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Three TASIS Juniors Honored for Commitment to Service

Each spring the TASIS High School Faculty honors three service-minded students from grade 11 with the distinguished Junior Awards, two of which were established by alumni in the early 2000s and one of which was established by the faculty in 1997. Learn about the impressive 2020 selections by reading the citations below, each of which was compiled by Associate Director of Development & Alumni Relations Yvonne Procyk.

The J. Michael Horak Award

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—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 has made a huge impression on students and faculty alike during his three years at TASIS. His advisor remarks on his sterling character and considers him a cherished friend. Others report that he is intelligent and honest, respectful and humble, and a conscientious proctor who commands immense respect. This young man enables others to act and inspires a shared vision of a multicultural campus that creates an atmosphere of kindness and of giving oneself for the benefit of others. 

It is therefore no surprise that this young man is recognized as a role model and an indispensable member of the community, and it is a great pleasure to present the J. Michael Horak Award for 2020 to Zhantemir Sarsenov.

The Pritzlaff Leadership Award

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 $2500 award may be used for educational expenses or donated to a non-profit organization of the recipient’s choice. 

This year’s award is being presented to a student who is recognized as a natural leader by peers and faculty alike. Her qualities were apparent early on, making her the first student to become a proctor while in 10th grade. She has been highly dependable in this role, showing maturity along with a marked ability to motivate younger students and help them make good decisions. Ambitious for herself and the wider community, and with a positive attitude, this young lady has shown initiative and dedication in her Global Service Program group and looks forward to traveling to Nepal in her senior year to experience Nepali culture firsthand and to form new bonds. Her advisor comments that she sets exceedingly high expectations for herself and dedicates herself wholly to meeting them, and that her example shines as bright on the soccer field and on the track as it does in instrumental ensemble and in the classroom.

An all-rounder and true asset to the School and the wider community, it is a great pleasure to present this year’s Pritzlaff Leadership Award for 2020 to Autumn Bachofen.

The Cathy Clark Memorial Scholarship

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 recipient is the type of student who will do whatever is asked of her—always to a high standard and always with a positive attitude. She puts her friends and her community first and has made major contributions to TASIS as a perceptive scholar, as a skilled writer for the TASIS Blog, and as a selfless member of the Global Service Program. She is well-liked and well-respected by her teachers and peers alike. 

In the Middle School dormitory, her caring attitude and constant smile can’t help but bring a positive atmosphere, and the younger girls look up to her like a big sister. Whether spending time with a homesick boarder or volunteering when a need arises, even at short notice, this young lady is always available, and is a pure joy to have on a team. Perhaps her parents sensed this when they named her.

It is a great pleasure to present the Cathy Clark Memorial Scholarship for 2020 to Joy Mack.

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