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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom


Mayor Honors Outstanding High School Seniors

Tuesday April 15, 2008

46 Louisville Students to be Recognized at Tuesday Night Reception

Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced the recipients of the annual Mayor’s Outstanding High School Seniors award. Abramson will present the awards to 46 students this evening at 6:30 p.m., during a special reception at the Hyatt Regency of Louisville, 320 W. Jefferson St..

This year’s recipients include students who emigrated from Cuba, Nigeria, Cameroon, Nicaragua and Vietnam. The group also contains at least 10 Governor’s Scholars, a black belt in karate, the former top-ranked youth soccer player in Cameroon, two Eagle Scouts, a National Merit Scholar, a drama student who won a national Shakespeare competition, two students participating in the UPS School-to-Work program, and several teenagers who have overcome personal adversity to succeed in the classroom.

“Each year I look forward to this event because we are able to get a glimpse of the future of our community in the eyes of these phenomenal young people,” Abramson said. “Their commitment to their families, academics and community service is an example from which we all can learn.”Mayor Abramson congratulates Sherita Vernon from Southern High School.
The winners come from almost every public and private high school in Louisville. Each principal and guidance counselor in the city is asked to nominate a student for the award.

The Outstanding High School Seniors Award began in the mid 1980s, and when Abramson took office in 1986, he expanded the program to include more schools.

The presenting sponsor of this year’s event is AT&T.

This year’s winners and their accomplishments:


MAYOR’S OUTSTANDING HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS 2008


SADIE ASCHBACHER – MERCY ACADEMY
Sadie is a young woman who makes a commitment and follows through to the end. She comes from a family of six. With two in college, she knows money is tight. She believes this has helped her become more compassionate and understanding. She possesses a dry wit and wonderful sense of humor. Sadie is stable, dependable, self-motivated, trustworthy, and determined. She is one of Mercy’s finest.

ZACHARY BARNES – EASTERN HIGH SCHOOL
Zach is an excellent student who is involved in many organizations including the National Honor Society, Beta Club, Band and Chorus. Zach was one of 12 students nationwide to participate in the Bezos Scholars program, where he met General Colin Powell, Justice Stephen Breyer, Queen Noor, and Sir Richard Branson and other world leaders. Zach is currently directing Eastern’s “Big Idea” program.

CAMILLIA BELLAMY – CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
Camillia, a class valedictorian, has majored in the Dental Science Magnet program and volunteers in the “Smile KY” at the University of Louisville’s School of Dentistry. She is in the NHS and the Spanish Honor Society and serves as a volunteer tax preparer for students. A track team member, she runs cross country and throws the shot put and the discus. Camillia plans to attend U of L.

JOSH BENNET – ALFRED BINET SCHOOL
Josh is known at Binet for his gentle smile and warm heart while honing his skills as a landscaper. Josh is one who can teach those who will be the leaders of tomorrow to see the world differently by looking through his eyes.

ADAM BROWN – YOUTH PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL
Adam is an excellent student with a 3.39 GPA at the same time he stars in plays like “The Music Man” and “Hamlet.” He shares his talent with Louisville’s community theater programs. Perhaps Adam’s greatest achievement was winning first place at the English Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition over 16,000 other students.

AIMARA CEDENO – DOSS HIGH SCHOOL
Aimara is one of the most dependable, hard-working students at Doss. She is a class officer and is involved in the Student Council, the Writing Team, the yearbook and the Beta Club. She also enjoys the challenge of top-level course work. Aimara takes special pride in the fact that her family left Cuba, starting over in the U.S. Her success is attributed to her hard work, natural talent and work ethic.

JORDAN FEGER – SACRED HEART ACADEMY
Jordan is a motivated student who cares about others. Earning a 4.0, Jordan is a four-year member of SHA’s Community Awareness Club, volunteering at the Salvation Army and the Arcadia Community Center. An outstanding soccer player, she led the Valkryies in winning the state championship and was named the tournament’s MVP award. Jordan plans to attend Wake Forest on a soccer scholarship and is considering a career in Physical Therapy.

AMANDA FLENER – FAIRDALE HIGH SCHOOL
Strong academically, socially, athletically and emotionally, Amanda provides the entire package of a model teenager. She wears many hats well: Class officer, Governor’s Scholar, volleyball team captain, softball team member, and holding down a job outside of school. On top of this, she is easy to talk to. Amanda is proud to say that she is a hard worker and will be the first in her family to attend college.

