weather66° CloudyHigh: 71° | Low: 55°Five Day Forecast
All Sections
Wednesday July 30, 2014

Back to the High School Graduations index

Casco Bay
High School

196 Allen Ave., Portland |

Graduation day: June 6, 2013
at Merrill Auditorium

Graduation information provided by the high school
    National Honor Society Students


    Sammy has a love for the outdoors and nature so it is
    not surprising that his passion lies with environmental issues and his
    dream is to major in Environmental Studies and pursue a degree in
    Environmental Law. During his high school career Sammy has engaged in
    numerous environmental activities and community service events, but a
    few highlights include: working thirty hours a week at one of the finest
    restaurants in Portland, volunteering for the Obama campaign and
    Equality Maine (supporting gender equality in the state of Maine), being
    a founding member of our first sports team (Ultimate Frisbee) &
    embracing his passion for surfing and the sea. These highlights
    exemplify the diversity of interests and dynamism that Sammy possesses
    and that he will surely take with him as he attends The University of
    California at Santa Cruz this fall.

    Sydney Kucine
    Sydney is a consummate musician, performer and person. She personifies
    what we hope all professional performers to be: amazing, humble,
    hardworking and compassionate. Sydney personifies all these qualities
    and much more. During her four years at Casco Bay High School Sydney’s
    most impressive work has been in such diverse experiences including:
    winning the the Classical National Association of Teachers of Singing
    competition five years in a row (in addition to several other awards and
    scholarships), being on the honor roll every trimester, holding a state
    track record for the 400 meter dash, participating in numerous musical
    theater productions and operas, coaching middle school basketball being
    a member of the National Honor Society, singing the national anthem in
    numerous public venues, participating in numerous district and all-state
    music festivals, being a camp counselor, singing in Musica de Filia,
    interning at the Portland Conservatory of Music, participating in the
    acclaimed Boston University Tanglewood Institute summer music program,
    being chosen as a prestigious Karger’s music scholar and participating
    in the junior class Habitat for Humanity program in West Virginia. What
    is most striking about Sydney is her incredible work ethic, her
    compassion, her insatiable hunger for excellence and her
    professionalism. Suffice it to say, Sydney thinks, works and acts like a
    professional. She does this with a spirit and compassion that are rare
    at any age. Moreover, in a crowning achievement for any high school
    student performer, Sydney recently had the distinct honor of
    participating in the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s High School Opera
    Singers Intensive program and having a master class with renowned MET
    Opera soprano Jane Marsh. Needless to say, Sydney’s star shines brightly
    not only in amazing talent, but also merit and character. Sydney will be
    attending the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in the Fall.

    Eliza Lambert
    Eliza is a skilled visual artist, piano player, singer and actress.
    She’s especially gifted with language and writing. As a sophomore Eliza
    wrote a grant promoting the education of girls in sub-Saharan Africa. As
    a junior, she wowed a panel of local experts with her research
    presentation about the necessity of a state-wide “take back†program to
    combat pharmaceutical waste. After the summer of her junior year, she
    earned entrance and scholarships for two coveted summer programs, Maine
    Seeds of Peace and EF Global Citizenship, getting to learn and grow in
    Otisfield, ME and Berlin, Germany. She has achieved with honors (3.75 or
    4) in every subject and never had a grade lower than a 3.5. As a junior,
    she took on the most demanding course load possible and managed honors
    in every class, every trimester. She also scored an “A†in two college
    courses. By the end of her junior year, Eliza was inducted into the
    National Honor Society and received our award for the class’s
    outstanding scholar (the Smith Book Award). Eliza excels in analysis –
    whether the content is physics or literature, but it’s her artistic
    capabilities and imagination which are even more astounding. Eliza will
    be attending New York University in the fall.

    Summer Leppanen
    “Wow. What
    a writer.†This is how many people have reacted upon reading Summer’s
    work. Summer has a gift for writing witty dialogue. Summer’s gift for
    the written word is just one of many strengths she brings to the table.
    Summer is the quintessential can-do, will-do and does-all kind of person
    – truly. If you look at her resume, you might think you were looking at
    a college student’s resume. During her time at Casco Bay High School
    some of Summer’s most impressive work has been in such diverse
    experiences including: interning at the Portland Press Herald, taking a
    pre-Calculus class at the University of Southern Maine, being a barista
    at Arabica Coffee, interning at the Portland Museum of Art, tutoring ELL
    students in the after-school program, teaching a workshop on conducting
    a tea ceremony, being an active member of the Portland Young Writers
    Council, acting and tech. crew for every One Act play, spring play and
    winter musical production, participating in Model U.N. every year,
    receiving numerous awards including Outstanding Achievement in Math and
    multiple Habits of Work Student of the Week, being inducted into
    National Honor Society and participating in the junior class Habitat for
    Humanity program in West Virginia. What is most impressive about Summer
    is her amazing work ethic, her keen wit, her compassion and her
    organizational skills. Consistently one of our top students in every
    aspect of the term, Summer is exceptionally adept at balancing a
    multitude of academic, extra-curricular and job-related responsibilities
    with grace, professionalism and creative flair. Most importantly, as our
    inaugural Klingenstein Pritchard Scholarship recipient, Summer clearly
    personifies the scholarship’s primary criterion including: integrity,
    accountability, compassion, service and resilience. Summer will be
    attending UVM in the Fall.

