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Albany High trio named '2012 Scholars'  

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 10, 2012) -- Three Albany High School students were honored Wednesday at the 2012 Scholars' Recognition Dinner.


Seamus Daniels, Amal Hechehouche and Meredith O'Connell were among high school seniors from 11 neighboring counties nominated by their schools for outstanding academic achievement, leadership skills and service to the community and their school.


Besides lauding the students, the Scholars' Recognition Dinner spotlights the teachers they say have influenced them most. For Daniels, that was English teacher Jennifer Houlihan. For Hechehouche, it was science teacher Lawrence Bizzarro. And for O'Connell, it was English teacher Loren Green.


Seamus Daniels -- according to his nomination:

"Seamus is a true scholar in every sense of the word. He engages in learning with a refreshingly vigorous commitment to excellence and takes genuine interest in the contributions of others to enhance his own learning. He is currently ranked #1 in his class, is a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship Program and is president of Albany High's National Honor Society, all of which are demonstrative of a steadfast, formidable and committed academic."


Daniels had this to say about the teacher who most influenced him:

"Mrs. Houlihan's dedication as a teacher and mentor has inspired me to challenge myself and develop a deeper appreciation for literature."

Amal Hechehouche -- according to her nomination:

"Amal embodies the characteristics of a complete student: strong academic background, exceptional talents, commitment to school and community, genuine compassion for others and a strong inner drive to challenge oneself. She is passionate about music and theater. Amal is a member of Albany High School's prestigious choir, the Albanettes, and has earned numerous honors through Tri-M Music Honor Society. Amal also is very active with Drama Club and Albany's Park Playhouse II."


Hechehouche had this to say about the teacher who most influenced her:

"Mr. Bizzarro teaches more than earth science. He teaches a crash course on life. He helps kids to think outside the box while inspiring them to reach beyond their expectations."


Meredith O'Connell -- according to her nomination:

"Meredith is incredibly bright and motivated and equally kind and gracious. She possesses the characteristics of a true scholar and outstanding citizen. She is involved in our rigorous International Baccalaureate Program through certificate coursework and has taken five Advanced Placement classes. Her pursuits include both the scholarly and the athletic. She is a member of our varsity soccer and track teams and a strong but gracious competitor. Additionally, she is captain of our Masterminds Team and secretary of Key Club."


O'Connell had this to say about the teacher who most influenced her:

"Mr. Green's passion, knowledge and insight has instilled in me a great appreciation for and love of literature."

An annual event, the Scholars’ Recognition Dinner is a partnership between the School of Education at the University at Albany; Price Chopper; Freihofer’s; Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, LLP; CSArch and Capital Area School Development Association. 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and nurture all students to be responsible citizens, critical thinkers and lifelong learners to successfully compete in the global community by providing an academically rigorous and safe environment in partnership with parents, students and the community. The district serves about 8,700 students in 15 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

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