MMI Preparatory School held its annual Upper School Awards Convocation on May 16 to honor students in ninth through 12th grades.
MMI Head of School, D. Scott Wiggins, welcomed everyone in attendance and recognized Class of 2018 Valedictorian Gabriella Kupsho and Salutatorian Aaron Harman. Stephanie Shandra Swietnicki, MMI college admissions counselor, served as emcee for the program, where more than $600,000 in scholarships and prizes were awarded to students.
The team of Lauren Babinetz, Alexander Sessock, Kaitlyn McGeehan, Grant Warren, and Dominique Kline were recognized for capturing first place in the 39th annual Luzerne County Envirothon competition at PPL’s Susquehanna River lands. Each of MMI’s six teams placed in the top seven at the regional competition and the winning team members advanced to the state competition at Susquehanna University.
Stephanie Zellner received the inaugural MMI Ambassador Service Award, which is designed to recognize a senior ambassador who exemplifies the true meaning of ambassadorship and has been active in the program for three or more years. The award honors a student who has shown initiative in assisting to promote the school at various admission events as well as seeking out opportunities to volunteer at events geared toward current parents and alumni. Recipients are selected for their character, helpfulness, and longevity.
The Eckley B. Coxe Jr. Memorial Subject Awards, named after the nephew of MMI founder Eckley B. Coxe, recognized seniors who displayed academic excellence in various subject areas over the student’s entire tenure in the upper school. Award winners are: Chinese and History – Sydney Karpowich, English and Science – Lauren Babinetz, German – Nicolo Cottone, Mathematics and Spanish – Gabriella Kupsho, and Visual Arts – Julia Snyder.
Students in ninth through eleventh grades who exhibited outstanding contribution, achievement, and dedication to an individual subject area during the past academic year received the 2018 MMI Subject Awards. Winners are as follows:
Ninth grade: English, Math, and History – Samantha Sparich; Science – Dominique Kline; Chinese – Hannah Falatko; Visual Art – Morgan Allen; Music Performance – Irene Altmiller; German – Louis DeAngelo, and Spanish – Katherine Lewandowski.
10th grade: Chinese, Math, and Music Performance – Benjamin Putnam; English – Adam Tron; German – Paige Machulsky; History – Christian Yamulla; Science – Andrellie Puntiel, and Spanish – Hugh Soltau.
11th grade: Chinese – Brian Payne, English and History – Alexander Kline, German – Daniel DeMelfi, Math and Science – Zachary Young, Spanish – Alexander Sessock, and Visual Arts – Bailey Slusser.
Students received awards for exhibiting high achievement on National Examinations for German and Spanish.
German Achievement Award winners are: Elizabeth Eckert, Jessica McClellan, Joshua Galbiati, Kai Mele, Irene Altmiller, Marcus Danchision, McKenna Gallagher, Morgan Hosier, Dominique Kline, and Cole Rinehimer. Bronze Award winners are: Elias Bachman, Daniel DeMelfi, Coleman Smith, Ella Urosevich, Ethan Stine, Sydney Kohl, and Natalie Graham. Silver Award winners are: Louis DeAngelo and Paige Machulsky.
National Spanish Examination award winners are as follows: Spanish Level 1 Honorable Mention Awards in the Classroom Experience category – James Kelly, Darren Zheng, and Hiba Muhammad; Spanish Level 1 Bronze Awards in the Classroom Experience category – Christian Badamo and Katherine Lewandowski; Spanish Level 2 Honorable Mention Scholar Awards in the Classroom Experience category – Emily Ankiewicz and Phillip Byriel; Spanish Level 2 Bronze Awards in the Bilingual category – Andrellie Puntiel and Adam Tron; Spanish Level 3 Honorable Mention Scholar Awards in the Classroom Experience category – Kelisa Hysenbegasi and Alexander Sessock; Spanish Level 3 Silver Awards in the Bilingual category – Ian Dewar and Maxwell Santana, and Spanish 4 Honorable Mention Scholar Awards in the Classroom Experience category – Angelica Alday, Gabriella Kupsho, and Julia Snyder.
MMI recognized senior Aaron Harman for his selection as Performing Artist of the Week in the WVIA Artist of the Week program, which calls to attention high school students who have excelled in the study of the arts.
Several students were honored for their selection to perform at Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 9 Orchestra, Regional Orchestra, District Band, and String Fest competitions. Aaron Harman (District Band) and Angelica Alday (District and Regional Orchestra) were honored for placing at their respective competitions. Irene Altmiller received recognition for placing at District and Regional Orchestra and earning second chair on viola at the String Fest competition. Emily Ryan and Natalie Graham were also honored for their success at the String Fest competition.
Julia Snyder and Bailey Slusser were recognized for finishing tied for first place in the Literary Artwork category during the regional Pennsylvania School Press Association Student Journalism competition.
