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Metro Newsroom


Mayor Honors Outstanding High School Seniors

Monday May 14, 2007

45 Louisville Students to be Recognized at Monday 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 45 students this evening at 6:30 p.m., during a special reception at the Frazier International History Museum, 829 W. Main Street.

This year’s recipients include students who emigrated from Cuba, Russia, Africa and Korea. The group also contains a pilot, eight Governor’s Scholars, a future West Point cadet, two students who will attend the U.S. Naval Academy, two Governor’s School for the Arts participants, an Eagle Scout with autism, three National Merit Finalists, a future Harvard University student, 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.”

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.

This year’s event is sponsored by AT&T, Texas Roadhouse, the Frazier International History Museum and Insty Print. Each award winner will also receive a “Passing the Torch” book donated by Butler Books of Louisville.

Please see an attached list of this year’s winners and their accomplishments.

MAYOR’S OUTSTANDING SENIORS 2007


ALEXANDRIA
ABELL – SHAWNEE HIGH SCHOOL
Alex is a varsity football manager, assists the attendance clerk and serves as an energetic and well-organized class president. Alex has participated for four years as a flight counselor in the OBAP Flight Camp for younger students. She is consistently on the school’s honor roll and has received the Martin Luther King Award and Rotary’s AB Sawyer Youth Award. She is enrolled in the flight magnet and plans to major in aviation with a minor in business management.

PETER AQUADRO – JEFFERSONTOWN HIGH SCHOOL
Peter is a member of the National Honor Society while taking a litany of very difficult courses. He is autistic and though qualifying for a plethora of accommodations he chooses to make it on his own. His love for humanity and willingness to work hard was evidenced through becoming an Eagle Scout. Peter was personally responsible for collecting more than $14,000 worth of items and then coordinating the delivery to Appalachia. Peter is a terrific young man and a tremendous example for his peers

KRYSTAL BEATTY – FERN CREEK HIGH SCHOOL
During her high school career, Krystal has participated in the PTSA, Spanish Club, Beta Club, NHS, Black Achievers and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has served as senior class vice president, her church’s youth councilwoman and Spanish Club secretary. She is a member of the senior writing team and has completed more than 200 service learning hours. She helped develop a step team at Fern Creek and is a strong track athlete. Krystal wants to pursue a career as a nurse.

JAZMIN CALDWELL – SOUTH PARK TAPP
TAPP recognizes Jazmin for her 4.0 academic status, excellent attendance and exceptional efforts in the Family and Consumer Science Program. Jazmin juggles her roles as mother, student and employee, while continuing to remain on the honor roll each grading period. Her academic finesse enabled her to complete her graduation requirements early. Jazmin plans to pursue a career as a neonatal nurse and will begin her studies this fall at Spencerian College.

TIFFANY CASSELL - BUTLER TRADITIONAL HIGH SCHOOL
Tiffany has had a tremendous impact on Butler from the day she stepped through the doors. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA, was a Governor’s Scholar and has been a positive role model and leader. Besides being a three-term class president, Beta Club secretary and yearbook editor-in-chief, Tiffany has been active in the community as a member of the American Cancer Society Relay for a Life planning committee and the Louisville Girls Leadership Summit.

VIKTORIYA CHISTYAKOVA – PLEASURE RIDGE PARK HIGH SCHOOL
Viktoriya emigrated from Russia when she was twelve. Despite language barriers and cultural differences, she has taken advantage of every opportunity to prepare for college. She participated in the Governor’s School for the Arts program to follow her passion. To her peers, she is an example of the American Dream. Fortunately she has the talent and determination that make dreams come true. She received a scholarship to attend the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

JORDAN DAUGHERTY - YOUTH PERFORMING ARTS SCHOOL
Jordan has a 3.7 GPA, and is a leader in her dance major at YPAS. Outside of the studio she stars as the Ram mascot for all athletic teams. Jordan is always willing to help whether in school activities, community organizations or her church. One only needed to witness her throughout the community as she volunteered to serve as the Kentucky Derby Festival mascot this year. Jordan embodies the perfect combination of hard work, talent and determination.

