News of the achievements of local students and members of the Armed Forces.
• Sampath Goutham Gokeda of Vienna earned a master of science degree in information technology; Siva Reddy Mekapothula of McLean earned a master of science degree in information-systems security; Swati Maurya of Vienna earned a master of science degree in information technology; and Varun Kumar Reddy Cheekolu of McLean earned a master of science degree in information-systems security during recent commencement exercises at University of the Cumberlands.
• Katherine Snare of Vienna earned a bachelor’s degree in media arts and design, cum laude, and Francis Hawkins of McLean earned a bachelor’s degree in music, cum laude, during recent commencement exercises at James Madison University.
• Diane Stewart and Fernanda Agnes of McLean have been named to the president’s list and Christopher Chen of Vienna has been named to the dean’s list for the summer semester at Southern New Hampshire University.
• Mathieu Jugnet of Vienna, Meghan O’Brien of Vienna and Charles McGarry of Vienna have been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Seton Hall University.
• Ya Juan Liu of McLean, Manbir Sandhu of Vienna and Wyatt Sullivan of Vienna have earned awards of excellence at Western Governors University.
• Stephen Kennedy, a senior at Flint Hill School in Oakton, recently learned he had received a perfect 1600 score on the SAT he took at the school in late August.
“I worked pretty hard to achieve a score that I wanted,” said Kennedy, who recently turned 18. “I’d taken it a few times before and had always been pretty strong in math. I really wanted to focus on English, writing and grammar.”
He was among only 500 of the 2 million students who took the SAT this year to notch a perfect score.
Kennedy, the youngest of Maureen and Edward Kennedy’s five children, said his family values education.
He joined Flint Hill School as a junior kindergartner and said teachers there challenge students’ thinking.
“Being able to go to a school like Flint Hill for the past 14 years has helped me a lot,” he said.
Kennedy plays basketball at the school and is heavily involved in community service. He is president of the school’s Honor Flight Club, which supports military veterans, and is an ambassador for the Young Men’s Service League, members of which perform service along with their mothers.
Kennedy still is deciding which college he would like to attend. As for his future, “I’m thinking of doing something business-related,” he said. [–Brian Trompeter]
• Two hundred thirty-seven students from 18 Fairfax County’s public schools are among the semifinalists named by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
All semifinalists are eligible to compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarship awards worth nearly $28 million, to be awarded in spring 2023. Semifinalists advance to finalist standing in the competition by meeting high academic standards and other requirements including a recommendation from a high-school official.
National Merit Semifinalists from schools in the Sun Gazette’s coverage area include:
– Langley High School: Josephine Amspaugh, Ethan Bhatia, Michael Dzwonczyk, David Han, Ashley Khang, Eliana Lafleur, Amelia Lee, Stephanie Ma, Shriya Mani, Connor Oakes, Sumrath Pahwa, Alexander Pomper, Daliya Rizvi, Shaan Sabharwal, Jason Zhang.
– James Madison High School: Aditya Behera, Selena Cheung, Zachary Conroy, Nayan Iyer, Anne Krieger, Nathaniel Morin, Jennifer Munyan, John Obermann, Emery Stratman, Qijie Sun, Hannah Yeom.
– George C. Marshall High School: Suhani Desai, Dale Devinney, Natalie Ghofrany, Aakashi Jain, Deborah Kim, Eujin Lee, Charles McDermott.
– McLean High School: John Apigian, Nandita Boddu, Jeffrey Cheng, Noah Chin, Shubham Dey, Tejini Holavanahali, Everly Johnston, Yeonsu Ju, Sianna Khandhar, Kristina Knauss, Genavive Lotfi, Anna Raymond, Emanuel Rouvelas, Donghwa Shin, Zaylie Tamashiro, David Vergano, Michael Wang, Benjamin Woods, Emma Yang, Ethan Ye, Olivia Zhang, Ethan Zhou.