ZACH FLOHR – LOUISVILLE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
Zach strives for excellence in every area. An Eagle Scout, Zach has demonstrated that he is well prepared for any challenge. Whether assisting students in the classroom, serving in the Louisville community or serving the less fortunate in foreign countries. Zach gives his best and helps others to do the same.

ETHAN FRANC – KENTUCKY COUNTRY DAY
You don’t expect the leading man in the school musical to also be a star performer on the wrestling team, taking AP Calculus and compiling a GPA of 4.0. Ethan has excelled in the Honors Humanities program and won the “Outstanding Ambassador” award at the KY United Nation Assembly. Outside school, Ethan volunteered over 80 hours with the Boys and Girls Club the past two summers. Ethan is the perfect embodiment of KCD’s motto “Citizen, Scholar, Steward”.

EBONY FRYE – LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL
Ebony strives for excellence, succeeds through opportunity, and shares her big heart with fellow students on behalf of others. At Liberty she is a writing lab mentor and volunteers at Churchill Park to assist students with severe mental and physical challenges. She was one of only two students to jump into the 36-degree Ohio River to raise money for the Special Olympics. Her personal writings and mandala artwork have been used instructionally across the district. Her service-learning project involved custom creating Build-a-Bear for children at Kosair Children’s Hospital.

DELANA GIDEONS – MALE HIGH SCHOOL
Delana has carried a 3.5 GPA through her four years and may pursue a career in education while attending U of L. While she is an “iron woman” in the classroom, she is also an “iron woman” at home. She suffered a stroke in December and was only out a very short time recovering. She is definitely a hero.

VICTORIA GREEN – WESTPORT TAPP
Throughout her school career, Victoria has been active with community activities. An active church member, she has volunteered in the Dare to Care program, volunteered at the Forum at Brookside and the Episcopal Church Home. She has been involved in many activities including the FCCCLA club, Shining Stars leadership team, SMART grant, dance team, senior committee, Advanced Women’s Choir and the debate team. She has maintained a 3.3 GPA while learning to be a wonderful parent to her infant son. She is determined to become an educator by attending IU Southeast.

EMILY HARROD – WHITEFIELD ACADEMY
Emily is a Governors Scholar, the class valedictorian, a member of the swim team and senior class president. She has a 4.0 GPA and has been on the principal’s honor roll for four years. Emily serves her church on the student leadership team and has participated in a number of mission trips. Emily is an outstanding young woman who plans to attend Western Kentucky University and become an elementary school teacher.

BRIQUELLE HOPPES – WALDEN SCHOOL
The faculty at Walden applauds Briquelle Hoppes for her tenaciousness and her conscientious approach to every school subject. Briquelle is president of her class and president of Walden’s chapter of the National Spanish Honor Society. Briquelle was a member of the dance team and participated in many intramural sports. She acts as ambassador during open house events and is noticeably supportive of her fellow students. Her personal time is spent as counselor and teacher at her church’s youth camp.

ERIC JARRARD – PLEASURE RIDGE PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Strong. Intelligent. Ambitious. All are adjectives that describe Eric. A 4.0 honors program student, Eric is determined to make it in college. Both an excellent student and football player, Eric doesn’t take shortcuts and he accomplishes all of the goals that he sets for himself. He was a leader on the football and track teams, Beta Club, and National Honor Society. A role model, Eric is always willing to help others.

JESSIE KENNEDY – SENECA HIGH SCHOOL
Jessie was named “most likely to succeed” by her classmates – who also chose her as vice president of the class for the past three years. She has maintained straight A’s with nearly perfect attendance and will be one of Seneca’s valedictorians. This year the band director chose her as drum major. Jessie not only is a great student but also a special teenager who continually gives back to her community by volunteering at St. Edwards parish.

BROOKE LAMKIN – BETH HAVEN CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Brooke is senior class president and valedictorian, with a 4.0 GPA. She belongs to the NHS and the Beta Club. Brooke has played volleyball and softball throughout high school earning Academic All-State recognition as well as All-Tournament and District/Regional awards. Brooke’s community service includes volunteering at Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital and being actively involved in her church youth group.

