2020 Pathfinder Winners



Academic Excellence

Winner

Subhash Kantamneni

Suncoast High School

Subhash is Academic Excellence. Earning A’s in all his classes at Suncoast while taking 20 AP classes and a staggering 13 dual enrollment courses at Palm Beach State College, Subhash is ranked #1 in his class. He earned a perfect score on the ACT and a 1570 on the SAT. He received perfect scores on all AP Physics C exams – an unprecedented achievement – and is a National Merit Semifinalist. He won first place in the Palm Beach County Science Fair for his project on characterizing stars. Subhash will study science at MIT, and eventually earn a Ph.D. in physics. His desire is to specialize in the field of nuclear astrophysics and study nuclear fusion processes in stars.


Academic Excellence

2nd Place

Anish Ravichandran

American Heritage School

Academic Excellence

3rd Place

Vivian Powell

Jensen Beach High School




Art

Winner

Antonio Caleca

Park Vista High School

Antonio’s influences in architecture include Le Corbusier and his designs combine aesthetic grace and daring propelled by sustainability principles. Already an accomplished musician and experienced tutor/teacher, he is an individual of remarkable talent and civic engagement. Antonio will attend Cooper Union in Manhattan, study Arts in Architecture, and open his own design and architecture studio.


Art

2nd Place

Mia Palomba

Dreyfoos School of Arts

Art

3rd Place

Keyi Che

The King's Academy




Business

Winner

Carlos Urdaneta

American Heritage School

Carlos is an inquisitive and diligent student whose greatest strengths are perseverance and his ability to remain focused. He also has a heart for serving people. One of his ventures, called Supplies X Change, provides school supplies to students in third world countries. He co-founded Next Level Mentorship. Its main purpose is to mentor middle school students with the skills and knowledge that are necessary to succeed in life. Carlos will attend Babson College and ultimately work in his family’s business.


Business

2nd Place

Arina Shalobodova

Boca Raton High School

Business

3rd Place

Charles Drucker

John I. Leonard High School




Communications

Winner

Brianna Luberisse

Inlet Grove High School

Brianna flawlessly jumped into Journalism her freshman year. She earned the title of Editor in Chief for Inlet Grove’s Newspaper, Grove Watch. In her subsequent years, she became the most prolific writer, editor, photographer and videographer in the history of Inlet Grove. She is Senior Class President, President of the yearbook, Basketball and Football team manager and holds a part-time job. As her instructor writes: “ her record is exhaustive, her possibilities endless” Brianna plans to major in Multimedia Journalism and Criminal Justice.


Communications

2nd Place

Benjamin Schiller

Saint Andrew's School

Communications

3rd Place

Parker Barry

Wellington High School




Community Involvement

Winner

Adryena Flores

American Heritage School

Adryena is compelled to help others. Her compassion for others is the driving force behind Little Angels Tutoring program. She created this program to provide free tutoring service to ESOL students in the areas of reading and math. The Palm Beach County Philanthropy Tank awarded a $12,000 prize to Adryena. She will use these funds to purchase iPads for the students to build their knowledge of technology. Adryena hopes to pursue a major in political science with the goal of attending law school.


Community Involvement

2nd Place

Hayden Siesel

Spanish River High School

Community Involvement

3rd Place

Isabella Martinez

Seminole Ridge High School




Computer Science

Winner

Sophia Lloyd George

Oxbridge Academy

Sophia is an outstanding students whose hard work knows no bounds. She enrolled in an incredibly demanding course of study in which she consistently averaged A+ on all her honors assessments. She ranked #3 in her class and scored a 35 on the ACT. Inspired to help her autistic older brother, Sophia runs her own non-profit titled:"Code Autism" where she teaches local autistic children computer science skills. The Palm Beach County Philanthropy Tank awarded her $14,000 to fund this program. Sophia intends to pursue a double Major in Computer Science and Science, Technology and Society.


Computer Science

2nd Place

Christina Kohlbeck

Palm Beach Central High School

Computer Science

3rd Place

Kevin Ray

Dreyfoos School of the Arts




Drama

Winner

Hayden Sikora

Saint Andrew's School

Hayden is a gifted actor who excels on stage and in the classroom. On stage, in 2019, Hayden earned superior ratings for monologues, duet scene and duet musical at the Thespian Competition. He played leading and supporting roles in Saint Andrew’s theater productions all four years of high school. He is also captain of the varsity wrestling team and is ranked 10th in the state for his weight class. He plans to attend Northwestern University and study Theatre.


Drama

2nd Place

Jessica Balton

West Boca Raton High School

Drama

3rd Place

Victoria Lobdell

Palm Beach Central High School




Foreign Language

Winner

Noah Cabarcas

Park Vista High School

Noah has a sincere love of language and sees languages as a bridge between two cultures. He learned multiple languages, some independently, including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French and a little Japanese. He’s earned his AICE Diploma with Merit and the AP Scholar Award. He is President of the French and Spanish Honor Societies and a star varsity volleyball player. Noah plans to get a bachelor degree in Political Science with a minor in French and Spanish.


Foreign Language

2nd Place

Caroline de Paula

American Heritage School

Foreign Language

3rd Place

Amanda Howard

Saint Andrew's School




Forensics/Speech

Winner

Kevin Ahern

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Kevin earned numerous awards, from the local and national level for his outstanding forensic performances. His most noteworthy forensics accomplishment to date was becoming “National Champion in Duo Interpretation” at the 2019 National Speech and Debate Associations National Tournament. Kevin is president of the Speech and Debate team at Dreyfoos School of the Arts. He is editor of the yearbook and Senior Class Vice President. Most importantly, he is a leader, a mentor and an advocate. He plans to pursue a career in political communication and advocacy.