–Oakton High School: Pari Agarwala, Tina Gao, Elise Ha, Thomas Huitema, Cindy Li, Sean Noh, Lois Park, Iliana Rong, Ashley Shin, Theodore Yi, Alyssa Zhang.
–Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology: Suhani Aggarwal, Gabriel Ascoli, Rishik Balerao, Ananya Bandaru, Tarini Basireddy, Andrei Basto, Elise Bejtlich, Manav Bharath, Tanvi Bhave, Ethan Caldwell, Bradley Cao, Liam Carey, Noah Cha, Ellie Chen, Jeffrey Chen, Katelyn Chen, Qi Wei Chen, Ethan Chitturi, Jessica Chung, Garrett Cook, Riley Cooper, Audrey Czarnecki, Sauman Das, Vivian Denny, Kenneth Do, Audhav Durai, Amit Sai Erraguntla, Elisabeth Everhart, Daphne Feigin, Vivian Feng, Khushi Garg, Sophia Go, Grace Guan, Keira Hansen, Connor Harris, Katherine Hartley, Bryan Hong, Valentina Hong, Alan Hsu, Rachel Huang, Lauren Hyde, Arnav Jain, Tanish Jain, Timothy Johanson, Tanmai Kalisipudi, Mariska Kassi, Clara Kim, Matthew Kim, Sungjoon Kim, Sunglae Kim, Taein Kim, Sophia King, Irene Ko, Tejaswi Koduru, Aditya Kompella, Vishal Kotha, Anurag Kumar, Brian Lai, Jean Lavigne Du Cadet, Elliott Lee, Jordan Lee, Alex Li, Derek Li, Elizabeth Li, Elina Liu, Johanna Lohmus, Maya Makonnen, Nicolas Makovnik, Deccan Maniam, Vihaan Mathur, Satvik Matta, Zachris Matthews, Ehlaina McCaskill, Connor McKenzie, Katherine Merrill, Krisha Pahwa, Mulan Pan, Sravya Patibandla, Ridhi Pendyala, Cindy Peng, Nikhil Pesaladinne, Subrat Poudel, Keenan Powell, Aryan Rajput, Shashwat Rao, Prisha Ray, Anika Rekulapelli, Laura Ridgway, Cyrus Rivers, Nimesh Rudra, Thrisha Sakamuri, Isha Satapathy, Benoy Sen, Keertana Senthilkumar, Nihal Shah, Saloni Shah, Shruti Shah, Jerry Sheng, Andrew Shi, Savar Shrivastava, Mira Singh, Rishi Sripathi, Dhanbee Suh, Selina Sun, Anisha Talreja, Lynn Tao, Johnathan Tong, Henry Toth, Vincent Trang, Conan Ugaz, Suraj Vaddi, Niyathi Vadlapatla, Dante Valencia, Aditya Vasantharao, Akshay Vellore, Yuktha Vemula, Jonathan Vu, Claire Wang, Jessica Wang, Luke Wang, Kaia Wright, Richard Xu, Cindy Yang, Alexander Yao, Sophia Yao, Angela Zhang, Megan Zhang, Spencer Zheng, Brian Zhou, Elise Zhu, Isabella Zhu and Lilian Zhu.
More than 1.5 million juniors entered the 2023 National Merit program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as the initial screen of program entrants, and about 16,000 advanced to become National Merit Semifinalists.
• One of Fairfax County’s public schools has been named a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
Mosaic Elementary (formerly Mosby Woods Elementary) was one of only seven (six public and one private) schools from Virginia to receive the 2022 honor.
Up to 420 schools can be recognized annually through the program, although the number was lower this year.
“Blue Ribbon Schools have gone above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional and mental-health needs. These schools show what is possible to make an enduring, positive difference in students’ lives,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement accompanying the announcement of honorees.
Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools. The Department of Education recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on student scores (both overall and by sub-group) and graduation rates.