SHANNON MCDONALD – WAGGENER HIGH SCHOOL
Shannon has worked hard to maintain a GPA that lands her in the top 8 percent of her graduating class. She has been an integral part of the Band and Drama Club, and this year produced her own play as her senior project. Shannon was a Governor’s Scholar and a participant in the Tourism Honors Academy. She continues to volunteer for several local charities and civic organizations including the Salvation Army, Dare to Care and St. Athanasius church.

MARIA LOHR – ASSUMPTION HIGH SCHOOL
Maria is a quiet leader, full of humility, enthusiasm and respect for others. She is polite, studious, articulate, and a 4.0 student who stands out in the way she interacts with others. A week-long inner-city immersion trip to spend time with the homeless men and women in our community opened her eyes. It not only made her aware of the seemingly insurmountable challenges these people face, but that they face them without bitterness. This valuable insight has cemented her commitment to service and social justice.

MEGAN LLOYD – SOUTH PARK TAPP
Megan completed her graduation requirements early, allowing her to participate in the UPS School-to-Work program. She has earned A’s in the program as well as A’s in each of her JCTC classes. Megan has testified before the state legislature to support a bill to provide financial support for programs of future TAPP students. Megan loves to play volleyball and finds time to participate in the school book club. Juggling her roles as a mother, a high school and college student and employee keeps Megan busy, but she never loses sight of her goals to attend U of L and become a teacher.

ABBY MILLER – ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL
Abby has discovered herself through community building efforts, social justice, environmental causes and political engagement. Whether working on the congressional campaign of John Yarmuth, organizing a successful sustainability fair at her church, lobbying in Frankfort against mountaintop removal or lending a hand at the Americana Festival, Abby is honing her skills as she tries to create a new vision for community service at St. Francis. And if you happen to be flying over the city, check out the school’s rooftop garden that Abby researched, planted and corralled volunteers to help.

WHITTEN MONTGOMERY – COLLEGIATE
Whitten is a dynamic, dedicated young woman with acting talent and a businesswoman’s savvy who formed a non-profit organization with her sister 10 years ago. The group, Kids Acting Against Cancer (KAAC), has grown from 10 to 250 students who perform plays with a message to raise money for young cancer patients. To date the group has raised over $200,000. The money is used for oncology equipment, KAAC packs, and fun activities for cancer patients. Money raised through this year’s production, Into the Woods, will help create at teen room at Gilda’s House.

PHILLIPE MOUNE – WESTERN HIGH SCHOOL
At the Elementary, Middle and High School levels Phillipe was ranked as the top soccer player in Cameroon, Africa. At Western, he has played varsity basketball and soccer. Philippe has maintained a 3.4 GPA and has had perfect attendance. Having learned English by watching movies, his teachers have noted that he has the highest average grade in each of his classes. Phillipe hopes to get a scholarship to attend college and major in business and finance.

JAMIE MULLETT – PRESENTATION ACADEMY
Jamie strives for excellence in everything she does. Her academic record is outstanding. Recognized as a natural leader, she has held elected position throughout high school and is currently President of the Student Council, Captain of the Field Hockey Team and coordinator of the tutoring program. Today’s Woman magazine gave Jamie the Today’s Girl award. Her achievements are remarkable in light of the fact that she battles an eating disorder openly and with a grace that is inspiring to her peers.

TRANG NGUYEN – BROWN SCHOOL
Trang has made an amazing contribution to both her school and community since moving here seven years ago. She has maintained a 3.7 GPA and is an active member of NHS and Beta Club, and belongs to the Minorities Teacher Recruitment Program. She has volunteered at nursing homes, supplied food for the hungry and homeless and raised money for orphanages in Africa. Her passion is the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society which focuses on teaching youth to be virtuous people. Trang hopes to earn a PhD to become a pharmacist or have a career in the health industry. She plans to major in chemistry or biology along with business management.

JENNIFER NWACHUKWU – DUPONT MANUAL HIGH SCHOOL
This National Merit and Governor’s Scholar enjoys the challenge of top-level courses, is a member of the Beta Club, NHS and the Y-club which focuses on political/leadership skills. She has participated in the Congressional Student Leadership Conference and the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law. Jennifer is on the varsity track team and the school’s gospel choir. Jennifer’s father was killed in their homeland of Nigeria two years ago and she is motivated by his spirit that she feels lives within her.