    Antonio Macomber
    Antonio is
    the current “Man of Music†at Casco Bay High School. At Casco Bay, when
    we think music, we think “Antonioâ€Â. Antonio has an abundance of musical
    talent and a rare ability to keep a band together. Moreover, he is a
    musical “go-to†guy that you can count on to make music happen no matter
    the venue. During his time at Casco Bay High School Antonio’s most
    impressive work has been in such diverse experiences including: being a
    Math Teacher Aide, being the student leader of the musical theater pit
    band for the past four years, excelling academically in almost every
    subject he has undertaken, producing and performing in a local eclectic
    music concert, composing some very compelling songs and creative writing
    pieces, being a member of the National Honor Society, producing and
    performing his own music, being one of our “Mathletes†and participating
    in the junior class Habitat for Humanity house construction program in
    West Virginia. His easy going spirit (with sprits of unshakeable
    determination), composed enthusiasm and his adept math mind set him
    apart from most of his peers. What is perhaps most remarkable about
    Antonio is his exceptional balance of the artist and academic within
    him. One minute he is leading the musical theater pit band and the next
    minute he is tutoring students in math. Antonio is a textbook case of
    how musical talent and exceptional math skills coincide. Moreover,
    Antonio has a dignified, yet steadfast spirit that helps solve problems
    and get things done. He is the kind of musician you want to have around
    when you are trying to get a gigantic musical up and running. He can
    also help the actors with their calculus homework so they can make
    rehearsals instead of having to meet with teachers after school. This is
    Antonio – musician and mathematician with a big dash of good deeds.
    Antonio will be attending Berklee College of Music in the Fall.


    Sophie is the kind of person that let’s her
    intellectual, adventurous and artistic curiosity rule her world; and she
    is all the wiser for it. Sophie does it all and with grace and humility.
    During her time at Casco Bay High School some Sophie’s most impressive
    work has been in such diverse experiences including: interning with
    Nomad Pictures movie company, being a part of a National award-winning
    Odyssey of the Mind team, performing in numerous plays and musicals at
    Casco Bay High and with Reindeer Productions, being a member of the
    National Honor Society, researching and presenting a public policy paper
    to an expert panel on incentives for making homes more “greenâ€Â,
    participating in swim team, challenging herself in the Cow
    Island/Rippleffect Sea Kayaking Environmental Leadership Program, being
    a fifth grader’s Big Sister, promoting and teaching an improv acting
    workshop at a local venue and participating in the junior class Habitat
    for Humanity program in West Virginia. Needless to say, Sophie has many
    interests and passions that set her apart from most of her peers. What
    is most notable about Sophie is her amazing work ethic, her creativity,
    her compassion and her uncanny ability to balance a multitude of
    activities and responsibilities. Sophie is exceptionally adept at
    setting a goal and then surpassing all expectations. Sophie is also a
    gifted and passionate writer. It is obvious that she not only likes to
    write about life, she likes to explore life – give seemingly every
    aspect of life a thorough test-drive. This is the insatiable passion
    that writers are made of. Sophie will be attending Emerson College in
    the Fall.

    Samuel Pierce
    Described by his principal, Derek Pierce, in his letter of
    recommendation as “the rebuttal….one of the hardest-working, sweet,
    genuine and self-less teenagers – humans – I have encountered in my
    twenty-plus years of education. An exceptional student and an even
    more stellar human, Sam earns my highest recommendation.†As a freshmen,
    Sam helped craft a sea worthy ten-foot rowboat and as a sophomore, he
    assisted in the creation of solar panels that powered a school assembly.
    Last year, Sam interned with a mechanical engineer and defended his
    research about how to reprocess nuclear waste to a panel of experts.
    Sam Pierce is one of our very top students in an especially strong
    cohort. He was a no-brainer for selection to the National Honor Society
    as a junior, and he’s on track to graduating Magna Cum Laude. Sam’s
    clear intelligence – especially in math and science – are bolstered by
    his impeccable diligence. No one will outwork Sam Pierce. Sam is one of
    few students in the history of our school to ever earn straight “4′sâ€Â
    for a “Habits of Work†grade in his academic classes. This year, Sam
    continues to push himself with a course load that includes AP
    Environmental Science, Calculus and an additional college math course.
    Sam has been actively involved in Model UN and is a founding member of
    our school’s ultimate frisbee team. Perhaps more telling, Sam is an avid
    gardener and an exemplary teacher aide. Sam is excited to seek an
    advanced degree, perhaps even a PhD, in mechanical engineering. Sam will
    be attending The University of Maine in the fall.

