Academic Hall of Fame

Mackenzie Crandall, Sophie Kirkegaard, & Abi Lee, Copy Editors, Staff Writer

Art:  Meghan Obernberger

Meghan Obernberger is an incredibly accomplished and talented artist. Having won multiple regional and national art competitions like Washington State OSPI Arts, Young Arts, and Scholastic Arts, Obernberger has certainly proved her talents to the art world. Art teacher Mark Moody says, “Obernberger’s body of work has been on par with those at the university level and with emerging artists across the nation. They have explored multiple modalities with 2D and 3D imagery, and struggled through the process of failing forward to achieve innovative designs and powerful visual statements.”

Certificate winners: Pierre Bagel, Katherine Bonsi, Naomi Florsheim

Business – Grace Chen

As founder of the Women in Business club, as well as a being involved with DECA since her sophomore year, senior Grace Chen has demonstrated her passion for business both in and out of the classroom. According to DECA advisor Andrew Shanafelt, “Each of her three years, [Grace] has written an excellent, 30-page marketing research project, and came in second this year in the entire state. She is a joy to have in class, and is hard working, driven, and dedicated to getting others interested and engaged in business. We will definitely be hearing about her successes in the near future.”

Certificate Winners: Silas Linnemann, Kyle Millis, Lauren Milne

CTE – Jared Putney

Senior Jared Putney has taken and excelled in several engineering classes, as well as material science, photography, art, and financial algebra, and is a standout in ASB leadership. According to teacher Kathleen Myers, “Jared is well respected by all. He is kind, works well with others, shows respect, and leads in group activities. The level of effort he puts into his work and the positive attitude he brings makes him an asset to the class.”

Certificate Winners: Alex Brewer, Garrett Pomeroy, Josiah Wilson

Computer Science & Engineering: Tyler Palmgren

Tyler Palmgren has a passion for everything science, technology, the design process, and math. Here at Issaquah High School, Palmgren has taken almost every class relating to engineering or computer science here. Palmgren has also been involved and leading on the Issaquah High Robotics Team. Teacher Kevin Houghton says, “Those of us who know Tyler are quite proud of him, and so excited to see where the future takes him.”

Certificate Winners: Samudra Mowar, Jack Kramer, Andrew Mularoni

English Language Learners: Jing Ying Pang

Jing Ying (Iris) Pang is a standout in the English Language Learners program here at Issaquah High School. Pang is a hard worker and has continued to challenge herself by taking content area classes. According to one her former English teachers, “She has insightful ideas and really challenges herself to express her ideas in complex, almost poetic, English. She possesses a genuine intellectual curiosity and doesn’t shy away from taking academic risks.” English Language Learners teacher Ashley Andrews also adds, “Iris is an ideal student who is not only committed to bettering herself academically, but also to supporting others as an elementary tutor. She will be greatly missed.”

Certificate Winners: Nisitta Pukkanasut

Journalism:  Athena Benjamin

Athena Benjamin has been on the Issaquah High School Yearbook staff for three years and is the current editor-in-chief. A hard-worker who has dedicated hours of time to helping the documentation of Issaquah High student’s memories are top quality for all to see. Benjamin has even proofread and corrected all 288 pages of the yearbook twice! Yearbook teacher Ellen Jarvinen says, “Athena’s leadership and complete dedication to her responsibilities sets an example for her peers. I will miss her greatly!”

Journalism: Isabelle Gonzalez

Isabelle Gonzalez is a journalism student who goes out of her way to go above and beyond with her work on the iVision broadcasting team. With an incredible work ethic and charming personality, Gonzalez is the Director of Communications, an on-air anchor, and a field reporter in iVision, being successful in all three positions. iVision teacher Buddy Bland says, “Isabelle Gonzalez is a bright, meticulous and tireless broadcast journalism student who sets herself apart because of her exemplary work ethic and her total dedication to Issaquah High and to our iVision broadcast team.”

Certificate Winners: William Baumert (Broadcast Journalism), Garrett White (Journalism), Mackenzie Aizaga (Broadcast Journalism), Isobel Taylor (Yearbook Journalism)

Language Arts:  Ruby Fulford

Ruby Fulford is a leader in the classroom and someone who is willing to take on any challenge put in front of her. Deep thinking meets insightful questions and a thought provoking conversation when Fulford engages in class discussions. English Teachers Marianne Null and Shannon Henderson says, “Fulford walks into the room smiling every day, she gives encouragement and support to her classmates when needed and she is involved in many activities that reflect her outgoing and compassionate nature.”

Certificate Winners: Megan Callans, Samuel Berensohn, Kaavya Kumar, Yubidixi Jimenez-Castaneda, Lauren Rosen

Leadership: Isabelle Gonzalez

Izzy Gonzalez has been involved in leadership throughout high school. During her junior and senior year, she served as a member of the ASB class and this year she also acted as the Student Activities Coordinator on the ASB Executive Board. Her leadership accomplishments extend outside of the classroom as she one of the captains on the swim team. Leadership teacher Erin Connolly says, “[Gonzalez] considers the needs of all the students at Issaquah High School and is consistently serving the student body in a variety of leadership roles.  Izzy embodies the type of leader we hope to develop at Issaquah High School.”

