Highline High School Alumni Foundation awards over $67,000 in scholarships


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Front Row, L-R Noel Rodriguez, Tramy Nguyen, Kim Ha, Haylee Beckham, Caitlynn Rahal Middle Row, L-R Valerie Tran, Emmanuel Cruz Soria, Maria Arevalo Martinez, Minh Tu Huynh, Christine Nguyen, Michelle Lopez, Cathy Nguyen, Dennise Lopez Sanchez, Tsion Hailu Back Row L-R Cesar Lopez, Ingrid Perce, Christian Hagler, Anita Chung, Nghi Lam, Erendira Mercado, Precious Gonzalez, Leann Barnes Not present: Daniel Villalon-Tinoco

By Shelley Voie
Special for The B-Town Blog

On Sunday evening, June 10, the Highline High School Alumni Foundation awarded over $67,000 in scholarships to 23 graduating seniors of Highline High School. Families, alumni, staff, and honorees celebrated the students’ awards and accomplishments at the Highline ERAC Building.

Foundation President Gary Korsgaard (Class of 1964) opened the evening with Pirate pride about how much the program has grown since 1995, when it awarded just a single $500 scholarship.

Scholarship chair Patti Burgess (Class of 1950) shared a story about the namesake of the first scholarship, “a very precious teacher” named Harry Lemon. Mr. Lemon taught music and biology at HHS and later taught at Camp Waskowitz. While teaching names of trees and plants, he would joke with Waskowitz students, “I know you’ve heard of a fuzzy peach, but you probably haven’t heard of a hairy lemon!” Burgess then introduced the 2018 Harry E. Lemon Scholarship recipient, Ingrid Perce, and continued by highlighting information about each scholarship, its sponsor, and its winner.

New this year is the Tom Sawyer AVID Scholarship, which is named for a former principal. Its recipient, Erendira Mercado, said “AVID has been really helpful. They helped me pay for three SATs and the ACT.” AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities. In Highline, AVID is an elective class that students can join in middle and high school.

When asked what they liked about HHS, some students answered the spirit, the people, the diversity, and those “who are trying to change the stigma of going to Highline High School,” explaining that the run-down building doesn’t represent the high quality of the students and teachers in it. More than one student thanked Sydney Williams, HHS College and Career Access Specialist, for her invaluable help with college and scholarship applications.

University of Washington Seattle is the favorite choice of the graduates, with Western Washington University, Gonzaga University, Pomona College, Stanford University, Pacific Lutheran University, Colorado College, and George Fox University rounding out the list.

The Foundation’s annual golf tournament funds some of the scholarships. Alumni and staff (living or passed), family members, and BECU round out the remainder of the donors and scholarship namesakes.

The 2018 Highline High School Alumni Foundation Scholarship recipients are:

  • Anex Brothers (Basil, George, & Robert) Science Department Scholarship: Cathy Nguyen
  • John P. Ashley Family Scholarship: Christian Hagler
  • Donald Bunger Future Technology Scholarship: Leann Barnes
  • Patti Burgess Future Teacher Scholarship: Valerie Tran
  • Uli & Gayle Chi Mathematics Scholarship: Maria Arevalo Martinez
  • Dick Dahlgard Visual Arts Scholarship: Tramy Nguyen
  • Dr. Alan Gunsul Scholarship: Precious Gonzalez
  • Emily Nishimura Herod Scholarship: Michelle Lopez
  • Harry E. Lemon Memorial Scholarship: Ingrid Perce
  • Mavis Luksan Scholarship: Minh Tu Huynh and Anita Chung
  • McEachern Family Fine Art Scholarship: Dennise Lopez Sanchez
  • Tom Sawyer AVID Scholarship: Erendira Mercado
  • Nancy Tully Memorial Business Department Scholarship: Emmanuel Cruz Soria
  • Roger & Linda Walsh Scholarship: Caitlynn Rahal, Noel Rodriguez, and Nghi Lam
  • The BECU Turnaround Scholarship: Daniel Villalon-Tinoco & Tsion Hailu
  • English Department Scholarship: Cesar Lopez
  • Music Department Scholarship: Haylee Beckham
  • Social Studies Department Scholarship: Christine Nguyen
  • World Language Scholarship: Kim Ha

Information about the Highline High School Alumni Foundation is at http://www.highline-highschool-alumni-foundation.org.

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