UnSung Hero

Ms. Jayda Pugliese, Principal, teaches a seventh grade elective every Wednesday afternoon, leading students through various hands-on, collaborative projects. One activity that students participate in is the “Unsung Hero Project.” This project allows students to investigate and uncover the stories of unsung heroes through conducting in-depth research. Once their research is complete, students create a documentary, website, or performance detailing the life of their unsung hero. Students then submit their projects to the international competition called the Discovery Award, an award granted by the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes.

St. Mary Interparochial Students Reach International Semi-Finals of the Discovery Award Competition 2023

St. Mary Interparochial School is excited to share that Noa, 24’ and Gabriel, 24’ have advanced to the international semi-finals of the Discovery Award competition for the submission of their Unsung Hero Project, Maurice Ralph Hilleman. “Maurice Ralph Hilleman (1919–2005) was one of the greatest microbiologists/vaccinologists of all time. His leadership and innovations blazed new trails in virology, epidemiology, immunology, cancer research, and vaccine development that were unmatched.” - National Library of Medicine

Congratulations to Gabriel and Noa for all their hard work and in bringing recognition to Mr. Hilleman’s remarkable achievements in health and science! Ms Pugliese says, ”While working on an unsung hero project, it is so important to be passionate about your topic and truly believe in the work of your unsung hero. I know Gabriel and Noa were both inspired to choose this topic due to the COVID-19 pandemic and they selected a wonderful individual to highlight, whose groundbreaking work still influences our medical profession. I am so proud of their hard work in showcasing Maurice Hilleman and his life’s work through a documentary. I wish them the best of luck in the next round of the competition.” Finalists for the Discovery Award competition will be announced in early September! 


Using STREAM/Entrepreneurial technology Gabriel and Noa made this laser engraving of Marice giving the first vaccine to his daughter; demonstrating how confident he was in the vaccines. He created over 40 vaccines, some of which are included in the outline of the syringe pictured above.