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2013 Spokane Scholars Foundation Award recipients named


Managing Editor


The Spokane Scholars Foundation has announced the names of its award recipients. Several are from Spokane Valley.
They are:

$4,000 Award Recipient in English
Carter Bastian – Mt. Spokane High School
Carter Bastian has earned a perfect score of 5 on the AP English Language exam, is a National Merit Finalist, has a 4.0 GPA, and is the valedictorian of his class.  Carter Bastian plans to attend an Ivy League school this fall and study either computer science or physics.
An accomplished debater and poet, Carter Bastian has been a finalist for the Thomas S. Foley Award and was a member of a two-person debate team that was ranked first this year in the Greater Spokane League. He was the winner of the Get Lit Festival’s Poetry Slam and was selected to read poetry with U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.

$3,000 Award Recipient in English
Hailey Reneau – Central Valley High School
Hailey Reneau earned a perfect score of 5 on the AP Language and Composition exam and is an AP Scholar with Distinction, a National Merit Commended Scholar, and the valedictorian of her class. Hailey Reneau plans to major in either Anthropology or Cognitive Science. She would like to pursue a career in medicine and hopes to become a published author.

Hailey Reneau is co-captain of the Knowledge Bowl team and part-time English tutor who has won numerous awards in Debate, including being named a National Forensics League Academic All-American and the Top Speaker at the Gonzaga Conway Classic, and being ranked first place in the Greater Spokane League in extemporaneous speaking.

$2,000 Award Recipient in English
Sally Whalen – Gonzaga Preparatory School
Sally Whalen is an AP Scholar with Honor and recorded a perfect score of 800 on the SAT Writing exam and a nearly perfect score of 780 on the SAT Verbal exam.

Sally Whalen co-edits her school’s literary magazine, performs frequently at local poetry readings, and has won first prize in the Celebration of Light essay contest. She also was accepted into one of the most competitive and highly selective young writers program in the nation: The Iowa Young Writers’ Studio summer program.

$1,000 Award Recipient in English
Nikolas Cable – The Oaks Classical Christian Academy
Nikolas Cable is a National Merit Finalist, has a 4.0 GPA, earned a perfect score of 36 in the ACT Reading exam, earned a perfect score of 5 in the AP Literature exam, and is the top-ranked student in his graduating class – even though he is its youngest member.
Nikolas Cable has won the Harvard Book Award and numerous awards in Debate. A teacher describes him as “one of those rare students who studies for fun” and “a student upon whom I can depend to engage in conversation for more than just a class period.”

Fine Arts
$4,000 Award Recipient in Fine Arts
Yunjung Kim – Joel E. Ferris High School
Yunjung Kim was considered for four different nominations as a Spokane Scholar and was finally chosen to be the Fine Arts nominee. Yunjung has been called an “unparalleled musician and scholar…with the unique ability to demonstrate stunning technique and skill while expressing emotional depth and meaning during a musical performance.” She is also very involved with Theater having received a superior rating for Lighting Design. Yunjung maintains a 4.0 GPA while taking many AP classes. She received 4s and 5s in the AP tests and near perfect scores in the Chemistry and Mathematics Level 2 SAT Subject tests.
Yunjung Kim plans to continue musical studies in college and also pursue a second degree in biomedical engineering. Her career goals are either a surgeon or performing musician. 

$3,000 Award Recipient in Fine Arts
Rylan Edlin – Mead High School
Ryland Edlin has an impressive 4.0 GPA and 2250 SAT score. Rylan has been selected to play in national ensembles and many local groups as well. The Mead High School band director says that Ryland is “an extremely talented instrumentalist.” This scholar loves helping out with the Middle and Elementary School bands.
Ryland Edlin has been recognized for excellence in local and national venues.  In addition to many music awards, this scholar has been singled out for excellence in leadership and science and mathematics.

