Outstanding Seniors 2006

Jefferson County


Lizette is an honor roll student and has received an award for her superior academic record, her attendance, and her positive attitude. Her parents own two restaurants, despite having limited educations and not being fluent English speakers. Lizette focuses on school, helping her parents at the restaurants and caring for her one-year-old son. She plans to study business administration - knowing that knowledge is the key to making a business thrive.

ROBERT BARNELL – St. Xavier High School

Recently named a National Merit Finalist, Robert is ranked tenth in his class. He has worked with the Catholic Charities Refugee School and with Latino families in Shelbyville who have moved to Greater Louisville as migrant workers. Robert has been a member of the Tiger Chorus for four years and works on the literary magazine. He has also achieved the status of Eagle Scout. He plans to attend Indiana University and pursue a foreign language degree.


Brandon is an honor student, takes advanced classes and participates in the UPS School to Work Program. He is a member of the Beta Club and the wrestling team. His display of sportsmanship is impeccable. Brandon is a quiet, bright, confident and charismatic young man. He completes tasks with a “never give up” attitude, despite any obstacles that have been thrown in his way. He plans to attend the University of Louisville in the fall to study business.

LAURA BINFORD - St. Francis High School

Laura is a serious scholar, an energetic leader and one of the funniest people around. Laura volunteers regularly at her church and is president of the Teen Board at Kosair Children’s Hospital. Though facing her own health issues, she never lets her condition slow her down. Her drive to overcome adversity has been a catalyst in her desire to help children who face hardships. She is passionate about bringing hope and joy in to the lives of others.

CALEB BROWN – Portland Christian School

Caleb has a 4.0 GPA, scored a 32 on the ACT (with a 34 in English) and was a National Merit Qualifier. He is also president of his senior class, is a charter member and president of Portland’s National Honor Socirty. He is the announcer for the school basketball team and won the regional science fair. He participated in the Governor’s Scholars Program at Centre College, is active in his church youth group and went on a mission trip to Mexico.

DAWN CARLSON – Christian Academy

Dawn is a person of great character and integrity with superior academic ability. She is dependable and accepts challenges well. Analytical, Dawn loves to solve problems and is a motivated learner - eager for new discoveries. She has a servant’s heart and has many volunteer service hours. Dawn has a bright future and with her strong character, scholarly attitude and leadership skills she will find success in college.

MERA CORLETT - Presentation Academy

Mera is an enthusiastic student, school leader, performing artist and community volunteer. This NHS member is a student ambassador and president of the Student Council. She performed with the Louisville Youth Choir and is a member of the Performing Arts Troupe. Mera volunteers one night each week to teach special needs children to dance. All of her accomplishments are especially remarkable considering she is dyslexic and has Tourette’s Syndrome.


Jennifer is vice president of the Student Leadership Team, chair of fundraising for FCCLA and is a student aide. Currently she is raising money for Fairdale Area Community Ministries and is planning a food drive for Kentucky Harvest. She also serves on Fairdale’s Youth Service Center Advisory Council. Jennifer has a 2-year-old daughter, is awaiting her husband’s return from Afghanistan and plans to attend Sullivan University to pursue a career as a chef.

AMY CRUSH – Assumption High School

Amy maintains a 4.0 GPA and is president of her senior class, captain of the field hockey team, member of the basketball team, a student tutor, peer leader and freshman orientation leader. Her high energy, pride in accomplishment, passion for leadership and love for athletics are kept in perspective with her light-hearted view of life. She is a young woman of integrity, inclusive of everyone and generally fun to be around.

COURTNEY DICKINSON – Western High School

Courtney has maintained a 3.4 GPA through high school, though it has been a struggle. She is an active member of FBLA, placing 3rd in the Word Processing Test. Courtney also passed the Kentucky Occupational Skills Standard Assessment. She is treasurer of her senior class and looks forward to the future. She is prepared to approach the challenges that come her way in a positive way and will strive to continue to better herself in all she does.


Jessi is a Governor’s Scholar who also attended the Governor’s School for the Arts as a student in the visual arts program. She has maintained a 3.9 GPA while participating in boys’ varsity soccer, girls’ varsity basketball, Kentucky United Nations Assembly, the school newspaper and the Spanish Club. She participates in Key Club and Beta Club service projects and volunteers at the Episcopal Nursing Home, the Louisville Nature Center and activities through her church youth group.

