News of the achievements of local students and members of the Armed Forces.
** Frederich Lightner of Vienna has been named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Loyola Marymount University.
** Joseph Horsfield of McLean earned the Enlightened Leadership Award and Helen Pelak of McLean was named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll during the annual Honors Day convocation held at Kalamazoo College.
** Mary Campion of McLean and Matthew Fong of McLean have been named to the James Madison University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest honor society for all academic disciplines.
** Audrey Saliba of McLean has been inducted into the Women’s Business Honor Society at the University of Scranton.
** Sophia Bernstein of McLean is participating in Hamilton College’s Academic Year in Spain program for the spring semester.
** Christian Tesnow of Great Falls is part of a team of students from Ohio Wesleyan University who traveled to the Lakota Nation in South Dakota as part of a Spring Break Service Week program.
The group worked with the nonprofit Lakota Youth Development, located on the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation, which works to reclaim Lakota language, culture and spirituality among youth through education and healthy lifestyles.
** Alexandra Eldredge of McLean has been named to the headmaster’s list for the first semester at Worcester Academy.
** Dranesville Elementary School fourth-graders Naya Kwitowski, Capri Swinton and McKell Poulton placed second in the Elementary Group Exhibit category of the annual Virginia History Day District 5 competition.
Their project focused on Harriet Tubman.
As one of the top three teams in the category, the students will move on to state Virginia History Day competition, to be held at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond April 23-24.
Virginia History Day is an affiliate of the National History Day Contest, founded in 1974 to inspire students to conduct original historical research. Each year, more than a half-million students take part.
“Creating a project for the National History Day contest is challenging. It requires hard work and dedication. But it also provides great reward,” said Cathy Gorn, executive director of the national competition.
The theme for the 2022 competition is “Debate & Diplomacy in History: Successes, Failures, Consequences.”
“The skills of conducting research and recognizing credible sources are crucial to increasing civic engagement in young people,” Gorn said.
A total of 280 students representing 27 schools in Northern Virginia competed at the district level. In Northern Virginia, partners to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture in the competition include George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the Office of Historic Alexandria and Fairfax County Public Schools.
For a complete list of Virginia award recipients, see the Website at https://virginiahistory.org/VHD.
** Jada Elfar, a seventh-grade student in Shawn Ratliff’s civics class at the King Abdullah Academy in Herndon, recently was named the winner in several levels of the American Legion Department of Virginia Middle School Essay Contest.
The contest was open to all Virginia middle-school students, whether in public or private schools. Each essay, which had to start with the phrase “I like living in America because . . . ,” had to be completed in class as an assignment and had to be less than 160 words.
Elfar first competed against all of the students in her class and three other civics classes. After Ratliff graded her essay as the best out of both of his civics classes, Elfar’s essay also was judged the best in the school by principal Noha Elghosein and middle-school assistant principal Deborah Mohammed.
After winning at King Abdullah Academy, Elfar’s essay was sent to the American Legion Post 270 in McLean, where it was placed in competition against essays of local middle-schools, such as Longfellow and Cooper. Her entry won first place again, along with a certificate and a cash award.
After this second victory, Post 270 sent Elfar’s essay to the American Legion 17th District, which oversees 17 American Legion posts in the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church and the counties of Arlington and Fairfax. Elfar’s essay again won first place, plus another certificate and financial award.