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Island briefs

Perryman receives Lincoln Award

The Mercer Island Republican Women are proud to honor Sean Perryman with the 11th annual Lincoln Award. Perryman will receive a $1,000 college scholarship and “Words Lincoln Lived By,” a book about Lincoln. His name will be posted on the Lincoln Award Plaque at Mercer Island High School, and he will be recognized at the high school’s Awards Breakfast on June 6. Perryman’s winning essay, titled “The Separation of Church and State,” addresses religious liberty as intended by the founders as opposed to the more recent reinterpretation of Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Church.

The Lincoln Award is given to further students’ knowledge of U.S. history, recognize outstanding student scholarship and encourage independent thinking. The winner is selected after students submit an essay that is reviewed by a MIRW committee. This year, the committee received a record number of essays.

Perryman received the 2008 Mercer Island Community Scholarship Award from the Mercer Island PTA Council for outstanding attitude, effort and achievement for a social studies scholarship. He also received the MIHS baseball coaches and players distinguished “Mr. Islander” award for outstanding performance and team sportsmanship. He has been selected to play on the KingCo School All-Star game and invited to play on several select baseball teams this summer.

Perryman is the son of Rev. Wayne Perryman and is a young Republican. He has worked on a multitude of community service and fundraising projects since he was 7 years old, including a project to build a teen center for inner city teens with his father. He has helped the needy during the holiday season and raised money for African children who were victimized by war.

Perryman will attend Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., this fall, where he plans to major in business and marketing, and join the college baseball team.

Lions Club awards

The 24th annual Lions Club student awards were presented this month to four Mercer Island High School students, Alexandra Grohnke, Tyler Benster, Kaylia Balinbin and Aaron Poor, in honor of their contributions to the school and community.

Grohnke, a senior, is a Natural Helper at MIHS, where she has played on the soccer, cross country and track and field teams. She participates in the Race for the Cure with her mother and grandmother, and has been involved with Relay for Life and Habitat for Humanity. She plans to attend Western Washington University this fall.

Benster, a junior, is a BRIDGES leader and the captain of the debate, cross country, and men’s swim and dive teams at MIHS, as well as a KingCo finalist in track and field. He is also a U.S.A. Swimming Scholastic All-American, National Honor Society member and VOICE volunteer, and he qualified for the state debate tournament and won the top speaker award at the University of Puget Sound Forensics Tournament.

Balinbin is a sophomore who has won several awards for her involvement on the MIHS volleyball and basketball teams, including Most Valuable Player and the Coaches Award, in addition to the Archdiocese of Seattle’s Sportsmanship Award. She is a math tutor, Mass cantor, alter server, Relay for Life team captain and waitress at parish events and dinner theaters who also coaches middle school girls volleyball and J.R. Hoopsters children’s basketball. She has volunteered with Northwest Harvest, the Sparrow Club and the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour, and participated in “Adopt a Family for Christmas” and giving Easter baskets to underprivileged children.

Poor, a freshman, is an ASB representative, Natural Helper and member of the cross country and track and field teams at MIHS. Through Mercer Island Parks and Recreation, he is a Counselor in Training and is involved with the summer volunteer program on the Island. At Temple B’nai Torah, where he is a member of the youth group, he has assisted with Sunday School. He has also participated in fundraising for the Children’s Hospital Guild Foundation and Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

The Lions Club, which stands for “Liberty, Intelligence, Our Nation’s Safety,” participates in and promotes community projects.

American Association of University Women

On April 23, three young women from Mercer Island High School — Michele Zemplenyi, Ladan Mozaffarian and Tamara Babenko — were honored by the American Association of University Women for their academic success in math, science or technology. The students were distinguished before the organization, a national group that promotes education and equity for all women and girls.

Tolkin honored

Mercer Island High School senior Brian Tolkin won a $10,000 scholarship from AXA Financial Protection for his leadership and community service. One of 52 students chosen nationwide, Tolkin was distinguished for “using his love of boating to get more than 1,000 cancer patients onto the water.” Winners demonstrate drive and determination to succeed, the ability to thrive in a college environment, and respect for self, family and community. The $10,000 award will go toward Tolkin’s college education.

Washington Scholars

Mercer Island High School seniors Brian Tolkin and Sherrie Hsu have been distinguished as Washington Scholars, an award designed by the Association of Washington School Principals and the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board. In total, 147 graduating seniors across the state were honored with the distinction. In reward for their academic caliber, the students won full scholarships to any Washington public or private college. The youth were recognized at a ceremony on April 30. Gov. Chris Gregoire and State Superintendent Terry Bergeson attended the event, among other public figures.

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