Forensics/Speech

2nd Place

Eleni Mercer

Jupiter High School

Forensics/Speech

3rd Place

Alexander Goetschius

Oxbridge Academy




History/Political Science

Winner

Francois Khouri

Olympic Heights High School

Francois spent much of his childhood in Syria, amongst missile strikes and unrest. As a young boy he was always questioning the cause of the constant disasters and the answer was always Politics. After immigrating to America his passion grew for Political Science, particularly Comparative Middle Eastern Politics. He created an online political platform – Political Discourse for Dummies.Com, which accrues several thousand views monthly. During most of his high school career, Francois has held an intern position with the Florida Democratic Party. He plans to major in Political Science and Accounting


History/Political Science

2nd Place

Sydney Levy

Boca Raton High School

History/Political Science

3rd Place

Mark Chin-Lenn

The King's Academy




Literature

Winner

Ralph Jeanty

Boca Raton High School

Ralph’s love for reading started in the library where he explored new worlds and discovered historical facts. Ralph is the founder and president of Boca Raton High School’s Ted-Ed club and he is a leader in both the English and Spanish honor societies. He is an active member of Propel, a non-profit that helps at-risk, low-income teens. It is his goal to teach them the importance of reading. Ralph is ranked in the top 3% of his class and plans to acquire a double major in Neuroscience and Philosophy..


Literature

2nd Place

Ashley Perry

Olympic Heights High School

Literature

3rd Place

Marcella Khaliq

Dreyfoos School of the Arts




Mathematics

Winner

Jason Katz

Boca Raton High School

Jason is a National Merit Semifinalist and a National AP Scholar. He scored a 1590 on his SAT and is in the top 2% of his class. As a top scorer on the A.I.C.E Math Exam his freshman year, Jason was able to skip AB Calculus and go into BC Calculus where he scored the top level of 5. He is a leader in Boca High’s award winning Science Olympiad team and a member of the National Honor Society. Jason plans to major in Electrical Engineering and minor in mathematics.


Mathematics

2nd Place

Joshua Kuffour

Suncoast High School

Mathematics

3rd Place

Benjamin Myers

Dreyfoos School of the Arts




Music/Instrumental

Winner

Elizabeth Sinn

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Elizabeth is a gifted jazz and classical piano performance student. She was first alternate selected for Jazz Band of America and she won 2nd place in the Steinway Junior Piano Competition two years in a row. Elizabeth was on the Honor Roll for Straight A’s all through high school. She will attend the Berklee College of Music to pursue a degree in Jazz Piano Performance followed by a master’s degree and possible doctorate in music. She hopes to teach and mentor other musicians.


Music/Instrumental

2nd Place

Brandon Gunter

Clark Advanced Learning Center

Music/Instrumental

3rd Place

Abigail Bracken

Jensen Beach High School




Music/Vocal

Winner

Jacqueline Kaskel

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Jacqueline is ranked in the top two percent of her class and has earned the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. As an aspiring opera singer, her voice teachers say she possesses an exceptionally beautiful voice of strength and refined musical expression. She has won a multitude of vocal awards. Most recently, Jackie was named National Semi-Finalist at the New York Lyric Opera Theatre Competition. She plans to study music with a concentration in vocal performance at Yale University.


Music/Vocal

2nd Place

Samara Shavrick

West Boca Raton High School

Music/Vocal

3rd Place

Zaskia Torres

Palm Beach Gardens High School




Reach for Excellence

Winner

Jacqueline Tabascio

Park Vista High School

Jacqueline overcame her learning disability by reading novels and newspaper articles related to medicine and science. She met with specialists during her early school years and trained for hours on reading comprehension and pronunciation. Reading books on a topic she loved led her to a quicker understanding. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National Science & Math Honor Societies, is dual enrolled at Palm Beach State College and has a part time job. She plans to pursue medicine as a doctor and focus on helping people lead healthier lives.


Reach for Excellence

2nd Place

Samuel Robbins

Martin County High School

Reach for Excellence

3rd Place

Gavin Angove

Boca Raton High School




Science

Winner

Rohan Jakhete

South Fork High School

Rohan is an Academic Powerhouse, according to his teachers. Ranked first in his class, He excels in all the most difficult classes offered at South Fork and then some. He is the founder and CEO of two startup companies, is Founder and President of South Fork’s coding club and a Coca Cola Scholars Semifinalist. What impresses his teachers the most is his desire to teach other students to love STEM as much as he does. He plans to major in mechanical engineering at CalTech and then earn a master’s degree in chemical engineering at MIT. He wants to change the world by developing solutions to water poverty.


Science

2nd Place

Glenn Grimmett

American Heritage School

Science

3rd Place

Eesha Shah

Spanish River High School




Sports

Winner

Sandra Edwards

Jensen Beach High School

Sandra fought hard through a broken ankle to excel at club lacrosse. A highlight of her lacrosse career was playing in the U19 Women’s Lacrosse World Championships in Canada. Her tenacity and Academic Achievements earned her an invitation to attend Central Michigan University as a Division 1 Lacrosse player. She is Student Government President and holds leadership positions in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Young Life. Her career plans include attending law school to pursue a career as a criminal lawyer and return to Martin County to practice law..


