Avon Grove officials recognize accomplishments of students
● By Steven Hoffman
In its last meeting of 2016, the Avon Grove School Board handled a full agenda, including the approval of a new teachers' contract. A portion of the Dec. 15 meeting was also spent recognizing the impressive accomplishments of some of the district's students.
Avon Grove superintendent Dr. Christopher Marchese said that seeing what the school district's students are accomplishing by the time they graduate makes him feel like he was an underachiever when he was their age. Marchese's observation came during a discussion about some recent accomplishments by high school students.
No fewer than ten Avon Grove High School seniors have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for their outstanding scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Three students—Brian Armstrong, Drew Lazarow, and Noah Donten have qualified as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than one percent of all high school seniors in the United States. These academically talented students will continue in the competition for over 7,400 National Merit Scholarships that will be awarded in the spring of 2017.
Approximately 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools across the U.S. entered this year's competition by taking the Preliminary SAT.
In addition to the three National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, Avon Grove High School also has seven students who have qualified as Commended Students in the National Merit Scholarship Program. These students include Caroline Gerwig, Kieran Hannon, Kyle Holman, William Kephart, Owen Lucas, Kai Myran, and Victoria Provost. Commended Students placed among the top five percent of students who entered the 2017 competition.
Marchese said that the number of students who earn recognition through the National Scholarship Program is one illustration of a top-quality high school.
Another illustration of the good work being done at Avon Grove High School is the fact that the school's chapter of the National Honor Society inducted a record number of students—62—this year.
Students qualified for the National Honor Society by maintaining a 3.5 or higher grade-point average and undergoing a review by the Faculty Selection Committee, which looked at each student's leadership qualities, community service hours, and school involvement. The 62 students were inducted in the Avon Grove Chapter of the National Honor Society on Dec. 1.
The students who were inducted into the National Honor Society include the following: (Seniors) Sophie Akhtar, Emma Brinton, Lauren Cimabue, Maria Cruz Flores, Lauren Davis, Caroline Gerwig, Cindy Guevara, Chase Moyer, Madison Moyer, Cassie Oranzi, Sophie Page, Ronald Rineer, Spencer Wallace, Brett Yurkovich, and Joshua Zern; and (juniors) Andrew Addiego, Adriannah Alpaugh, Lindsay Arnold, Kendall Bosio, Gianna Busala, Holden Campagna, Nicholas Chastain, Kiersten Crouse, Alexander Day, Serena Derderian, Noah Dusseau, Aimee Feuda, Bailey Fulmer, Yakquelin Garduno, Amy Hannum, Kalyn Highfield, Jordan Howard, Megan Kveragas, Katie Lengel, Jason Lengel, Rory Lennox, Chelsea Lewin, Olivia McGarvey, Danielle Mininno, Robert Morris, Kaitlyn Morrison, Anna Mulle, Shannon Oakes, Kelly O'Hora, Samantha Paglia, Olivia Paoletti, Regan Pavlock, Sydney Pelley, Tyler Phillips, Gabriella Pino, Francis Reith, Haley Rineer, Grace Russell, Ethan Sachs, Alexandra Savory, Erin Sorg, Andrew Spencer, Daphne Stingel, Kristen Sweet, A. Mackenzie VanSciver, Casey Weber, and Sara White.
In other business at the Dec. 15 meeting:
~ The school board approved an employment agreement with Dr. Wendi Lee Kraft, the district's director of personnel, for a contract extending from Jan. 10, 2017 through June 30, 2021.
~ The school board approved a long list of items on the consent agenda, including a series of retirements, resignations, and leaves, the reading of two board policies that are being revised, the appointments of several instructional staff positions and the approval of more than a dozen student-teachers who have signed on for the spring semester of 2016-17.
~ The school board also approved two overnight trip requests—one for 95 students from the indoor color guard, percussion, and jazz band to attend the All Chapter Championships in Wildwood, New Jersey from April 30 to May 3, and one for 15 students from the indoor color guard to attend the WGI Regionals at South Brunswick High School in South Brunswick, New Jersey on Feb. 24 and 25.
The next committee-of-the-whole meeting is slated for 6 p.m. on Thurday, Jan. 12, and the next regular meeting of the school board will take place on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. Both meetings will take place in the audion of the Avon Grove Intermediate School.