Graduating Seniors

Seven of the 2015-2016 Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council members are high school seniors. Danielle DeLaPaz has been a Council member for eight years; Blake Bodin has been a Council member for seven years; Nicolas Ciggelakis, Elisabeth Teitelman, and Sam Walker have been Council members for five years; Kaitlyn Jones has been a Council member for four years; and Bedrick Topovich has been a Council member for three years. Education in Action recognizes these outstanding students for their leadership, dedication, and many accomplishments. Each senior will receive a Certificate of Recognition and a Texas flag flown over the Texas State Capitol from Education in Action in honor of their graduation. We wish these outstanding students the very best as they pursue their dreams and goals.

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Blake Bodin, Centennial High School, Burleson ISD

Blake will graduate at the top of his class, having taken numerous AP classes and passing his AP exams with 3s and 4s. As one of seven students selected to participate in a medical program offered through his high school, Blake spends two days a week at Texas Health Huguley Hospital and will earn a Certified Medical Assistant certificate upon graduation. Blake serves on student council and is an avid golfer. Blake will attend Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, to major in Chemistry. Blake is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. He returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps for two years as a Youth Facilitator. Blake has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for seven years. One year, after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, Blake joined several other Council members in a group service project to collect books to restock the West ISD school libraries which had been destroyed. Blake collected 1,415 books for West ISD. The other six years of membership on the Council Blake raised money to buy supplies for, and made, fleece blankets for patients at Cook Children's Hospital Trauma Department. Over the years Blake has donated 60 plus blankets.

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Nicholas Ciggelakis, Lake Ridge High School, Mansfield ISD

Nicholas is a member of the academic decathlon team, UIL academics, yearbook staff, and debate team. He has served as president of the debate team, president of UIL, photography editor for the yearbook, and historian of his senior class. He volunteers at the First Baptist Church in Mansfield and is active in his church's youth group. Nicholas will attend Texas A&M University in the fall to major in Political Science. Nicholas is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. He returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy-Dallas/Fort Worth camp as a Youth Facilitator. Nicholas has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for five years. One year, after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, Nicholas joined several other Council members in a group service project to collect books to restock the West ISD school libraries which had been destroyed. In addition to collecting 450 books, he acquired class sets of classics and other literature to donate from his school district's textbook department. His service projects the other four years each involved collecting canned goods and clothing items for homeless and needy families. Benefiting organizations included Beautiful Feet Ministries, Dallas Life Foundation, Wesley Mission Center, and Mission Arlington.

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Danielle DeLapaz, Ronald Reagan High School, North East ISD

Danielle will graduate summa cum laude and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is a member of PALS, a program that encourages high school leaders to act as positive role models by becoming friends with elementary students. She is also involved in Lifeteen, the youth group at her church. Danielle has been dancing, including ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, modern, improvisation, and tap, for 14 years and is a pre-professional dancer at Collective Dance Artistry. She was chosen as an Overall Celebrity Teen Soloist and was a Finalist at the LA Dance Magic Dance Down. Danielle was invited to become a Hall of Fame All-Star Team member and will attend The Dance Awards in Las Vegas this summer. She has received both the Nuvo Dance Scholarship and the 24/7 Dance Scholarship. This fall Danielle will attend The University of Texas at Austin to major in math. Her future goal is to become an orthodontist. Danielle is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. She has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for eight years. Danielle completed the same service project, collecting over 200 pairs of socks for active duy and wounded military personnel, each of her eight years on the Council. In addition, she made and sold bracelets to raise funds for Juvenile Diabetes research, collected teddy bears for the Ronald McDonald House, organized a teacher appreciation function, and treated the Coronado Assisted Living Center residents to a dance program called Dancing Petals.