    Ben Smith
    Smith is the teenager that most parents wish they had – not just bright,
    hard-working and caring – but also deeply dependable and steady. Ben’s
    remarkable accomplishments – National Honor Society, the youngest shift
    leader ever at his McDonald’s and one of three “distinguished delegatesâ€Â
    at the state Model UN conference are among few of his accomplishments.
    As a sophomore, Ben wrote and presented a grant proposal to end hunger
    in Zimbabwe through improvements in their agricultural infrastructure.
    As a junior, Ben interned with an accountant, completed an oral history
    of a destitute West Virginian and shared his advocacy for liquid thorium
    reactors to a panel of local experts. On the latter project Ben’s
    research and presentation won him the highest praise (and grade)
    possible. He’s earned one of the rare seats on our high honor roll the
    last four trimesters. Ben’s achieved “with honors†in every subject and
    has won year-end awards in physics, French and (twice) history. As a
    junior, Ben scored a “4†on the AP US History exam and earned an “A†in
    two college courses this year he’s tackling the most ambitious course
    load possible at Casco Bay, including three AP courses and a Western
    Civilizations course at the local university. Ben takes his studies very
    seriously, and can get frustrated with those who don’t, but he also is
    committed to service. Last winter, Ben helped some of our African
    immigrants learn to ski and skate. This fall, Ben is making time in his
    teeming schedule to mentor a group of academically needy freshmen. Be is
    also co-captain of our ultimate frisbee team this spring. Ben will be
    attending The University of Maine in the fall.

    Nadia Umwali
    Nadia moved to the United States only four years ago speaking little to
    no English and transferred to Casco Bay High School at the beginning of
    her junior year. Nadia impresses all with her maturity and character.
    She has an excellent work ethic inside and outside of school Nadia was
    born one year after the Rwandan genocide; one million people – and many
    of her extended family – were murdered during a four month period. Her
    family emerged from the chaos resilient. Her father became the mayor of
    a mid-sized city. Nadia was soon at the very top of her class. (In fact,
    the ranking of Rwandan students began in first grade!) Nadia’s academic
    success in elementary school earned her a coveted spot in a catholic
    public/private boarding school as a seventh grader. Every school day for
    two years began at 5am and ended at 10pm with a torrent of expectations,
    classes and rules in between. Last summer Nadia spent the better half
    of the summer in Appalachia learning about coal mining. She is part of
    our Model UN team, an active peer tutor, a young writer and leader for
    The Telling Room, a local non-profit writers group, and an integral part
    of the CBHS community. Nadia is also an exceptional dancer and performs
    with Abeza b’inganzo a Portland based Rwandese dance troop. During her
    senior year Nadia was inducted into the National Honor Society and
    received the Maine Principal Association Award. Nadia will be attending
    Husson University in the fall.


    Sophie has an innate sense of others. She is funny,
    driven, multi-talented and extremely passionate about her desire to
    become a doctor. Sophie is subtly shy, but incredibly rich in her
    knowledge and her passion for life. Throughout her high school career
    Sophie has taken on much more than the average high school student. She
    has exceeded in AP US History and has taken Anatomy & Physiology at The
    University of Southern Maine. Sophie was inducted into the National
    Honors Society as a junior and senior. An avid member of the CBHS
    community and the greater Portland community, Sophie has graced her
    inner and outer circles with her presence. Sophie is an artist, athlete
    and scholar. She is a member of the Portland High School Tennis team
    and an impressive ultimate frisbee player. Sophie will be attending
    Barnard College in the fall where she will pursue her passion to become
    a doctor.


    “Benji†is the epitome of a “go-getter.†Benji makes
    it happen. During his time here at Casco Bay High School (and one year
    studying abroad in AFS) Ben’s most impressive work has been in such
    diverse experiences including: winning an award for his grant proposal
    for sanitation improvement in Papua New Guinea, studying in France at
    Lycee Jean Bodin for one year, playing three sports (tennis, soccer &
    nordic skiing), being a veteran employee at Otto Pizza, leading a
    workshop in the importance World Language instruction in public
    schools, being a Big Brother volunteer for an elementary student,
    consistently having one of our top GPA’s (even while studying abroad),
    being on every Habits of Work Honor roll, having an insatiable appetite
    for French literature, being a member of the National Honor Society and
    being on either the Academic Honor Roll or High Honor roll every
    trimester. Ben is clearly an exceptional young man and personifies the
    personal, entrepreneurial and academic spirit we celebrate at Casco
    Bay. What is most remarkable about Benji is his incredible work ethic,
    his academic curiosity, his compassion and his relentless pursuit of
    his goals. When “Benji†sets a goal, he not only attains it, he exceeds
    all expectations. Early in his freshman year, Benji quickly made his
    goal-oriented mindfulness and resolve quite evident when he began
    enquiring about the steps to studying abroad. Within a short time,
    Benji had a solid plan for participating in an AFS program in France.
    Needless to say, Benji made it happen. He made it happen while
    balancing a myriad of activities, volunteer work, a part-time job and
    always prioritizing his academic pursuits and Habits of Work. Benji is
    well liked and respected among his peers and teachers. Benji is a very
    motivated, compassionate and academically gifted student. One moment he
    might impress you with his knowledge and the next moment he will have
    you laughing. It is this wonderful balance of humor, resolve, habits of
    work and academic curiosity that will serve Benji very well in his
    future endeavors. Benji will be attending McGill University in the