Students of distinction to receive honors

May 8, 2012 

Fourteen student-athletes will be honored today at the 16th annual Dick Nichols West Olympia Rotary Awards Luncheon. Awards will be given to graduating high school students from seven high schools in the Olympia, Tumwater and North Thurston school districts. The recipients are chosen for their excellence in academics, athletics and community service. Each will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

The award is given in the name of Dick Nichols, longtime sports announcer, former county commissioner and supporter of young people in the community.

Here are the honorees and some of their achievements:

Black Hills High School

Cameron Stone

3.98 GPA, Top 10 percent of Class Award; four-year Evergreen Conference All-Academic Award winner, varsity football, wrestling, and baseball; volunteers as mentor/coach of Peewee Football. He plans to attend Washington State University to study engineering.

Ellie Justice

3.97 GPA, varsity cross country and tennis, Cross Country Runner of the Year, Academic All-American Award all four years, National Honor Society, AP Scholar award, ASB vice president, National Honor Society historian; volunteers at Hands On Children’s Museum and helps with various church activities. She plans to attend the University of Washington.

Capital High School

Cameron Falkenburg

3.91 GPA, captain of varsity soccer, swimming and tennis teams; newspaper editor in chief 2012; Academic All-American for four years; president of Rotary Interact Club; volunteers at Thurston Food Bank; Cispus Camp counselor. He plans to attend Gonzaga University to study engineering.

Aviva Browning

3.97 GPA, Academic All-American Award all four years; cross country most valuable teammate, Top 12 Academic Award-Class of 2012; superior marking on violin solo at ensemble contest; captain of cross country and track teams, Chamber and Symphony Orchestra, volunteers at Hands On Children’s Museum and as a tutor for elementary students. She plans to attend Lewis & Clark College to study biology.

North Thurston High School

Matt Reid

3.99 GPA, Washington Scholar nominee, math and science student of the month; captain of varsity basketball and football teams; volunteers as a coach/mentor for Pioneer Technologies basketball camps and RAM basketball camps. He plans to attend the University of Puget Sound to study business and science.

Catie Mets

3.73 GPA, Scholar Athlete Award in basketball and volleyball all four years, varsity basketball, volleyball and track; junior class vice president, Interact Club president. Volunteers with Little Red Schoolhouse and Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She plans to attend Linfield College and study biology/kinesiology.

Olympia High School

Dominick Francks

3.91 GPA, 2011 National Merit Scholar Honoree; Narrows League MVP in basketball, varsity basketball team captain, varsity golf, 2011 WIAA state golf champion (4A). He plans to attend Stanford University to study biology.

Alex Bassett

3.87 GPA, captain of varsity volleyball and basketball teams, won the 4A state champion title in academics for Washington state girls basketball; academic awards in JV and varsity volleyball; volunteers for Thurston Animal Shelter and GRuB. She plans to attend Eastern Washington University to study accounting.

River Ridge High School

Gregory Herschberger

3.91 GPA, graduating fourth in class; varsity soccer, track and field and cross country, captain of cross country team; student body vice president; lifeguard; Eagle Scout, volunteered with Boy Scouts of America; junior board member of Olympia Ski Club. He plans to attend United States Naval Academy to study medicine.

Samira McDonald

3.84 GPA, varsity girls basketball and fastpitch, varsity cheerleader, Academic All-American Award all four years; ASB treasurer; sports mentor, Hawks Hoops program mentor, referee at junior boys and girls basketball games. She plans to attend Saint Mary’s of California to study pre-dental.

Timberline High School

Rick Ahlf

4.00 GPA, graduating first in class, Director’s Award of Excellence at Evergreen Boys State; AP scholar, National Honor Society–graduating with honors; varsity football, basketball and baseball; volunteers as youth camp coach, math tutor and lifeguard. He plans to attend Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University to study aerospace engineering.

Annah Pritchett

3.85 GPA, superior award in editorial writing, Journalism Club president, assistant editor in chief of Blazer Newsmagazine; varsity soccer and tennis, Timberline Theater performer. Volunteered at Lacey Parks and Recreation, Brentwood Preschool and Cambodia Missions team. She plans to attend Biola University to study communications.

Tumwater High School

Daniel Hinkle

3.37 GPA, captain of varsity basketball and football teams, quarterback of state championship team, MVP of state championship game; volunteers as coach with Tumwater youth football and basketball camps, East Olympia Kindergarten Round Up and the East Olympia Reading Night. He plans to attend South Puget Sound Community College.

Annie Torfin

3.92 GPA, four-year honor roll student, earned the All-League Academic Award last four years in volleyball and track, varsity volleyball and track, captain of volleyball and track teams; volunteered as Link Crew member; helped with the Cancer House spaghetti fundraiser and taught volleyball skills at Kids Volleyball camp. She plans to study engineering and mathematics.

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