Student Achievements: Six to Celebrate

1. Preservation Scholarship

Olivia Briggs

Olivia Briggs, a 2020 Highland Park High School graduate, has received a $1,500 scholarship through the HP Education Foundation Tartan Fund/Park Cities Historic and Preservation Society Endowment. The daughter of Laura and Travis Briggs has interned three summers at Emily Summers Design Associates. She plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture to study Interior Design.

2. Face Shield Maker

Key Coker Jr.

Highland Park High School student Key Coker Jr., using a 3D printer at the campus’s Moody Advanced Professional Studies (MAPS) Center, has made and delivered face shields to Dallas Services for use by staff at the nonprofit’s Center for Vision Health and teachers of its Dallas Day School. For a May delivery, Coker provided 53 shields. “I am excited to be able to serve my community by making a real-world difference from some of the skills I’ve acquired through the MAPS classes,” he said.

3. Learning Hindi Online

Liam Conner

COVID-19 cancelled Liam Conner’s seven-week summer trip to Pune, India but not his intensive study of Hindi. The rising Highland Park High School senior instead participated in a five weeks of online language and cultural learning connecting virtually with residents of places where Hindi is spoken. The U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs awarded 2020-21 National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarships to about 500 students to study Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Russian, or Turkish. 

4. Troop 80 Scouts with Masks

Scout William Trotman and Scoutmaster Doug Trotman presented masks made by Troop 80 members and their families to a Dallas VA Medical Center team member. The troop, sponsored by Highland Park Presbyterian Church and supported by St. Michael and All Angels Church, made about 100 masks for the staffs at University of Texas Southwestern and Dallas VA medical centers.

5. Champions Not Forgotten

Temporarily missed in the wave of cancelled school events this spring: more history-making by the Highland Park High School Academic Decathlon. While COVID-19 blocked an earned trip to Anchorage, Alaska for the National Meet, it didn’t stop the Scots from claiming a fourth state title in five years. In the process, the squad achieved another team first: All nine members placed in the Top 5 in their divisions. FROM LEFT: Principal Walter Kelly, coach David Alvarado, Daniel Carrillo, Pike Dzurny, Jean Ye, Marcus Christian, McKenna Jordan, Alvin Zou, Mackenna Bierschenk, Coach Gregory Bergeron, and Matthew Winters. NOT PICTURED: Ryan Carmack.

6. Presidential Scholars

Sohum Kulkarni, Dallas, and Ryan McCord, of Highland Park, were named 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars, two of 161 outstanding American high school seniors so honored for academic success and other achievements plus community service and leadership. Kulkarni, a Parish Episcopal School co-salutatorian, named as his most influential teacher Jenn Makins for STEM/Engineering. McCord, a 2020 graduate of St. Mark’s School of Texas, identified his as Scott Hunt for photography.

Sohum Kulkarni and Ryan McCord

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