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Superintendent Award - Falls Village

FALLS VILLAGE — Emma Okell and Russell Thompson are the winners of the 2011 Superintendent Award for Housatonic Valley Regional High School.Emma, 17, of Sharon is a musician, and composes what she calls “neoclassical” pieces, a process that is helped considerably by her perfect pitch.“I was on the bus writing down the melodies I was hearing,” she said. She cited Mozart, Beethoven and Eric Whitacre as major influences.She admitted cheerfully that she has “no idea what I want to do.” She hopes to find out at either Amherst or Yale.Not the Berklee College of Music in Boston?“No, because that’s all music. I want to go to college for academics.”Russell (who goes by RJ) is a musician himself, singing bass in the chorus. He plays hockey and soccer and runs track.The 17-year-old Cornwall resident is interested in science, and envisions a career in biomedical engineering. He hopes to attend either the University of Washington or the University of British Columbia.And if the biomedical engineering doesn’t work out?“For all I know I’ll end up a hermit in the Canadian wilderness.”Emma’s parents are Lisa and Andrew Okell. RJ is the son of John and Bethany Thompson.

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