Xavier graduates earn host of awards

(Catholic Sun file photo)
Xavier College Preparatory graduates (Catholic Sun file photo)

The 68th graduating class from Xavier College Preparatory will turn over their tassels and toss their mortarboards this morning. Their graduates have earned distinctions beyond campus in recent weeks.

  • Claire Woodrow (courtesy of Xavier College Preparatory)
    Claire Woodrow (courtesy of Xavier College Preparatory)

    Arizona State Science and Engineering Fair — Claire Woodrow was awarded a first place Gold Medal in the Medicine and Health Sciences division. She also partnered with Raj Vatsa from neighboring Brophy College Preparatory to win the Intel International Science and Engineering Grand Award. The pair advanced to the international level of competition in Los Angeles this week.
    The award-winning project was entitled  “Elucidating the Mechanism of the Ketogenic Diet as an Effective Adjuvant Therapy for Malignant Glioma Brain Tumors – A Multiphase Study to Characterize Alteration in Tumor-Associated Inflammatory and Growth Factor Signaling.” It presented three years of research findings.


  • Sierra Fullmer (courtesy of Xavier College Preparatory)
    Sierra Fullmer (courtesy of Xavier College Preparatory)

    Girl Scout Gold Award — Sierra Fullmer earned a Girl Scout Award for leading an engineering project in the community. She led a welding team at Rio Salado Habitat in Phoenix. The award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouts and is the equivalent of the Eagle Scout Award in Boy Scouts.
    Xavier faculty member Gabriele Reil was awarded the Girl Scout Thanks Badge — the highest honor possible for an adult — in recognition of the exceptional impact that her ongoing commitment, leadership and service have had on the goals and priorities of the Girl Scouts.


  • (courtesy of Xavier College Preparatory)
    (courtesy of Xavier College Preparatory)

    Merit scholarships — All eleven seniors who were selected as semi-finalists in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Competition were named finalists. They represent the top one-half of one percent of the 1.5 million students nationwide who
    took the PSAT and scored similarly on the SAT. The women (left to right) showing the college they will attend are:
    (front row) Marissa Patel (Cornell University), Andrea Filler (Santa Clara University), Emily Hastings (University of Arizona Honors College), Maha Ahmed (Duke University), Julia Burke (University of California, Berkeley), Maeher Grewal (Georgetown University), and Cecilia Hoang (Vassar College).
    (back row) Claire Woodrow (Stanford University), Sarah Sakha (Princeton University), Kelsey Harrison (Georgetown University), and Sophia Wix (University of Southern California).

  • Lauren Souza
    Lauren Souza
    Kathleen Fowler
    Kathleen Fowler

    Language scholars — Kathleen Fowler placed first in the state of Arizona on “level four” of the 2014 National French Exam. Nine other Xavier students placed fifth or better in their respective levels.
    Lauren D’Souza and junior Kathia Antillon placed first in the state of Arizona on “level four” of the 2014 National Spanish Exam; junior Kaitlin Coltin placed first on the “level three” exam; and freshwoman Betzaira Landa placed first on the “level one” exam.
    Nineteen other Xavier students placed fifth or better in their respective levels.

  • Kiwanis Club honors —  Caitlin White was honored by the Kiwanis Club of Phoenix with a $1,000 scholarship for her exceptional service to the local community. White founded Double Play Sports, an organization that collects previously used sporting equipment and distributes it to young athletes and teams in need.  She plans to attend UCLA in the fall.
  • Karina Bolton (Xavier College Preparatory)
    Karina Bolton (Xavier College Preparatory)
    Kaitlyn Kurshinsky (Xavier College Preparatory)
    Kaitlyn Kurshinsky (Xavier College Preparatory)

    Special interest scholars — Kaitlyn Krushinsky won the Catholic Community Foundation’s Ralph M. Knight Chemistry and Engineering Scholarship.  She will receive a $5,000 tuition award.
    Karina Bolton has won the Catholic Community Foundation’s Angel Scholarship for Social Work, Peace, and Justice Studies. More on special interest scholarships.

  • International Thespian Society — Seven seniors achieved the highest honors possible from the organization that honors student theatre. They are: Alison Getz, Katherine Gmelich, Margaret Golonka, Kaitlyn Gorman, Sophia León, Sedona Urias-Ramonett, and Rebecca Wierman. These women plus 30 others will receive International Thespian Society membership seal on their diplomas.
  • Elizabeth Overton (photo courtesy of Xavier)
    Elizabeth Overton (courtesy of Xavier)

    National Honor Society scholarship — Elizabeth Overton was selected by the National Association of Secondary School Principals as both a state and a regional winner in the  competition. She received a total award of $3000, and she plans to attend Stanford University in the fall.

  • Kellie Peay (courtesy of Xavier College Preparatory)
    Kellie Peay (courtesy of Xavier College Preparatory)

    Athletes — Kellie Peay was named to The Arizona Republic‘s All-Arizona Girls High School Soccer Team and the All-State Division I Girls Soccer 1st Team. She signed a collegiate letter of intent and plans to attend Santa Clara University in the fall.