By Elizabeth Gillingham
Alumnus gives back through ‘IScholar’
With the help of Patrick Henry High School teachers, alumnus Irina Chukhray, launched IScholar in September of 2014. The teachers announce the scholarship each year, and encourage their students to apply. The first IScholar winner was announced in January 2015.
Chukhray has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Arts degree in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University. She also has a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Rice University, where she is currently working on her doctorate in Sociology.
After graduating from PHHS, Chukhray set her mind to one day give back to the school, and especially the teachers who motivated and encouraged her to pursue her academic goals. She decided to help PHHS seniors currently mentored by the same teachers that mentored her.
Chukhray designed IScholar with the intention of creating a scholarship that would be useful to its applicants. In her own experience of applying for scholarships, she noticed that the required essay component seemed like an extra writing assignment that did not directly relate to the college application process. The application requirements for IScholar, however, mirror current college application requirements, resulting in a practice run (i.e. essay draft and required supplemental material) for college applications. Using that format, she structured her prompt and selected a student.
IScholar began small, but Chukhray hopes to grow this scholarship with community support so that future winners will receive a larger award and possibly more than one grant given each year. This year’s 2016 award went to Bamidele Aleshe (class of 2016) and was presented by Chukhray during Andy Mangahis’ AP Biology class. During her announcement, she credited Mangahis for supporting her while she was a student in his AVID class, which teaches college readiness. The process of a former student using her own money to help a current student was inspirational to the students and faculty that witnessed this special award ceremony.
Eleven PHHS students play Honor Concerts
The annual San Diego Unified Honor Concerts, which showcase musicians across grade levels and the entire district, was held on March 13, with two additional concerts on March 19 and March 24. The concerts were free and open to the public.
The performances brought the top musicians from all schools to the “all-star” concerts, organized by high schools, middle schools and elementary schools, under the umbrella of the district’s Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program. Orchestras represent middle and high schools, while the elementary program also includes an honor choir.
“These are incredibly hard-working individuals, ranging in age from 8 to 18. Many of them will have music as a lifelong avocation; many of them will become professional musicians,” said Russ Sperling, director of the VAPA program.
After auditioning for an opportunity to perform, the students spent weeks preparing for the concerts. For many, it was the first time they’ve met their fellow musicians and performed together.
“San Diego has a very rich and proud arts heritage, and a community that has a very solid supports of the arts,” Sperling said. “This is an opportunity to not only celebrate these hard-working individuals, but see what kind of homegrown talent we have in San Diego.”
PHHS was well represented with 11 musicians playing in either the Honor Orchestra or the Honor Band. Kudos to our orchestra players: Kalos Chu, Kellie Formaneck, Cameron Jaynes, Anthony Jaynes, Christina Denali Moore, Matthew Voogd, and Lauren Weber. And kudos also go to our Honor Band members: Marina Burkett, Alexander Cagle, Noah Krasner, and Cassandra Palm.
PHHS sponsors STEMM Day
On March 24, PHHS Engineering Academy hosted over 500 fifth graders from the five feeder elementary schools in the Henry cluster to help support our STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Music) push.
The high school students took the leadership by running groups of 15 students through three experiments and a rotation demonstration of our robot from the robotics competition.
Students had fun making concrete, experimenting with surface tension and learning about density. They also got to see Henry students in a positive and supportive role explaining what they’ve learned and how Henry has been a great school for them.
This was Patrick Henry’s Third Annual STEMM Day and and the school is proud of its Engineering Academy teachers — Emily Moy, Adria Van Loan, and Roger Jaffe — for all the work they did to put this together.
Athletes excelling in sport and academics
Patrick Henry High School recently concluded the winter sports season with five teams competing in the CIF playoffs (boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, and girls water polo). Along with their success on the field, the student-athletes demonstrated leadership in the classroom. Here is a list of all the upperclassmen who earned higher than a 3.0 the first semester.
Jacob Balestraire, Sr., 3.50; Josh Burton, Jr., 3.00; Sam Galaif, Jr., 3.50; Tristan Macon, Sr., 3.00; Larry Tsirulnik, Sr., 3.00.
Laikara Crowell, Sr., 3.17; Julianna Grisafi, Sr., 3.83; Arianna Lopez, Jr., 3.33; Aaliyah Williams, Sr., 3.50.
Alex Gianulis, Jr., 3.67; Daniel Carabantes, Sr., 3.17;Eric Cuellar, Sr., 3.17; Jack Feinberg, Jr., 3.50; Alante Fishel, Sr., 3.21; Jose Garcia, Sr., 3.25; Payton Hatch, Sr., 3.92; Riley Hodge, Sr., 3.17; Connor Keller, Sr., 3.54; Grant Sokolowski, Sr., 4.20. Michael Wehrmeyer, Sr., 3.92. Ryder Wise, Sr., 3.60.
Lana Batson, Jr., 3.83; Brenna Crow, Jr., 3.25; Emily Helmke, Sr., 3.43; Jessica Llamas, Jr., 3.33; Noelle Miller-Hauton, Jr., 3.50; Abbi Patterson, Sr., 3.17; Hailey Revello, Sr., 3.54; Vegas Riffle, Sr., 3.63; Aiden Ryan, Jr., 4.00; Sarah Sheedy, Jr., 4.00.
Jade Durst, Sr., 3.50; Katie Otsuka, Jr., 3.83; Keona Patterson, Jr., 3.50; Riley Scott, Sr., 3.83.
Grant Chandler, Sr., 3.00; Dominik Garcia, Sr., 3.33; Travis Hui, Sr., 3.67; Jesse Lozano, Sr., 3.33; Hoo Man Tam, Sr., 3.00; Alexander Wood, Jr., 3.50; Connor Word, Jr., 3.00.
—Elizabeth Gillingham is principal of Patrick Henry High School.