Senior Academic Hall of Fame

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Senior Academic Hall of Fame

The Class of 2019 received awards of excellence Wednesday, March 29.

The Class of 2019 received awards of excellence Wednesday, March 29.

Ellen Jarvinen

The Class of 2019 received awards of excellence Wednesday, March 29.

Ellen Jarvinen

Ellen Jarvinen

The Class of 2019 received awards of excellence Wednesday, March 29.

Ellen Jarvinen, Adviser

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ART MEDALIST: Stela Szaboova

The art department medalist is someone who is deeply committed to their work that is technically creative and visually engaging. Stela is often inspired by her personal experience and family culture, she skillfully develops work that is often independently constructed – as with her exploration of ceramics tools and methods, and that is visually meaningful to both herself and to her audience – as shown in her 2D portfolio. Stela’s complete body of work reflects her skill as an artist and we look forward to seeing what she will create in the future.

Certificate winners: Ellie Enebo, Cheyenne Farrell, Joshua Hicks

These students have shown a great deal of engagement, persistency, grit, and humility throughout our courses. Each brings skill, perspective, and careful engagement with materials necessary for creating and completing successful works of art. Most of all, they know themselves, and show personal depth within their work.

Contributed by Mark Moody

BUSINESS MEDALIST: Muskaan Agarwal

Muskaan has had an incredible career here at Issaquah. She has been actively engaged in business classes and clubs all four years of high school. DECA’s Vice President this year, she qualified for ICDC each of the last three years. Last year she wrote a 30-page marketing research paper, and came in 2nd place in the world in that competition. This year, she was a State Champion (with Altai). Next year, she’ll start changing the world at UC Berkeley, and we will miss her here.

Certificate winners: Siena Gaston, Rohan Vaidya, Altai Yildirim

This is a truly remarkable group of students. Between them, they have taken 14 years of business classes, BEFORE graduating high school. These students have all served in high level officer positions for the DECA club and Women in Business club. They have been leaders, both by their deeds, and their actions. Each of them has attended ICDC for DECA multiple times.

Contributed by: Andrew Shanafelt

CAREER & TECHINCAL EDUCATION MEDALIST: Connor McKee-Sargent

Connor has been an exemplary student in Photography and Photojournalism, consistently exceeding our expectations and demonstrating leadership. He founded the Photography Club and has been an active member for three years. He volunteered for the musical, STEMposium, taking senior portraits, and creating a photo exhibit at Teen Café. He displayed his work in the Issaquah Art & Wine Walk. His commitment to meeting deadlines, improving his photography, and simply getting a great photo are amazing. He is definitely the most diligent, self-motivated, and passionate photography student we have worked with.

Certificate winners: Kaden Coleman, Patrick Holleron, Gwen Weldon

The exemplary students before you represent excellence in several different CTE classes, including Material Science, Engineering, Woods, Financial Algebra Graphic Design, and Photography. They have an excellent work ethic, set positive examples for others, and are a pleasure to work with.

Contributed by: Bridget Johns

COMPUTER SCIENCE & ENGINEERING MEDALIST: Allen Aby

Allen was in my AP Computer Science A the first year that I taught here at IHS and is now taking my Advanced Computer Science Topics & Projects course. He has done outstanding work in those courses. In addition to Allen’s accomplishments in my class, he is an extremely strong student and well-rounded person. He is also a Co-President of Code Club. Working with him in Code Club, I have been impressed by his friendliness, dedication, and professionalism. During club meetings, I often hear him explaining programming concepts and syntax to less-experienced students. He was instrumental in organizing and leading the Super-Coders camp for middle school students last year and this year to share his love of learning compute science.

Certificate winners: Gage Howard, Sunny Lee, Lauren Reising

The students before you are productive thinkers.  What really gets them going?  Understanding and ultimately developing functionality within everyday products—those of the physical world and the virtual.  They have all taken multiple courses within our disciplines of computer science and engineering, and each has excelled, prompting respect from their teachers and peers, alike.  Lastly, these four, very nice kids are dedicated, effective leaders among their peers, as the Co-Presidents of Engineering Club and Co-Presidents of Code Club.  Congratulations to each of you.

Contributed by Keith Stutler

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS MEDALIST: Bianka Ramirez-Melenciano

Bianka has shown how determination and dedication can help defeat any obstacle. Since beginning at IHS with very limited English, she has studied the language relentlessly. While it usually takes up to seven years to become proficient in a new language, Bianka has become proficient in English in just three. This year, she overcame her fear of speaking in front of others by taking a Public Speaking class, and she passed the Language Arts portion of the SBAC test, not only demonstrating mastery of the language, but also of her ability to analyze complex texts – a huge feat for an ELL student. her determination, self-advocacy, resilience, and her empathy towards others make her an exemplar student.

