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Recognitions and awards for the Class of 2008
The 2008 senior awards breakfast was held last Friday, on the morning of graduation to a packed auditorium of students, faculty, family and friends. The early-morning event, its third year running, celebrated a mix of academic, philanthropic, artistic and athletic student distinctions.
The Presidents Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence, created for students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, was given to 168 seniors. The Washington State Honors Award, which recognizes the top 10 percent of Washington seniors ranked by a combined index of GPA, SAT and ACT scores, was delivered to 174 Islanders. Members of the National Honors Society and National Art Honor Society were applauded, along with the class valedictorians Taisha Barton-Rowledge, Brian Tolkin and Charmaine Ma and salutatorians: Joel Azose, Sherrie Hsu, Harry Spitzer, Victoria Bachman, Stephen Severson and Tara Vaziri.
A number of students were acclaimed for their philanthropic work. More than 100 MIHS graduates received Community Service Awards for devoting 80 hours or more of their time. The MI Republican Womens Club devoted this years Lincoln Award, recognizing a senior that shows individual expression and understanding of the Bill of Rights, to Sean Perryman. The Overlake Alumnae Panhellenic Scholarship and Daughters of American Revolution Good Citizen Award went to Kirsten Gradel and the Puget Sound Association of Phi Beta Kappa Book Award to Sara Stern. Sixteen Islanders of the Month were recognized by the Rotary club.
The Mercer Island Visual Arts League presented scholarships to Chris Chappelle, Ben Glassy and Kinsy Gross. Forty-five Mercer Island Community scholarships, worth $500 and designed for students demonstrating outstanding attitude, effort and achievement in academic areas from math to world languages, were announced.
Crest Learning Center congratulated Savannah Ray as the Founders Award recipient and Anna Reid was given the Jackie Jones scholarship. Rotary vocational scholarships, MIHS counseling department awards, and the Washington Principals scholars were also celebrated.
This years National Merit Scholars, those seniors who placed in the top 5 percent nationwide and top 1 percent statewide for their scores on the Preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test are: David Veith, Charmaine Ma, Ben Schoemaker, Christine Neary and Sara Stern. The finalists, semi-finalists and commended scholars for this award were also mentioned. There were more than 40 of them.
Islander Ruben Raychaudhuri and David Veith were recognized as this years National Hispanic Scholars and Michael Fanfant was given the National Achievement Scholar award, honoring the academic achievement of a black American high school student.
At the end of the breakfast, MIHS administrators announced the most anticipated awards: Islander memorial scholarships.
The Norrie Lamson Inspirational Award, in memory of this outstanding 1962 MIHS graduate, was presented to Sam Franklin. The Tyler Cox Memorial Award, which is voted on by seniors and recognizes an inspirational student with heart, school spirit, strong citizenship and devotion to family, community and country, was given to Morgan Schoenecker and Mihir Parikh. Ari Schorr received the Krishna D. Vara scholarship, exemplifying the values of perseverance, equality and strength and Sam Sussman received the Brett Storie Memorial Scholarship, which recognizes a student who has contributed to the growth of aquatics in any way on Mercer Island.
The Coaches Athlete of the Year award went to Leroy Lutu and Laura Maruhashi.
The Reporter will continue to report on graduations and awards over the next few issues. Readers are invited to send in news via our Web site at www.mi-reporter.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.