TEWKSBURY — On Fri­day, Dec. 18, the Tewks­bury Rotary Club virtually honored TMHS members of the class of 2021, Maria Luiza Zeleya DaSilva and Michael Dug­gan for receiving the De­cember 2020 Hat’s Off Award.

The Hat’s Off Award is a joint initiative of the Tewksbury Rotary Club and the Tewksbury Me­mo­rial High School to recognize students who have distinguished themselves both academically and civically in the community.

Maria Luiza Zelaya DaSilva, daughter of San­dra Zelaya and Freddy En­calada, was nominated by TMHS staff member Karen Hodgson for her dedication to helping others master the Eng­lish language as she has done for herself.

DaSilva came to live in the United States just five years ago. She ar­rived from Brazil without any knowledge of the English language or Am­erican culture.

After just three years in the ELL classes at TMHS, DaSilva was able to master the English language and enter the English honors class. She is also fluent in Por­tuguese and Spanish.

Because DaSilva is tri­lingual, she spends most of her free time volunteering to help fellow students who may be struggling with their schoolwork due to a language barrier.

DaSilva also helps the TMHS Guidance department welcome new students that have not yet mastered the English language. She also tries to help them get acclimated to their new school and surroundings by giving tours of the school and helping them to communicate with their new teachers.

When not running through the halls of TMHS helping others, DaSilva is running on the track as an active member of the TMHS girls varsity track team.

DaSilva also manages to find time to work park time with her uncle at his cabinet company, and as­sist her mother’s business with English translation.

Michael Duggan, son of Tammy and Chris Dug­gan, was nominated by the TMHS Athletics De­partment for his hard work and determination on and off the field.

Duggan’s academic achievements include be­ing an active member of the National Honor So­ciety, ranking in the top 10 percent of his class, and receiving the John and Abigail Adams Scho­larship.

Also known to be a true team player by his coaches and teammates, both in the classroom and on the field, Duggan is an active member of the TMHS varsity football and baseball teams. He also has represented TMHS at the MIAA Sportsmanship Summit.

Duggan has channeled his passion for athletics back to his community by volunteering his time at several Tewksbury Youth Baseball and Football programs and camps.

Participating in extra-curricular activities be­tween classes and sports has reinforced Duggan’s desire to help others.

Duggan is an active mem­ber of DECA, and pa­ticipated in ticket sales for the Megan McCarthy Fa­shion Show. He is also an Executive Board member of the Best Bud­dies program, and de­votes time each week to tutoring students in need of academic help.

Somehow, Duggan also manages to work part time for Duggan and Sons Construction.

Both DaSilva and Dug­gan’s hard work and de­termination will lead to bigger and better things for them, as DaSilva hopes to prove by becoming the first person in her family to go to college.

A bright future is surely in store for these two well deserved Hat’s Off Award recipients.

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