Sports

2nd Place

Ashley Klein

Palm Beach Gardens High School

Sports

3rd Place

Seth Berke

Saint Andrew's School




Technical/Vocational/Agricultural

Winner

Fabio Louis

Glades Central High School

Fabio is in the top 10 percent of his senior class. He is a member of the National Honor Society, is a Borlaug Scholar (a part of the National Association of plant breeders), and a leader in Future Farmers of America with a passion for agriculture. He is bilingual in Haitian Creole and English and will be the first person in his family to graduate high school and attend college. Fabio will major in Horticultural Science to learn and explore new ways to bring food security to impoverished communities.


Technical/Vocational/Agricultural

2nd Place

Brandy Garcia Velasquez

Palm Beach Lakes High School

Technical/Vocational/Agricultural

3rd Place

Jennica Augustin

Santaluces High School

2019 Pathfinder Winners



Academic Excellence

Winner

Natalie Navarrete

Boca Raton High School

Natalie Navarrete is ranked first in her graduating class and is a National Merit Semifinalist. She has an honors point average of 5.7. She's the only student at her school to have earned the prestigious AICE International Diploma with Distinction her freshman year. During her high school career, Natalie was named the Most Outstanding Student in AICE Spanish, AP English Language, AP Spanish Literature and AP Physics. This year she's captain of the Congress Team in Congressional Debate. Natalie founded "Improving Voter Opportunities Through Education," or IVOTE. The goal: educating first-time voters by simplifying the complex language of legislation, amendments and ballot initiatives. One project, encouraging classmates to register to vote and to exercise their right to vote, resulted in the highest student involvement of all participating institutions nation-wide. Natalie plans to pursue a career in politics.


Academic Excellence

2nd Place

Charlotte Justak

Jensen Beach High School

Academic Excellence

3rd Place

Robert Zipper

American Heritage School




Art

Winner

Khanh Truong

Saint Andrew's School

Khanh Truong, who goes by "Keith," is a student with extraordinary talent for the visual arts.  Great artists throughout time are known for their innovative ideas and exploration into new media. Keith does just that in his work. He creates powerful narratives but also experiments with various media in new ways. His artwork conveys his commitment to the creative process, exhibiting images that are dynamic, engaging, and deeply personal. Because of this and his focused drive and career path, Keith was our winner for this year's awards!


Art

2nd Place

Njari Anderson

Dreyfoos School of Arts

Art

3rd Place

Mia Zaros

Atlantic High School




Business

Winner

Jordana Schube

Wellington High School

Jordana Schube has applied her marketing talents both in and out of school. She's taken rigorous courses in the Marketing Academy, two of them college level classes. She has a 4.69 honors point average. In DECA, the student marketing association, she serves on the executive board. She placed in district and state DECA competitions and was an international qualifier. Jordana initiated a student-run organization to unify students against gun violence, growing it from one chapter to 40 in 13 states. Among her many outside activities, Jordana works with a real estate company. Her jobs include designing Royal Palm Beach Living magazine's monthly cover and postcard. She maintains their website and social media platforms. She's also a consultant for an e-commerce company, developing their logo and website. Jordana's goal is to start a marketing consulting firm specializing in small business growth.


Business

2nd Place

Adam Herold

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Business

3rd Place

Jonathan Fogel

Martin County High School




Communications

Winner

Valerie Betts

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Film is Valerie Betts' passion. She's dedicated her middle and high school careers to becoming fluent in the world of video production. In 2015 she founded Valography Productions. Valography provides photography and video sevices for business, sporting events and weddings. She holds a leadership position in the Communication Arts Honor Society and is president of her school's Film Association Club. She's the multimedia editor for Dreyfoos' newsmagazine, The Muse. Valerie is credited with growing The Muse's YouTube channel from 400 to 3,000 subscribers in just one year. Valerie has produced eight short films and nine news packages. She directed her school's live on-stage Communication Arts Showcase two years in a row. Her 2018 film, Table 9, shown at the school's annual film festival, is under consideration at several local and national film festivals. Valerie intends to major in Communications and Film.


Communications

2nd Place

Annalise Wellman

Park Vista High School

Communications

3rd Place

Grace Vaughn

Jupiter High School




Community Involvement

Winner

Joseph Rubsamen

Oxbridge Academy

When Joseph sees a problem, he ambitiously finds a solution. After a family trip to Nicaragua where he saw a great need for shoes for needy children and adults, Joseph Rubsamen found Shoes2You. Shoes2You is a non-profit organization that's provided nearly 15,000 pairs of shoes to needy kids and adults in both the U.S. and abroad. In Nicaragua he realized that not having shoes increased the chances for cuts and scrapes on the feet, leading to infection. Shoes collected have been distributed in Kenya, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Haiti and Palm Beach County. The top student in his class, Joseph's curiosity on why he couldn't swim in the ocean due to contaminated water led him to identify the unknown source of bacterial pollution in Palm Beach County. He's presented his award-winning research at numerous water conferences. Joseph plans to attend Cornell University, majoring in biological global health, while continuing to run Shoes2You.