Eleven students were recipients of 2018 Scholastic Writing Awards in the Northeast Writing Region-at-Large division. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12. Lauren Babinetz received a Gold Key and Daniel DeMelfi, Alexander Jordan, and Christine Park each earned a Silver Key. Honorable Mention recipients are: Elizabeth Borchick, Lauren Freeman, Alexander Kline, Morgan Long, Caelyn McGran, Kai Mele, and Adam Tron.
Alexander Sessock was recognized for receiving a Certificate of Nomination in the National Council of Teachers of English and the Achievement Awards in Writing Advisory Committee’s 2018 Achievement Awards program.
MMI honored the five students who advanced to the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) National Leadership Conference and the 11 students who placed in the top ten in their individual categories during the Pennsylvania FBLA conference. Julia Snyder, Mahum Ahmed, Kelisa Hysenbegasi, Chava Kornblatt, and Louis DeAngelo will advance to the national event, which will be held this summer in Baltimore, Maryland. Top 10 students honored are: Louis DeAngelo (first in Computer Programming and Game Simulation), Chava Kornblatt (fourth in Organizational Management), Mahum Ahmed and Kelisa Hysenbegasi (fourth in Business Ethics), Julia Snyder (fifth in Job Interview), Coleman Smith (fifth in Help Desk), Morgan Long (fifth in Securities and Investments), Jacqueline Snyder (seventh in Introduction to Public Speaking), Darren Zheng (eighth in Coding and Programming), Kaitlyn Bellizia (eighth in Client Services), and Stephanie Zellner (10th in Advertising). Additionally, senior Jakob Schwabe was honored for serving as the Pennsylvania FBLA 2017-2018 State Secretary on the Executive Committee.
Open House winners were honored, with ninth and 10th grade students receiving Level 2 awards and 11th and 12th grade students garnering Level 3 awards. Winners are:
Cooking: first place – Gabriella Kupsho, Caelyn McGran, and Julia Snyder for “Fairest of Them All,” second place – James Lambert, Marc Lobitz, George Palermo, and Cole Wenner for “Taste of Two Cities,” and Honorable Mention – Aine Durako, Madison Perchak, and Talia Logerfo for “Preppy Pigs.” Humanities: Level 2 first place – Samantha Sparich for “Germany Between the Wars,” Level 2 second place – Darren Zheng for “Feng Shui,” Level 3 first place – Kailtyn Bellizia for “Telling Stories through Dance,” and Level 3 second place – Christine Park for “Modernist Art and Literature.” Science: Level 2 first place – Marcus Danchision for “The Effects of Lactic Acid on Muscle Contraction,” Level 2 second place – Adam Tron for “Our Expanding Universe,” Level 3 first place – Nicholas Carrato for “Topology,” Level 3 second place – Mark Sitch for “UROV,” and Level 3 Honorable Mention – Hunter O’Clair for “Mold Maze Subway.”
Other award presentations included: 2018 Woodmen of the World American History Award – Sydney Karpowich, Voices of Democracy award winners – Andrew Decker and Gabriella Kupsho, American Mathematics Competition (ACM) Exam 10/12B first place school winner – Zachary Young, ACM Exam 10/12B second place school winner – Daniel DeMelfi, and ACM Exam 10/12B third place school winner – Aaron Harman. Professor John Steiner Gold Math Exam Award – Frederick Mejia, Wilkes University and Luzerne County Council of Teachers of Mathematics second place in junior level competition – Frederick Mejia, Poetry Out Loud Regional third place – Andrew Decker, and American Red Cross High School Leadership Scholarship recipients – Chava Kornblatt and Stephanie Zellner.
Additional award winners are: Freeland American Legion Good Citizenship Award – Sydney Karpowich, National Merit Scholarship Program finalist – Aaron Harman, George Eastman Kodak Young Leaders Award and Scholarship – Andrew Decker, Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award – Zachary Young, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award in Humanities and Social Sciences – Kelisa Hysenbegasi, Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology – Wesley Guarneri, Rensselaer Medal Award – Frederick Mejia, Bryn Mawr President’s Book Award – Christine Park, Student Sage Award winners – Elise Hreha and Nicholas Carrato, University of Pennsylvania Book Award – Alexander Kline, Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award – Alyssa Sweda, Wellesley College Club Book Award – Kaitlyn McGeehan, Elmira College Key award winners – Bailey Slusser and Ethan Warner, Rochester Institute of Technology Computing Medal – Elliot Blasko, Rochester Institute of Technology Innovation and Creativity award winners – Kaitlyn Bellizia and Morgan Long, Rachel Carson Healthy Planet Award – Alexander Sessock, Brandeis Book Award – Mahum Ahmed, and George Washington University Book Award – Coleman Smith.