MATTHEW EADY – EASTERN HIGH SCHOOL
Matthew is a young man with a 4.0 GPA who is an intelligent, dedicated, and honest student. He is a member of NHS and Beta Club, and was a Governor’s Scholar. He is a four-year member of the JROTC and has a strong conviction toward service to his country and his community. In his spare time, he served on the Mayor’s Youth Council, is a candidate for Eagle Scout and runs his own lawn-cutting business. Matt plans to attend the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.


LOLA EMBREE – PORTLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Lola maintains a 4.0 GPA while taking a most-challenging curriculum. She also scored a 32 on the ACT with a 35 in English and 34 in math. She shares her ability by tutoring after school and teaching Sunday School. Lola is a member and officer of the NHS, leader and four-year member of the choir, captain and three-year member of the volleyball team and has also been active in drama. Lola has been on two short-term mission trips to Guatemala. Lola is truly an outstanding senior.

ALEXANDRIA “Nikki” FENWICK – CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
Nikki had to undergo several severe back surgeries and endure an epidural shot once a week for seven years to maintain her physical stability. However, she is involved in just about every club and organization at Central and shows great leadership skills. She is the team manager for the football and baseball teams. She has maintained a 3.1 GPA and plans to attend the University of Kentucky and major in veterinary animal science. She will be the first person in her family to attend college.

ERIC GALLUSSER – IROQUOIS HIGH SCHOOL
Eric has a 3.98 GPA with a 27 ACT composite score and is a three-year member of the all-state academic team. Eric is an athlete who plays baseball and golf. This year he is captain of the golf team and a leader on the baseball team. He also steps up to work in the concession stand to help fundraise for the teams. His work ethic is obvious in all that he does. He was chosen Who’s Who at Iroquois High and a Governor’s Scholar. Eric plans to attend Georgetown College and major in math.

HANNAH GREENWELL – WHITEFIELD ACADEMY
Hannah is a well-rounded, self-motivated young lady who has overcome personal adversities. She has spent long hours helping care for a younger sibling in his struggle against cancer, while holding down a part-time job and keeping up with her school work. She is a key player for Louisville’s indoor-soccer league and is a member of the bowling team at Whitefield. She is very active in her church’s youth program and considers her church family a vital part of her life.


EMILY GREGORY – LOUISVILLE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
Everything that Emily Gregory does is done with excellence. From the first time you meet her, it doesn’t take long to realize that she is a very special young lady. Emily always goes “over the top” with her responsibilities. Even though she keeps a schedule brimming with AP courses, sports, club meetings and church activities, she has an incredible heart to help others succeed. She has a true servant’s heart. She is genuinely respected by her teachers and peers.

CHELSEY HALL – EVANGEL CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
As the daughter of a regional medical manager and long-time General Electric employee, Chelsey learned at an early age the importance of hard work and reaching goals. She is a 4.0 student who takes pride in everything that she attempts; her Christian witness, classes, athletics, leadership and volunteer commitments. She will be attending the University of Louisville in the fall and plans to become a successful politician—perhaps, one day, become the next “mayor for life.”

PAUL HAMILTON – ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL
Paul is a jovial, articulate, athletic young man who loves to compete. He has been his class’s representative on the Student Council for four years. His energy makes a tremendous impact on the soccer and lacrosse fields, as well as the basketball court. Outside of school, Paul has lent his savvy, reliability and persistence to a political campaign in Indiana. Paul balances academics, sports, and family with aplomb, maturity and sensitivity and has developed a self confidence well beyond his years.

IDDOSHE HIRPA – DUPONT MANUAL HIGH SCHOOL
Iddoshe emigrated from Africa and is fluent in French and Spanish and excels in scientific research. She has won science and French competitions on the local, state and national levels. She was the 2006 recipient of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Scholarship, which allowed her six weeks in Japan. With a professor mentor from UofL, she studied immune systems and HIV. Iddoshe wants to become a doctor focusing on public health and will begin her studies this fall at Harvard University.


JEFF HOWARD – TRINITY HIGH SCHOOL
Jeff is a 4.0 student who is a very giving person who loves to help those that are less-fortunate. He has worked on a building project in Appalachia and has volunteered for four years at Maryhurst. His creativity and initiative reaped rewards as he won first place in the product development category at the UK Engineering Camp. Jeff is disciplined, outspoken on issues he believes in, morally upright and mature beyond his years. He will attend the West Point.