$2,000 Award Recipient in Fine Arts
Onew Angela Lee – Gonzaga Preparatory School
Onew Angela Lee has won awards on levels from national competitions down to the school level. A multiple gold and silver medal winner at Musicfest Northwest, Onew Angela is skilled in both piano and violin, serving as Concertmaster for the school orchestra. The Music Director at the school says that Onew Angela is a leader and the most exceptional musician he has worked with.
Onew Angela Lee has also taken numerous AP and Honors courses which can only be taken with a teacher’s recommendation. As an émigré Onew Angela understands the importance of language and teaches both her native language and English in several venues in Spokane and overseas.

$1,000 Award Recipient in Fine Arts
Robert Harris – Shadle Park High School
Robert Harris has not only won many awards for performance, but also composes. Those compositions will soon be available on a CD which Robert also produced. He has a 4.0 GPA and is admired for his work ethic and passion for music.
Robert Harris plans to study music in college with an eye to becoming a professional musician, but will double major in economics as a fallback career.

$4,000 Award Recipient in Mathematics
Alexander Wende – Central Valley High School
Alexander Wende has an exemplary curricular record, earning a 770 on his math SAT, a perfect 800 in the SAT Math Level II and a 5 on the Calculus BC test. He is a National Merit Commended Scholar, an AP Scholar with Distinction and a Washington Scholar nominee.
Alexander Wende has competed in the American Mathematics Competition, Math Is Cool and Avista’s Trigstar competition. He has completed cryptography, Algebra 2 and computer programming courses through the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. Alexander hosts a weekly lunchtime math discussion group with teachers and students who want to pursue mathematical topics that are outside the regular high school curriculum such as fractals, set theory and proof by induction.  Alexander’s Calculus teacher says that talking with him, is like “speaking with a very knowledgeable colleague about the intricacies of the subject.”

$3,000 Award Recipient in Mathematics
Leah Wurst – Mt. Spokane High School
Leah Wurst lists such accolades as AP Scholar with Honor, National Merit Commended Scholar and Washington Scholar Nominee. Leah has a perfect 4.0 in her demanding high school curriculum, as well as earning a perfect 36 on the ACT in math. 
Leah Wurst is a tutor for other math students, commended by her Calculus teacher for her ability to explain math to others in a way that makes sense in addition to her math ability with which she earned a 5 on the Calculus BC test.  Leah plans on being a high school math teacher.

$2,000 Award Recipient in Mathematics
Daniel Rahn – Mead High School
Daniel Rahn has been attending Whitworth College as a senior at Mead High School, challenging himself with multi-variable calculus and linear algebra.  He has been in a robotics competition for the past two years and has built his own computer, preparing himself for a future in computer science and electrical engineering. 
Daniel Rahn’s math teacher cites his abilities to think abstractly and to learn complex materials quickly as well as earning a 5 on the Calculus BC test and an 800 on the math portion of the math SAT as evidence of his mathematical stature.

$1,000 Award Recipient in Mathematics
Sophie Zhao – Saint George’s School
Sophie Zhao scored a perfect 800 on the SAT math and Math Level II tests. She has scored a 5 on the AP Calculus AB and AP Statistics tests. She has won awards in Math Is Cool and led her school team to an impressive13th place in the national Ciphering Time Trials.
Sophie Zhao’s math skills and willingness to tutor other students are all the more impressive when we consider that her first language is Chinese and she has only been in this country for two years.

$4,000 Award Recipient in Science
Sophia Schwalbe – Cheney High School
Sophia Schwalbe has taken all the honors science courses offered at her high school.   She scored a perfect 36 on the ACT Composite and a perfect 36 in Science Reasoning.  She is an AP Scholar, a US Presidential Scholar candidate, and a National Merit Commended Scholar. Sophia is the recipient of a Presidential Scholarship, a Women of Excellence Scholarship, and a Washington Scholars grant, all from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Sophia Schwalbe is a research laboratory assistant in the EWU Chemistry Department synthesizing and analyzing metallic crystals as part of a larger research project searching for a room-temperature superconductor. Her professor writes that she is highly motivated, meticulous, and can look forward to being a co-author in a handful of forthcoming papers in inorganic chemistry.  Sophia Schwalbe plans to earn a PhD in Physics and dreams of working on the large hadron collider at CERN in Switzerland.

