TASIS Faculty Honors Three Juniors for Commitment to Service
Posted 05/22/2016 02:00PM

Each spring the TASIS High School Faculty selects three exceptional students from grade 11 to receive the prestigious Junior Awards—two established by alumni in the early 2000s and one established by the Faculty in 1997. Below is a description of each award and a summary of remarks from those who nominated this year’s deserving recipients.

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The J. Michael Horak Award was created in 1997 to honor a departing faculty member who had provided inspiring service to the student body, and who was often able to galvanize the entire school into believing that what can be attempted can be completed.

This award—conceived, organized, and voted on by the faculty exclusively—now recognizes a junior who gives spontaneously and tirelessly of himself or herself to the many and varied needs of the student body.

This year’s recipient is a dedicated and stellar proctor, a supportive teammate on multiple athletic teams, and a role model in the dorm with seemingly inexhaustible energy. As a quiet force who seeks an active role, she conceived and implemented an exchange program with TASIS England to make connections and build community between students of both schools, dedicating her time to the freshmen on that trip and inspiring them with her positivity and vision. One faculty member speaks of the pleasure of watching her confidence develop, turning her from a “quiet and kind-hearted kid” into a dynamic force for good at our school.

The TASIS Faculty is proud to present the 2016 J. Michael Horak Award to Laura Vecoli.

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The Pritzlaff Leadership Award was established in 2001 by alumnus John Pritzlaff '72, who has been a loyal friend and donor to the School while also serving on the Board of Directors. The Award recognizes a junior who takes a leading role in community service outside the School, encouraging the involvement of other TASIS students in the public service ideal. The $2,500 award may be used for educational expenses or donated to a non-profit organization of the recipient’s choice. Past recipients of the Pritzlaff Leadership Award are listed on a plaque in the Villa De Nobili dining room.

This year’s recipient is a quiet force of nature. She is described as humble and soft-spoken, kind and reflective, so much so that her advisor likens her to a young woman in a Vermeer painting. She is also a creative and natural leader who repeatedly takes the initiative with projects. This young lady has a talent for connecting with others, which has made her an exemplary proctor, and many students in her dorm really depend on her for advice and guidance. As a prominent member of the TASIS Leadership Academy, she collaborated with the local organization SOS Ticino to organize a camp for refugee kids last summer and took a leading role in presenting the TLA during the TASIS day at EXPO Milano in the fall. She will soon be working her magic on the Mongolia trip with the Understanding Ulgii group, where she will teach English in local schools and use her creative talents to build and paint new classrooms.

It is a great pleasure to present the 2016 Pritzlaff Leadership Award to Aida Loggiodice.

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The Cathy Clark Memorial Scholarship recognizes and rewards a student who, in the judgment of the TASIS community, demonstrates exceptional dedication to community service. The award comes in the form of scholarship aid to assist in covering tuition expenses or educational travel.

The award was established by alumni parents Lt. Colonel Robert and Mrs. Ann Clark to honor the memory of their daughter, Catherine, who attended TASIS for six years, graduating in 1987. After attending George Mason University, she served in the headquarters of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), in Washington, DC. Known for her unfailing cheerfulness and compassion, Cathy was also cited for her distinguished service and for developing an outstanding AIDS awareness program. She died in a tragic automobile accident at the age of 26 while driving across the country from Virginia to her new duty station in California. Cathy believed that TASIS had provided her with some important life lessons and her parents established this $3,600 scholarship award in her memory to reward and inspire other TASIS students to follow her commitment to public service.

This year’s recipient is a helpful, caring, thoughtful, and reliable person whose modus operandi is to lead by example. A quiet and conscientious young lady with a very giving nature, she has been involved with a broad spectrum of the community through her work on the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the School, and she was also a dedicated member of the team who organized a camp for local children with the SOS Ticino group. A serious student and athlete who cares about the wellbeing of others, she has friends of all ages and grades on campus and is never too busy or tired to devote time to these relationships. With her quiet and unassuming nature, she might think that she is not noticed, but she took a full 50% of the votes for this award despite a strong field of candidates.

It is a great pleasure to present the Cathy Clark Memorial Scholarship for 2016 to Hannah Gage.