NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Exchange Club will honor four members of the community at its 19th annual Community Champions Banquet this month.
The club will recognize a citizen, firefighter, police officer and educator at the dinner, which is March 24 at the Crystal Room, 98 School St., starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for children. For information or tickets, call Kelly Pinho at 203-667-2506.
Citizen of the Year: Kathleen McPadden, a lifelong Naugatuck resident, is a senior vice president, community relations officer at Ion Bank and executive director of the Ion Bank Foundation.
McPadden has a lengthy resume of volunteering, including over 30 years with the United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls, 10 years with Jane Doe No More, serving as treasurer of The Salvation Army Central Naugatuck Valley Service Unit, and serving as a trustee of the Connecticut Community Foundation.
McPadden has received numerous accolades over the years for her efforts, including the Fredrick D. Zonino Memorial Volunteer Award from the Naugatuck YMCA and the United Way’s Mary H. Connolly Community Caring Award.
Educator of the Year: Kate Singley, a Woodbury native and Naugatuck resident, is in her ninth year of teaching at Hillside Intermediate School, where she teaches sixth grade humanities.
During her tenure, Singley has also taught math and traditional English classes. She is also the adviser to Hillside’s student council and has served on Hillside’s school governance council.
The person who nominated Singley for Naugatuck’s teacher of the year award said she puts 100% effort into her job every day and that she is “all in” every minute of the day, according to a new release.
Firefighter of the Year: Theodore Hawks III, a Naugatuck resident, began his career as a firefighter with the Naugatuck Fire Department in 2013. He is the driver of Engine 3 on the B shift.
Hawks is certified as a firefighter, pump operator, aerial operator, fire service instructor, and emergency medical technician. He is also trained in several rescue disciplines, and has received two Naugatuck Fire Department Unit Citations during his career.
Hawks is a member of the firefighters’ union and has helped with various fundraising events to support the community. He’s also volunteered in the community, including as a Cub Scout leader and a coach for Naugatuck Youth Soccer.
Police Officer of the Year: Officer Ian Kosky, who grew up in Naugatuck and lives in Woodbury, served 12 years in the Marine Corps, including a combat tour in Fallujah, Iraq, before joining the Naugatuck Police Department.
Kosky, who has been with the department for 14 years, is a trained firearms instructor, Taser instructor, and use of force instructor, a member of the bicycle unit and honor guard, and a field training officer.
In 2011, Kosky graduated from the Connecticut Police Patrol K-9 Academy with K-9 Vane. During their careers, Kosky and Vane have apprehended 22 suspects, recovered numerous articles of evidence and located missing people, a news release stated.