Community Involvement

2nd Place

Sophia Zheng

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Community Involvement

3rd Place

Jacob Pasternack

Olympic Heights High School




Computer Science

Winner

Karen Copeland

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Karen Copeland sees computer science as the future. She became even more convinced after conducting research at the University of Florida last summer in its Student Summer Training Program. Creatively employing her computer science knowledge, Karen wrote code related to analyzing lung vessel damage in cancer patients who receive radiation to the lung. Marveling at the detail and documentation in her paper, her professor said he'd never seen its equal, even among graduate level students in his lab. The year before, Karen performed research at the Max Planck Institute that produced analytic and diagnostic power, also never seen, in image analysis. Her awards have included first place in the Palm Beach Regional Science and Engineering Fair for 2017/2018 and Intel's Excellence in Computer Science Award in 2017. Karen wants to become a software designer at a research institution.


Computer Science

2nd Place

Varun Lakshmanan

South Fork High School

Computer Science

3rd Place

Michelle Huang

Spanish River High School




Drama

Winner

Olivia Payson

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

It was her role at age 6 as Rope Twirler #1 in "Annie Get Your Gun" that Olivia Payson knew theatre would be her life's work. To prepare, she's had 14 years of dance training and eight years of vocal and acting training. She boasts more than 15 productions and showcases for which she performed, worked on camera or was part of creative teams as a director/choreographer. During her junior year, Olivia was a key performer in a peer's choreography piece, "Money," from Cabaret. It won the coveted Critic's Choice at the ITS State Festival. As president of her school's International Thespian Society, Olivia implemented Lunch Time Cabarets. These venues give students a place to be the lead, performing any piece of their choosing. Olivia plans to move to New York after college to pursue her art.


Drama

2nd Place

Sophie McClung

South Fork High School

Drama

3rd Place

Bria Weisz

Saint Andrew's School




Foreign Language

Winner

Chloe Curreri

Boca Raton High School

Chloe Curreri is fluent in four languages: English. Spanish. Catalan. And French. She's also proficient in Ilonggo, a language spoken in the Philippines. In the past three years Chloe has competed in the Palm Beach County World Language Fair. She won "superior" ratings there for Spanish impromptu speech and French reading comprehension. Her junior year she won "Sobresaliente," the highest achievement, and Excellent, at the Florida State Spanish Conference. She is president of the French Honor Society and co-president of the Spanish Honor Society and Model United Nations. In those roles Chloe helps plan cultural events and celebrations to encourage students to learn about other cultures. Chloe tutors Spanish for fellow Boca High students and volunteers at a local French elementary school. She’s earned Gold Biliteracy Seals for both Spanish and French, and the AICE Diploma with merit.


Foreign Language

2nd Place

Morgan Teman

American Heritage School

Foreign Language

3rd Place

Bryce Sontag

Olympic Heights High School




Forensics/Speech

Winner

Emily Williams

Martin County High School

Emily Williams is ranked 13th in the State of Florida in Program and Oral Interpretations. She's been a quarter-finalist, semi-finalist and finalist in nearly a dozen national forensics tournaments. She is president of the Speech and Debate Team and Historian for the National Honor Society and the International Club. As Speech and Debate Team president, she has run tournaments, fundraisers and performance showcases. Passionate about ending violence against women and changing the culture that perpetuates it, Emily has become engrossed in political advocacy. Her activities have included attending protests, speaking at marches, hosting voter education assemblies and interning on a congressional campaign. Emily has maintained a 6.06 weighted GPA while taking numerous AP, Honors and College level courses. She plans to be a political science major in order to continue asking the hard questions and discovering the harder answers.


Forensics/Speech

2nd Place

Michael Bole

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Forensics/Speech

3rd Place

David Jakubiak

Jupiter High School




History/Political Science

Winner

John McCabe

William T. Dwyer High School

John McCabe developed a passion for history after competing in Social Studies Academic Games in 5th grade. Since then he's channeled his love of history into a variety of outlets. He's qualified for 7 state and 7 national Academic Games tournaments, winning first place individually at the national tournament four times. He's one of only 128 players in the 55-year history of the program inducted into its National Hall of Fame. In 2018 John was the highest-scoring player in the county on the social studies questions at the Commissioner's Academic Challenge. John, an Eagle Scout, founded an Academic Games Summer camp to teach kids how to play Academic Games. He's also authored a 371-page book, Guide to the American Presidents, detailing the presidents' personal lives and significant events during each administration. John hopes to enter government service after college.


History/Political Science

2nd Place

William Keen

Saint Andrew's School

History/Political Science

3rd Place

Mia Venezia

American Heritage School




Literature

Winner

Jakub Pawlowski

Suncoast High School

Jakub Pawlowski's native language is Polish, yet he's been able to master not only reading and understanding English but writing it well enough to be published. His first poem was published when he was eight. By eighth grade he began entering writing competitions and was published as a freshman in the Palm Beach County Poetry Competition. One year, Jakub won the Austin International Poetry Festival and was published in the festival's anthology collection. Jakub is an AP Scholar, with a 4.9 cumulative weighted GPA, and candidate for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. He is co-founder of the English Honor Society at Suncoast. As a Reading Buddy volunteer at his local library, Jakub helps younger students with reading, pronunciation, vocabulary and fluency. He plans to major in English or Comparative Literature, earn a Ph.D. and become an educator.


