IA Okma Senior Honors Program

Class of 2021

Big picture

Principal Gibson's Opening Remarks

Principal Gibson's Senior Honors Night

IA Okma Class of 2021




Big picture
These students have achieved extraordinary academic success at IA Okma. We all know how difficult it can be for students to find a balance between their academic and non-academic lives. These students have not only found the balance, but have also managed to also push themselves academically.

CUM LAUDE HONOREES: These students have maintained a cumulative grade point average between 3.5 and 3.74 and are being recognized as cum laude honorees. Please congratulate them for their outstanding academic achievement.

Gabriela Abrahamson

Adeel Ansari

Rana Atassi

Abdul-Kader Azrak

Daniel Bagryantsev

Megha Bhatia

Suzanne Brook

Abdullah Dabol

Gabriele Dushaj

Sahir Esperant

Andrew Farah

Ryan Gilson

Cyndey Goldstein

Alize Gotti

Landon Harris

Huda Huseini

Indira Iyer

Yasmeen Khalifa

Camille Kreager

Ezekiel Landis

Grace MacLaren

Abdul-Rahman Mahmood

Rushil Mehrotra

Estefania Miciano

Emily Paul

Miles Phillips

Mia Pouncy

Maximillian Rontal

Maximus Shaya

James Shull

Neil Singh

Lucas Smith

Rahul Suri

Katherine Swanson

Aabid Syed

Caitlin Tabin

Judy Taha

Jasmine Tedjo

Cameron Wadle

Maximilian Weiten

Greyson Yousif

MAGNA CUM LAUDE HONOREES: These students are being awarded the designation of magna cum laude for maintaining a cumulative grade point average between 3.75 and 3.89. Please recognize them for their superior dedication and hard work.

Olivia Milo Abdal

Adnan Alousi

Maui Baba

Kylie Barcino

Maurice Barroso

Avery Bates

Tyler Covacha

Dania Daboul

Alan Daniloff

Brinkley Drews

Mehrnaz Ghafourii Abbas Abadi

Nicolae Gorog

Elisabeth Greiner

Juliette Hamid

Parker Jensen

Jacob Jones

Nita Kattimani

Zachary Keefover

Kareem Krayem

Laike Leatherwood

Yiyao Liu

Joshua Mae

Corey Mann

Marah Mossallam

Audrey Nguyen

Emilie Pedretti

Maximilian Petrosky

Joshua Prabhu

Yashhvardhan Rajjput

Matthew Schlaf

Sabrina Yu

Jack Zbanek

SUMMA CUM LAUDE HONOREES: These students have achieved grade point averages between 3.9 and 4.0 and have earned the distinction of summa cum laude. Please celebrate them for their exemplary achievements.

Chinyere Aguwa

Shams Ahson

Zachary Aronson-Paxton

Amaya Aten

Arjun Bhooi

Euijeong Cho

Vineet Dhatt

Sydney Divozzo

Megan Fan

Miracle Felsner

Micah Foster

Seth Fox

Emily Frega

Daniella Ghafari

Raaj Govil

Michael Guo

Saniyah Haq

Andrew Hutchinson

Anastasiya Ilkiv

Raegan Ingamells

Adrianna Kallabat

Dhravid Kumar

Yeon Woo Lee

Jacqueline Li

Jonah Liss

Ryan Lodato

Aadi Malhotra

Zara Manna

Amani Mubeen

Riya Munot

Jared Niskar

Ekanem Okeke

Melina Pardales

Sebastian Peret

Joelle Petrotta

Soenke Pietsch

Felix Pitterling

Vynateya Purimetla

Lila Reddy

Wasey Rehman

Noor Saber

Hamsini Sivakumar

Nandan Srikrishna

Kishan Sripada

Lucas Stillman

Mitchell Swayze

Grace Tavi

Sofia Tonin

Zoe Tunnicliff

Grace Umland

James Whaley

Vivian Yee

Mathew Yonan

Eric Yuan


Big picture

DP ESS Award

Brinkley Drews

Big picture

I’d like to recognize Brinkley Drews as the recipient of the Environmental Systems and Societies Award. Throughout the year Brinkley showed a strong personal interest in learning about the environment and the ways in which humans impact it. She is a curious student who asks thoughtful questions and is willing to share relevant articles and resources that relate to the content. She took particular interest in the causes and effects of prescribed fires as an environmental management tool. I have no doubt that Brinkley will continue to be an advocate for animals and a steward of the environment, asking others to examine their choices and the role that our decisions play in management of environmental problems. Congratulations Brinkley! - Sue Monck

- YouTube

DP2 Biology

Vivian Yee

Big picture
Mrs. Kiriazis and I would like to recognize Vivian Yee as the recipient of the Biology Department Award. Vivian is an exceptional student who demonstrates a deep understanding of the concepts and principles of biology. Her critical thinking and analysis skills are excellent and she can communicate her research in a logical and concise manner.

