2 area students win high honor

Howard girl, Baltimore County boy are named 2008 Presidential Scholars

May 02, 2008|By John-John Williams IV | John-John Williams IV,Sun reporter

Two Baltimore-area high school seniors have been recognized for accomplishments in the arts and are among 139 students nationwide selected as 2008 Presidential Scholars, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced yesterday.

Jennifer S. Liu, who attends River Hill High School in Clarksville, Howard County, and Alex R. Levy, who attends the Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson, were named Presidential Scholars in the Arts. Montgomery County students Julie J. Zhu, Benjamin B. Lu, and Christina Zou also were recognized as scholars.

The recipients will be honored from June 21 to 24 in Washington.

Liu, a 17-year-old resident of Highland, is being recognized for her accomplishments in photography. She is president of her school's National Arts Honor Society and film club, is a student government executive officer and a member of the National French Honor Society.

Liu plays violin and piano. She volunteers at a local Chinese language school and with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Liu earned a position in the California College of the Arts' pre-college summer residency program in film and video. She placed first in the Howard County film festival last year. She has a 4.36 grade point average, and plans to attend Maryland Institute College of Art in the fall.

Levy, an 18-year-old resident of Lutherville, has been distinguished by his accomplishments in film. He is a College Board AP Scholar.

"I've been quite honored to make it this far," said Levy, who specializes in making short films. His high school major is in telemedia and technology, and he is also completing an independent study in digital filmmaking.

A violist and guitarist, Levy has composed and recorded scores for his films. He has also been a member of his school's history, journalism and ski clubs. He will attend Vassar College in New York this fall.

Each scholar can chose a favorite teacher to receive a recognition award in Washington.

Liu chose Gino Molfino, her art and photography teacher, of Clarksville. "I feel like he's been very supportive of me since I took art my sophomore year of high school," Liu said.

Levy chose his film teacher, Nino Leselidze, of Towson. "She has been a big help in realizing some of my film ideas," Levy said. "She's been a great asset to my entire film career. She helps me with the artistic side."

Scholars were determined by a 29-member commission appointed by President Bush.

Recipients were chosen based on academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

john-john.williams@baltsun.com

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