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The Nicole Cottone-Obsenski Award

This award was established in honor of Nicole Cottone Obenski, a beloved member of the Radnor High School faculty from 2013-2019. Nicole lived every day to the fullest and with purpose. It truly brought her joy to help others. Nicole’s thoughtfulness knew no bounds—it was constant, as was her ability to love. She was a compassionate person, always putting others ahead of herself. Teaching was her true calling and being in the Radnor family was an essential part of her life.

When Nicole was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer, she stayed true to herself. In her weakest moments, she took on life’s greatest challenges with an unimaginable amount of strength and determination. She would tell you there is no failure if you give it all you have. It’s not how long you live, but how well you live. Nicole had accomplished more in 35 years than many have in a lifetime. Her fearlessness and fight live on in the name of this scholarship.

May the Nicole Cottone Obenski Memorial Scholarship be awarded to the deserving seniors who exemplify these same traits.

This Year’s Recipients

Ella Hoey

Ella Hoey

2023-2024

I am humbled and honored to receive the 2024 Nicole Cottone Obenski Memorial Award. When Mrs. Obenski was being described by the presenter, I thought that she must have been an incredibly strong and compassionate person. I was disappointed to have never met her. I am honored because I have been recognized by the Radnor High School to be a compassionate and selfless person. Humbled because I have been put in the same class as Mrs. Obenski. My sister, Sophia, was a sophomore the year that Mrs. Obenski passed away. I remember how upset she was because Mrs. Obenski was such an important and impactful faculty member at RHS. That year, inspired by the impact of Mrs. Obenski’s relentless determination to beat cancer along with another RHS staff member’s fight against cancer, Sophia and a few classmates organized a breast cancer charity run at RHS. Since my sister’s graduation, I have taken over the run. Taking part in the organization of the run is uplifting and rewarding. I admire the way Mrs. Obenski’s pay it forward mindset has lingered in the Radnor community since her passing, and I am motivated to spread the pay it forward message. Thank you again for this amazing honor.

Angel Flores

Angel Flores

2023-2024

I am grateful and honored to have received The Nicole Cottone-Obenski Award for it has reminded me of the similar values I share with Mrs. Obenski, which I carry with me as I step into my future. I value failure and putting others before me in hopes of creating an environment welcoming to all. I also feel identified with the award as I believe it truly depicts my character. People like Mrs. Obenski truly leave a footprint wherever they go, and I aspire to do the same. I am reminded of the pride I feel for Radnor through this award and through the blissful environment that defines Radnor. We owe it to Mrs. Obenski and her bright character for helping in shaping our community. I regret not being able to have met Mrs. Obenski, but I have learned of the lives she has touched through countless stories and through the award presentation. I know she was an inspiration to all. Thank you to the Cole Cares Foundation for this opportunity!

Past Recipients

Peter Bragdon

Peter Bragdon

2022-2023

It is an honor to receive this award. I am happy to carry the legacy of such a positive force in the lives of many. Although I did not know Mrs. Obenski, I know her close friend, Mrs. Clark and I’m sure they shared a similar joyful personality and bubbly sense of humor. The best teachers have a way of making you feel heard and welcome; you find yourself looking forward to that daily conversation. I hope to continue Mrs. Obenski’s legacy of unyielding positivity and the ability to lift others’ spirits. She was dedicated to the betterment of the community around her and loved being a part of Radnor High School. Through the community Mrs. Obenski fostered, I have thrived; I have overcome academic challenges and troubling times. I rowed on the Radnor Crew for four years. Radnor Crew taught me grit and time management skills, and I became Captain of the Radnor Crew Team my senior year. I also participated in the Radnor Marching Band which gave me an additional sense of community and family. Starting in the fall of 2023, I will be pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). I will also be a member of the WPI Rowing Team.

 

Emilie Puopolo

Emilie Puopolo

2021-2022

Hello, my name is Emilie Puopolo. I graduated from Radnor in 2022 and was very honored to receive this award. I currently am studying voice performance at McGill University in Montreal. I remember from freshman year Mrs. Obenski always being warm, friendly, and kind every time I walked into her office or saw her around school. She was unbelievably caring and everyone should aspire to have even a fraction of the heart that she showed on a daily basis.