Vivian is innately curious and has developed original investigations that demonstrate insight and innovative research. Her work in biology has been recognized at local, state and national levels, most recently in the Regeneron Science Talent Search where she competed among nearly 2000 students. Her research explored a novel approach to analyzing social factors and their influence in the epidemiology of COVID 19. Her work was unique and insightful, and earned her top honors in the nation.

Vivian has an unparalleled passion for learning and a commitment to the subject of biology, both things that biologist EO Wilson notes are key aspects of a young scientist. is Vivian is open-minded, detail-oriented, analytical and creative; I look forward to reading more of her published work in the future.

Throughout Vivian's four years at the IA she has demonstrated academic excellence balanced with high personal standards. For these reasons we congratulate Vivian Yee as the Biology Department Awardee. - Sue Monck and Renee Kiriazis

- YouTube

DP2 Chemistry

Jacqueline Li

Big picture
My name is Brad Davies and I am a chemistry teacher at the International Academy. It is my honor to present the Senior Class Chemistry Department Award this year to Jacqueline Li. The first reason that she deserves this award is that Jacqueline has worked hard to help build and maintain a sense of community within the classroom, whether in-person or over Zoom. Jacqueline is always providing positive words of encouragement whether it is a drab Monday morning or right before a quiz. She asks students about their weekends or their recent competitions. She works hard at trying to make this year feel as friendly as possible. In doing so, she is working to make it easier for students to relax and try to learn new content together. Jacqueline also deserves this award for her consistent hard work. She comes to class prepared and ready to go. She is not afraid to ask or answer questions, whether it is in class or during office hours. Because of her efforts and sharp mind, it takes just a few suggestions and Jacqueline understands the intent of the question and devours it! Said another way, Jacqueline is an exemplar for the other students, building community and chemistry at the same time. For these reasons and more, the Chemistry Award proudly goes to Jacqueline Li. - Brad Davies
Senior Honors Chem J Li

DP2 Physics

Greyson Yousif

Big picture
It is with great pleasure that I get to recognize Greyson Yousif with this year’s senior physics award. When I got my class schedule for the 2019-2020 school year, I was disappointed to learn that Greyson had not initially registered for the DP physics sequence. I immediately contacted him and convinced him that a further study of physics was the perfect outlet for him. He had already spent his sophomore year staying after class nearly every day to make the smallest of small talk (how many Oreo cookies would it take to contain the caloric content of the sun?) and the ask the deepest, and still not fully answered questions (what is light?). Greyson has been an excellent example of what happens when an already capable student’s genuine curiosity is fostered – he has become a better student, and his questions have made me a better teacher. He has continued to stay after class (now on Zoom calls) as a junior and senior throughout DP Physics, often with an audience of his peers on hand to benefit from his willingness to ask a seemingly off the wall question – in this way, Greyson has made his classmates better than they would have otherwise been. As he and all of this year’s seniors matriculate, I hope that all will follow Greyson’s example and continue to ask their questions, because they help all of us – individual students, their peers, and we teachers – to grow toward our best selves. - Nathan Immekus
- YouTube


Big picture

DP2 English

Matthew Schlaf and Lucas Stillman

Big picture
Big picture
The English teachers are so happy to present the 2021 English Department Award to TWO seniors! Congratulations to Matt Schlaf and Lucas Stillman.

First, I’ll speak about Matt Schlaf.

Matt is a model student of literature and writing. He welcomes the challenge of the subjectivity of literature and literary analysis with eagerness, and he honestly seems to enjoy the process. He welcomes constructive criticism and reflects on feedback in purposeful ways, implementing and utilizing teacher comments while still maintaining his own distinct writing voice and style. Matt thinks deeply about what we are studying and has managed to consistently produce thoughtful and unique analyses that are a joy to read. His performance in his literature classes over the past four years, as well as his work with Ms. Gardner on a Literature EE, clearly show his remarkable skills.