MEGAN HUNLEY – LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL
Megan is one of those students who almost fell between the cracks. With the intervention of her teachers and the support of an uncle who refused to let her fail, Megan aggressively pursued her goal of catching up with her peers and graduating on time. Megan achieved her goal by taking correspondence courses and eSchool classes, in addition to her normal coursework. She has also become a volunteer and advocate working with handicapped students.

JASMIN KAESER – WALDEN HIGH SCHOOL
Jasmin is an active member of the Key Club, Y-Club, Beta Club, math team, Spanish Honor Society, KUNA and serves as a senior class officer. She has earned the Girl Scout’s Gold Award. She volunteers at the Home of the Innocents, the Animal Care Society and Wayside Christian Mission. Jasmin was a Governor’s Scholar, a Bellarmine High School Hero and member of the National Society of High School Scholars. Jasmin also runs her own business, the Black Sheep Bakery.

JOSHUA KELLER –BALLARD HIGH SCHOOL
Josh, a National Merit winner, is a rare student who exercises social and civic consciousness daily. He doesn’t regard his abilities as reason to occupy a high status among the student body, but is more comfortable coexisting as “just another student.” Josh is an accomplished musician and choral performer, earning all-state and KMEA distinguished honors. Josh is a Boy Scout leader and is involved in his church’s overseas mission trips. He is a very centered and balanced young man.


MARIA KENNEDY – PRESENTATION ACADEMY
Maria is a Governor’s Scholar and class valedictorian. She excels in music and daily demonstrates outstanding leadership. Maria’s classmates perceive her as a model for Christianity, an honor Maria cherishes. In her work with the Girl Scouts, which includes over more than 400 hours of volunteer service, Maria supervised six young girls on a seven-day canoeing trip. Perhaps “Today’s Woman” magazine said it best when the publication chose Maria for its “Totally Awesome Teen” award.

JI HYEONY KIM – KENTUCKY COUNTRY DAY
It’s a long way from Korea to Kentucky, but this outstanding senior has made the journey look easy. A devoted scholar and an excellent musician, Ji has found a place in the hearts of the students and faculty at KCD with his cooperative spirit. During his two years in Louisville, Ji has overcome many barriers, always with a smile and a willing, positive attitude. Ji has a 4.0 GPA and a schedule filled with AP courses. He has received a number of scholarship offers from several colleges.

STEVEN KINNIARD – CHURCHILL PARK SCHOOL
Steven is known for his big smile, an enthusiastic greeting and his affirmative answer of, “Oh yeah!” Academically he has consistently displayed excellent attention-to-task vocational skills. As he graduates this year, Steven takes with him numerous occupational work experiences. His favorite job site is Churchill Downs. He has worked his way up to the horticulture department, where he has displayed excellent attendance and great enthusiasm for his job

KATHERINE LEE – ALFRED BINET SCHOOL
Katherine’s love is pure and her heart is true. She can light up a room with her smile and melt your heart with a hug. Leadership is often defined by charismatically and expressively communicating one’s feelings via the spoken word, but without saying a word, Katherine has changed the way the staff and students at Binet approach the world. We now follow her example, move at a slower pace and spend more time enjoying life.


AARON MASON – BETH HAVEN CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Aaron is truly a well-rounded student; participating in student government, athletics, and community service, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Aaron will graduate as valedictorian of his class and is a member of the NHS. He is the senior class president, and volunteers as a referee for youth basketball and soccer leagues. Aaron was also named a football All-American by the National Association of Christian Athletes, and was a member of this year’s NACA national championship team.

COURTNEY MAY – WESTERN HIGH SCHOOL
Courtney is a 4.0 student with organizational skills, tenacious work ethic and ability to focus on her goals. She is a class officer and Beta Club secretary. She is active in the quick recall, volleyball and tennis teams. During the past two summers, she has dedicated more than 600 hours of service as a junior counselor at the Sylvania Community Center. She is a volunteer at Caritas Hospital and worked on a campaign for one of the candidates for Louisville Metro Council.

