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Camps and Schools 10-1-03

Awards and Achievements

Whitman junior Pallavi Mahidhara received the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) at Van Hollen’s Washington, D.C. office. Mahidhara is the winner of a $25,000 scholarship from the Davidson Institute for Talent and Development.

Davidson Fellows are outstanding young people who demonstrate the development of their talent with a significant piece of work in areas such as science, technology, mathematics, music, literature and philosophy. Mahidhara demonstrated her musical journey with the piano by performing various classical, Romantic and 20th-century compositions with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony. Mahidhara continues to expand her musical education while sharing her talent, skills and passion by teaching music on a volunteer basis.

Among the 16,000 National Merit Scholarship competition were 145 Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) high school students, including 54 from Montgomery Blair, 35 from Richard Montgomery, 18 from Walt Whitman, 11 from Winston Churchill and five from Thomas S. Wootton High School. The semifinalists were selected from more than 1.3 million high school juniors who were top scorers on the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). About 90 percent of the semifinalists will advance to finalist status based on academic, testing and extracurricular criteria, and will be considered for the 2,500 $2,500 scholarships to be awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Whitman semifinalists were Michael H. Baer, Susan E. Combs, Sarah E. Halperin, Thomas Hsieh, Joelle B. Karlik, Alanna G. Kaufman, Jeffrey M. Lyon, Shakuntala Makhijani, Eric P. Marberg, Suchita D. Mathur, Lilian Y. Mitchell, Hilary Robinson, David H. Schraub, Joshua Z. Stanton, Alison A. Stout, Devrin C. Talen, Frank L. Washburn and Micah S. Ziegler. Churchill semifinalists were Yuliya Butareva, Brian D. Dunlop, Jordan M. Grossman, Yong S. Han, Sandra S. Katz, Ben B. Kenigsberg, Peter K. Law, Robert S. Lu, Zach B. Schreiber, Stefanie J. Woodburn and Christine Yang. Wootton semifinalists were Iris R. Hartley, Esther N. Kim, Aashna A. Kircher, Robert K. Lord and Adam M. Schloss.

Local Holton-Arms students named National Merit semifinalists were Molly Blanchard,

Jennifer Sarah Bolton, Leslie Anne Cassidy, Michelle Lorica, Emilie Schwend, Laurie Tupper and Meg Whicker.

Prashanth Rao of Potomac was named to the dean’s list for the spring 2003 semester at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Rao, a Landon School graduate, is majoring in biology and expects to graduate in May 2004.

Elizabeth Caroline Rogers of Rockville was named to the dean’s list for the spring 2003 semester at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Connelly School of the Holy Child was honored with the “Outstanding Chapter Award” from Best Buddies International, one of only 18 chapters worldwide to receive the award. Liz Palka, Holy Child’s Best Buddies Chapter president, accepted the award in Bloomington, Ind. in July. Best Buddies, established by Anthony Kennedy Shriver in 1987, creates foundation for friendships between individuals with and without intellectual disabilities.

The National School Boards Administration (NSBA) has recognized Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) for exemplary use of technology in education. MCPS was selected as one of three school districts from across the country to receive the 2003 NSBA Technology Leadership District Salute, recognizing MCPS for its Technology Modernization Program and the Integrated Quality Management System.

School Notes

Parents of students in Montgomery County Public Schools are encouraged to attend open house events in schools on Columbus Day, Monday, October 13. Columbus Day has been designated for schools to schedule open houses this year, rather than the usual Veterans Day date. Veterans Day this year is an early release day on the school calendar to be used for parent conferences.

The Montgomery County Board of Education has approved a resolution, initiated by the Board president and vice president, requesting that the Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE) support an effort to seek postponement of this year’s administration of the Maryland School Assessments (MSAs) from the period of Feb. 25, through March 5, 2004 until a date later in the school year. The resolution cites the limitations in instructional time for students to prepare for the tests and the loss of instructional days caused by Hurricane Isabel. MABE convenes in October for its annual meeting.