Top of the Class of 2013: Gilbert Classical Academy - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Top of the Class of 2013: Gilbert Classical Academy

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Posted: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 5:21 pm, Wed May 22, 2013.

Gilbert Classical Academy will graduate 37 students in its Class of 2013.

Valedictorian

Lauren Girouard, 18

GPA: 4.0 on a nonweighted cale

Total amount of scholarship money this student was offered: $549,808

What University or College is this student planning to attend? Furman University

A little about the student: My name is Lauren Girouard. I hail originally from San Jose, Calif., but I have lived in Gilbert since I was 8. I am an only child, but I have two cats that I love dearly and a wonderful mother (my father passed away in an automobile accident when I was 9) who has always inspired me to achieve my best.

I was offered a total of $549,808 in scholarship money, or $137,452 for my first year of college total, combining all institution offers, including my National Merit Finalist scholarship. The college I am attending will be giving me $54,452 my first year ($217,808 total for all four years), and the scholarship is a full ride (room, board, tuition, student fees). Called scholarship called the Herman W Lay Scholarship.

I will be attending Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina and double majoring in Theatre Arts and Neuroscience. Eventually I would like to work in special needs dramatherapy, which brings theatre to children with cognitive disabilities.

I auditioned into an improv troupe called the Proscenium Archers at the start of this year, and we rehearse once a week at the Mesa Arts Center and perform monthly. My last big theatre venture was at the University of Southern California over this last summer. I was "Chick in Crimes of the Heart," by Beth Henley and worked with Practical Aesthetics for the first time. I also run lights for school productions.

I also paint. I have been painting with several mediums- oil, acrylic, and pastel, since I was 9 or 10. At this point, I have figured out that I prefer portraiture, so I have been specializing in that for five years or so.

I love to travel, and I have been on 26 flights in the last four years. I have visited four countries (France, England, Italy, and Greece). And I have had the opportunity to do everything from sing in Carnegie Hall, study drama at Oxford, participate in a mock trial in Chicago’s most famous courthouse, and volunteer in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita.

When I am not doing any of that I am spending time either practicing the flute, which I have played for eight years now, (I have a performance at a nursing home coming up, the group of people who take private lessons with my teacher put on a few concerts for the community each year. It’s pretty rewarding), or I am studying for Academic Decathlon. I am a proud member of the top 1A academic decathlon team in the state.

I am currently President of Music Council and a Committee Head within the Student Senate, as well as an active member of the National Honor Society.

Valedictorian

Alexander Neuperger, 18

GPA: 4.0 on a non weighted scale

Total amount of scholarship money this student was offered $69,000.

What University or College is this student planning to attend? Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University to study Mechanical Engineering

A little about the student:  I was born in Chandler, Arizona. I have lived in Gilbert all of my life. I have one older sister, she is currently 21 and attends Arizona State University.

Currently, I hope to enter the energy industry in an attempt to find more efficient or cleaner ways to produce useable energy, and discover new ways to use this energy more effectively.

My favorite subjects throughout school have been science and math. I also have developed a love for playing music. Additionally, I enjoy rigorous physical activities such as playing soccer, competitively swimming, and rock climbing.

Salutatorian

Zain Bukhari, 17

GPA: 3.96 on a non weighted scale

Total amount of scholarship money this student was offered $ 126,000

What University or College is this student planning to attend? ASU Barrett Honors College

Career Goal: Family Physician

A little about the student: I have been interested in the medical field ever since I could read. I have greatly enjoyed being Vice President of Future Doctors of GCA and getting others in to the medical field.

Salutatorian

Joshua Keough, 18

GPA: 3.96 on a non weighted scale

Total amount of scholarship money this student was offered $620,000

What University or College is this student planning to attend? Columbia University

What is their career choice: Professional Musician (trombonist and composer/arranger)

A little about the student: I enjoy jazz, classical music, the humanities, calculus and have held various school and church leadership positions. I have played trombone for 7 years. I play in the Young Sounds of Arizona jazz ensemble and the Mesa Community College Orchestra. In my senior year I was the third chair All-State jazz trombonist and I was first chair in the All-State orchestra. I was a member of GCA’s Academic Decathlon for 2 years.

I come from a family filled with teachers; a majority of my immediate and distant relatives are or have been educators in various school districts teaching various grade levels and subjects.

Student of Distinction

Alyna Gorman, 18

Horatio Alger National Scholarship recipient

A little about the student: Alyna was born in Walnut Creek, Calif., and moved to Gilbert at 2. She is a resident of Mesa. She has one sibling. She plans to attend the University of Arizona to study psychology. She enjoys art, music, reading, singing, costuming and writing and has placed three years in a row in art at the Arizona State Fair.

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