2009 All-Tribune Scholars - East Valley Tribune: News

2009 All-Tribune Scholars

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Posted: Saturday, May 16, 2009 4:59 pm | Updated: 2:54 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The Tribune has selected five outstanding graduating high school seniors as the All-Tribune Scholars of 2009. The students, nominated by their schools, were chosen based on their scholastic accomplishments, and school and community activities. They represent some of the best academic talent in East Valley high schools.

Of the five top scholars, Judy Zhang of Chandler High School was named All-Tribune Scholar of the Year.

What follows are profiles of Zhang and our All-Tribune Scholars, information on our nominees, and graduation listings for high schools in Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek and Apache Junction. It’s possible we may have missed some schools. If yours is not included, please let us know and we’ll try to include it next year. Contact assistant editor CeCe Todd at (480) 898-6820.

Chandler’s Zhang strives for perfection

Chandler student has eye on policy making

Mountain View senior intrigued by brain, mind

Lopez mastered language, then mastered academics

Celaya driven by passion to learn

East Valley high school graduations

Congratulations 2009 All-Tribune Scholars and graduating seniors!

All-Tribune Scholars nominees

Lindsay Adair

Apache Junction High School, Apache Junction Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Mike and Karen Adair

GPA: 4.17

Honors/Awards: Scholar-Athlete Award 2006, AP Scholar 2008, AJHS Academic Decathlon captain 2008, Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

Ajjya Acharya

Mesquite High School, Gilbert Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Ram and Anita Acharya

GPA: 4.73

Honors/Awards: salutatorian, vice president of Key Club, Academic Decathlon, New Global Citizens, Advanced Vocal Ensemble, National Honor Society, Gilbert Golden Scholar, AP Scholar with Distinction

Arati Babaria

Basha High School, Chandler Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Rupal and Chutur Babaria

GPA: 4.85 weighted

Honors/Awards: valedictorian, Catalyst Award, Leaders in Training award for community service, first place at Hamilton Invitational Science and Engineering Fair (2008), third place in Central Arizona Regional Science Engineering Fair

Katherine Ann Baglini

Seton Catholic Preparatory High School, Chandler

Age: 17

Parents: James and Patricia Baglini

GPA: 4.0

Honors/Awards: Notre Dame Summer Scholars, National Honors Society treasurer, Spanish National Honors Society president, Life Teen Notre Dame Leadership Conference

Bianca Ballejos

East Valley Academy, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Alex and Celesta Ballejos

GPA: 3.6

Honors/Awards: LaMesita Homeless Shelter volunteer, student council historian

Casey Benford

Dobson High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Corey and Carmen Benford

GPA: 3.7

Honors/Awards: National Honor Society, Dick Pallas Award winner for Dobson 2009 recognizing the senior outstanding athlete, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, varsity swimming, baseball and basketball all three years

Lauren Buethe

Dobson High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Steve and Linda Buethe

GPA: 3.98

Honors/Awards: National Merit Commended Scholar, National Honor Society, Mesa Mayor’s Youth Committee, orchestra/symphony, We the People team

Samantha Collins

Westwood High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Sally Pickett

GPA: 4.47

Honors/Awards: Top 20 graduate; Child Crisis Center volunteer; Mutt Ford Memorial Award; All-Region volleyball, first team; All Region soccer, second team; National Honor Society; United States Track and Field Junior Olympics, second in heptathlon; United States Track and Field Youth Nationals, second in long jump

Zachery Decke

Apache Junction High School, Apache Junction Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Kurt and Carmen Decke

GPA: 4.14

Honors/Awards: AP Scholar, 1st 2009 Team Winner Central Arizona College Math Contest, Boys State

Andrew Donald

Mountain View High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 17

Parents: David and Lawson Donald

GPA: 4.306

Honors/Awards: National Merit Finalist, Arizona Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra, 2008 National Old Time Fiddle Contest Best Male Entertainer Award

Chelci Fadden

Desert Hills High School, Mesa, Gilbert Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Ray and Shauna Fadden