LEIDIANA ESCOBAR – Atherton High School

Liediana is a gifted and talented young woman, who shows excellent leadership skills as senior class president, president of the National Spanish Honor Society, student council representative, field hockey player, member of the knitting club and a peer tutoring advisory. She leads by positive example – challenging the senior class to be creative, as well as to try new activities. She is a dedicated to her education by enrolling in the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

TIFFANIE FOSTER – Seneca High School

Tiffanie embodies the characteristics of an outstanding senior. She as a 3.7 GPA, is a basketball player, coordinates the STAND program and overcame extreme shyness caused by a skin disease. She is highly respected for her outgoing personality and ever-present smile. She diligently promotes school spirit and has emceed pep rallies. Tiffanie is on the peer mediation team, is vice president of the senior and was nominated for the Brotherhood-Sisterhood Award.

KATELYN FRESHLEY – Butler Traditional High School

Katelyn currently has a 4.0 GPA. She has been a class officer for four years. She is president of the NHS; has been co-chair of the steering committee for the Louisville Girl’s Leadership Summit and is a worship leader in her church and a leader within Butler’s Theater Department. She has the integrity, heart and wisdom to be a major contributor in the political, educational and social fabric of the school’s community.

KATHLEEN FRIEND – Iroquois High School

Kathleen knows about life’s challenges. A brother born with a serious illness, a mom diagnosed with cancer, a father having a heart attack and a recent diagnosis of cancer herself has not stopped her. She is involved in volleyball, Beta Club and the NHS. She maintains a 3.29 GPA, takes on leadership roles in clubs and volunteers her time for community service. Kathleen plans to attend college and pursue a career where she can work with children.

MELISSA GAGEL – Waggener High School

Melissa is a bright, energetic and talented young woman. Melissa has a 4.0 GPA, has had perfect attendance for three years, is president of the Student Council, editor of the yearbook and editor of the school newspaper. She has also participated in the Red Cross Blood Drive. Melissa was named to the all-district softball team and the all-tournament volleyball. She is an excellent athlete, but her greatest strength is being a team leader and motivator.

CHONGYANG GE – Southern High School

Born in China, Chongyang came to the United State in 2002. This Governor’s Scholar is a member of the tennis team, Key Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Beta Club, Southern Math Team, Quick Recall Team, Mock Trial Team and NHS. She volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House, tutors children at the public library and serves as a translator for new Chinese immigrants. Chongyang maintains a 3.81GPA and scored a 28 on the ACT.

NATALIE GUTMANN – Whitfield Academy

Natalie has a 3.79 GPA and is a member of the Beta Club, tennis team and varsity swim team. She is involved in her church, is a lifeguard and helps with the Kentucky School for the Blind swim meets. Throughout high school, she has dedicated her community service hours to working with school tours, babysitting for her church and giving swimming lessons. She plans to attend college and major in math or science.

JOANNA HANNA – Evangel Christian School

Joanna is a 4.0 Governor’s Scholar, has served as secretary of the NHS and is in the Beta Club. She has volunteered at U of L and works in a chiropractic office. She has played volleyball and been a part of the choir at school and at church. Joanna will probably attend the University of Kentucky and pursue a degree in pharmacy. Evangel likens Joanna’s personal commitment to preserving our natural resources to that of environmentalist Rachel Carson and her leadership skills to those of Eleanor Roosevelt.


Patricia is captain of the volleyball team. Aside from spending hours at games and practices, her leadership skills and tenacity developed the Brown School’s most widely attended event – her production of the school talent show. She is a distinguished writer who exudes tolerance, empathy and compassion in many of her documents. She is a persuasive speaker, an unassuming partner and a benevolent leader.

ALLISON HARTMAN – Jeffersontown High School

Allison is the J-town Band’s Drum Major, the secretary of the Tri-M Music Society, president of the school’s Environmental Club and is a member of the Beta Club and NHS. She carries a 3.7 GPA, earning a Kentucky Commonwealth Diploma. She is a member of the Quick Recall Team - specializing in the humanities. Her favorite class is Spanish IV. Allison’s hoping to become fluent in Spanish. She plans to attend U of L and major in biological studies.

PETER HAYES – Trinity High School

An avid reader, Peter is ranked fourth in his class and has a 4.0 GPA. A Governor’s Scholar, he studied astronomy and science at Bellarmine. Peter is a house captain at Trinity, vice president of the NHS and leader on the state runner up cross country team. Very active in his parish and community, he enjoys volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. A gem of a guy, Peter exemplifies the best of Trinity’s school philosophy and mission.

XIAOJIA HUA – Manual High School

Feisty, industrious, assertive, very determined and independent, that is how friends and teachers descrive Xiaojia Hua. Upon entering Manual, she attended meetings of every club to see which ones maximized her talents. When looking for a place to volunteer, she walked throughout downtown to find her niche. She is a flutist at the Youth Performing Arts School and has a 3.8 GPA. She is a Governor’s Scholar, a Furman and Centre College Scholar and won first place in the Kentucky/Tennessee Key Club Oratorical Contest.

