you involved in outside of academics?
I was involved in the after school theater program, elected as an Honor Council member for my Junior and Senior years, the Service Board Drive Coordinator, the Cofounder of the Sustainability Club, and an intern for Kate Connick’s clothing line. When I was a sophomore in high school, I reached out to Kate after having seen her passion for fashion, acting, and connecting with others. I helped her with the brand’s social media and gave input on designs. I really look up to her, so it was an incredible learning opportunity.

What drives you personally?
My curiosity and creativity drive me to pour my heart into everything I do. I have always loved theater because of the characters I’ve gotten to create. It’s not being in the spotlight that makes acting special, it’s getting to tell other people’s stories and being part of something bigger than yourself. That’s what keeps me going, knowing there is always another story to tell and something to learn from it.

What are the three things you are most proud of?
I am most proud of my performance in The Best of Everything adapted by Julie Kramer and based on the book by Rona Jaffe for the St. Luke’s Theater Company. The play is about a group of women in their twenties and thirties working for a publishing company. I had the privilege of playing Caroline Bender, a woman who is passionate about her job and deeply cares about her female friendships. Dealing with topics such as drinking, abortion, and intimate relationships on stage, this play pushed the St. Luke’s Theater Company in a new direction. It was a special experience. During the pandemic, I learned to play guitar. It was a way to express my creativity when we were unable to perform on-stage. I even got the opportunity to perform by myself and with my dad, who also plays guitar, in front of a room of about 100 people. I had only learned to play about six months before. I was very nervous, but I did it anyway! The Sustainability Club is really special to me. Over the past three years, we really worked on making important adjustments to the sustainability policies at school. We held booths at Homecoming and the Holiday Boutique to spread awareness. We even created a website to share information we talked about in our meetings. We also researched the plastic water bottle consumption at school and recommended ways to improve the current system. I am really excited to see what the members accomplish this year!

What are you most excited about in the future?
I am so excited to pursue my dreams while living in a big city!
I hope to be acting on a bigger scale, and maybe producing.
I want to meet new people, continue supporting a healthier planet, and change the world
for the better. And of course, entertain you along the way.


2. VIKRAM SARKAR

Brunswick School

Vikram Sarkar’s “dazzling” ingenuity and speed-of-thought in mathematics often left his extremely accomplished peers on Brunwick’s celebrated Upper School Math Team “speechless.”

The six-member team, with Vikram’s help, had the most successful year in its history, capturing the New England Championship in late April after sweeping both the state and regional competitions earlier in the season.

Vikram earned perfect scores at both the state and New England competitions, helping to lead the team to its first-place victories. He was also the top freshman in the Fairfield County Math League.

In fact, teachers describe Vikram as a “generational talent” in math and his accomplishments in his first year of high school — yes, as a freshman — extend beyond his feats on the Math Team.

Also in 9th grade, Vikram qualified for the prestigious USA Junior Math Olympiad Exam; he finished as a “Winner” — which places him in the top 50 or so math students nationwide in 10th grade or below.

“For him to be top 50 in the country in the most abstruse mathematical exam given here is truly remarkable,” said Math Department Chairman Richard Dobbins. “He is not just ‘one to watch.’ In my view, he is what I might call a ‘generational’ talent.”

In his classes, Vikram earned an A-plus for the year in AP Calculus (AB), and he did the same in Honors Math: Real Analysis — a college-level course geared to math majors.

His teacher in Honors Math: Real Analysis, in an effort to add a specially challenging question at the end of the final exam—something entirely off-script—demanded a proof of an esoteric theorem about the convergence of a monotone sequence of functions. “The teacher informed me that this boy’s work on that question was [and I quote] “the greatest achievement of any student in my teaching career,” said Dobbins. This spring, Vikram was the recipient of Brunswick’s Kenneth Merritt Award for math. Outside of Brunswick, Vikram is a key member of the Connecticut state math team, which competes in the ARML competition. He was also a key member of the Westchester Area Math Circle team that won the prestigious HMMT tournament in Boston last November (formerly known as the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament). The competition there typically includes teams from across the United States as well as from every corner of the world.

Now a rising sophomore, beyond his academic achievements Vikram has had a positive impact on the Brunswick School community. His friendly, kind demeanor has allowed him to connect with his teachers and peers alike.

Athletically, in his freshman year, Vikram committed to three team sports—JV soccer, basketball, and varsity track. These opportunities to stretch his body as well as his mind were positive experiences in connecting him to a broad spectrum of Brunswick students.

Vikram’s willingness to help others and contribute to various extracurricular activities is truly commendable.

“His presence has enriched our school, and I am grateful to have him as part of our community,” said his advisor, Julia Hamilton.


3. BRANDO SAVI

Fairfield Prep

Brando Savi was born in Hong Kong, then lived in China for two years, Michigan for five years, Italy for three years, then China again—all before arriving in Connecticut and enrolling at Fairfield Prep.

