Daniel P. Wise Distinguished Alumni/ae Service Award 2015
Presented by Barb Liston, Assistant Head of School
Presented at Commencement ceremonies, the Daniel P. Wise Distinguished Alumni/ae Service Award is bestowed upon an alumnus/a whose works and convictions reflect the highest ethical standards and whose values of self-esteem, self-discipline, and respect for others are central to the pursuit of his or her goals. The recipient of the 2015 Daniel P. Wise Distinguished Alumni/ae Service Award is Captain Zachary A. Cotreau, Class of 2002.
Zach’s commitment to and passion for service began at an early age inside Brookwood’s halls. Described by his teachers at the time as a “reserved and taciturn” individual, Zach’s desire to help others fueled his everyday pursuits, and he established right here that he had ample strength of character and community spirit. At his graduation, Zach and his sister Ali were both awarded the Courtesy Cup which honors the student or students who possess a fundamental instinct for consideration, consistently placing the needs of others before their own. Everyday, Zach exhibited excellent manners and a keen sense of respect and concern for others in the school. That “call to serve” is one that would become an integral part of his life beyond Brookwood.
After leaving Brookwood, Zach attended The Governor’s Academy where service and volunteerism punctuated his life. While at Gov’s, Zach started a Support Our Troops club wherein students met and sent Christmas cards and packages to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He also volunteered with Danvers Troop Support preparing care packages, and he spent several summers at the Soldiers Home in Chelsea playing games and visiting with disabled veterans. In his junior year, Zach won the YWCA Greater Newburyport Youth Leadership Award for his dedicated and selfless work at the Newburyport YWCA where he also mentored an at-risk Newburyport youth at the request of the YWCA. In his senior year, Zach won the Alumni Association Award at Gov’s, given to a student who shows perseverance, hard work, and good spirit thereby contributing to the welfare of the school. These qualities remained engrained in Zach and ultimately led him to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Zach graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2010 with a degree in Business Management and Systems Engineering. There, he mentored with Big Brothers Big Sisters throughout his four years and became President during his senior year.
Upon his successful completion of the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course, Ranger School, and Airborne School, he began his military service and was deployed to Kunar, Afghanistan in November of 2012. In 2010, Zach became a 2nd Lieutenant at Fort Benning, Georgia. In 2012, he advanced to 1st Lieutenant at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and ultimately became Captain Cotreau at Fort Benning, Georgia in 2014.
Zach’s awards and medals are broad-ranging and include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NATO Medal.
Even while actively serving in the Army, Zach devoted time to improving the lives of others in the surrounding community. He continued to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and mentored a third grade class in math and reading at the Fort Benning Elementary School. With all of Zach’s awards and accomplishments during his service in the military, what stands out the most is his humble attitude and gentle and giving spirit. Continuing in the path he established at Brookwood, he touches the lives of many without pressing for recognition or applause, undoubtedly giving others pause as they assimilate the magnitude of the good he has accomplished in his young life.
Zach is currently attending an accelerated graduate school program at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business in order to receive his MBA, and understandably could not wedge a trip back to Brookwood between Statistics and Organization and Behavior classes. So Andrew Cotreau, Zach’s dad, will accept the award in his absence.
Andrew, please thank Zach for his service to this country and for his service to others in the communities of which he’s been a part. We couldn’t be more proud or honored to present Zach with the Daniel P. Wise Distinguished Alumni Award, and we're sure Mr. Wise is somewhere loudly cheering him on!