Sophie Wallace

Sophie Wallace

2020-2021

Sophie Wallace graduated from Radnor High School in June of 2021. She is currently studying business at Pace University in New York City. Sophie was honored to receive the Nicole Cottone Obenski award and is inspired by and dedicated to continue Nicole’s legacy and honor the way she lived her life.

Tess Killian

Tess Killian

2019-2020

It was an incredible honor to be the recipient of the first award given in memory of Mrs. Obenski. Her enthusiasm and dedication to her students has made an impact that will last a lifetime. She was an inspiration to me. I met her through her dear friend Mrs. Miller and those two wonderful people provided me guidance, gave me strength, and always made me feel better and more confident in myself. Mrs. Obenski took the time to really know me and what I was struggling with. For me, many days just coming to school was a huge challenge, and every morning Mrs. Obenski would welcome me with a warm hug, my daily safety net. She always took the time to listen and had the right words to make me feel less anxious.

But more than her words, what I admire and try to emulate is her determination and sense of purpose. Even when she was facing life’s very hardest challenge, she put her students first and faced each day with a positive and resolute attitude. She is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met; caring for others around her even though she was struggling herself. Her actions, wisdom, kindness, and respect will stay with me always.

Jillian Spiller

Jillian Spiller

2022-2023

Hi, I’m Jillian Spiller! I graduated in 2023 from Radnor High School and I am beyond excited and honored to have received this award. I’ve heard nothing but kind and genuine words about Mrs.Obenski and I’m again, extremely honored to have been given this award. Mrs. Obenski meant so many things to so many people. She inspired so many individuals and I hope one day I can do the same. I’m attending Elizabethtown College this fall to study early childhood education. I one day hope to be an elementary school teacher and make a difference in this world. Unfortunately, I never got to know Mrs. Obenski, but many of my upperclassmen peers have told me all about her and her selflessness along with her joyful personality.
I was a part of the Radnor High School marching band and indoor color guard all 4 years of high school. This taught me my leadership skills I carry with me today. I am so grateful for this award and excited for to follow my next journey.

Conor Pomeroy

Conor Pomeroy

2021-2022

Conor Pomeroy graduated from Radnor High School in June 2022 and is thriving in the Automotive Engineering Technology Program at Ferris State University in Michigan. He loves the program and the whole college experience. He works at the campus ice rink and enjoys participating in the ski club and intramural sports on campus. He hopes to intern in a local garage this summer.

Conor has grown so much during his time at Radnor High School. The award of the Nicole Cottone Obenski scholarship was both a highlight of his time at Radnor and a jumping off point. Being recognized for who he is was very affirming and inspired him to move forward with more confidence in himself.

Here are some words from Conor: I am honored to be a co-recipient of the 2022 Nicole Cottone Obenski Award. Though I did not know Mrs. Obenski, I know from others that she was an incredible teacher who worked through her own challenges while always caring for and helping others. I hope to honor her by demonstrating her qualities of selflessness and care for others.

Dae’Trel Jerome

Dae’Trel Jerome

2020-2021

My name is Dae’Trel Jerome. I graduated in 2021 and I am currently attending Alvernia University. My Major is criminal justice and I’m a wrestler at the school. Mrs Obenski meant many things to me. She was my teacher, friend, someone I could always talk to about anything. She treated me like her son. One of my favorite stories is when Gio and I were riding our bikes in and out of traffic. Mrs. Obenski saw us and she yelled to us to get out of the road. We came to school the next day and she talked to us about doing the right thing and staying out of trouble.

Colin Lane

Colin Lane

2019-2020

Mrs. Obenski meant a lot to me. In fact, she was like a school mom to me. She always made sure that I stayed on top of my school work, went to class, and treated others with kindness and respect. Two things I always noticed about Mrs. O. were her positivity and light. No matter what she was going through, she made sure to give that energy to everyone she came across.

Thanks for a Great 2024 Golf Outing Fundraiser!

We want to extend our gratitude to everyone who joined us for the 4th Annual Cole Cares Golf Outing Fundraiser. Your support helped us raise vital funds in honor of Nicole’s legacy for our scholarship program and initiatives supporting those battling cancer. Visit our Events page for more details about this memorable day on the greens. And, we hope you will mark your calendar for May 19, 2025 to join us for the 5th Annual Golf Event at The 1912 Club. We look forward to sharing full details soon.