Annual convocation to honor Hispanic students graduating from Howard high schools


May 13, 2007|By John-John Williams IV

Twenty-nine Hispanic graduating seniors will be honored Tuesday at Atholton High School at the sixth annual convocation ceremony sponsored by Conexiones.

A county-based advocacy group with a focus on Hispanic student achievement, Conexiones chose the students based on academic achievement, overcoming adversity, community service, and leadership.

Each student also wrote an essay. Here are this year's honorees.

Atholton: Sasha Ballester Farley, Alicia Noriega and Allysa Pagan

Centennial: Kristian Idar Albornoz and Chris Anderson

Howard: Leticia Henry

Long Reach: David Tovar Argueta, Rebekah Yahellah Best, Kelly Canates, Crystal E. Rivera and Maria Jose Viera

Mount Hebron: Andrea Hurtado and Lawrence Andrew Soto

Oakland Mills: Sara Andino, Marilyn Yamileth Chavarria Butler, Rick Gonzalez, Diana Carolina Suarez and Rosario Valeria Fuentes Tudela

Reservoir: Victoria Maelle Paul Blanc, Victoria Melendez, Carla Serrano, Jennifer Sosa and Walter Vasquez

River Hill: Diana Cardino Flecher Camacho, Leonardo Oporto and Sebastian Suarez

Wilde Lake: Claudia Carrillo, Megan Ashley Cifuentes and Angelica Maria Vecino.

Each honoree will receive a certificate of merit and a cash award.

The 7 p.m. ceremony will be preceded by a reception at 6:30 p.m.

Recognizing Hispanic student achievement is important, said Murray Simon, president of Conexiones.

"Nationally the dropout rate is high for Hispanic high school students," Simon said. "This event is a role-model for other Hispanic students, especially for those on the fence."

Dr. Roberto Blanco, an Atholton High School alumnus, will be the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

Blanco, a psychiatrist working in North Carolina's Research Triangle, will share his educational and professional journey.

Honoring employees

Patricia Phillips, Howard County's 2007 Teacher of the Year, will lead the list of honored employees Tuesday at the system's annual "In Honor of Excellence" ceremony.

The two-hour event will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Jim Rouse Theatre at Wilde Lake High School.

Additional honorees will include: Richard Malt, a social studies teacher at Marriotts Ridge High School, who won the First Year Educator Award; Kathy Hanks, the principal's secretary at Wilde Lake High School, who won the Office Professionals Award; Laura Weir of Fulton Elementary School, who won the Distinguished Assistant Award; and Stewart Custis of West Friendship Elementary School, who won the Custodial and Grounds Service Award.

Superintendent Sydney L. Cousin, members of the Board of Education and community leaders are scheduled to attend to recognize the honorees, as well as employees with 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of service with the school system.

Atholton students

Two of Atholton High School's most generous seniors have been recognized for their exemplary service work.

Travis Payne and Debbie Schub were two of the 46 students honored Wednesday at the Sheraton Columbia Hotel at the Maryland Service-Learning Recognition Dinner.

The dinner was sponsored by the Maryland State Department of Education.

"I am proud of these students who have gone beyond their district's service-learning plan, giving hundreds, and in some cases, in excess of 2,000 hours of service to their communities," Nancy S. Grasmick, state superintendent, said in a statement. "And, I'm impressed by the dedication of the honored teachers for their wonderful ability to create exemplary service-learning experiences for their students and provide expertise to their peers."

National winner

Phillip Sandborn, a junior at Wilde Lake High School, took first place in the engineering division at the 2007 National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Huntsville, Ala., on May 5.

His project, "A Random Trimming Approach for Obtaining High-Precision Embedded Resistors," examines electronic resistor components fabricated inside printed circuit boards.

Sandborn's project used a computer simulation to demonstrate the process.

Sandborn won the Maryland regional competition in April. At the national competition in Alabama, he competed against winners from 48 regional competitions in the United States, Puerto Rico, Europe, and Asia.

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