GPA: 4.021

Honors/Awards: Arizona State University Presidential Scholarship

Dennis Aaron Fries

Chandler High School, Chandler Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Lori and Chuck Fries

GPA: 4.75

Honors/Awards: A3F 24-Hour Short Film Challenge (top 12 finalist); Angels in Action first place winner; Anne Frank Community Service Award; founder, president and public speaker for Operation Noah; Hamilton Invitational Science and Engineering Fair, second place

Lauren Gale

Higley High School, Gilbert, Higley Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Val and Tonya Gale

GPA: 4.29

Honors/Awards: MVP in volleyball, basketball and pole vault, holds school record for long jump, sprint medley and six-time school record holder for pole vault, placed third in state in pole vault, three scholarships to University of Memphis Honors College

Maryam Gilpatrick

Gilbert High School, Gilbert Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Marjaneh and David Gilpatrick

GPA: 4.51

Honors/Awards: AIMS High Honor Tuition Waiver Candidate, ASU President’s Scholarship, Maricopa Community College President’s Scholarship, UA Wildcat Excellence Award, Top 2 percent

Zakary J. Hambsch

Hamilton High School, Chandler Unified

Age: 18

Parent: Julie Hambsch, Tim Hambsch

GPA: 4.61

Honors/Awards: ASU President’s Scholarship; East Valley Tribune 2008 High School Football Player of the Year; Fiesta Region, Class 5A Division I, Most Valuable Player, 2008; Class 5A All-State Football

Lexis Hanson

Queen Creek High School, Queen Creek Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Sheila Hanson

GPA: 4.15

Honors/awards: state officer for DECA, nine DECA awards for work on various business, marketing, and service projects at local and state levels.

Beth Harasha

Mesquite High School, Gilbert Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Gregory and Sallie Harasha

GPA: 4.167

Honors/Awards: President of MHS Cares Community Service Club, Golden Scholar, National Honor Society, Student of the Month, HOBY recipient, Top 10 percent state math test

Dominique Inguito

Queen Creek High School, Queen Creek Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Danielito and Nornita Inguito

GPA: 4.02

Honors/awards: top award at Careers through Culinary Arts Programs competition, full-ride bachelors degree scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America in New York

Shannon Jewell

Skyline High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Linda and Daniel Jewell

GPA: 4.347

Honors/Awards: National Merit Finalist, drum major, Regional Honor Band, National Hispanic Scholar, National Honor Society, Boeing Merit Scholarship

Karylann Kwasny

East Valley Academy, Mesa Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Deborah Bonham and Robert Kwasny

GPA: 3.5

Honors/Awards: Presidential Scholarship for Maricopa County Community College District, animal shelter volunteer, Rotary student of the month

Nathan Larsen

Mesa High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Patricia and Timothy Larsen

GPA: 4.611

Honors/Awards: valedictorian, President’s Scholarship ASU, Arizona Board of Regents Tuition Scholarship, Eagle, student body treasurer

Than Le

Higley High School, Gilbert, Higley Unified

Age: 19

Parents: Khanh Le and Nao Nguyen

GPA: 4.09

Honors/Awards: math honors in junior year, presidential scholarship from Chandler-Gilbert Community College, overcame language obstacles and started taking honors classes his junior year

Erica Low

Skyline High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Anne and Steve Low

GPA: 4.383

Honors/Awards: Youth Symphony of the Southwest, principal clarinet; Carnegie Mellon University, pre-college program; Arizona Ambassadors of Music European Tour, first chair clarinet; National Merit Finalist

Kaylin M. Lucas

The American Leadership School, Gilbert, Eagles Aerie charter school

Age: 18

Parents: Kyle L. Lucas and Susan Lucas

GPA: 4.0

Honors/Awards: Thomas Jefferson Scholar, 3rd place robotics competition

Alissa Lynch

Desert Hills High School, Gilbert

Age: 17

Parents: David and Brooke Lynch

GPA: 4.0

Honors/Awards: Arizona State University Presidential Scholarship

Kristen Marquardt

Gilbert High School, Gilbert Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Susan and Mitchel Marquardt