Matt’s participation in discussions and his willingness to work effectively in small groups was a consistent boost to our classroom - imagine learning literature at 7:45 in the morning via Zoom - and yet he managed it with honest enthusiasm and engagement. There were many occasions where Matt saved the class from an extended awkward Zoom silence.

Finally, Matt is a risk-taker who does not shy away from asking for clarification and always getting to the “why” of something, whether it’s related to a text we are reading, an aspect of writing, or an IB requirement. I for one, hope he never loses this.

The second recipient for the English Department Award is Lucas Stillman.

Lucas is also a model student of literature and writing. His passion for reading and his vast knowledge of literature come out naturally in his participation and in his writing. Lucas thrives in the subjective nature of literature and literary analysis, and he consistently creates thoughtful, poignant, and unique analyses that are always so engaging. Literary analysis and critical thinking about how authors use their texts seems to come easy to Lucas, and he writes in a way that shows his passion and engagement for the topic. Sure, writing is always a task of sorts, but for Lucas, he seems to genuinely enjoy the process and his writing shows that.

Lucas’ engagement and participation in class was remarkably uninhibited by the uncertainties of the school year. Whether we were in person or virtual, Lucas brought valuable insights to our class, participating meaningfully in small groups, and even staying after class a few times to share his thoughts on his recent reads with me. As literature teachers, we always hope for students who are as passionate about reading and writing as we are, and Lucas is one of those students.

For both of these students, their open-mindedness to challenges of all types, their constant willingness to ask questions, and their honest interest and engagement with writing and reading reminded Ms. Johnson and the rest of the English department why we teach literature. They deserve the English Department Award for the class of 2021 and we are so happy to recognize them. Congratulations to Matt and Lucas! - Kayla Johnson



Big picture

Every year the math department has the privilege of honoring students who have demonstrated an exemplary level of talent and dedication to the field of mathematics. In addition to being excellent students, each of these individuals possess the critical thinking and risk taking skills necessary to be truly great mathematicians. The math department is proud to recognize the following students:

Math Applications SL

Abdul-Kader Azrak

Big picture
Abdul Azrak has been a pleasure to have in class. He is a great class participant with a strong aptitude for math. He asks good, thoughtful questions and always has a positive attitude. In addition, he demonstrated his strong work ethic by the amount of effort he put toward completing his internal assessment. I have thoroughly enjoyed having Abdul as a student. - Lisa Slade


Joelle Petrotta

Big picture

In Math Analysis SL, Joelle Petrotta is an exemplary student. She has a keen mathematical mind and is a positive presence in the classroom. She is principled, inquisitive, and creative. She isn’t afraid of hard work, and has consistently been a strong member of our mathematics community since she was a freshman. - Catherine Casazza


Nita Kattimani

Big picture
In a strong class of Math HL students, Nita Kattimani managed to stand out. She is a bright, inquisitive, and dedicated student with a high aptitude for math. Furthermore, Nita’s personal strengths are as impressive as her intellectual accomplishments. She always supports her classmates, takes risks to tackle the most challenging problems in our work, and finds ways to apply her math knowledge outside of class. She consistently stays after class to chat about her mathematical adventures and tirelessly strives to help others through the creation and maintenance of the Virtual Math Lab and regular tutoring sessions. Her passion and dedication to math are an inspiration to all those around her. - Kristy Hessler

To conclude, as a math department we feel fortunate to have taught the entire class of 2021, and we will miss you dearly. Best wishes to all of you.

- YouTube

History department award

Big picture

DP2 History

Adrianna Kallabat

Big picture

I am pleased to present Adrianna Kallabat the outstanding History Student Award.

Adrianna has a passion for learning that is contagious. She is always keenly interested in learning more about history and comes to class with great questions.

Whether it is a small class assignment or an in-depth internal assessment, she always gives it her best effort. She takes the time to learn the small details and expertly places them into context of the big picture. She has a gift for expertly evaluating sources and evidence and her reasoning is always sound.

Adrianna has the soul of a humanitarian. She sees history in terms of the human story. It is clear from talking with her, that she sees history as a vehicle to understanding the world around her and as a platform from which to make the world a better place.

