Islanders earn academic honors

Joe Burke, son of Michael Burke and Elizabeth Sanderson of Mercer Island and a 2008 graduate of MIHS, led a team of engineering students to a first place finish in the H2Go western regional student design competition sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. The challenge involved the innovative use of rain as a form of energy, judged by the ability to convert a liter of water into forward motion with the highest possible efficiency.

The first place finish qualifies his team for the national competition, to be held in Denver in November 2011.  Burke is a junior at Santa Clara University majoring in mechanical engineering, and he has won several other design competitions this year.

Blake Snelling, a sophomore at Mercer Island High School, has been awarded one of 650 National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarships (NSLI-Y) for 2011-2012. NSLI-Y is funded by the U.S. Department of State and provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to learn less commonly taught languages in summer, semester and academic year overseas immersion programs.

The scholarship enables Snelling to study Chinese in China for the summer.

NSLI-Y seeks to increase Americans’ capacity to engage with native speakers of critical languages by providing formal and informal language learning and practice, and by promoting mutual understanding through educational and cultural activities.

Mercer Island High School junior Michael Green took second place at the Northwest High School Radio Awards held last week. The Mercer Island High School radio station Hot Jamz student broadcaster’s entry in radio commentary was his second highest finish in the contest competing against other student radio journalists. He took first place in the category in 2010.

Green is a veteran of overcoming obstacles. Diagnosed with a mild hearing loss at a young age, Green wore hearing aids through elementary school and into middle school. He grew to loathe what he felt was the schoolyard “stigma” of hearing aids, and thought he could change his world for the better. He stopped wearing hearing aids altogether.

Graduate Grams

The Mercer Island PTA Council is now taking orders for Graduate Grams.  This favorite Island tradition began more than 30 years ago as a way to both congratulate a favorite graduate and to support the Community Scholarship Program. Each Graduate Gram is hand-prepared for its recipient and acknowledges the sender. All proceeds go to the PTA Council Community Scholarship Fund, which provides more than 30 scholarships to graduating MIHS seniors.

Graduate Grams may be sent to fifth and eighth graders, college graduates and, of course, high school seniors.

E-mail for an order form.

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