Literature

2nd Place

Katelyn Grosek

G-Star School of the Arts

Literature

3rd Place

Andrew Deferrari

The Benjamin School




Mathematics

Winner

Justin Wang

Suncoast High School

Justin Wang is enrolled in the Computer Science Magnet and International Baccalaureate programs at Suncoast. He's dual-enrolled in Statistics, Calculus 3 and Differential Equations. Justin has won numerous awards, including 2018 Math Mentor of the Year and AP Scholar with Distinction in 2017 and 2018. He's won over 15 regional, state and national awards in calculus and was in the top 2.5% nation-wide in the 2018 American Mathematics Competition. Justin interned last summer as a researcher at FAU in computer science and electrical engineering. He currently interns as a software engineer for South Florida Engineering Consulting. Justin has co-authored four studies published in peer-reviewed journals, two as lead researcher. He's a volunteer coach for Suncoast's competitive Algebra II team, dubbed the "Wang Gang." Justin's goal is to build a start-up company that leads to the next technology wave.


Mathematics

2nd Place

Kaila Tartaro

Boca Raton High School

Mathematics

3rd Place

Alexander Karaluz

West Boca Raton High School




Music/Instrumental

Winner

Giancarlo Llerena

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Giancarlo Llerena, an accomplished pianist, has earned more than two dozen prestigious music awards since 2012. In 2019 he was the National Young Arts Foundation winner in Classical Music. The year before, he won first place in six competitions, among them the Steinway & Sons Junior Piano Competition and the Pompano Beach Piano Competition. Among 21 notable performance venues were the Tanglewood Theater in Boston, the Aspen Music Festival and three Florida Steinway Halls in 2018. He's currently enrolled in Ensemble IV, Klavier, his school's most advanced piano class, and is the pianist for the school's philharmonic orchestra. For the past two years, Giancarlo has served as co-vice president for his school's piano department. Giancarlo handles all those roles, and more, while maintaining a 4.46 honors point average. He plans to study piano performance and become a concert pianist.


Music/Instrumental

2nd Place

Morgan O'Neil

South Fork High School

Music/Instrumental

3rd Place

Nasser Rossman

Park Vista High School




Music/Vocal

Winner

Laura Santamaria-Mendez

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

As the daughter of Colombian immigrants, Laura Santamaria-Mendez was bullied as a child for being different. To combat loneliness, she escaped into books where she gained a passion for poetry. Poetry, she would learn, plays a huge role in opera, which soon became her passion. Laura was chosen in 2016 to join the Palm Beach Opera Studio, a selective high school training program. That allowed her to attend operas, take lessons and masterclasses, and watch rehearsals. She knew then she wanted to be an opera singer. So far, she's performed at 7 prestigious venues, including a solo performance at the 2018 Palm Beach Opera Guild Gala in Palm Beach. Last year Laura earned a Superior with Distinction award from the Florida Vocal Institute Competition. She hopes to become an opera soloist.


Music/Vocal

2nd Place

Madeline Murray

South Fork High School

Music/Vocal

3rd Place

Clayton Hider

The King's Academy




Reach for Excellence

Winner

Cassandra Michel

Olympic Heights High School

From her earliest days in school, Cassandra Michel had trouble learning. She described herself as being "completely lost" in first grade. Later that year she was diagnosed with a visual integration learning disability. She began taking advantage of extra time to complete her work and tests. With grit, determination and willingness to seek help from teachers and classmates, Cassandra soon excelled academically. Last year she took, concurrently, not one but two super-challenging AICE classes. One in sociology. The other in psychology. She was the top AICE sociology student that year. Cassandra has a 4.6 honors point average and is an AP Scholar with Honors. She's president of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and captain of the varsity track and field team. Cassandra aspires to earn a master's degree in neuroscience and a Ph.D. in psychology.


Reach for Excellence

2nd Place

Joseph Hughes

Palm Beach Central High School

Reach for Excellence

3rd Place

Abigail Weissert

Park Vista High School




Science

Winner

John-Mark Phillips

Seminole Ridge High School

Last summer, John-Mark Phillips was one of only 10 students in Palm Beach County chosen to be a high school researcher at Scripps Research. His mentor deemed him the top student he's ever worked with. He cited John-Mark's "unparalleled" ability to grasp advanced concepts in the chemical and biological sciences. John-Mark has taken 6 highly-challenging AICE courses and is on track to earn both his high school diploma and AA degree this year. His numerous accomplishments include winning, placing or receiving a special award in 9 regional and state science fairs and earning several academic awards and scholarships. For the past 3 years, John-Mark represented Palm Beach County at the Florida Science and Engineering Fair. John-Mark plans to become a research scientist. He's especially interested in being involved in the exploration and colonization of Mars, with a particular focus on how biotechnology will play a role.


Science

2nd Place

Rishabh Mohanka

Suncoast High School

Science

3rd Place

Taylor Knoll

Boca Raton High School




Sports

Winner

Audrey Ramsey

Boca Raton High School

Since 10th grade Audrey Ramsey has been the starting point guard on her school's varsity basketball team. As a 10th grader, she hit the winning shot at the buzzer to win Boca Raton High's first-ever Girls Basketball state championship. That play was recognized as play of the year by PBC Hoops, and she was named state championship player. Audrey has participated since 2017 as a starting point guard with travel basketball team Boca Thunder. Prestigious recognitions include being named Palm Beach County Hoops Player of the Week and ESPN Range Rover Player of the Week. Off the court, Audrey has earned A's in all AP and AICE classes and has a 5.38 honors point average. Audrey has been signed by the University of Tampa for women's basketball where she plans to play ball while earning a degree in cybersecurity.