Certificate Winners: Daniel Barnett, Chirasmita Kompella, Zach Dunkelberger

Mathematics:  Isaiah Kim

Isaiah Kim’s mathematics career at Issaquah High School includes AP Calculus BC and AP Statistics, and earning 5’s on both of these exams. Kim applies himself to his work and goes far with his own knowledge of the material, but goes the extra mile by applying himself to learn more and to work harder. Math teachers Kristi Hardy and Vale Crain say, “Isaiah’s thoughts and comments are always direct and intuitive, thereby drastically affecting the class in a positive way by helping us work on more developed problems. Isaiah has been an integral part in all his math classes.

Certificate Winners: Henry Dai, Abby Heyrich, Jun Yong Jung, Preston Lee, Zizhen Song

Physical Education: Cole Thomas

Cole Thomas has been a committed PE student all of high school; he has not taken a semester off from freshman year to senior year. Of those eight semesters, he has taken CrossFit seven times. Over the years, Thomas has worked hard and continued to challenge himself to be the best CrossFit athlete and leader he can be.  Physical Education teacher Brenda Fortier says, “His form and technique are outstanding and he encourages and motivates others to push themselves as well.  I have no doubt that Cole will continue to improve his health and fitness throughout his college years and into adulthood.”

Certificate Winners: Julia Lilly, William Sebastian, Lukas Speckhardt

Performing Arts:  Zachary Mautz

Zach Mautz is not only an amazing performer but a great student to be around, too. He shows a desire in the performing arts, and “brings it to the stage” by taking his talents to the next level. Mautz is a valuable part of the Percussion Ensemble, Drumline, and many other performing groups here at Issaquah High. Teacher Pat Holen says, “His ability to lead and teach other students truly goes beyond his years–We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Certificate Winners: Maria Kiesewetter, Stephanie Oh, Caitlyn Skinner

Science:  Elsa Bean

Elsa Bean is an incredibly knowledgeable science student here at Issaquah High. Having taken AP Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Bean knows how to take on any challenge in a laboratory setting. Outside of school, Bean proved her dedication through her work at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the summer of 2017. While there, she helped develop her skills further, and assist in furthering research on cancer. Science teacher Alex Stevens says, “Everyone likes working with Elsa because she is so kind, patient, and thoughtful. We are all confident that Elsa will make a positive impact on this world.”

Certificate Winners: Daniel Barnett, Zach Dunkelberger, Chirasmita Kompella

Social Studies: Meghan Obernberger

Meghan Obernberger is a dedicated and curious student in the world of social studies. At Issaquah High, Obernberger took three AP social studies courses to help deepen her knowledge on the world. She challenges others to think deeper and feels passionate towards the issues that are relevant to her, and the lives of students around her. Social studies teacher Kate Kelly says, “I am thrilled to recognize Meggie for her outstanding citizenship and I am confident that whatever she decides to do in life, it will be done with great energy, passion, and pride.”

Certificate Winners: Isabel Williams, Zach Dunkelberger, Deon Lillo, Grant Williams

World Languages:

ASL: Talia Allen

Talia Allen has shown an interest in American Sign Language unlike many other students. Her curiosity of the language has sparked many discussions that further not only other students’ knowledge, but also the teacher’s knowledge. American Sign Language teacher RJ Harris says, “Talia’s passion for learning a signed language has ignited a passion for the study of linguistics as a whole.  All who have had the pleasure of sharing an ASL class with Talia are more informed and have spread her enthusiasm to others.”

French: Maia Tucker

Maia Tucker is an outstanding French student who always goes above and beyond expectations. Tucker’s commitment to the language and culture is admirable; she has been studying French for five years and has traveled to France, studied French in Québec over the summer, and stayed with a family in Paris. French teacher Veronique Silverman says, “Her desire to learn and improve her French has been remarkable. Her fluency and interest in the French language are a testament to her drive and curiosity. Félicitations, Maia!”

Certificate Winner: Tobey Noble

Japanese: Pierce Moen

Pierce Moen is always willing to take on a challenge and he is quite successful when he does so! Japanese teacher Hiroki Danshita says, “Although he took the hardest class for his first in Japanese, he speaks the language as fluent as the other native speakers.” Moen has been involved in other world languages at Issaquah High School and has maintained great grades in each of these classes all while learning other foreign languages independently.

Certificate Winner: Logan Ainsworth

Spanish: Dylan Israel

Dylan Israel has been involved in the Spanish department all four years of high school and has participated in all levels of the language offered at Issaquah High School. Throughout his years in Spanish Israel has excelled and been a great example in the department. Spanish teacher Julie Huber says, “All his teachers agree that he is extremely responsible, has worked very hard and has achieved a level of fluency that we don’t often see from students in our program. He has been a joy to teach!”

Certificate Winner: Alex Reents