News of the achievements of local students and members of the Armed Forces.
** Alex Dacey of McLean, Sabrina Rummani of Great Falls, Aadith Charugundla of Vienna, Connor Gephart of Vienna, Edrick Nguyen of Vienna and Lydia Keffer of McLean have been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Rochester Institute of Technology.
** Charles Williams of Vienna has been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Emerson College.
** Jon Bugge and Anna Shepherd of Great Falls; Micah Lapierre, Anna Romani and Lauren Shafer of McLean; Krista Wichterman of Oakton; and Katie Grisius, Alison Jung and Emma Smith of Vienna have been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Baylor University.
** Piper Phillips of McLean and Susan Winehardt of Vienna participated in the recent production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” at Emerson College.
** Samuel Williams and Tommy Williams achieved Eagle Scout status during a Court of Honor for Troop 128 held at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Georgetown Pike.
Samuel Williams’ Eagle project involved re-decking and re-railing a bridge that connects two schools in McLean.
“It fell into disrepair as there was a dispute over the bridge’s ownership; one school claimed it was the Park Authority’s responsibility to maintain, while the Park Authority claimed it was the school’s duty,” Samuel Williams said. “Meanwhile, the wooden bridge rotted and became a safety hazard.”
The Scout lobbied government officials for permission to repair the bridge, then planned the effort and recruited volunteers in support of it.
“While it was difficult and at times incredibly frustrating, it was the most rewarding project I’ve ever undertaken,” Samuel Williams said.
Thomas Williams’ Eagle Scout project included renovating and reorganizing a shed at the back of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church.
“The project took four months of planning and four days of work with the help of over 20 Scouts completing a total of 138 hours of service,” he said.
Serving as adviser and mentor during the project was Tommy Williams’ grandfather. “He had constructed three sheds from scratch in his time, and knew everything there was to know about this project,” the new Eagle Scout said.
The effort “really developed my leadership skills, and I hope I can plan on organizing something similar later on,” he said.
** The Fairfax County chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), recently presented two local students with the DAR Good Citizens Award in recognition of their outstanding qualities of good citizenship: dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.
The recipients, Kara Park of Oakton High School and Christopher “Bo” Kuhblank of James Madison High School, each received a certificate, DAR Good Citizen pin and a monetary award.
Park has excelled in her classes, which include Advanced Placement (AP) U.S. History, AP Chemistry, Japanese 3, and Photojournalism and Digital Art, DAR leaders said.
She has been a Girl Scout for 13 years, earning Bronze and Silver awards and soon a Gold Award for her project to create first-hand historical accounts from people who grew up in Oakton and people from other parts of the world now living in Oakton. The initiative will provide a collection of primary resources for Oakton High School’s social-studies department.
Park is president of the school’s Computer Graphics Club, vice president of its National Art Honor Society, and editor in chief of the Oakton High School yearbook. She also is the public-forum coach in the school’s Debate Club, where she trains novice debaters. She plans to major in public administration or political science in college.
Kuhblank has earned the respect of his teachers for his superlative work ethic, character and his enthusiastic leadership as someone who “lifts and motivates others around him,” his nominators said.
He is an Advanced Diploma candidate for 2022 and is also a student-athlete. Besides playing both varsity baseball and basketball and serving as captain on both teams, he is a lifeguard at his community pool during summers. His community-service activities include participating in Food For Others and serving as president of the Young Men’s Service League.
Kuhblank has participated in welcoming several Honor Flight arrivals at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. His conversations with those there inspired and instilled in him a deep pride in the U.S. and gratitude for its soldiers, his nominators said.
The DAR Good Citizens program and scholarship contest is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship. The program is open to all senior-class students.