Sports

2nd Place

Julia Wortman

Wellington High School

Sports

3rd Place

Odieu Hiliare

Glades Central High School




Technical/Vocational/Agricultural

Winner

Luke Han

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Luke Han was born with a serious hearing loss that wasn't detected until he was 5. By then he had developed a speech impediment. Disliking hearing aids, Luke managed school by sitting close to the speaker and reading lips. He credits his disability with helping him learn to think independently and to mentally prepare for scenarios where one needs to remain calm. This brought occupational health, safety and preparedness to his attention. Through Resolve Maritime Academy, Luke received a foundation in firefighting, first aid and medical training while being active in school activities and maintaining a 4.8 honors point average. He's currently president of the Environmental Club, secretary of UNICEF and plays varsity soccer. Luke plans to attend a university with a strong industrial engineering program. Upon graduation he hopes to work with a firefighting agency to help prevent and fight modern fires.


Technical/Vocational/Agricultural

2nd Place

Tushar Shenoy

American Heritage School

Technical/Vocational/Agricultural

3rd Place

Kamryn Kennedy

Glades Day School

2018 Pathfinder Winners



Academic Excellence

Winner

Robert Linck

Oxbridge Academy

As this award category implies, Robert “Robbie” Linck excels in all academic studies areas. With a 5 weighted GPA, he’s excelled in 16 honors and advanced courses as well as in 12 honors seminar classes, the school’s highest level of instruction. He is ranked #1 in debate out of over 30,000 competitors nationwide, and has made his mark as a scientific researcher at the firm BioTools. In November he presented his research at a national conference related to the infiltration into groundwater and catalyzation of toxic algae growth in local estuaries. In April, his work was published in a peer-reviewed journal. He holds the distinction as a Cambridge Scholar after attending a two-week course of study at Cambridge University. While there he wrote a 2500-word thesis that earned him the highest score any student in that program had ever earned. His potential to make a difference in this world is promising.


Academic Excellence

2nd Place

Taher Khambati

Spanish River High School

Academic Excellence

3rd Place

Rachel Cherelstein

Suncoast High School




Art

Winner

Daniel Amaro

Boca Raton High School

Ever since he was a little boy, drawing was a big part of Daniel Amaro’s life. He earned high praises for his creativity with digital drawing and animation and received official recognition at school and by the art community. Among those accolades were placing first in his school’s Juried Art Exhibition last spring. Also in 2017 he was awarded the Fine Arts Presidential Award Gold Seal in both AP Drawing and AP Photography, the first time a student has received both awards. In 2015 Daniel placed second in the Arts Council of Martin County Juried Art Show. Daniel plans to study art in college and hopes to work for a major art company such as Disney, Pixar or DreamWorks.


Art

2nd Place

Megan Hostetler

Dreyfoos School of Arts

Art

3rd Place

Veronica Renzette

Atlantic High School




Business

Winner

Matthew Webber

Jupiter High School

Matthew Webber learned about financial responsibility as a young child when his parents gave him an allowance to manage and budget. As a freshman, he joined DECA and was so talented that he qualified that year to compete at the international level. In his sophomore year, Matt became a DECA officer at his school and was elected vice president of Florida DECA. That same year he competed in DECA’s Personal Financial Literacy at the International Career Development Conference, finishing in the top 20 in the world. During his junior & senior years, Matt served as Florida DECA’s president, spearheading donation drives which collected 58,000 items for the needy & homeless. Matt plans to major in economics and become a financial advisor.


Business

2nd Place

Cayla Fichtel-Epstein

West Boca Raton High School

Business

3rd Place

Nicholas Costantino

Suncoast High School




Communications

Winner

Carlos Rivera

Atlantic High School

Carlos Rivera has been passionate about writing since he was a child, publishing two books in 2011. Since then he has written and produced several video projects including a video essay series titled A Pause for Cinema on YouTube in 2015. In 2016, he wrote, directed, produced, edited and acted in a full-length feature film called The Usuals: Or (the Helpfulness of Others and How to Use it), also available on YouTube. A candidate for the demanding International Baccalaureate Diploma, he’s found time to work on a new novel while being dual enrolled in the Honors College of FAU and taking AP, AICE and IB courses. He ranks in the top 5 percent of his class. Carlos hopes to pursue a career in filmmaking with the aim of writing and directing his own creative works.


Communications

2nd Place

Marianna Kaimakliotis

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Communications

3rd Place

Alexa Koenig

Seminole Ridge High School




Community Involvement

Winner

Rachel Maunus

Martin County High School

Rachel’s passion for art and her 4 years working with disabled children inspired her to create Art for Autism – a nonprofit program that teaches fundamental art skills to the special needs community. Through the success of this program, Rachel was awarded a grant to fund Martin County’s first art camp for children with autism. Rachel also has a passion for the environment – she served 3 years as president of her school’s Green Club. In 2017, she was the keynote speaker for the International Green Schools Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly Climate Week symposium. She is a Congressional Gold Medal Recipient and a National Merit Semifinalist. She will study Environmental studies and will pursue a career as an environmental activist.


