2011 Honors Convocation Celebrates Student Success

May 25, 2011 | Posted in Articles

Last night, over 150 instances of excellence were celebrated at OLSH's annual Honors Convocation.

Annie Kayser was named the Valedictorian, and Sean Fitzpatrick, the Salutatorian, of the Class of 2011. Rounding out the list of top ten seniors were Sherry Greek, Kathryn Gasior, Sandra Cahalan, Taylor Belloma, Katherine Christoff, Anthony Smith, Rebecca Bosetti, and Leah Linarelli.

The crowd rose to its feet to commend Anthony Smith, this year's recipient of the Blessed Angela Award, which is presented to the senior who most exhibits the spirit of Mother Angela and the Felician charism. It was awarded by Sr. Mary Justice Przybocki, Local Minister at the OLSH Central Convent.

Paige Berg was awarded the Alison J. Michel Award & Scholarship, which is given to a senior who is dedicated to service, spirit filled, has a positive attitude and a great character. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Michel were on hand to present her with this award.

Kathleen Stewart won the OLSH Spirit of Caring Award, which recognizes the student who has earned the most service hours through her four years at OLSH. Stewart contributed 800.75 hours during her time at OLSH.

Mrs. Christina Brooks, OLSH Principal, presented Leah Linarelli with the Principal's Leadership Award, which is sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Last night was the inaugural awarding of two endowed scholarships: The Poleski Family Scholarship and the Sr. Mary Denise Bernas Scholarship. Freshman JaShawn Smith accepted The Poleski Family Scholarship from Nancy Poleski Collier. The scholarship was established in memory of her parents and her sister, Janice, and in honor of her sisters Judy and Joan.

Robert Monks, a student at St. James School in Sewickley, won the Sr. Mary Denise Bernas Scholarship. He will enter 9th grade at OLSH in the fall. The audience was thrilled to welcome Sr. Denise to the stage to award the scholarship established in her honor.

Juniors Swati Rajprohat and Anthony Graziani were named the Top Scholar Athletes this year. These awards are given to the two students who participate and complete two playing seasons and have the highest academic averages in a school year. Miss Rajprohat is on the cross country and track and field teams. Mr. Graziani is on the bowling and track and field teams.

Mr. Mike Miller, Foreign Language Chair, awarded the Susan P. Fahey Memorial Scholarship to junior Amanda Carmichael. This scholarship is presented to a junior who plans to study an upper-level language in her senior year.

Mrs. Christina Brooks initiated the Shining Star Awards to thank faculty and staff members for their outstanding service to OLSH. Mr. Jeffrey Hulbert and Mr. Jeff Thomas were the first recipients of these awards. Brooks said that Hulbert, a social studies teacher, never ceases to "serve where he is needed." She added that "he is a wonderful role model to our young people." About Mr. Thomas, the head of maintenance, Brooks said, "he serves quietly and humbly, never ceasing to put OLSH first."

The senior student ambassadors were honored for their service to OLSH, and the faculty presented departmental academic achievement awards.

Miss Karen Runtich recognized Danielle Auth and Annie Kayser for their excellent work in bioinformatics at the summer institute at Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. She also commended Swati Rajprohat for her acceptance into a summer program this year through Westinghouse Science Institute, which will allow her to study at the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute this summer.

Ms. Theresa Long acknowledged senior Peter Wojtechko whose essay "The Right of the Human Person" won a nationwide contest for the Franciscan International Human Rights Award.

Mrs. Brooks commended Jon Lach, Amanda Carmichael and runner up, Patrick Michael, on their St. Timothy Awards, which were presented in a ceremony sponsored by the Diocese of Pittsburgh at Duquesne University. She also acknowledged junior Hannah Devlin, sophomore Grace Quigley, and freshman Angela Kilburg for earning the highest averages in their respective classes this year.

Congratulations to all of the award winners!