GPA: 4.40

Honors/Awards: AIMS High Honor Tuition Waiver candidate, GHS Class of 1975 Scholarship, Gilbert Education Foundation Scholarship, Manuel Tapia Memorial Scholarship, Maricopa Community College President’s Scholarship, UA Wildcat Excellence Award, Top 5 percent

Samuel McGuffin

Gilbert High School, Gilbert Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Jennifer and James McGuffin

GPA: 4.39

Honors/Awards: AIMS High Honor Tuition Waiver Candidate, ASU President’s Scholarship, UA Wildcat Excellence Award, Top 5 percent

Laura McRae

Mountain View High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Brent and Robyn McRae

GPA: 4.550

Honors/Awards: Valedictorian, AP Scholar, Principal’s Pass, swimming varsity letter, Scholar Athlete Award (9-11), Science Bowl, Paz de Cristo volunteer

Aleah Montano

Learning Foundation & Performing Arts Alta Mesa Campus, Mesa

Age: 18

Parent: Judy Ann Thompson

GPA: 3.4 average

School comments: Aleah has juggled real-life issues, along with facing employment, all while maintaining high academic scholarship in school.

Megan Rose Nuttall

Highland High School, Gilbert Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Todd and Cheryl Nuttall

GPA: 4.738

Honors/Awards: valedictorian, AP Scholar with Honors, Gilbert Golden Scholar, and the BYU Heritage Scholarship award

David Ortega

Mesa High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Noe and Elsa Ortega

GPA: 4.512

Honors/Awards: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas Historian Award, Questbridge Scholarship for Yale University, Harvard University scholarship, Tutor for the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program

Ameya Pathare

Hamilton High School, Chandler Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Meera and Viren Pathare

GPA: 4.67

Honors/Awards: National Merit Scholarship Finalist; Public Forum Debate 5A State Competition, third place; We the People State Competition, third place; AP Scholar with Distinction, Boys State

Erica Perez

Hamilton High School, Chandler Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Sandra Luque and Rene Perez

GPA: 4.0

Honors/Awards: Recipient of Tier 1 Naval ROTC Scholarship to Stanford, member of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, offered appointment to the United States Naval Academy, United States Naval Academy Summer Seminar, National Outdoor Leadership School/Student Expedition Program

Amanda Pfeifer

Seton Catholic Preparatory High School, Chandler

Age: 17

Parents: James and Frances Pfeifer

GPA: 4.0

Honors/Awards: UA Wildcat Excellence Award; College of Science Bonnevie Scholarship, University of Arizona; Arizona State University President’s Scholarship; $10,000 Award for Academic Excellence at Colorado State University, 2008 Star Award in martial arts

Jamison Post

East Valley Academy, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Matt and Cindy Post

GPA: 4.04

Honors/Awards: valedictorian, Excellence in Service Learning, senior class president

Zion Rempel

Basha High School, Chandler Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Brenda and Mark Rempel

GPA: 4.59

Honors/Awards: ASU Presidential Scholarship, student body president, AP Scholar, Eddie Basha Award, Africa Basha Project 2008-09

Madelyn Reynolds

Skyline High School, Mesa

Age: 18

Parents: Patrick and Elizabeth Reynolds

GPA: 4.446

Honors/Awards: valedictorian, drum major, All Region Honor Band, National Merit Commended Scholar, Thomas Eliot Scholarship for Washington University in St. Louis

Manuel H. Rodriguez III

The American Leadership School, Gilbert, Eagles Aerie charter school

Age: 17

Parents: Manuel H. Rodriguez Jr. and Tonya Rodriguez

GPA: 4.0

Honors/Awards: Eagle Scout, On My Honor, Duty to God, United States Heritage Award, Thomas Jefferson Scholar

Bailee Roth

Dobson High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Daniel and Patty Roth

GPA: 3.95

Honors/Awards: National Honor Society, 2009 Lady Mustang award recognizing outstanding senior female athlete, Link Crew, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, four-year letter winner for swimming, first team All-Region Team for basketball