Community Involvement

2nd Place

Abby Wolfe

Boca Raton High School

Community Involvement

3rd Place

Shelby Russo

Jupiter High School




Computer Science

Winner

Kaylee Cunningham

Olympic Heights High School

Kaylee Cunningham has a passion for getting been a key player in doing just that at her school and in her community. She helped organized her school’s Engineering Academy GET event, which stands for “Girl Engineers of Tomorrow,” directed at middle school girls. Kaylee also has a passion for all things computer-related, from writing programs and building apps to securing cyber vulnerabilities. She’s competed in numerous engineering and computer competitions, placing first in Code Fever Miami’s “Launch a Start-Up in a Day Hackathon” for best start-up company idea. Her mentoring talent is credited with helping her school’s Astronaut Challenge team qualify for state finals for three consecutive years. Kaylee plans to double major in computer science, with a cyber security concentration, and nuclear physics. Her goal is to work in the nuclear industry, re-programming the antiquated software of nuclear reactors to digital format and increasing software security.


Computer Science

2nd Place

Rebecca Skantar

American Heritage School

Computer Science

3rd Place

Christopher Vazquez

Boca Raton High School




Drama

Winner

Samantha Estrella

South Fork High School

Samantha “Sammie” Estrella has excelled in all aspects of the drama program. Over the past four years she’s filled several leadership positions, including International Thespian Society Troupe president, as well as president of the Drama Club. She’s a member of the Carillon Singers advanced concert choir and earned lead and ensemble roles in nine musical and non-musical productions. She also earned superior ratings for her monologue and musical performances at multiple District 15 Thespian competitions. In addition to performing, Sammie has directed two student-written plays chosen to represent the school at district competition, for which the troupe earned a superior rating, and the award for “best technical crew.” She is vice-president of the Artists for a Cause Club, organizing drama therapeutic arts days at assisted living facilities, and the Hope for Freedom Benefit Concert to fight human trafficking.


Drama

2nd Place

Jack Maloney

Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches

Drama

3rd Place

Brooke Hall

Olympic Heights High School




Foreign Language

Winner

Robert Berkowitz

Olympic Heights High School

Before Robert Berkowitz started taking Chinese at Olympic Heights, he had already studied French, German and Danish. He continued independently studying those languages online while taking Level 1 Chinese his sophomore year. By his second year, he had excelled so rapidly that he took Level 2 and Level 3 Chinese simultaneously, moving into AP Chinese as a senior. Three years in a row, Robert was chosen to participate in the Florida statewide Chinese competitions, earning top awards. He is currently president of the National Chinese Honor Society and vice-president of the Chinese Club. He spends some of his free time promoting enrollment in Chinese courses at middle school open houses and tutoring students in Chinese. Robert is considering a double major in biology and Chinese, with the goal of conducting research into cancer in China due to rapid industrialization and pollution.


Foreign Language

2nd Place

Marine Wolff

The Benjamin School

Foreign Language

3rd Place

Olivia Schmidt

Suncoast High School




Forensics/Speech

Winner

Alexander Gordon

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Two major “firsts” are the hallmark of Alexander “Alex” Gordon’s impressive and extensive forensics accomplishments. During the 2016-2017 season, he became the first-ever Congressional Debate Ivy League triple crown winner by scoring 1st place at Harvard, Yale and Princeton tournaments. He was also the first-ever to win all three Harvard National Congress tournament awards. Other accolades include 1st place at the Florida Blue Key Speech and Debate Tournament and named champion of Congressional Debate. Over the last two debate seasons, Alex ranked as high as #1 in the nation and was named an Academic All-American by the National Speech & Debate Association. His other activities include serving as president of the Speech and Debate team for the past two years, vice president of the Student Government Association and managing editor of The Muse, his school’s newsmagazine – all while earning a 4.91 honors grade point average. He is most likely attending Harvard University to pursue a major in either political science or public policy.


Forensics/Speech

2nd Place

Alyson Brusie

Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches

Forensics/Speech

3rd Place

Philipp Reutter

Boca Raton High School




History/Political Science

Winner

William Speer

Park Vista High School

One of William Speer’s teachers calls him a “history prodigy,” fluent in numerous academic worlds including government policy, speech and debate, physics, foreign policy and mathematics. She describes him as “a great student of history as well as a great student of the human experience.” He is captain of the Varsity Debate Team, founder of Park Vista’s Model UN Club, and a member of numerous academic honor societies. Last year he won the Outstanding Social Science Achievement Award and was named an AP Scholar with Distinction. William has a 3.98 GPA, a 4.9 honors grade point average and scored a perfect 800 on his SAT subject test on U.S. History. William plans to become a history professor.


History/Political Science

2nd Place

Christiana Boehme

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

History/Political Science

3rd Place

Arielle Ahrendts

American Heritage School




Literature

Winner

Kailey Graziotto

The Benjamin School

Kailey Graziotto has been a storyteller since early childhood. When she and her younger brother created Lego towns, she felt compelled to write “backstories” for each “resident.” Today she has penned two one-act plays, a myriad of poems and had a short story published in her school’s literary magazine. When there was no writing club at Benjamin, she co-founded and led one. She’s president of the drama club, which performed one of her one-act plays. She has worked on numerous school productions as director, assistant director, photographer and videographer, stage manager and crew member. In 11th grade she won the Sewanee College Book award. Kailee plans to attend the Oxford College of Emory University for an A.A. degree, followed by earning a B.A. in playwriting from Emory College.


