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School district recognizes student achievements


Six Washoe County School District (WCSD) students are being recognized for their achievements. Two are Olympic hopefuls, two National Merit Scholarship recipients, one who placed in a national art competition, and another who was one of only 100 students selected for a cyber tech scholarship.

Arika Kundu is a second grader at Roy Gomm Elementary School. She was named the state finalist in the Google Doodle competition, which had students create artwork surrounding this year’s theme: “I am strong because…” Arika’s artwork was placed in a competition with students from across the country. As a state winner, her work was featured on the Doodle for Google gallery, and she also received Google hardware and swag.

Kundu explained her artwork, saying, “I am strong because I can dream. I go to a happy place in my mind when I am sad. I solve problems and make others happy with my imagination. My doodle represents the silly, wacky, things in my dream world. We can solve problems and achieve the impossible with imagination and dreams.”

North Valleys High School JROTC student Ethan Hodes. Image: WCSD

Ethan Hodes, a sophomore at North Valleys High School, was one of 100 students from across the country to be selected for an Air Force JROTC Cyber Academy Scholarship. He will attend, virtually, a university this summer for college credit and a chance to earn industry IT certification.

“We are extremely proud of Ethan and how hard he has worked, academically and in his physical fitness, as well as developing as a leader in AFJROTC – all of which were critical components in his ability to compete for and earn one of only 100 AFJROTC Cyber Academy Scholarships nationwide,” said Peter D’Amico, JROTC Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at North Valleys High School. “His dedication and determination prove that when students set concrete goals and develop a course of action to achieve those goals, anything is possible.”

Luke Hobson, a senior at Reno High School, will compete at the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska, in freestyle swimming. He qualified for four events – the 50-, 100-, 200- and 400-meter freestyle – at the competition which is scheduled for mid-June.

Luke Hobson, a Reno High School senior, will swim in four events in the Olympic trials. Image: Provided by WCSD.

“I am super excited to represent Lakeridge Swim Team and Reno High School at the U.S. Olympic trials…” said Hobson, who has also earned a four-year scholarship to the University of Texas next year.  “I am looking forward to swimming four events at my first Olympic trials.”

Dave Hoover, Hobson’s swimming coach at Reno High School, said he is the most talented freestyle swimmer he has had the opportunity to coach during his nearly four decades with the school district.

“He is an extremely versatile swimmer and excels at all of the strokes, not just freestyle,” Hoover said. “I have enjoyed the past three seasons as his coach and look forward to bigger and brighter things in his swimming future.”

Galena High School Junior and Reno Aquatic Club swimmer Emma Karam has also qualified for this summer’s Olympic trials, competing in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke. Emma will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a full athletic scholarship. 

Galena High School Junior and Reno Aquatic Club swimmer Emma Karam has qualified for this summer’s Olympic trials. Image: WCSD

“I am very excited to be racing at the Olympic trials against the best swimmers in the country,” said Karam. “I appreciate all the support from my friends, family and coaches in my journey to Omaha. I am looking forward to an amazing experience.”

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced that two high school seniors have one the prestigious scholarship for the 2021-22 school year.

Carver J. Goldstein will graduate from Procter R. Hug High School and plans to study physics in college. Tylee L. Kareck will graduate from Earl Wooster High School and go on to study chemical engineering.

The two are among 16,000 finalists nationwide—winnowed down from more than 1.6 million high school juniors who first entered the competition last autumn.

Goldstein and Kareck will each receive $2,500.

“We congratulate these outstanding students, their families, and the District staff members who supported and encouraged them during their academic journeys in our schools,” said WCSD Superintendent Kristen McNeill. “We are so proud of them, and I know all of us at the Washoe County School District wish them the best as they begin their college careers.”

Source: WCSD

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