Catherine Sadar

Mesa High School

Age: 17

Parents: Stephen and Mary Sadar

GPA: 4.44

Honors/Awards: National Merit Scholar, All-Region and All-State band, drum major

Amanda Scruggs

Red Mountain High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Mark and Sue Vermeeren, John Scruggs

GPA: 4.0

Honors/Awards: speech and drama scholarship, National Youth Leadership Conference-Award for Achievement, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control volunteer

Ethan Sheffield

Red Mountain High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Alan and Kathryn Sheffield

GPA: 4.660

Honors/Awards: valedictorian, National Merit Finalist, National Honor Society, Distinguished Delegate for Model United Nations

Chelsea Sieck

Desert Hills High School, Gilbert

Age: 17

Parents: Christine Sieck

GPA: 3.3

Honors/Awards: Principal’s List and Honor Roll, nominated for Student of the Month and Spirit of Leona

Lakshmi Sivaguru

Basha High School, Chandler Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Mathangi and Ram Sivaguru

GPA: 4.6383

Honors/Awards: National Merit Scholar, National Honor Society president, coordinator for Smiles for Christmas project, drum major, AP Scholar

Kari Sleezer

Gilbert Early College, A Leading Edge Academy charter school

Age: 17

Parents: Dan and Lisa Sleezer

GPA: 4.19

Honors/Awards: Early Graduate Scholarship Grant for graduating a semester early; started the Early College Program offered by the school and took 27 credits at Chandler-Gilbert Community College while enrolled in high school; High Honor Roll

Vijesh Tanna

Red Mountain High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Anant and Praksha Tanna

GPA: 4.327

Honors/Awards: President’s Volunteer Service Award, Prudential Spirit of Community state finalist, Lowes Community Scholarship finalist, Eagle Scout

Megan Traichal

Queen Creek High School, Queen Creek Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Elizabeth Ridout and Patrick Traichal

GPA: 4.65

Honors/awards: valedictorian, National Merit Finalist, Art Achievement Award, Academic Decathlon awards

Caitlin Turner

Apache Junction High School, Apache Junction Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Mark and Pam Turner

GPA: 4.10

Honors/Awards: National Merit Commended Student, Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership school representative, drum major

Rachel Waldon

Gilbert Early College, A Leading Edge Academy charter school

Age: 17

Parents: Greg and Johna Waldon

GPA: 4.17

Honors/Awards: Student of the Year, Junior of the Year, Citizenship, Biology, Earth Science, Government, Advanced Math, Spanish, Academic Excellence, and High Honor Roll, spearheaded a dance club

Garhet Wright

Westwood High School, Mesa Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Christina and Jim Wright

GPA: 4.2

Honors/Awards: student body president, Eagle Scout, varsity football, Boys State, ASU Leadership Scholarship program finalist, Dr. Voei Stuart Chase Coy Scholar-Athlete Award from the Arizona Interscholastic Association, Wendy’s Heisman State finalist

Hesu “Kevin” Yang

Mesquite High School, Gilbert Unified

Age: 17

Parents: Jicheng Yang and Wei Su

GPA: 4.79

Honors/Awards: valedictorian, Seimans AP scholarship, National Merit Finalist, numerous Academic Decathlon and math awards, National Honor Society officer, state math contest winner, Homecoming King, accepted to MIT, Yale, Duke, Cal Tech, Vanderbilt, Dartmouth, Northwestern, University of Chicago, Washington University and Rice

Kevin Zeck

Seton Catholic Preparatory High School, Chandler

Age: 18

Parents: Susan and Gary Zeck

GPA: 4.0

Honors/Awards: ASU President’s Scholarship, National Merit Commendation, American Legion Boys State group, Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award from the University of Rochester

Amanda Zehring

Higley High School, Gilbert, Higley Unified

Age: 18

Parents: Timothy and Katrina Zehring

GPA: 4.52

Honors/Awards: AP scholar with honors, admitted into W.P. Carey School of Business and Barrett Honors College at ASU, Presidential Scholarship

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