RONALD OBANDO – JEFFERSON COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL
Ronald is an exemplary example of success in an alternative school. Ronald has the responsibility of taking care of his siblings and earning money for his family so he must work full-time to make ends meet. He takes his siblings to school every day before coming to class. In the three hours Ronald is at school he has earned 12 half-credits this year with a 3.2 GPA. Ronald, who is from Nicaragua, was raised in a non- English speaking home and took on the responsibility of teaching English to his siblings while honing his reading and writing skills.

ADAM ORR – ST. XAVIER HIGH SCHOOL
With his humble nature, you would never know that Adam is ranked number one in his class, is a National Merit finalist and a Governor’s Scholar. Nor would you know that he is a magician, has a black belt in karate, and plays the guitar and piano. While maintaining straight A’s and perfect attendance, he organized and performed at a concert for awareness of the atrocities in Darfur. Athletically, Adam is a member of the cross-country and track teams. Adam will be attending Duke University on a scholarship.

MEGAN PAYNE – JEFFERSONTOWN HIGH SCHOOL
This quiet, intuitive young woman is respected as a hard worker who has participated in more athletic, leadership and academic organizations that any other senior. As a member of the field hockey, soccer, volleyball, softball, basketball and cross-country teams, she is one of the most accomplished female athletes at Jeffersontown. Through her leadership activities like three-year class officer, student representative for the Title 9 Executive Board, two-year Beta Club officer, and team captain for softball and basketball, Megan has truly had an impact on her peers. Is it any wonder she was chosen “Miss Charger” for the senior class?

MYLES POOLE – DESALES HIGH SCHOOL
Myles is a dedicated student and an active member of the NHS and the school’s Key Club. His volunteer activities speak to the heart of this young man. He volunteers regularly at the St. Vincent DePaul Society, Dare to Care, Hazelwood Hospital and YMCA. Myles is in the Habitat for Humanity club and participates as a pallbearer at pauper funerals. As a service project, he and another student have collected over 1,000 blankets for area homeless shelters. Myles is a respected athlete and was elected Offensive MVP and Team Captain.

MARK REEVES – ATHERTON HIGH SCHOOL
Mark maintains a 4.0 GPA in the International Baccalaureate Program and has been a four-year member of the school’s varsity Governor’s Cup Written Assessment Team and the Quick Recall Team. He is a Governor’s Scholar and has been a member of the concert band for three years. Mark has earned the level of Eagle Scout which is a testament to his leadership, honesty and trustworthiness.

ANNA ROARX – HOLY CROSS HIGH SCHOOL
Anna is smart, funny, industrious, kind, diligent and delightful. Anna’s GPA in the Honors Program places her 7th in her class. Equally impressive are her victories in sports -- and the leadership she exhibits everyday. Anna has led by examples of enthusiastic attitude and unconquerable spirit. She is co-chair of the Louisville Leadership Summit. Athletically, she has been a valuable asset and great teammate on the basketball team and is also the Class A defending State Champion in the shot put.

JACOB ROBBINS – TRINITY HIGH SCHOOL
Jacob is committed to serious academic work and is admired for his tenacity, clear thinking and good heart. He is a Governor’s Scholar, has a National Merit Commendation, and ACT composite of 34, a GPA of 3.99 and ranks ninth in a class of 320. Jacob is a stalwart lacrosse player. He has shown courage and maturity in dealing with personal challenges and remains even-tempered, truly charitable and inclusive in his attitude. He is a true example of the best in the spirit of Trinity.

DIANA SANCHEZ – SHAWNEE HIGH SCHOOL
This refugee from Cuba is enrolled in rigorous, academically challenging AP courses and finds time to serve on the Student Council, preside over the French Club, participate on the Math Team, and hold second board in the Chess Club. This Governor’s Scholar has perfect attendance, is a member of the NHS and a part of the University of Louisville’s Project Build. She also received U of L’s Yarmuth Book Award. Diana has three goals: to become fluent in French, to obtain her Private Pilot’s License and become a pharmacist. After receiving the prestigious Commonwealth Diploma she plans to attend U of L.

BROOKE SHARRARD – BUTLER HIGH SCHOOL
Intelligent, cheerful, friendly and outgoing, genuine, committed and dependable are just a few words used to describe Brooke. When Brooke graduates from Butler she will have a minimum of 18 college credit hours. She is a Governor’s Scholar, president of the NHS and active in the Beta Club, Leadership Academy, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Pep Club and Future Business Leaders of America. She also works 15 hours a week at a daycare center. Brooke plans to attend U of L to pursue her dream of being a pediatric dentist.

