Straight A’s, full lives

• Nearly 100 students in Portland Public Schools’ graduating class this year earned perfect (4.0) grade point averages. Here’s a sampling.

• Elwin Aragorn of BizTech High School spent hundreds of hours supporting electronics recycler Free Geek.

• Chris Edmonds of Grant High School helped secure free TriMet passes for Portland Public Schools students …

• … and Jacob Bandes-Storch of Cleveland High School developed an iPhone app that tracks TriMet arrival times.

• Galen Ettlin of Franklin High School traveled to Shanghai for six weeks on a federal grant to improve his Mandarin skills.

• Luke Rodriguez of Lincoln High School guided llama trips in the Wallowa Mountains.

• Max Kohen of Metropolitan Learning Center was a veterinary assistant at the Pearl Animal Hospital.

View the full list of valedictorians, and information about them.
Hard work and potential pay off for valedictorians

From $500 to full funding all the way through graduate school, college scholarships are making a difference to hundreds of students in the class of 2010.

Valedictorians, including students from Benson and Cleveland high schools, spoke
about their experiences at a Portland School Board meeting in May. “My school’s program has taught me how to cooperate in a work setting and how to deal with different types of people in unfamiliar situations,” said Jenna Osterman of Benson.

Three students this year earned Gates Millennium Scholarships, which cover all unmet financial needs through graduate school. PPS recipients are Vicki Lam of Benson High School, along with Katherine Huynh and Thao Nguyen (headed to Lewis & Clark College), both of Madison High School.

Research on beavers earned Summer Van Der Wolf of Benson $10,000 to attend Oregon State University.

Valedictorians from Franklin and Grant high schools included Matt Edel, who told
the school board: “The teachers, the people at Franklin, have really shown me great character and shaped my aspirations and who I want to be.

Determination to succeed, financial need, future goals and hardship helped four students win $20,000 through the Dell Scholars Program: Kirubiel Ayele of Roosevelt (University of Southern California), Huy Do of Franklin, Boru Guyota of Jefferson (University of Oregon) and Thanh Ta of Madison (Concordia University).

Thanh also won a Ford Family Foundation Scholarship, along with fellow Madison students José Perez Mulet (Linfield College), Heaven Leigh Carey (University of Oregon) and Jennylyn Bernardino (Portland State University); the scholarship recognizes achievements and need, and provides up to full tuition.

Portland Public Schools has given me so much. Because of them, I can take pride in my youth, and know that I have accomplished something great,” said Maggie Haworth, representing Marshall Campus valedictorians, pictured with others from Wilson High School, MLC and the Roosevelt Campus.

Diana Hoang and Floriberta Martinez of BizTech won full-ride scholarships to attend Portland State University through its Diversity Scholarships Programs, while Rachel Seeman of Grant High School received $10,000 as a Coca-Cola Scholar (Santa Clara University).

Nine students’ abilities and accomplishments earned them up to $8,000 through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. Cleveland High School student Larkin Corrigan (Pomona College); Lincoln High School students Blake Emmerson (Stanford University), Valeria Levkovskaya (University of Oregon) and Luke Rodriguez (Whitman College); and Wilson High School students Jen Funk (University of Southern California), Tommy Hollenberg (Oregon State University), Luke de Oliveira (Yale University), Zoe Palmer (Northwestern University) and Cameron Shishido (Whitman College).

Among the valedictorians from Jefferson, Lincoln and Madison high schools was Jefferson’s Robert Gill: “If I could give an award to all the wacky and crazy teachers at every school, I would love to, because we all have those teachers.” Ally Shackleford said, “Madison gave me a loving community to grow where I have truly blossomed.”

Student athletes who won scholarships include Madison student Maddisson Hawk, a golfer and caddy who is receiving a full ride to the University of Oregon through the Evans Scholars Foundation. Tennis skills earned Jeffrey Pham of Benson and Alex Rovello of Cleveland scholarships to attend the University of Washington and the University of Oregon, respectively, while basketball star Terrence Jones of Jefferson High School has indicated he will attend the University of Kentucky and teammate Stephen Madison will go to the University of Idaho.