By Linda Wisch-Davidsohn
Well, you probably have noticed that a large part of this week’s issue is dedicated to our community’s high school graduates. If you haven’t had time to send in your graduate’s news yet, don’t despair, we can run it in an upcoming issue.
Local Student Named to Muhlenberg College Dean’s List
Congratulations are due to Dalit Agronin, daughter Carol and David Agronin, who was named to the Dean’s List at Muhlenberg College for the Spring 2013 semester. Students must earn a minimum of a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale to attain Dean’s List status. Dalit, a member of the Muhlenberg Class of 2016, is a dance and psychology major. She is a graduate of Yavneh Academy. Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg College is a highly selective liberal arts college in Allentown, Pa.
Outstanding Graduate, Rachel Lauren Gaspar
Mazel Tov to Rachel Lauren Gaspar, daughter of noted jewelry designer Deborah Gaspar. Rachel, a 2013 distinguished graduate of Plano Senior High School, and also attended Shepton High School in Plano two years prior. While attending Plano schools, Rachel was an AP National Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society in addition to taking the National Spanish Exam, which won her the Silver Medal in 2011. Rachel won both the All-American Award and Dance Award in cheerleading and won 1st Place in the National Cheerleading Competition in 2011. In addition to participating in cheerleading throughout high school, she was also an avid gymnast for four years. Rachel was a member of Student Congress in 11th and 12th grade and a member of Shepton’s Student Senate in 10th grade. She was a member of Ginny Weinstein BBG and a Temple Shalom Family Member. She volunteered more than 96 hours of community service with Operation Kindness, Seven Loaves Food Shelter of St. Andrew’s Church and at the Plano International Festival at Haggard Park and replanted trees for the Texas Trees Foundation at the TXU Urban Tree Farm. Other volunteer activities included registering participants for the Make A Wish Foundation Bike Race, donating 11 inches of her hair for Locks of Love, participating in the Cookies and Art Project for the Fire Department, serving as Santa Claus of the Willow Bend Mall — a craft project for younger children and cheering for the Special Olympics Basketball Game at Plano West High School. Rachel is widely traveled, having visited Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Washington, DC, New York, Kansas, Utah, Florida, California, Oklahoma, Colorado and North Carolina. Rachel’s interests and hobbies include jewelry design, interior design and animal rights issues. She has been employed at Deborah Gaspar Designs as a design assistant and in sales. She is currently an office assistant at Dirty Dawgs, and has worked seasonally at Bandana Aspen in Aspen, Colo. Some of the highlights of Rachel’s work and travel experience were attending the Wholesale Jewelry Show in New York City and visiting with the stylist on Katie Couric’s TV show. Rachel plans to attend USC in the fall. Rachel has a brother, Jared, 21, and enjoys spending time with her family and 130 lb. Great Dane.
Some Pearce Mustang grads
Alex Morris, daughter of Melanie and Jeff Morris graduated from JJ Pearce High School in Richardson. Alex graduated with honors, was a member of the National Honor Society, an SOS lifeguard and senior mentor to the incoming freshman. Alex participated in the invitation-only internship work-study program during her senior year, where she worked as graphic designer for The TJP. Alex was honored with the Gianni Scholarship, which awards academic scholarships to students pursuing degree programs in the arts.
Alex was an active member of Ginny Weinstein BBG, former chapter president and regional board officer. She plans to attend Northeastern University in Boston this fall pursuing a degree in graphic arts.
Elie Allen, son of Mona and Artie Allen, was honored with one of two Pearce Athletic Booster Club Scholarships. The $750 award was given based on character, scholastic achievement, school and community activities and financial need. Elie, like his dad, is bound for the Crimson Tide University of Alabama. In addition to being active in Kaplan AZA and Young Men’s Service League, Elie was a varsity wrestler, winning district honors. Elie is the brother of Nace, Adrian and Lee.
Yavneh’s honor graduates
You will see the entire Yavneh graduating class on page 14-15 of this week’s issue, but we’d like to recognize in addition to the valedictorians, the school’s honor graduates Shelby Gadol, Rachel Goodman, Justin Katz, Shea Miller, Clara Moskowitz, Kayley Romick, Elie Schramm, Mika Stein and Liora Zhrebker.
The school’s Sylvia and William Epstein Golden Wedding Anniversary Fund Award for Excellence in Judaic Studies honors were bestowed upon Rachel Goodman and Kayley Romick, who provided the commencement D’var Torah, and Yavneh’s Gabbai award was given to Tamar Cohen and Elie Schramm.
Incidentally, Rachel Goodman, is also a TJP intern this summer.
TJP intern Jamie Weiss graduates from McKinney High
Congratulations to Jamie Weiss, daughter of Tara and Rich Weiss, who graduated from McKinney High School earlier this month. You may remember that we profiled Jamie on these pages when she was a finalist in the TXU Energy Light up the Red Carpet film contest. Jamie graduated in the top 10 percent of her class, was a member of the National Honor Society and producer of the bi-weekly television show MHS1. Jamie was active in Ginny Weinstein BBG and is headed to Syracuse University in the fall where she will study broadcast and digital journalism. As a TJP intern this summer, Jamie has already expanded the social media presence of the paper and is adding some terrific video to the TJP website. You can check out her piece on Rosa Blum at tjpnews.com.
Lakehill grads excel
Lakehill Preparatory School graduate Clayton Drazner, son of Laurie and Mark Drazner, was recently selected by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) as a member of the TASSP All-State Academic Excellence Team.
This prestigious award was designed to recognize Texas high school seniors for their outstanding academic achievements and to reward superior scholarship.
As one of only 20 members selected for the TASSP All-State Academic Excellence Team, Drazner was awarded a $500 scholarship and formally recognized at the TASSP Summer Workshop in Austin on June 13.
Drazner is also a National Merit Scholarship winner and was selected as a candidate for the Presidential Scholars program. He will attend Rice University.
Joining Drazner in the Lakehill Class of 2013 are Dory Fine, daughter of Robin Donsky and Kenneth Fine, and Jacob Graff, son of Jonathan Graff and Audrey Miklius. Dory will attend USC in the Fall and Jacob will head to Columbia University in New York City.
More grads …
Lesley Miller, daughter of Fred and Debra Miller, graduated with honors as a National Merit Finalist from Plano West. She will be attending Rice University in the fall and studying psychology with a minor in neuroscience.
When Keren Moyal, daughter of Irit and Rabbi David Moyal, graduated from Mesorah High School on June 2, she was presented with an engraved bronze medallion recognizing her selection as a distinguished finalist for 2013 in The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program.