2009 Colleen Finalists

Colleen Ryan

Colleen is a senior at Sandwich High School. Colleen's Irish heritage is important because it connects her with family. Colleen defines leadership as service to others, and in doing so, she has earned the respect of an entire school and community. She has been a class officer for four years as well as Eucharistic Minister for her church. Colleen has competed at the varsity level for four years on the SHS Swim Team and this year, she serves as its captain, making sure that the younger athletes are welcome and nurtured. In addition to her impressive leadership and athletic accomplishments, Colleen has a beautiful singing voice. She aspires to a career in education, a path for which she is well chosen.

Alyssa Dillen-Caggiano

Alyssa is a senior at Sandwich High School. She is a fixture in the Sandwich community whether it is volunteering for National Honor Society, working with middle-school students or teaching religious education class. Alyssa is the captain of the math team on top of her athletic commitment to cross-country and track and field. Since she was two years old, Alyssa has danced lyrical, ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop and hopes to one day learn how to Irish Step Dance. To Alyssa, being Irish means family, music and religion. She is part of a large extended family and feels fortunate that she is able to visit with them on a daily basis.

Mary Lenahan

Mary is a senior at Barnstable High School. When Mary reflects over her high school experience, she will tell you about her involvement with the Spanish Department and her love for the Spahish culture. Her love for her Irish heritage is evident as well as Mary fondly recalls the stories her grandfather William Lenahan (Pop-Pop) used to tell. Mary learned from these stories that an Irish family gives a person strength, courage and hope. In addition to excelling in the classroom, Mary is extremely committed to her extracurricular actfvities. She involves herself in activities which have a direct impact on her community such as student liaison for the Barnstable School Committee. Mary is a young woman who has the drive and passion to meet every goal she sets.

Sarah Patellos

Sarah is a senior at Barnstable High School. Inspired by her Irish grandpa Bob, Sarah has been dancing since she was three and is a member of the nationally recognized Tremaine Dance Program. Sarah's most significant high school experience though was not in the classroom or on the dance floor. Sarah has suffered from scoliosis since she was a young girl. Due to her strength and perseverance, she quickly and fully recovered from life altering surgery. Today Sarah is very proud to be the National Co-Spokesperson for the National Scoliosis Foundation. She has been involved with fundraising projects and has used her interest in fashion design to launch a new product line to promote scoliosis awareness.