The Linsly School Celebrates 203rd Commencement

The Linsly School held its 203rd Commencement on Sunday, May 28th , graduating eighty-six seniors from the Class of 2017.

Special guests in attendance included R. Kevin Stevick, ‘80, Chairman of the Linsly Board of Trustees, who assisted in the presentation of diplomas and faculty member Mr. Darryl Crews, who delivered the invocation and benediction for the ceremony.

Shiyun “Jimmy” Xu, son of Mr. Lixin Xu and Mrs. Wenxia Dou of Shanghai, China, was named the valedictorian of the Class of 2017 for having the highest upper school cumulative grade point average of the graduating senior class. Xu will attend the University of California, Berkeley in the fall.

Katherine Staley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Staley of McDonald, PA, was named salutatorian for compiling the second highest upper school cumulative grade point average. Staley will attend Penn State University in the fall. 

Linsly Headmaster Justin Zimmerman is pictured with salutatorian Katherine Staley and valedictorian Shiyun Xu. Staley will attend Penn State University in the fall and Xu will attend the University of California, Berkeley in the fall.

During the commencement ceremony, several graduates were presented awards in recognition of their outstanding qualities in leadership, citizenship, and character.

The Headmaster Award, given to that member of the senior class who, in the opinion of the faculty and Headmaster, through his display of leadership, academic excellence, and willingness to serve, acted as a model for all Linsly students, was presented to Kyle Zelenitz, son of Mr. and Mrs. Randy Zelenitz of St. Clairsville. Zelenitz will attend Princeton University in the fall.

The Hofreuter Award, given to that member of the senior class who has been exemplary in her service to her school and community, in the tradition of Dr. Donald H. Hofreuter, Linsly Cadet Major, community leader and long time Chairman of Linsly’s Board of Trustees, was awarded to Daniella Truong, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Truong of Wheeling. Truong will attend Columbia University in the fall.

The Guenther Award, given to those members of the senior class who, in the opinion of the faculty and Headmaster, exhibit outstanding leadership, citizenship and character, given in memory of former Linsly student David Guenther, was awarded to Amelia Jones, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Jones of Wheeling and Kyle Zelenitz. Jones will attend West Virginia University in the fall.

The Theodore Scott Owens Award, given to those members of the senior class who, in the opinion of the faculty and Headmaster, exhibit the qualities of determination, seriousness, and persistence respected by all, given in memory of former Linsly student Theodore Scott Owens, was awarded to Grace George, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. George, III and Hudson Wagner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wagner of Washington, PA. George will attend High Point University and Wagner will attend Penn State University in the fall.

The Buncher Award, given to those resident students, who in the opinion of the Dormitory Masters, Resident Faculty, and Headmaster, exemplify that which is looked for in every boarding student, given in memory of the late Albert Buncher, father of Martin Buncher, former Linsly student, was awarded to Floid Giddings, son of Mr. and Mrs. Floid Giddings of Freeport, Bahamas; Tyler Courtney, son of Mr. and Mrs. Tyler Courtney, Sr. of Greensburg, PA and Hyejin Lee, daughter of Mr. Bu Young Lee and Mrs. Pil Soon Han of South Korea. Giddings will attend Bethany College, Courtney will attend Duquesne University and Lee will attend University of Washington Seattle in the fall.



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One hundred percent of Linsly’s graduating class will go on to attend college in the fall. The eighty-six graduates will attend more than fifty different colleges and universities in seventeen different states. The following graduates have been awarded scholarships to the college or university where they will matriculate this fall. They have also received outside scholarships from various community organizations, companies and foundations, and have received special recognition for their performance on the AP Exams:A program continued by President Trump known as the “President’s Education Awards” is intended to recognize students who have attained a high level of academic achievement while pursuing a solid core of academic courses. Receiving this award were members of Linsly’s National Honor Society: Vivian Allison, Morgan Carlisle, Mingjia Chen, Jack Dudich, Sizhe Fang, Destinee Frye, Yutong Gao, Grace George, Jessica Ghobrial, Kathryn Holt, Maria Holubeck, Ziheng Hua, Zihe Jiang, Amelia Jones, April Knight, Hyejin Lee, Marc Lifson, Yike Lu, Charles Machiko, Gwendolyn Mirzoyan, Joseph Morano, Malachi Onwuka, Bo Pang, Kevin Pietz, Tritan Plute, Lucretia Shumate, Austin Sims, Julie Songer, Katelynne Spurrier, Katherine Staley, Daniella Truong, Ashish Urval, Hudson Wagner, Paige Walbert, Logan Welch, Braedyn West, Carleigh West, Shiyun Xu and Kyle Zelenitz.

