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US Academic Awards

Wednesday's Academic Awards ceremony took place under sunny skies in the John N. Allen Family Stadium.  This location turned out to be ideal for accommodating all US students, faculty and administration, and the many proud family members invited to see their children's academic endeavors acknowledged.  Dr. Watson opened the ceremony by saying, "We are celebrating the resolute, the industrious, the boldness of spirit but humbleness of self which often accompanies the highest of academic achievements."

The first category of awards to be given was Corporate and Foundation Awards presented to talented students who have excelled in their studies, in leadership, and in extracurricular activities.  Mrs. Lewton, Science Department Chair, presented the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Award for outstanding achievement in science, engineering, and technology.  This is a merit scholarship with a minimum value of $30,000 per year for at least four years, awarded to a student who is accepted and enrolls at Rensselaer.  The CSN junior who was chosen by the science faculty to receive this honor was Jacob Baer.

She also presented the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award to junior Ben Ouaou for demonstrating academic excellence, intellectual curiosity in the sciences, and a deep commitment to education.  He will be considered for a merit scholarship of $10,000 per year for four years if admitted to and attends the University of Rochester.

Kate Kaplan '22 received a medal for her first place finish in Biomedical Health at the Collier Regional Science & Engineering Fair, and trophies were presented to Jacob Baer '22 for being a State Finalist in Math/Robotics/Programming, and Nathan Panek '23 for being a State Finalist in Physics/Astronomy.

AP Seminar teacher Ms. O'Brien presented Trey Verhelle '22 with the Frederick Douglas and Susan B. Anthony Award from the University of Rochester for his record in leadership and understanding of difficult social issues, and his commitment to addressing injustice through community action and service, not to mention earning top grades for his rigorous academic course load in the humanities and social sciences. Social Science Department Chair Ms. Herting presented Sophia Pezeshkan '22 with the George Eastman Young Leaders Award, which seeks to recognize future leaders.

Computer Science and Robotics Chair Mr. Headrick presented the Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology to William Bedford '22 for showing a high level of achievement in innovation and exposure to new technologies outside of school, while leading other students to new approaches to old problems.

Loren Brown won the William S. Gentry Award, which was established by the Collier County Forum Club to acknowledge one senior from each local high school who demonstrates strong academics and outstanding civic responsibility.  US Director of Student Activities Mrs. Rochette presented this award, which comes with a $1,000 scholarship.

One of the high points of the morning was when Lieutenant Colonel Chuck McHenry from the United States Air Force Academy was introduced to present an appointment to the USAFA.  As he said, “This appointment is the equivalent of a four-year, full-ride scholarship to any top university, valued at more than $465,000.”  He continued, “Appointments to the Air Force Academy are extremely competitive, with approximately 10,000 applying each year…On behalf of the President of the United States and the Air Force Chief of Staff, it is my pleasure to hereby appoint as cadet, United States Air Force Academy, Class of 2024…Olivia Weiss!”   

Many other students received awards, including Student of the Year and citizenship awards for each grade, and class awards for each subject.  You can see a list of all of them by clicking the button below.  But the highlight of the ceremony was when Head of Upper School Dr. Johnson stepped to the mic to announce the Class of 2021 Valedictorian and Salutatorian.  He said, "Per the US Handbook, CSN determines val and sal based on the core weighted GPA through the second semester of senior year, hence "anticipated."  Recipients must have attended CSN for all four years of high school.  And because CSN's transcript calculates GPA to two decimal places, this is the significant figure we use to determine this prestigious honor."  He continued, "This is also why...for the first time in CSN's history, we have one Valedictorian and two Salutatorians.  Not only did you three tackle the most rigorous curriculum CSN has to offer, but you did it through Hurricane Irma your freshman year and a global pandemic your junior and senior years!"

The Class of 2021 Valedictorian is Jordan Hochman!  And the Class of 2021 Salutatorians are Sebastian Dounchis and Cecilia Nakfoor!

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