PLYMOUTH - Diana Ieronimo, president of the Terryville High School Leo Club, has been named Connecticut Leo of the Year.
Thursday morning at school, a group of well wishers surprised the junior with the news. On hand were her parents, grandparents, fellow Leo officers, Superintendent Martin Semmel, Mayor David Merchant, Principal Michael Hults, the state Leo liaison, and the THS club advisor Christopher Perkins.
Leo is the youth organization of the Lions Clubs International. The THS Leo Club had nominated her for the award, which was endorsed by the Terryville Lions Club and the district level Lions before consideration at the state level.
“The nomination requires that a Leo present the very best of what the Leos strive for, showing emerging leadership of self and of peers, willingness to engage new experiences broadening their horizons, and not only taking opportunities presented to them to give back, but providing others the same,” Perkins said.
The application, after the required page of personal and club information, allows only five pages of space to answer questions and show photographic proof of a candidate’s characteristics, he said. “Diana’s nomination was packed with details about her work and efforts in meeting and exceeding the minimum requirements, causing her to rise to the top and be chosen the 2018/2019 recipient.”
Perkins said those present when Ieronimo was informed of the honor spoke about her accomplishments and “her dedication to doing the very best for others.”
Something they all mentioned was “the genuine heart behind all her work,” he said. “Diana strives to help each and every person with their immediate needs, while helping everyone find a way to pitch in and accomplish even more than they thought possible.”
“She does all this work not for awards and recognition, Diana does this because she firmly believes that, in her words ‘we have to leave things in a better state than we find them...we just have to,’” he said.
The award recognizes that work, “and as she stated, ‘all the work I have in mind going forward,’” he added.
Ieronimo will be recognized locally at the next THS Leo meeting, at the Terryville Lions dinner in June, at the Terryville Lions Club Fair in August, and at the state level during the next mid-winter conference.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.