$3,000 Award Recipient in Science
Alexandria Moore – Central Valley High School
Alexandria Moore is a National Merit Finalist, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and a US Presidential and Washington Scholar Nominee.  Alexandria has completed 5 AP science courses, including chemistry, Physics, Biology, Calculus and Statistics, as well as AP courses in English and History. For the past 3 years she has been the President of Engineering Post, a regional group of Spokane high school students exploring engineering careers and topics.
Alexandria Moore is a co-author of an article published by the International Society for Optics and Photonics as a result of attending a 7 week residential student science training program at the University of Florida, where she worked fulltime, 9 to 5 weekdays, in the Astronomy Department’s optics lab to create a spectrograph for a telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona to hunt for exoplanets around dwarf stars.   Alexandria wants to pursue Electrical Engineering in college.

$2,000 Award Recipient in Science
Gail Gallaher – West Valley High School
Gail Gallaher is a National Merit Finalist, an AP Scholar with Honor, and a US Presidential Scholar Candidate. She scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT, a perfect 800 on the SAT Molecular Biology subject test.  She is a 2012 USA Biology Olympiad Semifinalist scoring in the 99th percentile. Not having enough challenges last fall, she enrolled in online courses from Stanford University and earned A’s in Calculus, Chinese 1, and AP Literature and Composition.
Gail Gallaher’s AP Chemistry and Biology teacher, who has taught many outstanding science students over the past 18 years, put her in a category of ONE, “by far the best ever!” Even for full time AP teachers, Gail is a once in a career event.

$1,000 Award Recipient in Science
Daniel Hart – Riverside High School
Daniel Hart is a National Merit Commended Scholar, scored in the 99th percentile on the Science Reasoning portion of the ACT, is a Washington Scholar candidate, and is his high school’s valedictorian.
Daniel Hart’s counselor writes that: “For the past two years he has organized and facilitated a tutoring program, staying after school to provide personal help to struggling math and science students.  Not only does he comprehend the math and science content, he is an effective teacher.” Having completed every AP and Honors course available in his high school, he took the train east and attended Harvard’s 2012 summer school, completing four-credit courses in Calculus II and Neurobiology with A’s in both classes.

Social Studies
$4,000 Award Recipient in Social Studies
Natalie Pilgeram – Mt. Spokane High School
Natalie Pilgeram has a 4.0 grade average, a total score of 2350 on the SAT and a 5 on the U.S. History subject test. She has completed four AP and two honors courses in the social sciences with straight A grades and has been designated as an AP Scholar and a National Merit Commended Student.
Natalie Pilgeram participated in the National History Day competition, winning 2nd Place overall at the national level in 2012 for an essay on the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.  One of Natalie’s teachers described her as one who “exudes a positive energy which contagiously spreads throughout the school.” Natalie hopes to pursue a career in neuroscience.

$3,000 Award Recipient in Social Studies
Nikolaus Hofer – Medical Lake High School
Nikolaus Hofer has a 4.0 grade average with a total SAT score of 2160 and is an AP Scholar with Honor. A composite score of 34 on the ACT ranked him in the 99th percentile. He has taken every AP class available at his high school with straight A grades and earned a score of 5 on the AP U.S. history test and scores of 4 on the European and world history tests.  During his junior year, Nikolaus was one of sixty nationwide accepted into the seven-week Leadership Enterprise for Diverse America program at Princeton University.
Nikolaus Hofer has incredible gifts not only academically but also in leadership and personal character, according to one of his teachers. He hopes to pursue a career in law and perhaps to enter politics.