CYRA IRVING – Moore High School

Cyra utilizes her leadership skills as senior class president, Homecoming Queen, and as a member of the Student Council, NHS, and Minority Teacher Recruitment Program. She is a member of the writing team and participated in the Dow Jones Journalism Program at U.K. Cyra also participates in athletics and in drama - playing the lead in several productions. And to top it off, she made four touchdowns for the Senior Powder Puff Team.

TIM LICKEIG – DeSales High School

Tim carries at 3.94 GPA and is fourth in his class. He has been the spirited leader of the student section at ballgames. When he leads the COLTS cheer, he does so with heart-felt enthusiasm. He participates in varsity athletics and is a lead guitarist and vocalist in the World’s Most Dangerous High School Pep Band. Tim writes music and lyrics and performs it with abandon. He is the embodiment of DeSales Colt Pride and Spirit.

BRYCE MANGUS – Landmark Christian Academy

Bryce has had perfect attendance since fourth grade and carries a 3.66 GPA. He is a leader in the classroom and on the athletic field. He was captain of the soccer and basketball teams and the recipient of all-tournament and all-state awards in both sports. His civic involvement included assisting with the youth basketball program, ushering in his church and volunteering in the Adopt - a- Highway program and tutoring students after school.

KYLE MURPHY – Churchill Park School

Within two weeks of coming to Churchill Park, Kyle was on a first name basis with most of the staff and students. For several years, he has worked at Shively Sporting Goods, Ronald McDonald House, Humana, Cissnas’s and Arby’s with confidence and ease. Kyle participates in Special Olympics sports - with his favorite being skiing. He is a regular in the school’s talent show - with his moves that would put even Elvis to shame.

TRUNG NGUYEN – Shawnee High School

Trung, a native of Vietnam, has overcome language barriers to achieve academic excellence with a 3.58 GPA. He is enrolled in the aviation program and after graduation will be one of very few Vietnamese pilots in the world. He is a promising entrepreneur who started a computer business in his freshman year. He is also a highly successful chess player. Trung volunteers his time in his community and church through different activities.


Robbie is an amazing guy who emanates kindness, gentleness and determination. From his earlier years at Binet until now, he has shown improvement in doing his best at whatever task is asked of him. Robbie has managed to improve his work skills every year. He gets along so well with friends and co-workers. He is funny and is always a pleasure to be with. Robbie loves Binet and Binet loves him right back.

JUSTIN PEARCY – Liberty High School

Justin is always courteous, mannerly and the first to volunteer when help is needed. Over the past few years, Justin has been a part of the chess team. As a chess mentor at Southern Middle, he teaches problem-solving skills. He is a part of the yearbook staff and the prom committee. He recently starred in Grease at Presentation, he is a part of the Mayors Youth Cabinet and enjoys learning how the local government functions.

DANIEL RADER – Valley High School

Daniel is an exceptional person who carries a 4.0 GPA. His maturity and leadership stands out above his peers. He helps grade school students at River City Wrestling Club and is a member of his church’s praise band and youth group. Daniel plays an integral part in the Beta Club, NHS, the wrestling team and cross country team. He has been the captain of the wrestling team for four years and is captain of the cross country team this year.

STEPHANIE RILEY – Eastern High School

Stephanie is a student with genuine intellect and leadership abilities. She has a weighted GPA of 4.28, has been a class officer for three years and is president of Students Taking Action to Reach Society. She is a Governor’s Scholar and a National Merit Commended Scholar. She is co-chair of the Louisville Girl’s Leadership Summit, which addresses issues that concern women and girls. She has received the Henry Vogt Scholarship.

KAYLEIGH ROBERTS – Pleasure Ridge Park

Kayleigh is an exceptional young lady who ranks in the top 1% of her class. She has the drive necessary for success, an unbelievable work ethic and a determination to do her best. She is a member of the Student Council, Red Cross, Beta Club, NHS, KYA, KUNA and serves as a class officer. She plays varsity tennis and is an editor of PRP’s newspaper. She is a Governor’s Scholar and a natural leader with a strong sense of duty and integrity.

AMANDA SMOOT – KY School for the Blind

Amanda ranks third in her class and has been a member of the orchestra at Atherton. At KSB, she is captain of the track, cheerleading and goal ball teams. She represents female athletes on the Title IX committee, is a member of the NHS and participates in the Student Council and Drama Club. She is also an assistant Girl Scout Leader, a writer for the school publication and a volunteer at St. Joseph’s orphanage.

