Each spring the TASIS High School faculty selects three service-minded students from grade 11 to receive the distinguished Junior Awards—two established by alumni in the early 2000s and one established by the faculty in 1997. Below is a description of each award and the remarks delivered by High School Academic Dean Dr. Mark Abisi, who presented the J. Michael Horak Award at the Academic Awards Assembly on May 22, and by Associate Director of Development and Alumni Relations Yvonne Procyk, who presented the final two awards at the Farewell High School Assembly on May 23.
The J. Michael Horak Award
Presented by Dr. Mark Abisi
The J. Michael Horak Award was created in 1997 to honor a departing faculty member who had provided inspiring service to the student body, and who was often able to galvanize the entire school into believing that what can be attempted can be completed.
This award—conceived, organized, and voted on by the faculty exclusively—now recognizes a junior who gives spontaneously and tirelessly of himself or herself to the many and varied needs of the student body.
This year’s recipient is respectful and earnest, caring and humble, and both the first person to volunteer to lend a hand and the last person to leave after helping with the clean-up. One of his teachers comments that he wants to be part of it all and to support it all while another notes that he is the epitome of Mrs. Fleming’s advice to “stretch yourself.” Omnipresent in music, dance, and theater during his three years at TASIS, he can regularly be found helping out with campus activities and in the dorm, and he is also remembered for the day he attended sports games wearing the TASIS Tiger suit, forming a “one-man pep squad.”
The TASIS Faculty is proud to present the 2018 J. Michael Horak Award to Francis Accilien.
The Pritzlaff Leadership Award
Presented by Ms. Yvonne Procyk
The Pritzlaff Leadership Award was established in 2001 by alumnus John Pritzlaff '72, who has been a loyal friend and donor to the School while also serving on the Board of Directors. The Award recognizes a junior who takes a leading role in community service outside the School, encouraging the involvement of other TASIS students in the public service ideal. The $2,500 award may be used for educational expenses or donated to a non-profit organization of the recipient’s choice. Past recipients of the Pritzlaff Leadership Award are listed on a plaque in the Villa De Nobili dining room.
This year the award is being presented to a young lady who impresses with her maturity, who naturally takes the lead in discussions while also being a good listener and knowing how to encourage participation from others. Always willing to take on extra work and share it so others may benefit, she actively engages with all the communities of which she is part, both on and off campus, and serves in a multiplicity of ways. Her teachers comment that she chooses to dedicate her time to music and writing, sports and service. As a proctor in the dorm she advocated on behalf of the Middle School boarders, and her excitement about her upcoming Service Learning trip to Mongolia led her to pursue and share additional research ahead of the trip. With her outgoing attitude and tireless energy, this young lady is a positive and prominent influence on campus whose qualities have led to the unique accolade of already being chosen as a Head Proctor as a junior.
It is a great pleasure to present the 2018 Pritzlaff Leadership Award to Maria Veronica Ramos Romero.
The Cathy Clark Memorial Scholarship
Presented by Ms. Yvonne Procyk
The Cathy Clark Memorial Scholarship recognizes and rewards a student who, in the judgment of the TASIS community, demonstrates exceptional dedication to community service. The award comes in the form of scholarship aid to assist in covering tuition expenses or educational travel.
The award was established by alumni parents Lt. Colonel Robert and Mrs. Ann Clark to honor the memory of their daughter, Catherine, who attended TASIS for six years, graduating in 1987. After attending George Mason University, she served in the headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), in Washington, DC. Known for her unfailing cheerfulness and compassion, Cathy was also cited for her distinguished service and for developing an outstanding AIDS awareness program. She died in a tragic automobile accident at the age of 26 while driving across the country from Virginia to her new duty station in California. Cathy believed that TASIS had provided her with some important life lessons and her parents established this $3,600 scholarship award in her memory to reward and inspire other TASIS students to follow her commitment to public service.
This year’s Cathy Clark Memorial Scholarship recipient is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to serve and makes an impact with her dedication. As part of the Intergenerations Service Learning group last year, she repeatedly went above and beyond expectations and impressed with her friendliness, curiosity, and desire to help others. This year she was an outstanding leader for the newly formed EcoVisio Moldova Global Service Program group, winning the respect of her chaperones and peers with her tireless work ethic and positive attitude.
Our recipient also serves as a proctor and immediately created a rapport with the dorm residents, who know they can come to her for guidance and support. Although following the full IB Diploma curriculum, she is able to successfully juggle a range of activities, including serving at Family-Style Dinners and organizing fundraisers for her Service Learning group. With her motivation and vision, passion and compassion, this young lady is fully deserving of this award.
It is an honor to present the Cathy Clark Memorial Scholarship for 2018 to Diana Khassanova.