Jupiter High’s 2018 Pathfinder nominees prepare for victory


Sponsored by the Palm Beach Post, the Pathfinder High School Scholarship Awards honors outstanding high school seniors from Palm Beach County who have shown excellence in one of 18 categories: academic excellence, art, business, communications, community involvement, computer science, drama, foreign language, forensics/ speech, history/political science, literature, mathematics, music/instrumental, music/ vocal, reach for excellence, science, sports and technical/vocational/agriculture.

Every participating high school selects one student for each category to go on to compete at the county level. The competition involves an extensive portfolio and an in-depth interview on March 7 at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

The awards ceremony will be held on May 17 at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach. The students who win will receive college scholarships. The first place winner will receive $4,000, the second place winner $3,000 and the third place winner $2,500.

Jupiter High School’s 2018 nominees are:

Academic Excellence – Sarah Thomas

“To me, academic excellence is the ability to perform and achieve on a high level,” Thomas said.

Art – Holly Atkinson

“[Photography] means capturing a moment forever in time, enabling people to see what they otherwise could not in the most untouched, palpable form. It has the fundamental power to change perceptions,” Atkinson said.

Business – Mathew Webber

“Business has shaped my personality and interests, and I’m sure it will continue to do so in the future,” Webber said.

Communications – Caitlyn Lombardo

“Communication in the key to human interaction. It not only helps people reveal their true selves but also opens doors for the interchange of thoughts,” Lombardo said.

Community Involvement – Shelby Russo

“My goal is to make a difference in the world and help people,” Russo said.

Computer Science – Maxfield Mehler

“My dream is to help advance and guide the technological progress made by the human race, and to apply the field of computer science to combat the many issues we face now, and the new challenge we will encounter in the future,” Mehler said.

Drama – Nina Titus

“I want to be fully immersed in the world of theatre and every part of it, so that I could make my name know, whether it’s known to one person or the nations across the globe,” Titus said.

Foreign Language – Maria Bhor

“My goal is to find my path in education in order to help those who are in the same situation I was faced with at a young age,” Bhor said.

Forensics/Speech – Nikol Peeva

“Forensics will always be remembered as the learning experience which left a lasting impact on every area of my life forever. It will always remind me that if I ever want to achieve something, I must work hard to reach it,” Peeva said.

History/Political science – Halley Kunda

“I desire to use my knowledge and power for good to sustain and create opportunities and a better life for everyone,” Kunda said.

Literature – Jaqueline Smith

“[Creative writing] became my distraction from what was happening at home, and it sparked a creativity that allowed me to express myself in the most powerful way possible: through words,” Smith said.

Mathematics – Margot Kvasnak

“I know my gift of mathematics can help the Army to accomplish so much more than ever before,” Kvasnak said.

Music/Instrumental – Kaitlyn Moschera

“It is music that helped me at such an incredibly young age though such an incredibly dark time and the passion that I have for composition and performance will follow me everywhere I go,” Moschera said.

Music/ Vocal – Jamie Howard

“I can’t wait to continue to perform for others as I learn more about music; it is truly what I love most of all,” Howard said.

Reach for excellence – Grace Flejter

“I hope to find more things that I am incredibly passionate about learn more skills that I can share with others,” Flejter said.

Science – Lindsay MacLachlan

“I want to know more about the world around me, to research and to discover things that have not been known before. I want to grow and learn, not just to quench my own curiosity or to fill a lofty personal goal, but because I believe in so doing, I can contribute positively to my community,” MachLachlan said.

Sports – Brielle Pearce

“I have played six varsity sports during my high school career and still managed to maintain a 3.9 GPA, work as a USSA soccer referee, a soccer trainer for younger girls, math tutor, alter server at my church, work as a neighborhood food bank coordinator, serve as a tour-guide at Jupiter Lighthouse, play travel soccer for nine years, competitively swim for five years, and still manage to skim-board on the weekend with my friends. I had a terrific high school experience,” Pearce said.

Technical/Vocational/Agriculture – Olivia Persinger

“I hope my contributions to medicine go beyond simple engineering,” Persinger said.