CLARA STAM – Louisville Collegiate

Clara is an Advanced Placement scholar with a perfect GPA. She’s earned 9 varsity letters and serves as the president of the Beta Club, vice president of the Science Club, a student Ambassador and member of Mock Trial Team, Philosophy Club and newspaper staff. Clara’s served hundreds of community service hours, helped organize the Louisville Girl’s Leadership Summit and plays several instruments. She models character, integrity and moral courage for the school community.

WHITNEY STEWART – Louisville Male High School

Whitney embodies the purpose of this award. She is inquisitive, enthusiastic, self-empowered from her life experiences, quick to lend a hand and has a positive outlook that lifts up others. Take heed, Mayor Abramson, Whitney would like to pursue a career in forensics and eventually becoming a homicide detective. She has the academic talents to do it and wants to work for you as a member of the Louisville Metro Police Department.

SARAH STRANGE – Holy Cross High School

Sarah has daily brought sunshine to the corridors of Holy Cross. She is a student leader as class vice president and is ranked fifth in her class. She has consistently been a role model as an athlete and sportsman, as a member of the field hockey team. Her intelligence, honesty, and personality have made her extremely popular with peers, staff and faculty. Quick with a smile or words of encouragement, Sarah is even quicker still to help in times of need.

FARK TARI – Manual High School

Fark has been described as persistent, brilliant and mature beyond his years. His family moved from Nigeria to pursue the American dream. His transcript is outstanding, but he has had to forgo extracurricular sports in order to work more than 25 hours a week to financially help his family. Fark has noted that his parents have struggled to provide him with opportunities they missed. He is motivated to do absolutely everything to succeed.

BRIAN THOMAS – Fairdale High School

Brian is one of those “dream students” - mature beyond his years, intelligent, motivated, well-rounded and compassionate. His diverse interests have led Brian into a wide variety of arenas - from music to sports to academics, while still maintaining a high level of community involvement. He can easily discuss a variety of issues, but is amazingly humble when it comes to his own achievements. His peers recognize him as a leader.

BINH TRAN – Central High School

Binh, a Governor’s Scholar, is an outstanding student who ranks first in his class, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. One of the most significant programs in which he has participated is the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). His HOSA honors include: the Youth Leadership Award, Silver and Bronze Achievement Awards and first place in Medical Mathematics. He plans to attend college and pursue a career in medicine.

JORDAN WATERMAN – Ballard High School

Jordan is the stand-out, all-around student of his senior class, a National Merit finalist and a competitive, nationally ranked swimmer, who spends almost five hours a day training. He has served as captain of the swim teams for two years, won a state title and was named to the all-state team. He has taken a leadership role in the development and implementation of the “Cookies for Cops” project. Jordan is committed to attend Harvard in the fall.

JOSEPH WEBB – Jefferson County High School

JCHS students are expected to attend school at least three hours a day. Joseph wants to graduate as soon as possible and that requires him to attend double school sessions. Beyond school, Joseph plays the guitar, bass and keyboard. He is interested in how films are written and directed and is intrigued with comic book story lines and character development. He also follows international events and shows concern for a peaceful world.

STACY WILDER - Beth Haven Christian School

Stacy is a Governor’s Scholars, has been recognized by Who’s Who Among American High School Students, All-American Scholars and the National Leadership Merit Program. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school, participated on the volleyball team and student government. Stacy has been active in her church youth group and has accumulated many volunteer service hours at her church and as a peer tutor at school.

AMY WINDHORST – Mercy Academy

Amy has a caring heart and the strength of character to stand up for those who cannot defend themselves. She is involved in Threads of Love, which makes clothing for infants and preemies. Amy makes dolls and crochets blankets for these infants who are struggling for life. Advocating for a baby’s right to live is Amy’s passion and she willingly take steps to help with this cause.

MONICA ZARING – Sacred Heart Academy

Born a dwarf, Monica has undergone many surgeries in her life, but welcomes all challenges as a confident, determined individual. She has a 3.1 GPA and plans to attend Jefferson Community and Technical College in the fall and major in communications. Monica has twice won the Unsung Hero Award, the highest honor given by SHA. She has also won the city’s Scholastic Art Silver Key Award in graphic design. Monica is a highly motivated and has a fantastic personality.

DUNJA ZDERO – Fern Creek High School

Dunja migrated to the US from Bosnia in 1998. She has a 3.84 GPA, has received the Outstanding Student of America, All-American Scholar Athlete, and Fredrick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Humanities and Sciences awards. She is editor of the newspaper, senior class secretary, volleyball team captain and yearbook editor. She plans to major in journalism and ultimately wants to become a magazine editor.