One might think that this would have been a challenge for a young person however for Brando it was just another adventure. Each move landed Brando in a new school system, requiring him to adjust to new traditions, systems and classmates. By his openness, he found it easy to make friends and to adjust to new traditions and languages. He is fluent in Italian and speaks some Mandarin. Living on three continents and experiencing different cultures has opened Brando to the world, and to a world of different perspectives.

His time at Prep has allowed him to unpack his experiences with his classmates. Brando’s experiences have taught him what he cannot learn in the classroom and it is this broadmindedness which fuels his love of learning. He has achieved an excellent academic record in his Prep years, achieving a 3.9 GPA and taking on a stronger course of study each year. He has shared his talents with others as a member of Prep’s Italian Cultural Club and Chess Club and shares his academic gifts with underclassmen as a peer tutor.

He plays soccer year round, with the Prep team in the fall and with a club team over the rest of the year. He has volunteered at the Thomas Merton House of Hospitality, where he prepares and serves meals to those without and he has volunteered as a youth soccer coach for a team in Italy where he visits each summer. Brando will bring his desire to grow to Vanderbilt University in the fall.


4. ANTONIO MUSILLI

Fairfield Prep

Antonio Musilli is a young person whose desire to grow and confidence have fueled his extraordinary Prep career. Tony has had a longstanding involvement in horticulture, volunteered at the Wilton Trackside Youth Garden since the fourth grade.

Tony is an Eagle Scout and a member of the National Honor Society having graduated Summa Cum Laude and in the top 2% of his class; taking on the strongest course of study offered at Fairfield Prep. He is a recipient of the Fairfield Rotary Club Certificate of Honor, and was named the 2023 Southern CT Conference Scholar Athlete for his academic excellence and four years of rowing on the Fairfield Prep crew team.

Tony is active in Prep’s Campus Ministry program, serving as one of the four co-directors of Prep’s annual Freshman Retreat; a multi-day program in which Tony led 228 freshmen through two days of reflection, prayer and small group activities. Tony also serves the Prep community as a Peer Tutor. It is his desire to make a difference in the lives of others which Tony has exercised boldly in his Prep years that has made the Prep community richer, and it is that same energy which he will bring to the University of Notre Dame, where he will begin studies in the fall.


5. NATALIE CHUDOWSKY

Staples High School

Staples High School’s Natalie Chudowsky is a rising sophomore and a star on the Wreckers’ State Champion soccer team, as well as a New York SC club player. The midfielder was one of twenty players on the U.S. U-15 Women’s Youth National Team roster that traveled to Germany and the Netherlands for a training camp and two matches this past June.

Her family’s deep roots in the world of soccer are impressive. Sister Evelyn plays for Staples as well and her dad influenced her to play soccer as he once did himself. The class of 2026 high school student is a Connecticut champion through and through.

What are your favorite subjects?
My favorite subjects in school are the math and science courses.

What activities are you involved in outside of academics?
I play soccer, as well as practice the piano!

Tell us about the importance of soccer in your life!
I grew up in a soccer family and my father introduced me to the game as soon as I could walk! Westport is a soccer town so I took to the game immediately. Soccer has taught me life lessons and has afforded me the opportunity to travel here in the U.S. and abroad.

What drives you personally?
My motivation comes from working hard to make my younger self proud of who I am today! My family also helps support me to reach my goals.

What are the three things you are most proud of?
I am very proud of representing my country as a member of the U.S. Youth National Soccer Team, winning the Connecticut Soccer State Championship with Staples High School last year, and finally my family.

Who do you most admire and why?
I admire my older sister, Evelyn, because she has been a mentor for me my entire life and a great role model.

What are you most excited about in the future?
I am looking forward to seeing where my academic and athletic journey takes me!


6. OLIVIA RODRIGUES

King School

Wilton’s Olivia Olvia Rodrigues has received the King Scholar twice and has a passion for fashion. She attends fashion, design and drawing classes at the New England Fashion Design Association in Norwalk, where she will be focusing this year on creating a college portfolio.

She is part of many clubs at school such as the Ambassadors Club, Project Music, Women in Business, KSPCA (King Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), and the Fashion Club which she is the leader of.In the future, she wants to focus on fashion and how she can use it to make statements about issues that are going on, not just in her community, but all around the world. Through fashion, she loves how there is always a message to the pieces and that they tell a story, historic or otherwise.

What is your favorite subject in school?
My current favorite subject in school has to be art. I love how there are many different forms of art that people use to express themselves. I also love how art is a way to connect people no matter their race, age, gender, or the language they speak.

What activities are you involved in outside of academics?
Outside of academics, I study fashion at the New England Fashion and Design Associates, where this fall I will be working on my fashion portfolio for college. Outside of academics I also work as a ski instructor and an assistant for a professional photographer. I’m also the leader of the fashion club and a part of many other clubs at my school.

What drives you personally?
The one thing that personally drives me is the need to learn more about things that interest me. Currently, I’m driven by learning how people express themselves and how people connect in many different ways that not everyone can always see.