Certificate winners: Michael Ramirez, Huanyan Zheng

These students have overcome several obstacles and language barriers in their education, and have shown extraordinary resilience to some of the setback that come with being a language learner. They have consistently demonstrated effort, improved their grades, assisted others who struggled, and have become an example for other ELL students to follow.

JOURNALISM MEDALIST: Sophie Kirkegaard (Journalism)

Dedication, innovation, integrity—these are the words that come to mind when I think of Sophie Kirkegaard. Sophie started in Journalism her sophomore year and was already writing with the maturity of a senior. Her junior year, she was a copy editor and helped the editor in chief learn the ropes, as he was new to the class. As a senior, she is now the editor in chief and has been instrumental in taking our publication online. In fact, it was her suggestion. She helped me work out a new grading system, how to maintain rigor and fairness, and how to avoid loopholes of the new system. I am so proud of the online publication we now have, thanks to her leadership and desire to do something better.

JOURNALISM MEDALIST: Anna Waltz (Yearbook)

Anna Waltz has shown tremendous dedication to yearbook for the past three years. She is the 2019 Editor in Chief and has spent countless hours looking over pages, taking pictures, and supervising other students’ progress on their pages. She is dependable and holds herself and others to high standards. She has been exceptionally quick with proofs, which always seem to come right in the middle of the next deadline! She has also mentored next year’s editor throughout the year. It is a huge responsibility to be the yearbook editor, something I hope you all appreciate in the coming weeks.

Certificate winners: Olivia Sharek, Savannah Wood

The group before you represents the amazing people behind The Issaquah High Times and The Sammamish, our yearbook. They put in countless, thankless hours making special memories for the school. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize them and thank them for their hard work and dedication.

Contributed by Ellen Jarvinen

LANGUAGE ARTS MEDALIST: Cameron Jamison

Cameron Jamison’s eloquent writing, insightful reading, genuine curiosity, and contributions to class discussions make him the Medallion recipient for language arts. Cameron takes a genuine interest in authors and ideas. His insights, his thoughtful questions, and his interest in other students’ ideas elevate class discussions of literature. His dedication to his individual work is also impressive. This year in particular, Cameron took extra effort researching playwrights for an independent project, rather than just using the provided list. Cameron is also a writer who understands the value of revision. He seeks feedback and thoughtfully critiques his own work to create original, compelling arguments.

Certificate winners: Jacob Hansen, Sunny Lee, Melanie Neal, Raeny Nichols

The English nominees as a group represent the highest potential of the Humanities. They understand the power of words to educate, entertain, energize, and effect change. They are motivated by deep intellectual curiosity and believe in the necessity of exchanging ideas to increase understanding and opportunity for all.

Contributed by Shannon Henderson

LEADERSHIP MEDALIST: Alex Liu

Alex Liu has been involved with Leadership and ASB for all four years of his high school experience. Alex has held roles on class council, as well as the executive board. In spite of challenges that most students will never know and experience at this age, Alex has faced adversity with a positive attitude, a willingness to assist anyone in any situation, and a drive to make IHS inclusive and welcoming. Isssaquah High School is proud to call Alex Liu a model of student leadership, one of its own.

Certificate winners: Chloe Chow, Amanda Dang, Wendell Tu

This group of students is described by faculty as individuals who consistently go above and beyond their responsibilities to make a school environment better. Their commitment in the classroom and to Issaquah High School has improved the school culture.

Contributed by Kurtis Evans & Kelly Henry

MATHEMATICS MEDALIST: Manasi Shah

Rachel has been a key member of Mix It Up, Hi Tones and Concert Chorale throughout her high school career. She has been the lead singer in alkl three groups, section leader, leader of Hi Tones, and been involved in every musical for all four years. She has often been a State contender at Solo & Ensemble Contest in the soprano category as well as with Hi Tones and Mix It Up. Her commitment to excellence has spurred on singers throughout the school. Thank you Rachel for sharing your talent with us.

Certificate winners: Allen Aby, Caroline Freer, Audrey Jacobson, Sayaka Kenmochi

We are proud to present these certificates to our students who have proven to be outstanding in their areas. They represent band, choir, drama, and orchestra and have demonstrated leadership and commitment in our performing arts department. They have invested hours honing their craft and it has been a joy to watch them perform. Congratulations to each of you.

Contributed by Vale Crain

PERFORMING ARTS MEDALIST: Rachel Young

Rachel has been a key member of Mix It Up, Hi Tones and Concert Chorale throughout her high school career. She has been the lead singer in all three groups, section leader, leader of Hi Tones, and been involved in every musical for all four years. She has often been a State contender at Solo & Ensemble Contest in the soprano category as well as with Hi Tones and Mix It Up. Her commitment to excellence has spurred on singers throughout the school. Thank you Rachel for sharing your talent with us.

