Mason IB Awards Recognize Class of 2009

ib 600

Falls Church Times Staff

January 8, 2010

Family and friends gathered at George Mason High School Thursday evening to welcome home the International Baccalaureate students from the Class of 2009.  It was finally time for their IB awards ceremony, the first attempt on December 21st having been canceled as the city dug out from under twenty-plus inches of snow.

“The 2009 IB diploma recipients are the highest performing group to ever walk the halls at Mason,” Asheesh Misra, the Mason IB Program Coordinator proclaimed from the stage in the auditorium.  “This is the third class in 15 years to achieve a 100 percent IB diploma candidate success rate; they had the second highest average exam scores over the past 15 years (both diploma and certificate recipients), and they had the most students ever participating in IB at Mason.”

For the Mason Class of 2009, 32 students were awarded an IB diploma and 85 earned the IB certificate.  IB awards are not presented during the annual Mason graduation ceremony, because the results from the May IB exams are not available until mid-summer.  Approximately 25 of the recipients were available to attend Thursday’s ceremony.

In her introductory remarks, FCCPS Superintendent Dr. Lois Berlin acknowledged, “When you enter the IB program, you take on a challenge that is monumental.  We know what you take with you from the IB program will benefit what you are going to do in the future.”

The class nominated Alissa Stein (nee Mears), a Mason IB English teacher, to deliver the keynote address.  During his introduction of Stein, Misra expressed the students’ sentiments when he spoke of the personal connection she had made with each member of the class.  Her first year teaching at Mason was their ninth grade year, so she became a Mustang when they did and was present for all four years of their academic and personal development.

If there is a first among equals in Mason’s storied IB history, it is Lou Olom – the man who effectively brought IB to Mason in 1981.  The gold medal presented to all Mason IB diploma recipients since 1996 is named in memory of his son, Jonathan L. Olom, whose brilliant life and career were cut short in 1984 at the age of 34.  Olom was in attendance Thursday, reminiscing about 28 years of IB at Mason, and as he met some of the award winners at a reception following the ceremony, he expressed great satisfaction.

“Look at what we’ve achieved here in our city… I mean, really, does it get any better than this?”

Lou Olom and Dr. Berlin make their way to the IB awards reception

Lou Olom and Dr. Berlin make their way to the IB awards reception. Staff Photo by: Scott Taylor

In December 2009, the Falls Church Times published an extensive overview of the IB program at George Mason High School.

The next IB information night for parents is Thursday, January 14, 2010.

George Mason High School Class of 2009 IB Diploma Recipients

Christopher Jihoon An
Anthony William Armstrong
Janine Marie Baumgardner
Daniel Alexander Benn
Melissa Carolyn Ben
Jack Bartol Brorsen
Jack Edward Cashin
Mayssa Chehata
William Joseph Cunningham
Drew William Davies
Taylor Christian Demeter
Margaret Elaine Fortenberry
Johanna Ching Garg
Taylor Harvey
Timothy Collia Koning
Christian Lopez-Flores
Taylor Hennessey Moot
Amelia Katherine Nemitz
Laura Elaine Peppe
Benjamin Smith Petersen
Alexa Joy Peyton
Natalie Pinnoi
Kassim William Rahawi
Jeffrey Harrison Ralph
Michelle Suzanne Repper
Mariagracia Estrella Rivas Berger
Nick Frederick Settje
Brian C.L. Sham
Sarah Masumi Van Buren
John Anthony Vroom
William Thomas Walton
Nicholas Werner Zaccor

  • Share/Bookmark

By Scott Taylor
January 8, 2010 


Feel free to leave a comment. Please increase the credibility of your post by including your FULL NAME and CITY. All comments are subject to editing for courtesy and content.