$2,000 Award Recipient in Social Studies
Stephanie Endicott – East Valley High School
Stephanie Endicott is an AP Scholar with a total score of 2070 on the SAT. She has exhausted the available AP offerings in social science with straight A’s in 5 AP courses and scores of 5 on two AP social science tests. Stephanie also has a 4.0 grade average, is a designated AP Scholar and was a first-place winner at the area, state and regional levels of the Daughters of the American Revolution essay contest.
Stephanie Endicott combines a passion for travel and for learning about other cultures with, as a teacher put it, “an incredible work ethic” and “the highest possible integrity and cultural sensitivity.”

$1,000 Award Recipient in Social Studies
Kathryn Knight – North Central High School
Kathryn Knight has a 4.0 grade average and a total score of 2130 on the SAT. She has taken every AP class offered, earning straight A’s in three AP history courses and scores of 5 on two AP history tests. She is a National Merit Semi-Finalist and a Distinguished AP Scholar.
Kathryn Knight’s history teacher wrote that “her knowledge of politics and genuine concern for all people of this world are manifested in articulate discussion that is steeped in reading and insight.”  Aside from academics, Kathryn’s interests range from music and the arts to running competitively.

World Languages
$4,000 Award Recipient in World Languages
Emily Stephens – MT. Spokane High School
Emily Stephens has proven to be deserving of our top award.  Her love of language is obvious as she has learned Spanish, French, Chinese, and Russian, and based on her track record, isn't likely to stop there.  Her desire to challenge herself is also clear as many of her languages classes were completed at the collegiate level.  In addition to being an excellent student with a curriculum littered with advanced placement courses, a perfect GPA and an SAT score of 2310, this scholar has amassed a resume of awards, honors, and activities that a layman could only describe as amazing.
Emily Stephens has volunteered countless hours in our community including co-founding the Fly Free Anti-Slavery Movement, which developed multilingual signs to aid local victims of human trafficking and to raise awareness for local and international victims.

$3,000 Award Recipient in World Languages
Ellen Kaczmarek – Lewis and Clark High School
Ellen Kaczmarek is a student who has a tremendous passion for language and started studying Spanish at a summer camp in the 1st grade.  Since then, Ellen has added German, Greek, and Japanese to her resume.  Upon entering high school, she skipped over the school's first year Japanese courses and moved directly into the 2nd year classes.  Since then she excelled through all of the offerings and finished her final Japanese courses online to make room in her schedule for advanced Spanish.  
Ellen Kaczmarek has expanded her learning through hosting Japanese home-stay students and practicing Kendo; Japanese Fencing. In her "spare time" Ellen volunteers for World Relief and helps mentor refugees from Afghanistan. She plans on focusing on International Studies in college.

$2,000 Award Recipient in World Languages
Lauren Allen – Central Valley High School
Lauren Allen’s high school career has been built around a challenging curriculum, travel, and exploration of multiple languages. In addition to her perfect GPA and a 2250 on her SAT, she has managed to master French and study Mandarin Chinese.  While studying abroad her junior year she also learned Spanish at her French high school. While in Europe, Lauren also studied Economics, Physics, Chemistry, and other subjects, which were all taught in French.
Lauren Allen plans on expanding her knowledge of languages while attending college in Washington DC specializing in International Affairs and International Politics.

$1,000 Award Recipient in World Languages
Bruce Culbertson – Saint George’s SchoolBruce Culbertson is a true student of the languages.  In addition to a near perfect GPA and an outstanding score on his SAT of 2270, he managed to challenge himself with a full curriculum of AP classes throughout last four years.  What makes this scholar standout is that he took his passion of the language to the next level and spent an entire summer in Latin America expanding his knowledge of the Spanish language and his understanding of the Nicaraguan culture. 
Bruce Culbertson plans on a collegiate experience abroad and plans on returning to Latin America for an extended period of time in the next four years.

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is the City of Spokane Valley, Washington's official Newspaper. The City Council of the City of Spokane Valley, Washington named the Spokane Valley News Herald as the city's "official" newspaper. The designation means the Spokane Valley News Herald will publish the city's legal notices on a contract basis for one year.

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2012 Valley News Articles Archive