The Rosanne Sannicandro Red Sneaker award will be presented to a graduating Wellesley High School senior in honor of Rosanne Sannicandro, a beloved WHS guidance counselor who passed away in October 2016. Ms. Sannicandro was known as an incredible advocate for the school’s students and families.
WHS class of 2009 graduate Katie May said Sannicandro “…invested in and advocated fiercely for her students’ well being. She embodied what it meant to be a counselor. She saw the good and potential in all the students that she interacted with, even if they did not or could not see it in themselves. She pushed us to reflect on our mistakes, to own our accomplishments, and most importantly to forge our own path. In a town so often noted for its pressure-cooker environment, Rosanne did the important work of validating every lived experience, every background, and every path forward, particularly when that message was hard to deliver. When we were stressed out or overwhelmed, she was already ready and waiting with an emphatic “stop the madness!” At one of the most vulnerable and fraught times in life, Sannican made you feel seen, heard, and valued.”
“That trust is difficult to build with teenage boys,” Pat May, Class of 2008 said. “Sannican did it merely by looking at me for who I was and talking to me with respect. No other authority figure made me feel as able to rant about my problems with such freedom. Even when she laughed at me, it made me feel seen.”
And if you were wearing red sneakers, so much the better. Sannicandro believed that one could never have a bad day if one were wearing red sneakers. To that end, this award is intended to provide the recipient with an opportunity to pursue a passion and find those “red sneakers,” guaranteed to make any gray day brighter.
The recipient of the award will be someone who has demonstrated compassion and care for others, who maintains meaningful relationships, and who shows resilience when facing challenges. The ideal candidate plans to attend a public university/institution (as did Ms. Sannicandro) and shows sincere humanitarian interests. True animal lovers strongly considered.
Students are selected by nominations from their guidance counselors. After the candidates are nominated by the school’s counselors, the recipient is then chosen by colleagues that she worked with for over 30 years.
Please send donations (checks or cash) to:
Wellesley High School
c/o Diane Zinck (secretary to the principal)
50 Rice Street
Wellesley, MA 02481
Checks must be made payable to: Wellesley Public Schools
Memo Line: Rosanne Sannicandro Scholarship