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Kaitlyn Jones, Wheeler High School, Wheeler ISD

Kaitlyn will graduate in the top 5% of her class with a Distinguished Diploma. She made the Dean's List at Clarendon College where she took dual credit classes in math, history, anatomy, and physiology. She is a member of National Honor Society, student council, and FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America). As a member of the UIL mathematics team, she advanced to regional competition three out of four years. Kaitlyn received a scholarship from, and was named Sweetheart of, the Wheeler Lions Club. This fall Kaitlyn will attend the University of Central Oklahoma to earn a bachelors degree in Science of Speech/Language Pathology. She then plans to transfer to the University of Oklahoma to earn a doctorate degree in audiology. Kaitlyn attended the Lone Star Leadership Academy-Houston/Galveston camp and has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for four years. One year, after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, Kaitlyn joined several other Council members in a group service project to collect books to restock the West ISD school libraries which had been destroyed. She passed out flyers around town and collected 250 books for the cause. The other three years she provided tutoring services for her service project.

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Elisabeth Teitelman, Wylie East High School, Wylie ISD

Elisabeth will graduate in the top 4% of her high school class as a Distinguished Graduate. She currently serves as historian in National Honor Society and is student council president. She was also Air Force Junior ROTC Corps commander the first semester of her senior year. Elisabeth is a member of the Raider Nation Powerlifting Team, Raider2Raider Mentoring, Principal’s Advisory Council, and Academic UIL. Throughout her four years of high school, Elisabeth has completed over 1,500 service hours on her campus and in her community. She was awarded the Opportunity Award Scholarship, the Sul Ross Corps Scholarship, and an Air Force ROTC Type-7 Scholarship. In the fall, Elisabeth will attend Texas A&M University at College Station where she will be a cadet in the Fightin’ Aggie Corps of Cadets. Elisabeth will major in government, and, after earning her BA, will enter the Air Force as a Second Lieutenant to serve as an Intelligence Officer. Elisabeth is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. She has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for five years. For her service projects, Elisabeth collected hundreds of coats and jackets which she donated to the Wylie Christian Care Center. She also collected supplies and cash donations for In-Sync Exotics, a “Big Cat” rehabilitation center. For her service, Elisabeth was awarded the Raiders in Service Cord, the American Veterans Award, the National Sojourners Award, the Air Force Association Award, and the Community Service of Excellence Award.

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Bedrick Topovich, North Hills Preparatory School, Irving ISD

Bedrick will graduate from North Hills Preparatory School as an AP Scholar. He served as treasurer for the school video game club and plays trumpet and French horn in the school band. Bedrick is involved with his church and frequently participates in their Red Cross blood drives. Bedrick is currently undecided but plans to attend The University of Texas at Dallas, University of Houston, or Bentley University. Bedrick is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. He returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps for two years as a Youth Facilitator. Bedrick has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for four years. One year, after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, Bedrick joined several other Council members in a group service project to collect books to restock the West ISD school libraries which had been destroyed. He collected 80 books for the cause. Bedrick's other service projects included putting together back to school and Christmas church band programs for his church congregation and gathering the neighborhood's stray cats, cleaning and feeding them, and taking them to a no-kill shelter in Irving for adoption.

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Sam Walker, Keller High School, Keller ISD

Sam will graduate with honors in the Distinguished Achievement Program. He is a member of the National Honor Society, an International Honor Thespian, and an AP Scholar. Sam was a member of two UIL One Act play companies, one of which made it to state. Sam earned a Green Cord for volunteering at least 100 hours each of his four years of high school. This fall, Sam will attend Southern Methodist University to major in mechanical engineering. He will also take technical theatre courses and participate in theatrical productions at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. He was awarded two academic scholarships, the Second Century Scholarship and the Discovery Scholarship from SMU. Sam is an Education in Action Trailblazer, having attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. He returned on the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps for five years as a Youth Facilitator. Blake has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for six years. One year, after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, Sam joined several other Council members in a group service project to collect books to restock the West ISD school libraries which had been destroyed. Sam collected 800 books for West ISD. Sam's love of theatre led him to collect used and no longer needed costumes, props, and equipment from the Keller High School theatre department for redistribution to the middle school theatre departments that don't have budgets for these items. Sam's project included inventorying and notifying the Keller ISD middle schools of the available items. His other service projects included collecting supplies and money for the Humane Society of North Texas and the Boyd Wild Animal Sanctuary and organizing weekend and vacation food boxes for an elementary student in need.