Certificate winners: Michael Hansen, Eva Jasinsky, Reagan Panah

We are proud to present these certificates to our students who have proven to be outstanding in their areas. They represent band, choir, drama, and orchestra and have demonstrated leadership and commitment in our performing arts department. They have invested hours honing their craft and it has been a joy to watch them perform. Congratulations to each of you.

Contributed by Pat Holen

PHYSICAL EDUCATION MEDALIST: Carlos Ramos

Typically, as a department we draw straws to determine whom will be present to speak on behalf of our medallion winner. In this case, we immediately agreed that there is no one more deserving and we each appreciate the leadership Carlos has provided to our department. Whether it be helping teach Crossfit movements, translating for other students or running the 5K multiple times to help motivate others, Carlos is undoubtedly the most distinguished physical education student in our time here.

Certificate winners: Pavel Hoffelner, Camden Jeske, James Reed

These students all consistently demonstrate the value of health and fitness in their own lives. Not only did they take far more than the required PE credits, they each also participate in multiple activities beyond the school day.

Contributed by Brenda Fortier

SCIENCE MEDALIST: Annie Ohrt

Annie has demonstrated a high aptitude for science knowledge and lab skill. She is a leader of group discussions and lab work. Annie asks thoughtful and relevant questions, advocates for herself and others, and makes the classroom environment a richer place to grow as a student. Annie’s previous classes include Biology, Chemistry, and AP Chemistry. As a senior Annie is taking Physics and is participating as a peer tutor in Chemistry. As a peer tutor not only does she work with other students but she is also developing voice recognition software focused on writing lab reports. I love to share about the amazing things my students are doing with my two sons who are seven and nine. Annie’s name has come up a few times and I am grateful to share with them how success in learning sometimes comes through natural ability, but most often comes through curiosity, hard work, and determination. Annie has helped me to tell my kids that despite life’s obstacles you can do amazing things. Once when my sons were talking about heroes one of my kids asked me if Annie was a hero. I think that may of us know that answer. Congratulations Annie and we wish you the best in your heroic efforts to make this world a better place for everyone.

Certificate winners: Allen Aby, Anna Waltz, Kate Wilkinson

The students being honored here today stand out because of their engagement with the sciences. More than just being great at building science knowledge, they have striven to: think creatively, design ways to solve problems, develop new skills, collaborate effectively with their peers, and bring what they’ve learned in class out into the world beyond the walls of IHS. These students have accomplished not only high levels of academic performance, but they represent what the true nature of science is: how curiosity helps us to understand how the world works.

Contributed by Tony Scaringi & Chris Foley

SOCIAL STUDIES MEDALIST: Peter Poliakov

Peter has been a dedicated Social Studies student in his time at Issaquah High School. He has continually challenged himself, taking three AP social studies courses to enrich his understanding of the study and 4 social studies electives in his senior year. Peter brings unparalleled curiosity, insight, and a little humor to the classroom that enriches the learning environment for his teachers and peers. He challenges those around him to think deeply about issues relevant to their lives and is genuinely motivated to pursue solutions to problems he sees in the world. Next year Peter plans to attend University of Washington and even though we may lose him to the STEM fields we are sure he will continue to be a thoughtful, engaged citizen. I am thrilled to recognize Peter for his outstanding citizenship and I am confident that whatever Peter decides to do in life, it will be done with great energy, passion, and pride.

Certificate winners: Amanda Brown, Cameron Jamison, Katie Sanders

The students we are recognizing have excelled in Social Studies courses and stand out due to their stellar critical thinking and analysis skills, as well as their participation in classes and their insightful contributions to class discussions. These students are bright, engaging, forward-thinking learners who we are confident will be exemplary citizens beyond IHS; the Social Studies department is delighted to honor these outstanding students.

Contributed by Kelly McCarville

WORLD LANGUAGE MEDALISTS: Cameron Jamison (French), Leah Kratochvil (Spanish), Joseph Warren (Japanese)

Our medalists have demonstrated top-tier abilities and enthusiasm in their language classes through full participation and success in our program. We are thrilled and impressed at their level of fluency in their target languages and know they are leaving IHS with skills and knowledge of other cultures that will benefit them and others as they apply and share what they know in college and beyond. Congratulations, we are so proud of you!

Certificate winners: Caroline Freer (Spanish), Jacob Hansen (French)

These students have demonstrated commitment and eagerness as they have worked toward fluency in their target languages. They are fluent enough that they will be able to use their skills in the future as individuals who understand and respect languages and cultures beyond their own. Our hope is that they will be bridges and connectors that bring diverse people together in our increasingly globalized world. Congratulations!

Contributed by Julie Huber