Linsly Celebrates Its 199th Commencement

All 65 members of The Linsly School’s Class of 2013 are headed to college after collecting their diplomas during the school’s 199th commencement exercise Sunday at the Stifel Field House.

Special guests included Robert M. Nutting, chairman of the Linsly Board of Trustees who assisted in the presentation of diplomas, and senior faculty member and Dean of the Lower School Gary Sprague, who delivered the invocation and benediction for the ceremony.

Taylor Brooke Cunningham, daughter of Brian and Penny Cunningham of Wheeling, is the valedictorian with the highest cumulative grade point average. Cunningham will attend High Point University in High Point, N.C., in the fall, where she has been awarded a Presidential Scholarship.

Justin Blake Lee, son of Blake and Leslie Lee of Wheeling, was named salutatorian for compiling the second-highest cumulative GPA. Lee will attend West Virginia University Honors College, where he received the West Virginia University Presidential Scholarship.

In his commencement speech, Headmaster Chad Barnett reflected on those principles inherently instilled in each graduating senior from their Linsly experience – perseverance, courage, conviction and self control. Taking time to reflect on the many individual students who make up the graduating class of 2013, Barnett recalled their numerous academic and athletic achievements. Barnett pointed out that many seniors were recognized as AP Scholars, OVAC championship winning teams and noted their community service work.

During the ceremony, numerous graduates were presented awards for their leadership, citizenship and character. They included:

– The Headmaster Award, to Justin Blake Lee.

– The Hofreuter Award, to Taylor Brooke Cunningham.

– The Guenther Award, awarded to David Robert Brinsky, son of Jim Brinsky and Dr. Mary Hammond Brinsky of Wheeling, and to Taylor Brooke Cunningham.

– The Theodore Scott Owens Award, to Nikhil Madhusudan Dharawat, son of Dr. and Mrs. Madhu and Amy Dharawat of Glen Dale, and Jasmine Shishir Shah, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Shishir and Bindiya Shah of Wheeling.

– The Buncher Award, to Rachel Nabasirye Lubinga, daughter of Drs. Stanley and Esther Lubinga of Fulton, N.Y. and Rongkai Kevin Sha, son of Weiyuan Sha and Lihong Wang of Guangzhou, China.

Awards for academic excellence were also presented to the following seniors who received the highest academic average in individual courses, based on a year’s work:

– Hiroki Asakawa: Calculus III and Statistics; David Brinsky: AP English Language and Composition, French I, and German IV; Brady Brown: Chorus and Graphic Design; Haa-young Cho: BC Calculus AP, Psychology AP and Band; Taylor Cunningham: AP English Language and Composition, Economics, Latin IV, and Psychology AP; Chelsea Fletcher: Economics; Azhiare Goodwin-Rowe: Government; Rosalie Haizlett: Advanced Art; Justin Lee: Chemistry AP and Economics; Yungshang Christy Li: Physics AP; Rachel Lubinga: English Language and Composition; Claudia Palmer: Introduction to Calculus; Rongkai Sha: BC Calculus AP; Hannah Wagner: French IV; Brieana Weimer:Ceramics and Gina Xiao: Spanish IV.

– The United States Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award, to Michael Joseph Hammond, son of Justine Keating of Washington, Pa., and Eleanor Mae Weaver, daughter of David and Beth Weaver of Wheeling.

– The Linsly Social Studies Award, to was Justin Blake Lee. He also was named the recipient of The Linsly Science Award.

– Taylor Brooke Cunningham received The Gilleland Award.

– Cunningham and Lee also received The Linsly Mathematics Award.

– Cunningham and Lee were two of the four recipients of The Max W. Laborde Award, given to those Senior English students who, in the opinion of the English Department, best met the standards set forth in the department. David Robert Brinsky and Rosalie Alma Haizlett, daughter of Jim and Jo Ellen Haizlett of Wellsburg, also received the award.

– The John Anwar Spanish Award went to Justin Lee.

– The Robert W. Schramm Physics Award, went to Yunshang Christy Lee.