I am proud of the work Adrianna has done these last two years in DP History and I am excited to award her as an outstanding student. - Eileen Rabourn

Senior Honors History Award

Hamsini "Sunny" Sivakumar

Big picture

I am pleased to have the opportunity to award Hamsini (Sunny) Sivakumar this years Senior History Award. Among many talented senior individuals, Sunny really stood out, even in the challenges of this crazy coronavirus Zoom environment. I have only rarely worked with a student of her caliber. Her work, intelligence, questions, and engagement all are outstanding. Sunny consistently rises to the top through her curiosity, hard work ethic, and sheer brilliance of mind. She never compromises on the high standards she sets for herself, and she is incredibly thoughtful and kind to all. She motivates everyone, including me, to work harder and better, and her enthusiasm for history is infectious. All of Sunny’s talents have been evident in her remarkable work, both this year and last, particularly her superb internal assessment on the impact of Dior’s New Look Collection on the Feminist Movement of the 1950’s, which was well researched and quite insightful. The work is typical of Sunny: blending her diverse interests, followed by astute analysis of how fashion can both spotlight as well as transform the role and perception of women. Her gift for such syncretic analysis is equally evident in her in-class contributions and has made an otherwise difficult school year so much better. For these reasons, among many others, Sunny Sivakumar is a worthy recipient of this year’s history award. - Matt Morrison

Senior Honors History Award

DP2 Economics

Raegan Ingamells, Jared Niskar, and Soenke Pietsch

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

This year‘s Econ award goes to Raegan, Söenke, and JJ. I had a terribly tough time narrowing it down to one so I figured I’d give it to all three of you. There are a lot of people that could’ve easily gotten this award from this class, you all have done an amazing job over the past two years, but the reason I pick these three is they were also the board for my Econ club.

Raegan, Söenke, and JJ: You three have done an amazing job keeping this club engaged and keeping the participants involved through the very unique situation of this pandemic. You have grown the club, gotten more people involved in the different challenges, and have been great coaches to our Euro Challenge and Fed Challenge teams.

I can’t thank you enough for everything you guys have done this past year or so. I feel like you’ve been leading this group a lot longer than that just because you’ve been in my class pretty much every day since freshman year in one way or another; either for your own Euro or Fed teams or anything like that. I will definitely miss your presence next year; you guys left some big shoes to fill on the Board next year. Again I thank you for everything you’ve done and I wish as the best of luck in the years to come. - Kyle Tecmire

Senior Honors Econ Award

Theory of Knowledge Award

Big picture

DP2 Theory of Knowledge

Greyson Yousif

Big picture

My name is Brad Davies and I am a Theory of Knowledge (ToK) teacher at the International Academy. It is my honor to present the Senior Class ToK Award this year to Greyson Yousif!

In his core, Greyson understands what we were trying to do in ToK, which is to say, to question how we assemble evidence to create knowledge, and how this knowledge leads to our personal identities and the communities and cultures we are involved in. Though he has developed a strong perspective on the world, Greyson is quite willing to take a look at his fundamental assumptions and deeply held beliefs. He will also earnestly consider the arguments of others. Greyson is a voracious reader, often making connections between what he is reading outside of the classroom and the conversation inside of the classroom. Greyson shares his insight and questions others, all while not dominating the conversation or offending others when he disagrees. Greyson makes powerful contributions that I had not previously considered or anticipated from the students. I have enjoyed multiple conversations with Greyson that have continued after the class let out with multiple refrains of, “Yeah, I can see that point, but what about…” For these reasons and more, the ToK Department Award goes to Greyson Yousif. - Brad Davies

- YouTube

World Language Awards

Big picture

The recipients of the World Language Departmental awards in Spanish, French, and German exhibit true love for language and culture and are set apart by their understanding of other cultures, and insightful, open-minded perspective and global citizenship. They also excel in all aspects of language acquisition, including speaking, reading, writing, and listening. They have grown tremendously personally through the study of the language and also contribute positively to the growth of others in the classroom environment, and finally they seek language opportunities and service outside of the classroom.

DP2 Spanish

Raegan Ingamells

Big picture

This year, I am honored to present the Spanish Departmental Award to Raegan Ingamells. Raegan certainly embodies all of these characteristics. Her commitment to language learning is palpable, and she contributes positively to the classroom environment. One of her most notable achievements is the fact that as a leader in Spanish Honor Society this year, she was instrumental in organizing and running our virtual Spanish tutoring program both in the Spring of 2020 when school was first closed and continued on into this school year as well. This program served as an important connection and lifeline to many of our students, allowing them to connect both educationally and socially with others. Thank you, Raegan, for all of your work, and congratulations! - Rebecca Riggs