DANIEL MCDONALD – WAGGENER HIGH SCHOOL
Daniel is a student with a 4.0 GPA who is the starting quarterback of the football team and a varsity baseball player. He is the Rensallear Medal recipient and was appointed to the Metro Louisville Leadership Council. He is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Beta Club, NHS, yearbook staff and the Pep Club. Daniel is also a class officer. As a Kentucky Derby volunteer and a fundraiser for the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Research, Daniel’s commitment to others is evident.

TYLER MCQUEEN – ST. XAVIER HIGH SCHOOL
Tyler has superior academic abilities, maintains a 4.0 GPA and ranks third in a class of 310. Tyler has participated in numerous activities such as the history, Spanish and chemistry clubs, and is a member of the NHS, where he serves as an officer. Tyler has volunteered more than 300 hours of service at the Louisville Zoo. He has been recognized many times for his leadership and academic excellence. He is a National Merit Finalist and will attend Notre Dame University.


SHELBY MILLION – BROWN SCHOOL
Shelby is a 4.0 student, an athlete and a gifted musician. Regardless of job commitments, endless hours of study and sports of orchestra practices, she has successfully managed to use and develop leadership skills for others. Through her senior project, she mobilized her friends and peers to support a summer camp that provides ill children and children with disabilities the opportunity to participate in an equine-therapy program. She plans to become an equine veterinarian.

JASMINE MOORE – MOORE HIGH SCHOOL
Jasmine is a Governor’s Scholar and the recipient of scholarships from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Dr. Rodney Gross, Jr. Foundation. Jasmine participates in Habitat for Humanity, Upward Bound, and the United Basketball League for students with disabilities. She is a member of NHS and a class officer. She plays varsity basketball, runs track and was named an all-district athlete for her outstanding grades, sportsmanship and leadership on and off the court.

BRETT MORTON – KENTUCKY SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND
Brett ranks first in his class and is a model of independence. He is captain of the track team, president of the Student Council, and a member of the wrestling, swimming and cheerleading squads. He is also a talented percussionist, who performs in recitals and has taught music to younger students. Brett joined the American Council of the Blind in Washington, DC to lobby Congress about issues of access and equity for the blind.

LIZANDDRA MUNIZ – LOUISVILLE COLLEGIATE
Lizandra emigrated from Cuba eight years ago. Her story is one of a student’s unrelenting pursuit of an education and the personal courage to make life-changing decisions to achieve a better life. Lizandra took advanced-placement courses, was elected to the NHS, received the UK Book Award and was recognized nationally as an AP Scholar by the College Board. Co-president of the Cultural Awareness Club and a varsity soccer player, Lizandra will attend Connecticut College in the fall.


ABBY NASH – MERCY ACADEMY
Abby is a person of integrity and brims with self confidence. She challenges herself academically, inspires others with hard work and exhibits a positive attitude on the hockey field. As president of the Student Council, Abby demonstrates a knack of getting things done without being pushy or offensive. This private young woman is friendly, loyal and willing – she does not give up when obstacles come her way, but perseveres to be a success.

MELANIE NICHTER – LOUISVILLE MALE HIGH SCHOOL
Melanie has been a class officer for four years and has not just worn the title. She has sold t-shirts, candy coupon cards for Pep Club, organized skits and decorated for pep rallies, homecoming dances and parades. She is active at her church, leading the recreation at Vacation Bible schools and helping repair houses in the summer through the World Changers program. Melanie also mentors middle schoolers and organizes the food closet for a local food bank.

LAUREN OBERG – WESTPORT TEENAGE PARENT PROGRAM
Lauren can be described as every teacher’s dream student. She is highly motivated and determined to make her life a success story. Lauren comes from divorced parents and admits life has not always been pleasant. After having a child, Lauren has kept her grades up and made honor roll every semester. Lauren is a straightforward individual with a heart of gold. She has volunteered her talents in nursing homes and at the Lexington Children’s Museum.

SEAN-PATRICK OEHRLE – DESALES HIGH SCHOOL
Sean-Patrick is the class valedictorian and a Governor’s Scholar. He scored a 31 on the ACT and a 1910 on the SAT. He participated in the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine at Boston University. He is involved in the NHS, math team, Key Club and the Nazareth Farm Team. He has contributed hundreds of service hours and plans to pursue a career in public health medicine and epidemiology. He is a young man who stands up, stands out and stands proud.