Literature

2nd Place

Taylor Reed

Suncoast High School

Literature

3rd Place

Alexandra Smith

G-Star School of the Arts




Mathematics

Winner

Matthew Christie

Boca Raton High School

Matthew “Matt” Christie was the only student out of 117 who received an A on the AICE Math exam. He skipped the AB level of AP Calculus and went straight to BC AP Calculus his junior year. He received a level 5 on the AB sub-score and a level 5 on the BC Calculus exam. Ranked #3 out of 897 students in his school, his achievements are extensive. He’s a National Merit Scholar Semifinalist, AP Scholar with Distinction, was named Outstanding student of the year in AP Calculus BC and AP Physics his junior year, and is an Eagle Scout. He scored a perfect 800 on the Math II SAT Subject test. He’s also completed over 400 hours of community service. Matt plans to study engineering in college, applying math to the performance and efficiency of automotive mechanics.


Mathematics

2nd Place

David Florez

Spanish River High School

Mathematics

3rd Place

Shreya Patel

Seminole Ridge High School




Music/Instrumental

Winner

Matthew Hakkarainen

Dreyfoos School of the Arts

Matthew Hakkarainen is an accomplished violinist and winner of numerous state, national and international competitions. He won Dreyfoos’s Concerto Competition, the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition. He was also a finalist in the International Louis Spohr Competition for young violinists in Germany. In 2013, as a first place winner in the American Protégé International Competition, Matthew performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall. Academically gifted as well, Matthew has been named a 2018 National Merit Semifinalist, an AP Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction, a Kovner Opportunity Scholar and Sunshine State Scholar. He aspires to be a solo, chamber and orchestral violinist and a composer/conductor.


Music/Instrumental

2nd Place

Ana Mattos

John I. Leonard High School

Music/Instrumental

3rd Place

Nathan Clifford

The King's Academy




Music/Vocal

Winner

Veronica Washington

Park Vista High School

Veronica Washington says singing is her second language and her choral director calls her an extremely talented musician with natural musical talent. She joined Park Vista’s select chorus, “Encore,” just two years ago but she quickly began garnering accolades. She earned Superiors on both classical solo and musical theatre solo pieces for District Solo & Ensemble. She also earned superiors on classical pieces, and excellent scores on musical theatre pieces for the Florida Vocal Association’s Music Performance Assessment. She’s also earned several awards from the District 10 Thespian Festival Competitions. Veronica has performed at Carnegie Hall and participated in Walt Disney World’s Candlelight concert. Veronica plans to major in musical performance and minor in musical theatre.


Music/Vocal

2nd Place

Cydney Fam

American Heritage School

Music/Vocal

3rd Place

Kristina Bernard

Atlantic High School




Reach for Excellence

Winner

Thomas Ketterle

Park Vista High School

Thomas Ketterle struggled academically in elementary school. He could comprehend the material but was unable to transfer it to paper. Eventually a psychologist diagnosed him with a processing disorder. Through tutoring and motivation, Tom learned how to cope with this challenge and began excelling in school. In high school, he took demanding Advanced Placement courses, earning a 4.5 honors GPA. Through will and motivation, Tom remained in the top 10% of his class all four years of high school. In addition to his studies, he was a member of the varsity football and wrestling teams, was in varsity debate for three years and served two years as vice president of the National Honor Society. Tom plans to get a Pre-Law Degree.


Reach for Excellence

2nd Place

Madeline Schroeder

Jensen Beach High School

Reach for Excellence

3rd Place

Eliza Benlulu

West Boca Raton High School




Science

Winner

Caroline Nolan

Clark Advanced Learning Center

Caroline Nolan is devoted to using science to address local problems. When toxic algae invaded the Indian River Lagoon in 2013, she embarked on a two-year research project using mushrooms as bio-filters for treating polluted water. In another project, she developed a solar oven that could be used in Third World countries to cook, sanitize water and make glass beads for a mini-business. To encourage elementary school age girls to go into science, she created a robotic dragon that teaches electronics and coding. She has won Science awards on every level – from local to international. With a 5.98 honors GPA she will be entering college with her Associates degree. Caroline ultimately plans to go to medical school and become an anesthesiologist.


Science

2nd Place

Alexandra Balshi

American Heritage School

Science

3rd Place

Ray Jia

Dreyfoos School of the Arts




Sports

Winner

Sydney Jones

Wellington High School

Sydney Jones was Wellington High School’s top golf player for the last two seasons as well as captain of the varsity girl’s basketball team. In her junior year, the Palm Beach Post selected her for 1st Team All County in both basketball and golf. She is also ranked number 169 in the country for basketball. Besides shining in sports, Sydney excels academically with a 4.1 honors grade point average and earned the Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education Diploma with Merit designation. She will be attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University next fall on a full basketball scholarship, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering.


Sports

2nd Place

Jadyn Matthews

William T. Dwyer High School

Sports

3rd Place

Matthew Cedeno

American Heritage School




Technical/Vocational/Agricultural

Winner

Elizabeth Stroud

Atlantic High School

Elizabeth Stroud holds the rank of “major,” the highest achievable rank in her school’s Criminal Justice Academy. Elizabeth is currently on pace to earn her Community Service Officer certification with the Delray Beach Police Department. Competing in the Law Enforcement Challenge, she placed 2nd in 2017 in sit-ups and first in 2016 in traffic stops. She is President of the local student chapter of the Florida Public Service Association. In addition to law enforcement activities, Elizabeth is a candidate for the IB World School Program and has a 4.26 honors grade point average. Elizabeth hopes to enlist with the U.S. Army and become an elite Ranger after earning her 4-year degree.


Technical/Vocational/Agricultural

2nd Place

Julia Barquin

American Heritage School

Technical/Vocational/Agricultural

3rd Place

Indira Fields

Boca Raton High School

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