- YouTube


Ekanem Okeke

Big picture

Ekanem Okeke is the recipient of the French Departmental Award. Ekanem has shown a strong commitment and dedication to staying in and using French even through the challenges of Zoom. She truly values language learning and is testing HL in French and SL in DP2 Spanish. Ekanem lifts up other students around her. She works to the highest personal standards but is also easy-going and cooperative. Ekanem is a natural language learner and I often find her assisting others in a warm, non-threatening manner. She is well respected by her classmates for her intellectual abilities, yet they feel free to approach her for help, and they enjoy working with her on everyday assignments. She is an incredibly thoughtful learner and encourages others to be the same. - Amy Merchant

French Senior Honors Award


Mitchell Swayze

Big picture
I am proud to present the German Departmental Award this year to Mitchell Swayze. Mitchell is passionate about German and has reached a very high level of proficiency in his time at the IA. He seeks out every opportunity to use his German skills as much as possible, including regularly communicating with me in German. Mitchell flourished on the Germany enrichment in his sophomore year by speaking with as many native German speakers as he could, really soaking up the experience. In this challenging year, Mitchell has continued to be very engaged. He has consistently worked hard to expand his skills and has set a great example for his peers. He demonstrates his love of German and of language learning on a daily basis and I know he will continue on his path of learning German in the future. Congratulations, Mitchell! - Deborah Schultz
Senior Honors German Award


Big picture


Maui Baba

Big picture
This year’s recipient of the DP Music Award is Maui Baba. Though a somewhat soft spoken student, Maui proved himself to be a skilled and multi-faceted musician. He submitted a portfolio of stylistically diverse guitar performances and harmonically refined compositions, and his analysis shows an eye for detail. Congratulations, Maui! - Eric LaNoue
DP Music Award

Full Orchestra AWARD

Finn Lewis

Big picture
Hi I’m Mr. Lewin-Ziegler and I am happy to present the Full Orchestra award this year to Finn Lewis. Finn has been in the Full Orchestra for as long as I have been at the IA. He is extremely dedicated to our program. Being in Full Orchestra is an extra responsibility for students since they have to meet after school and perform difficult music. Finn is always enthusiastic about the work, never complains, and almost never misses a rehearsal. You can tell how much work Finn practices after school and he puts forth his best effort to every rehearsal. Another thing that I appreciate about Finn is his sense of humor. Since rehearsals are after school, he helps keep them lively and fun. I think he is extremely deserving of this award and am very proud of him. Thank you. - Joe Lewin-Ziegler
Lewis Full Orchestra


Melina Pardales

Big picture
This year’s recipient of the Chorale Award is Melina Pardales. A natural communicator and leader, Melina has been an invaluable member of Chorale over the past several years. After a last-minute audition for Chorale in the middle of 9th Grade, Melina became the only Freshman in the class that year, and is the only current senior to spend all four years as a member of Chorale. Melina has sung in IACappella, and served as the soprano section leader. Through all of this time, Melina has grown tremendously. She has demonstrated that she is both a skilled musician and an artistic thinker with taste, vision, and the ability to communicate that vision. Congratulations, Melina! - Eric LaNoue
- YouTube


Nita Kattimani

Big picture
This year’s recipient of the Symphonic Band Award is Nita Kattimani. With a mind that never slows down and a work ethic that won’t quit, Nita has been a hugely positive force in the culture of our band program over the last several years. Nita has constantly participated in Solo & Ensemble as both a horn player and pianist, and has served as horn section leader. Nita further developed her leadership skills as a member of the Tri-M Executive Board, this year as President. Nita’s musical and leadership skills combined this year in producing a fantastic and memorable Minecraft film and original score for a Symphonic Band Project that truly blew us all away. Congratulations, Nita! - Eric LaNoue
- YouTube

Jazz Band AWARD

Gabriele Dushaj

Big picture
This year’s recipient of the Jazz Band Award is Gabriele Dushaj. Gabi joined Jazz Band in 9th grade as a novice and largely self-taught bass player with an infectiously positive attitude. Three and a half years later, Gabi still brings that positive energy to the group, though she is no longer a novice. Over that time, she has become a skilled bassist by constantly putting in the time to learn difficult repertoire and developing her ability to sight read. I am thrilled to honor Gabi’s commitment and passion for music. Congratulations, Gabi! - Eric LaNoue
- YouTube


Caitlin Tabin

Big picture
Hi I’m Mr. Lewin-Ziegler and I am presenting the Senior Award for Orchestra this year to Caitlin Tabin. Caitlin is a student who goes above and beyond what is expected in our orchestra program. Even though she is a wonderful cellist, I asked her to switch to bass and she enthusiastically said yes. She also accompanies the orchestra on piano and she wants to learn as much as she can about music. Right now she is even borrowing a viola to learn on her own. I know that she also hopes to study music next year in college.