JOSH PILE – DOSS HIGH SCHOOL
Josh has a big heart and is interested in the common good of others. Josh has invested his time wisely in his academic endeavors. He is a member of the school’s Geographic Information Systems magnet program. He designed the map for the Kentucky Derby Festival marathon and mini-marathon. He has been a three-sport letterman all four years of his high school career. His work ethic and positive attitude have blossomed during his time at Doss.

GERMAINE RANDOLPH – FAIRDALE HIGH SCHOOL
Germaine is a total package of enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity, independence and selflessness. He always has boundless energy and genuinely cares for his fellow students. Germaine volunteered his time to attend registration day at Fairdale to welcome and assist new students. He continues this type of effort into the school year and continues to grow as a student and a leader. He is truly a top-notch young man and deserving of this recognition.

CHERYL RECOBS – VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
Cheryl has shown great promise by maintaining a 3.8 GPA while taking college-prep courses. She participates on the tennis team and is a member of the choir, ICT program, NHS, and Beta Club. She is a class officer, Skills USA vice president, and co-captain of the tennis team. She has earned numerous honors, including academic and varsity athletic letters and honor roll. Cheryl volunteers at her church and a nursing home. She also holds a job and attends JCC.

MEGAN REDMOND- SACRED HEART ACADEMY
Megan excels in challenging classes, earning a 3.9 GPA. She is involved in the Quest Leadership Program, the Christian Leadership Institute, the Youth for Life Club, and the school’s ambassador program. Megan plays the harp and is a member of NHS and the Spanish Honor Society. She also sings in the madrigal and a cappella choirs. Megan was awarded the St. Matthews Business Association scholarship and a scholarship from the University of Dayton, where she will attend school this fall and major in business.


ANDY RODMAN – HOLY CROSS HIGH SCHOOL
Andy is a bundle of positive energy. Besides starring on the football team as a running back, he has maintained a top-ten ranking academically. Andy always has a wry comment or humorous take on what is happening at school and in the world. He has been a leader of his class and is the initiator of the Tailgaters Club, whose members bring school spirit to various non-football sporting events. Whichever college Andy chooses to attend will certainly be enriched by his presence on campus.

KERI SWITZER – SENECA HIGH SCHOOL
Keri has been involved in the Freshman Leadership Council and has served as a class officer during the past two years. In addition to her work ethic, Keri strives to help others. Keri can’t do all the things her friends can because of time and money, but still volunteers in various service projects. She is very active in organizations that lead students to better decision making including STAND, SADD and TATU. She also acts as a peer mediator. Keri is an intelligent, shining example of excellence.

HANNAH ULMER – ASSUMPTION HIGH SCHOOL
While maintaining a 3.74 GPA, this Governor’s School for the Arts alumna has played two sports, amassed more than 250 service hours and exercised leadership in a variety of activities and organizations. Hannah has also performed with the advanced choir and participated in eight high school and Music Theater of Louisville productions. Hannah believes each of her endeavors deserves her full and best effort. She is Student Council president and serves as an ideal role model to others.

JOSHUA WARE – SOUTHERN HIGH SCHOOL
Joshua is a class officer, maintains a 3.3 GPA, and is active in NHS, Beta Club, marching and concert bands, and tennis. In JROTC he has earned the Purple Heart Award and the Superior Cadet Award. Joshua is also the “A” Company Commander and a member of the color guard. Community service includes; St. Luke’s Youth Group, Touched Twice Ministries, and Kosair Children’s Hospital Foundation Teen Advisory Board. Joshua is an Eagle Scout. Joshua plans to become a US Air Force pilot.


YIN YIN WU – ATHERTON HIGH SCHOOL
Yin Yin distinguishes herself as a mature and scholastic young woman. This National Merit Finalist maintains a 4.0 GPA. She was Kentucky’s only finalist in the Intel Science Competition and attended a summer research institute at Boston University. She is a member of NHS, the math team and Spanish Honor Society. She also served as past president of FBLA. Yin Yin’s positive attitude, cheerfulness, work ethic, and determination have obtained her many opportunities in life.