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2016 Valedictorian Heads to the Ivy League

Paulina Gazin ’16 (Russia/Ukraine/United States) decided to attend the prestigious University of Pennsylvania following an outstanding six years at TASIS that also yielded acceptance letters from Cornell University; Duke University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Santa Barbara; and Northeastern University.

Fluent in English and Russian and an advanced Italian student, Paulina earned an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma at TASIS and departed with two of the School’s coveted Graduation Awards: The Valedictorian Scholarship Award and The Cynthia Whisenant Award for Excellence in English. She has yet to decide on a major at Pennsylvania and credits the breadth of her education at TASIS for making the choice more difficult than she thought it would be.

“Going into high school I was looking forward to taking classes in chemistry, biology, and physics, and I did not expect that I would be interested in pursuing any fields of study in college other than the sciences,” said Gazin, who earned an exceptional 40 points on her IB exams and also found time to score a 5 on the AP Microeconomics exam. “Over the past few years, however, I have enjoyed courses such as English Literature and the Theory of Knowledge, and I hope to continue exploring the humanities in addition to the sciences.”

“I will miss the incredibly beautiful campus, the adorable faculty children, and, above all, the friends I have made here.”

Paulina singled out Math teacher Dan Schwartz and Science Department Chair Alexander Ogilvie for helping her succeed in two of her most difficult courses, Higher Level IB Math and Chemistry, while also noting that she will remember English teacher Dr. Chris Love “for consistently challenging me and pushing me to my limits as both a reader of literature and a Nuovo Fiore [Ethiopia Global Service Learning Group] member.”

Paulina was a student leader for Nuovo Fiore and called her three service trips to Addis Ababa her most memorable experiences at TASIS. She also captained the Varsity Basketball team, played the piano, was active in the theater program, and was a Student Council representative.

While she is on her way to great things, Paulina knows it won’t be easy to leave TASIS behind. “I will miss the incredibly beautiful campus, the adorable faculty children, and, above all, the friends I have made here,” she said.

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