Another thing that I appreciate about Caitlin is that she is never afraid to speak her mind. She loves to debate about music and challenge in the status quo, especially in a field that often overlooks marginalized composers. She seeks to bring those composers to light. In fact, her Extended Essay was about two wonderful female composers. Caitlin is an amazing student and I think she is very deserving of this award. Thank you very much! - Joe Lewin-Ziegler

Tabin Orchestra Award


Big picture


Sofia Tonin

Big picture
I am honored to be presenting this year’s art award to Sofia Tonin. I honestly don’t know where to start...I have known Sofia since she was in 8th grade when I taught her at an international school in Germany. It was a crazy coincidence that we both ended up back at the same school here in Michigan. I have watched Sofia grow from a quiet, soft spoken 8th grader to a strong, confident and determined young woman. Sofia is fierce and driven when it comes to her academics. She honestly sets the standard for her peers in terms of work ethic and quality. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and that strong willed personality is going to pave her way to success in the future. Sofia is a very deep and creative thinker and she isn’t afraid to take risks. She works tirelessly to create successful and engaging works of art in a variety of mediums. Sofia also has a much softer side, she is a great friend and goes to great lengths to support her peers and offer guidance when needed.

She has been an instrumental part of the IA since her first day here and she will be greatly missed. She is one of those kiddos that you know is bound for greatness. I cannot wait to see what this next chapter brings for her. She has a special place in my heart. She inspires me every day and I could not be prouder. Wishing you all the best in the future Sofia, please keep in touch! - Ashley Murawa

DP Art Senior Honors



Melina Pardales

Big picture
Congratulations to Melina Pardales for earning the Phoenix Theater Company Departmental Award. Melina joined PTC as a freshman and has been a constant contributor to the success and energy of PTC. We remember Melina’s first audition and how impressed we were with her talent and enthusiasm. As an actor, techie, Board member, and Director, Melina does it all. She co-directed our fall show, the Pandemic Show, which was our first ever virtual production. What an undertaking! Melina’s vision brought the actors and the show to life. Melina is a joy to watch on stage, helpful with technical aspects, and an overall leader of PTC. We will miss her! - Deborah Schultz and Jane Dittus
- YouTube




Out of 1.6 million entrants for the National Merit Scholarship Competition, only approximately 34,000 have high enough PSAT/NMSQT scores to be recognized as Commended Students for their outstanding academic promise. These twenty International Academy Okma Campus students earned the title of Commended Student, an incredible achievement. We are very proud of their accomplishments.


Out of the 1.6 million entrants into the National Merit Scholarship Competition, only 15,000 reach the Finalist level. Finalists represent the highest scoring entrants in each state. To become Finalists, these six International Academy Okma Campus students were required to have an outstanding academic record, the highest PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index scores in the state of Michigan, a written recommendation from their counselor, a high level of activities and leadership, and an exceptional personal essay. We are incredibly proud of the Okma Campus students who earned the National Merit Scholarship Finalist designation.


Ekanem Okeke

Big picture

The Detroit Section of the Society of Women Engineers annually recognizes high school females who have shown exemplary abilities in areas such as leadership, academics, and community activities. Chosen by the science and math departments, this year's award winner is Ekanem Okeke. With a genuine love of learning, Ekanem is a leader among her peers and she has often been a resource for them, helping them to recognize and make connections across our science curriculum. Ekanem is a conscientious person and student who seeks out opportunities to learn far beyond what is required of her. She has an insatiable desire to acquire new knowledge and is resolute in her efforts to do so, whether independently, within her peer group, or with the help of her teachers. Her academic curiosity flows outside the classroom as well. Between summer programs on artificial intelligence and avidly participating in Science Olympiad, she loves to explore different areas of STEM. Congratulations Ekanem!

