Region’s brightest students honored

MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2010, 9:26 P.M.

University High School’s Amy Bestick was described by an educator as curious, analytical, insightful and among “the best of the best ever” of students.

Ferris High School’s Hannah Myers is years ahead of her peers in mathematics, her teachers wrote. She’s also helped build a school in Kenya and a hospital in Zambia. The teen was unable to attend the ceremony because she was in Chile.

Matei Alexianu – a 4.0 GPA student at St. George’s School studying French and Chinese – has the stature of a “rock star” at school, and his teachers are amazed “his savvy leadership skills and quiet allure amongst his peers,” his nomination said. Alexianu is planning a career in international relations. He’s been accepted to Oxford University in England.

More than 700 educators, students, family and friends gathered in a Spokane Convention Center ballroom Monday for the 18th annual Spokane Scholars Foundation Medal of Academic Achievement banquet to honor students who are considered the area’s brightest.

The teens were among 138 students honored, and among 24 given a share of the $60,000 in grants. Four students in each of six categories received awards ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.

“It was pretty cool to be nominated,” said Scott Davis, a student at Ferris who was honored for his abilities in science. He received a $1,000 grant.

Bestick – considered one of the best science students in the region – received $4,000, while Myers got $1,000 for math. Alexianu, who is from Romania, received a $4,000 grant in the category of world languages.

The Spokane Scholars Foundation, an all volunteer organization, raises the funds through donations from Spokane businesses, professionals and individuals.

Alexianu achieved perfect scores in eight Advanced Placement classes, including French Language. The 17-year-old said he studied French because it is common in Romania, and “I liked the sound of it, to be honest.”

William Gates Sr. was the keynote speaker at the event Monday. For his speech, he answered six questions posed by students.

The last one: “If you had one suggestion to give the graduating class of 2010 about a change that needs to be made to society (for its) advancement, what would it be?”

Gates said, “Getting across and appreciating that the people of the world are all totally interdependent.”

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