What are the three things you are most proud of?
Three things I am currently most proud of are pushing myself to travel as much as I can to places that bring interest to me, finding something (fashion) that I feel deeply connected to and want to pursue in college, and finally, I’m proud of myself for making jumps out of my comfort zone to grab opportunities that I want instead of being afraid of the outcomes.

Who do you most admire and why?
I admire my fashion teacher Irina for always pushing me to look at things differently and constantly pushing me to do more than I thought I could.

What are you most excited about in the future?
In the future I am most excited about pushing myself to take and make new opportunities for myself to constantly make me learn more about things that fascinate me. I’m also excited to create more advanced drawings, fashion pieces, etc. for my portfolio that make me stretch what I think is possible.

Do you partake in volunteering?
In my school community, I am a part of a club called Project Music. After-school kids from public schools in Stamford will come to King where King students will help assist them with homework and play games with them. After the kids will go learn to play many different instruments and songs. I am also a part of the Ambassadors Club at my school where King students will help give guided tours, meet new students, and host fun events to help new students and families feel comfortable in our King community.


7. JACK SULLIVAN

St. Lukes

Jack Sullivan is a recent graduate of St. Luke’s School (SLS) and will be attending Brown University, where he plans to study computer science. Jack has been an active part of St. Luke’s Model UN, Math, and Debate teams.

His Model UN advisor shared, “Jack was a valued member of our Model United Nations Team. The level of research done in preparation for our tournaments as well as his ability to write compelling resolutions during tournaments made him a stand-out member.” Athletically, Jack plays on the SLS JV Squash and JV Tennis teams. Just during his high school years, Jack logged an impressive 319 hours of community service and counting. (Only 80 hours are required for graduation.) Jack was SLS 2023 Salutatorian.

“Jack is the kind of student I feel I can learn from: inquisitive, remarkably bright, a person who can see both ‘the forest’ and ‘the trees’ with equal precision and clarity, and (perhaps most importantly) someone who enjoys communicating ideas. He is a true student and well on his way to becoming an impressive scholar,” said an advisor from SLS.

Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name is Jack Sullivan. I graduated from St. Luke’s School in New Canaan in May as the salutatorian and I will be a freshman at Brown University this fall. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends, finding new restaurants, watching movies, being in nature, and playing with my dog.

What is your favorite subject in school?
Computer science. I plan to major in computer science at Brown University.

What activities are you involved in outside of academics?
At St. Luke’s School I was a member of the debate team, math team, and model United Nations team. I also played tennis and squash. In addition, I was a gallery ambassador at the Maritime Aquarium, and I tutored students in math through the Norwalk Housing Authority. I currently work full time as a camp counselor at Woodcock Nature Center in Wilton.

What drives you personally?
My love of learning and my inherent desire to do the best I can.

What is something you are most proud of?
1. My work ethic. 2. The long-term friendships I’ve made.

What are you most excited about in the future?
Going to college and all of the exciting changes that brings. I also look forward to meeting new people.


8. QUINN REYNOLDS

Greens Farms Academy

Quinn Reynolds is a rising senior at Greens Farms Academy. At GFA, he is the captain of both the varsity cross country team during the fall and the varsity track and field team during the spring. He has been on both teams for the entirety of his high school career, earning an All-FAA Honorable Mention for the 2023 season in Track and Field. He is also an admissions ambassador at GFA, giving tours to prospective students and parents. He is the co-president of the community service board, the President of the Microfinance Club, and a member of Eco Club. Additionally, for the past three years, he has interned at his aunt’s company, Noir Casting, assisting with the casting process, the creative design of the website, and the editing of future projects. Reynolds is also a Promise Leader for the Sandy Hook Promise, an organization that looks to prevent gun violence through educating children and young adults.

What is your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subjects in school are definitely English and history. I’ve always loved English and was able to take an amazing creative writing class last year. Also, I took an international relations course in the first semester and a class called Utopia/Dystopia in the second semester, and they were both wonderful courses.

What activities are you involved in outside of academics?
I am the co-president of the Community Service Board, the president of the Microfinance Club, and an admissions ambassador at GFA. I run both Varsity Cross Country and Varsity Track and Field and am the captain for both of them. I’ve also been working at my aunt’s company, Noir Casting, throughout the entirety of high school. Furthermore, I have worked on Nantucket the past three summers. I was first a sales associate at a T-shirt store called Breezin’ Up, then a sales associate at Southern Tide and Hill House Home/Tombolo Company, and now I am a Sports Camp Counselor at The Westmoor Club while still helping out at Hill House when I have free time.

What drives you personally?
I am driven by my high expectations for myself and my ability to find potential in myself and others and ignite it.

What are the three things you are most proud of?
The three things that I am most proud of are my work ethic, creative eye, and my wit.

Who do you most admire and why?
I most admire my mother, as her strength and never-ending loyalty to our family is incredibly honorable.

How do you see your future?
In the future, I am most excited to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way and to be able to allow myself to grow and watch which direction life chooses to pull me in. Who knows… Teens to Watch now… maybe 30 Under 30 later!!

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