Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

Medal of Distinction Awarded to Longtime Trustee

Longtime Trustee Carl M. Porto Sr. was awarded Hamden Hall’s prestigious Medal of Distinction at Commencement 2019 – only the third person in the school’s history to receive the decoration.

After serving on the Hamden Hall Board of Trustees since 1983, Carl announced his retirement from the board at the conclusion of the 2018-2019 school year. Carl served in many capacities over the years, including vice chair, a member of the Executive Committee, and chair of both the Legal Committee and Committee on Trustees. He also served as a member of the Selection Committee for each of the school's last three headmasters and was instrumental in many of the capital improvement and infrastructure projects on campus including the Skiff Street Athletic Complex.

The Medal of Distinction was presented to Carl by his grandson, William Porto, who was among the graduates at Commencement 2019. As a lifelong education advocate, civic leader, and extraordinary contributor to Hamden Hall, Carl was awarded the distinction for his longtime commitment to our school community. The inaugural Medal of Distinction was first presented in 2014 to Dr. Barbara Olin Taylor and again in 2015 to Ernie Russ. All three awardees have a long and storied history under the pines.

For Carl, that history began when he enrolled his oldest son in the school in 1977. Eventually, all three of the Porto boys: Carl II, Class of 1986, Joseph Porto, Class of 1989, and Mark Porto, Class of 1994; were enrolled at Hamden Hall followed by the enrollment of two grandsons (William, Class of 2019, and Carl III, Class of 2016).
Additionally, the matriarch of the Porto family, Terry Porto, was a first-grade teacher at Hamden Hall for 31 years. She retired in 2016 but has since helped out in Lower School classrooms as needed.

Head of School Bob Izzo noted during the presentation that he wanted Carl to have a “big moment of his own” after 36 years of service.

“Carl Sr. has embraced Hamden Hall as truly a second family. He has devoted immeasurable time, resources, and wisdom and has been instrumental in every significant institutional decision that has been made over the years of his service,” said Bob, who further noted that the Medal of Distinction is Hamden Hall’s highest honor.

After having the medal slipped over his head by his grandson, Carl noted that his involvement with Hamden Hall has been “one of the highlights of my life.

“One thing I’ve said a million times is that our family has been involved with Hamden Hall for many many years, and we’ve seen lots of Hamden Hall kids and lots of Hamden Hall graduates. I will tell you right now that I have never met a Hamden Hall student who was not prepared to go to college, has not done well, has not been polite and respectful when they’ve been with us, and it’s been an honor and a privilege to be involved with such a wonderful place that builds citizenship, good people, smart people, and great students,” he said.
 
 
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Hamden Hall Country Day School

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Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.