CAS Award

Big picture

Sahir Esperant

Big picture
It is my pleasure to present Sahir Esperant with this year’s CAS award. Sahir’s experiences embody the purpose of CAS, which is to enhance personal and interpersonal development as well as social and civic development through experiential learning, lending an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the rest of the IB Diploma Programme. Sahir has been active in many groups that provide service to members in the community. From Pathfinders to the Hopeful Reader’s Program to making and donating masks to the Salvation Army, Sahir is truly making an impact in the world. Although COVID may have kept Sahir quarantined, it didn’t stop her from staying active. She took advantage of virtual dancing and yoga which kept her active as well as contributed to a healthy mindset. Congratulations Sahir Esperant - the recipient of the 2021 CAS Award! - Lisa Belotti
Senior CAS Award


Big picture

Micah Foster

Big picture
Hi, I’m Joanne Juco, the International Academy’s IB Coordinator.

At this time I would like to present the IB Craig award which honors an exceptionally well rounded student who possesses all ten of the IB Learner profile characteristics. The student must be an inquirer, a thinker, a communicator, a risk-taker, knowledgeable, principled, open-minded, balanced, caring and reflective.

This year’s recipient is someone who has modeled these characteristics throughout their four years at the International Academy. Micah Foster has the maturity of a young man who knows there is so much more to life than what exists in his neighborhood. He is the type of student who knows what he wants, and if it doesn’t exist, he creates it. For example, last year Micah wanted to find a way to work out with other students, so he created a competitive fitness club in order to bring people together who enjoy exercising. Students then gathered to work out, lift weights, and run, all working toward a friendly competition.

Our school counselor, Ms. Acton, stated that “Micah is a young man who has it all. He is smart, athletic, and determined. With his ability, talent, and determination, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be a huge success in life,” and these qualities make him this year’s recipient of the IB Craig Learner Profile Award. Congratulations! - Joanne Juco

Micah Award Speech

extended essay award

Big picture

Amaya Aten and Kishan Sripada

Big picture
Big picture
This year the Extended Essay Award goes to two students. In order to be considered for this award, a student must embrace the extended essay process. As you can imagine there are many steps to completing this 4000 word essay. We look at the uniqueness of the topic, whether it reflects the students personality, whether they were able to meet the many deadlines, the quality and effort of the reflection process and the critical analysis of sources appropriate to the subject area and, of course, the quality of the writing.

This year I am pleased to present the award to Amaya Aten, who worked with Señora Riggs. Amaya chose the subject area of World Studies, which is an interdisciplinary subject area that requires both a local connection and a global connection. Amaya was inspired by her enrichment trip to Peru. She was also a leader to her classmates in breaking down the steps of the EE to make it more manageable for everyone. Her research question was:

How does globalization and new tourism impact the trade of art and culture in the Indigenous communities of the Sacred Valley in Peru?


I am pleased to also give the award to Kishan Sripada, who worked with Mrs. Hessler.

Kishan chose the subject area of Mathematics. He picked a topic of interest, conducted a great deal of research, taught himself unfamiliar math concepts to explore it, answered his question, and considered why this fun topic was worthy of research from his perspective. Not everyone is able to demonstrate such creativity and personal interest in the field of mathematics. The investigation was an exploration of hip-hop vs. pop collaborations. Kishan’s research question was:

How can I statistically determine the effect of music collaborations on Travis Scott and Drake’s success within the hip-hop/rap genre?

Congratulations. - Klaudia Janek

- YouTube

robotics awards

Big picture

We are please to honor the seniors who have stuck it out virtually this past year. We know your Las Guerrillas 469 senior experience has not lived up to your expectations, but you have surpassed ours.

Of particular significance is the work done by Nita Kattimani, who led a group of underclassmen to achieve the team's first ever District Chairman’s Award designation. The Chairman’s Award is the highest award bestowed on a team and we are rooting for you in the World Championship.

The seniors who have persevered through this difficult year to mentor the underclassmen deserve this recognition.

The senior team members are: Emma Cho, Andrew Hutchinson, Nita Kattimani, Zachary Keefover, Audrey Nguyen, Joshua Prabhu, and Eric Yuan.

Congratulations to the senior members of Las Guerrillas Team 469. - Mary Miner

- YouTube

wxyz brightest & best

Big picture

Vivian Yee

Big picture

Each year, WXYZ Channel 7 recognizes and rewards academic excellence. The 41st Annual Brightest and Best event honors an outstanding graduating senior. VIVIAN YEE was selected based on her outstanding academic achievement, as well as for being a positive role model for students. Congratulations, Vivian!

Dr. Smith's Closing Remarks

- YouTube

Congratulations Class of 2021!