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Rotary Islanders of the month
The Rotary Islander of the Month award for November was given to Mercer Island High School seniors, Tyler Benster and Olivia Witter.
Benster won the top speaker award at the University of Puget Sound Forensics Tournament, placed first in the 2008 Eastlake Public Forum District Championships Debate 3A and won the Mercer Island Lions Club 2008 Most Outstanding Student Award. He is also a U.S.A. Swimming Scholastic All-American and a National Honor Society member. At MIHS, where he was named the Most Valuable Distance Runner in track, he is the captain of the cross country and men’s swim and dive teams; a band member; and a BRIDGES leader. As a VOICE member, he has volunteered with the Washington Trails Association, Northwest Harvest Food Bank, Mercer Island Summer Celebration, Elder Health NW, Books to Prisoners and Mercer Island Parks & Recreation. His field of interest is in mechatronics — mechanical and electrical engineering.
Witter is the president of the MIHS Debate Club; JV tennis team captain; and member of the Senior Service Club and the National Honor Society at the high school, where she organized a breast cancer fundraiser. She is also a student leader and confirmation mentor at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church; a student teacher in speech and debate; and an Island Sound Choir member. In her free time, she enjoys beta computer game testing, cooking and playing tennis. She plans to study management science and engineering or business at Stanford University, with the goal of creating educational computer games.