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Thursday, March 30, 2023
FairfaxEducationSchools & Military, 6/2/22 edition

Schools & Military, 6/2/22 edition

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News of the achievements of local students and members of the Armed Forces.

• Victoria Burkhart of Vienna earned a master of science degree in bioengineering during recent commencement exercises at Wilkes University.

• Batmunkh Enjhbold of Vienna earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics during recent commencement exercises at DePauw University.

• Brian Anderson of Vienna earned a bachelor of music degree in viola performance during recent commencement exercises at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.


Anderson was recipient of the Azalia H. Thomas Prize as the instrumentalist achieving the highest grade-point average in music theory among bachelor of music graduates.

This summer, Anderson will attend the Fellowship String Quartet program at the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival in Wisconsin; in the fall, he will pursue a master of music degree at Stony Brook University.

• Price Seymour of Vienna earned a degree during recent commencement exercises at Grove City College.

• Elizabeth Manero of McLean, Katherine Monacella of Vienna and Nell Plante of Vienna have been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at the University of Vermont.

• Abigail Harnisch of Oakton has been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Saint Mary’s College.

• Samantha Judis of Vienna, Caroline Spann of Vienna, Tala Toubassi of Vienna, Joshua Markwood of Vienna, Nima Tuberson of Vienna, Anna Barker of Great Falls, Kristina Burry of McLean, Erica Chambers of Vienna and Robin Carleton of McLean have been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Radford University.

• Olivia Kloster of McLean, Anton Kopti of McLean, Kelsi Listman of Vienna, Robert Tucker of Vienna and Caroline Warren of Dunn Loring have been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Bridgewater College.

• Isabel Church of Vienna and Price Seymour of Vienna have been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Grove City College.

• John Cothran of Vienna has been named to the dean’s list for the spring semester at Hudson Valley Community College.

• Lee Ann Brownlee of Great Falls and Bruce Tanuous of McLean have been tapped to serve a four-year term on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill board of visitors. They are among 57 alumni and friends of the university to be selected.

“Selected members serve as ambassadors to inform their communities about the university’s priorities and, in turn, educate the university about how it can best serve those communities,” officials said.

• Oakton High School’s production of “The Addams Family” was named Best Musical in the inaugural Brandon Victor Dixon Awards, sponsored by Broadway at the National.

In addition, Joshua Lemon of Oakton High was honored as Best Actor for his performance in “The Addams Family” and Eileen Parks of Bishop O’Connell High School was named Best Actress for her role in her school’s production of “Little Women.”

Lemon and Parks received $2,000 scholarships and a trip to New York City, where they will represent the Washington region at the annual Jimmy Awards (National High School Musical Theatre Awards).

Among schools in the Sun Gazette coverage area, George C. Marshall High School’s production of “A Year with Frog and Toad” was a finalist (along with O’Connell’s “Little Women” and Oakton’s “The Addams Family” and other shows) for the Best Musical Award. Students performed on May 22 at the National Theatre.

The awards are named in honor of Brandon Victor Dixon, a Tony, Emmy and Grammy award-winner who hails from Gaithersburg.

• James Madison High School garnered a second-place award in the Virginia High School League’s (VHSL) 2021-22 Robotics Championship.

Schools from across the commonwealth were invited to submit portfolios of robotics work conducted throughout the school year, which were adjudicated by a panel of experts.

“We hope to return to an in-person event starting in spring 2023 and have many more schools participate,” VHSL officials said.

Robotics is the newest official activity for Virginia High School League schools. Winners of Trophy Class awards for 2022 were Blacksburg High School, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School and Osbourn Park High School.

• The McLean Area branch of the American Association of University Women recently gave its Student Inclusion Recognition Awards for 2022 to Olivia Zhang of McLean High School and

Talia-Rose Diorio of Langley High School. Zhang and Diorio each received a certificate of award and $100 at association’s May luncheon at Riverbend Golf & Country Club in Great Falls.

At the luncheon, Diorio shared her commitment to build equitable and inclusive systems by creating within Langley High School three initiatives: the African-American Alliance, Military Buddies Program and Equity Coalition.

Zhang, who is McLean High School’s Student Government Association president, described the Be a Good Neighbor Initiative, the Student of the Month Award and her role as CEO of Cancer Kids First, an award-winning international non-profit organization that supports pediatric-cancer patients.

The Student Inclusion Recognition Award was created to acknowledge highschool juniors’ efforts to make their school environments welcoming to all.

The application reviewers were Myrtle Hendricks-Corrales, Tom and Nina McVeigh, Mafalda Marrocco, Barbara Sipe and Ruth Nowjack-Raymer.
For more information about the AAUW McLean area branch, see the website at https://mclean-va.aauw.net.

• A number of local schools and their student-leaders partnered with EcoAction Arlington for an Earth Day climate-action and cleanup event on April 23 at Bon Air Park in Arlington, educating more than 300 community participants about climate change and how to convert homes and schools to using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.

“Changing your electricity subscription [to renewable] with Dominion Energy is such a great way to help with climate change,” said James Jackson, a 10th-grade student at Flint Hill School and organizer of the renewable-energy initiative.

“It saves so much carbon, and isn’t that expensive,” Jackson said. “It costs about $5 a month to convert an average household, which saves the equivalent of taking three cars off the road for a year.”

The event marked the first time local students have united from different Northern Virginia schools to call for using renewable energy.

“This is our future, and it’s our generation who will be paying the price for the damage we are doing,” Jackson said. “And it’s people with the fewest resources who will be paying the biggest price. If we can do something about it to help, that is what we are trying to do.”

Students were able to raise the remaining funds needed to convert the Upper School building of Flint Hill to 100-percent renewable energy for a year, saving about a million pounds of carbon.

“I had been trying to convert my school to using all electric buses, but was failing, because it was just so expensive,” Jackson said. “It has only taken a year to convert one of our school’s buildings, so I think this is a good way for other students to have a big impact. All you have to do is raise the money, and then the school makes a phone call to the electric company to change the energy subscription.”

The day included raffling off a one-year subscription to convert a home to 100-percent renewable energy. The winner, Shannon Wask of Alexandria, said she was excited about making her home more green.

“I had never heard of this before. Now that I know, I will never go back,” she said.

• Safe Space NOVA will host “Once Upon a Prom (and Party),” an inaugural inclusive prom benefiting LGBTQ youth in grades 9-12 across the region, on Friday, June 24 from 7 to 11 p.m. at The St. James in Springfield.

In addition to traditional prom-night activities like a DJ and dancing, event will feature advocacy, mental-health providers, a quiet-board-game room and local affirming organizations sharing information. There also will be door prizes, rock-climbing, a ropes course, drag shows and more.

For information, see the Website at https://safespacenova.org.

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