JESSICA STIVERS – IROQUOIS HIGH SCHOOL
Jessica passionately fights for the rights of others through her involvement in Amnesty International. One whose grandmother was a victim of domestic violence, Jessica spearheaded a letter-writing campaign to stop violence against women in Guatemala. Jessica is a bright, articulate personification of academic excellence as evidenced in her 4.0 GPA. She lost her father at the age of 9 and has assumed some of the care of her younger sister while her mother works at two jobs.

EMILY TAYLOR – BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL
A well-rounded student, Emily is President of the senior class, and is taking seven College Board Advance placement courses and is also an award-winning artist. She excels in science, having been recognized on the local, regional and state levels. Outside of Ballard she is a community volunteer, an acolyte at her church, goes on mission trips and is a tutor.

KEITH THOMPSON – AHRENS WORK TRANSITION PROGRAM
Kind, dependable and courageous describes Keith. Keith has assembled weatherization kits at Project Warm, assisted in the daycare at Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services and has served as an office assistant at Kosair Children’s Hospital. He has managed a near perfect attendance in school and works part-time at Wendy’s. Keith has recently made a courageous choice to live away from home. He serves our community as a valuable volunteer, respected employee and independent young adult.

SHERITA VERNON – SOUTHERN HIGH SCHOOL
Sherita is Class President, is in the Black Achiever Program, the Medical Explorers Program, the Distributive Education Club, and the Minority Teacher Recruitment Program. She is also a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council. She plans to attend either UK or Transylvania. With her academic abilities, strong work ethic and outstanding character, Sherita will be a valuable asset wherever she goes to college and whatever her future career choice may be.

NATASHA VETTER – CHURCHILL PARK
Natasha has a great personality and has gained work experiences from at least 10 different job sites. She folds towels and cleans exercise equipment at a fitness center, makes sandwiches for the homeless and sets tables for a weekly dinner at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. She can build trophies after many years working at two local sporting goods stores. Natasha participated in the Special Olympic Winter Games where she received silver medals in both the 50- and 100-meter snowshoe events.

DUSTIN WEBER – EVANGEL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Dustin has served the NHS as an officer for the past three years and currently is its president. He also has been president of the Beta Club. This young man has helped organize many service projects at the Ronald McDonald House, The Lord’s Kitchen and the TLC Crisis Food Program. He has been awarded the Class of Kentucky Award by the University of Kentucky. He is currently a participant in the UPS School to Work Program.

SAMANTHA WELLS – VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
Samantha has maintained a 4.0 and is an avid reader. She’s faced some family challenges including attending half a dozen schools in the first grade – but she has persevered. Through her struggles, she has learned how to approach people and tried to her best. She is highly determined and believes that she can overcome any obstacle that comes her way. She is currently writing her memoirs and believes she has an uplifting survival story to tell.

STEPHEN WELLUM JR. – PORTLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Joel has been running on the Cross Country team since middle school and is the current school record holder. He is a three-time Class A Regional Champion and two-time First Team All State member. Joel is a Governor’s Scholar, president of the NHS, scored a 30 on the ACT and will be co-valedictorian. His ready smile, laugh, and encouraging personality make him a joy to be around. Joel plans to further his academic and running career at Union University majoring in history and political science in his quest to be a lawyer.

CARRIE WOODS – MOORE HIGH SCHOOL
Carrie is a role model in the classroom, a leader in athletics, and dedicated to succeeding even when the obstacles seem numerous. Though challenging herself with the most difficult courses, her dedication has helped her become a candidate for valedictorian. Outside the classroom, Carrie is a member of the volleyball team, Beta Club, Student Council, and yearbook staff. Her involvement includes leadership positions and community service. Having to adapt after her father suffered a stroke has been an emotional struggle but Carrie has proven herself time after time.

JOSHUA YOUNG – FERN CREEK HIGH SCHOOL
Joshua has outstanding test scores and a 3.7 GPA. He has consistently been on the honor roll and is an involved member of the Math Club, PTSA, Weightlifting Club, FCA and Spanish Club. Not only is he self-disciplined academically, he holds a black belt in karate and is a karate instructor. He is the Senior Class first Vice President, President of the Frisbee Club which he co-founded and a valuable asset to the Renaissance Leadership Team. He is truly an outstanding role model for young people.