Pawling high school grads honored for their academics

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PAWLING – Ten Pawling High School Class of 2021 graduates have received $50,000 in awards from the Akin Hall Association (AHA) Trustees.  This is the 42nd year that the AHA has provided scholarships to deserving students.

Five of the students in the top ten percent in academic achievement each received a $9,000 scholarship to be used at the college of their choice. Logan Grove is attending Wheaton College, Ditte Isak is enrolling at Northeastern University,  Hayden Housen plans to study at Cornell University, Keegan Lewick will join Housen at Cornell University, and Nathan Pandolfo is joining Grove in attending Wheaton College.

These five students each received $9,000 scholarships.

Five students were honored with $1,000 Merit awards towards their upcoming college expenses at their chosen institutions.  Robert Leske is attending North Carolina State University,  Christopher Reynolds will travel west to Pennsylvania State University, Catherine Robohn will head to Boston and attend Northeastern University, Abigail Savarese plans to study at the University of Rhode Island, and Julia Zoeller is staying in New York and attending Binghamton University.

The Association was formed over 100 years ago by Albert J. Akin, a Pawling benefactor, who provided the Akin Free Library building and an endowment to promote and preserve the history, culture, spiritual roots, and educational opportunities in the local area.  The applications submitted were evaluated on their academic achievements, school and community activities, leadership experience, volunteer service, financial need along with weighted ranking on their personal essays. The Committee selected five students to be interviewed and their scholarship awards were based on those interviews.

At their recent “Moveable Feast” Scholarship Fundraiser event, the organization also recognized Pawling High School Science teacher Gillian Rinaldo for her leadership for the Science Research Program. This is a 12 credit, 3 years plus 2 summers course operated in conjunction with the University of Albany. Students are taught how to read and interpret scientific research papers to choose a topic to study, find professional mentors, and publish their findings. Over the years, past students have presented at national conferences, won many awards for their work, and pursued their chosen topic in their current Ph.D. studies.  The Trustees presented Ms. Rinaldo with a check of $500 for future program expenses.

“The Committee is very proud of the 2021 students who are recognized this year,” said  AHA Scholarship Committee member Glenn Carey. “Their essays on what their community service has meant to them personally exhibited the values esteemed by the Akin Hall Association’s founder.”

The Scholarship Committee members are Akin Hall Association President Liz Allen, Scholarship Chair Betsy Brockway, Valerie Busby, David Daniels, Ross Daniels, Glenn Carey, Stan Scherer, and Terry Stewart.