Vivian Allison: Merit Scholarship and the Women’s Basketball Scholarship to Mercyhurst University and the Christ Scholarship; Morgan Carlisle: National Buckeye Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship; Zachary Carrigan: International Scholarship and the Lacrosse Scholarship to Mars Hill University; Maggie Chen: Named an AP Scholar with Honor and attending Washington University St. Louis; Tyler Courtney: Duquesne University Academic Scholarship and Room Award; Tommy Curtin: Christ Scholarship and attending Ohio University; Stephen Dlesk: West Virginia Promise Scholarship, the West Virginia University Scholarship of Distinction and the Christ Scholarship; Jack Dudich: Auxiliary of Wheeling Hospital Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship and attending Elon University; Frankie Favede: Christ Scholarship, the Denison University Merit Scholarship, the Scott and Kim Verplank Foundation Scholarship and the Diabetes Foundation Scholarship; Emma Fletcher: West Virginia Promise Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship and attending West Virginia University; Destinee Frye: West Virginia Promise Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship and attending West Liberty University; Grace George: Named an AP Scholar and receiving the High Point University Presidential Fellows Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship; Jessica Ghobrial: Bayer School Scholar’s Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship and attending Duquesne University; Floid Giddings: Christ Scholarship and the Bethany College Merit Scholarship; Gage Giovengo: Marietta College Pioneer Grant; Katie Holt: Christ Scholarship and the Academic Excellence Scholarship at Edinboro University; Maria Holubeck: Named an AP Scholar and receiving the Christ Scholarship and the Academic Excellence Scholarship and Honors Scholarship to Edinboro University and recognized by the American Psychological Association for Academic Achievement in Psychology; Ziheng Hua: Named an AP Scholar and attending Kenyon College; Shirley Jiang: Named an AP Scholar and attending the University of California Los Angeles; Amelia Jones: the West Virginia University Scholarship of Distinction, the Miss Ohio Valley Local Pageant Scholarship, the Bordas & Bordas Anti-Bullying Fighting for Justice Award the West Virginia Promise Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship; April Knight: Christ Scholarship and attending The Ohio State University; Anna Levy: Christ Scholarship and the Washington and Jefferson College Deans Scholarship and a Tuition Exchange Scholarship; Isabella Loverde: Diversity Scholarship, the West Virginia University Scholarship of Distinction and the Christ Scholarship; Icho Lu: Named an AP Scholar with Distinction and attending Emory University; Charles Machiko: Presidential Scholarship from Washington & Jefferson College; Mitchell Marhefka: Christ Scholarship and University Scholarship from Queens University; Gwendolyn Mirsoyan: Christ Scholarship and the Oxford Grant and attending Emory University; Joseph Morano: West Virginia Promise Scholarship, the West Virginia University Scholarship of Distinction and the Christ Scholarship; Chantal Naum: Chatham University Merit Scholarship; La-Kevia Neely: Christ Scholarship and the Venosee Scholarship from Walsh University; Malachy Newman: Named an AP Scholar with Honor and receiving the Christ Scholarship and the Rensselear Polytechnic Institute Scholarship and Omega Scholarship; Mariah Nickoles:

West Virginia Wesleyan College Presidential Scholarship, the Sara Elizabeth Blake Scholarship, the Creative Arts Scholarship, the West Virginia Promise Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship; Hannah Ondeck: Bishop Whelan Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Scholarship, the Christ Scholarship and the West Virginia Promise Scholarship and attending West Virginia University; Megan Ondeck: Bishop Whelan Division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Scholarship, the West Virginia University Scholarship of Distinction, the Mountaineer Connection Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship; Malachi Onwuka: Marshall University Presidential Scholarship; Jennifer Orban: Christ Scholarship, the West Virginia University Scholarship of Distinction and the Mountaineer Connection Scholarship; Jaslynn Orth: Athletic Scholarship to Shippensburg University; Kevin Pietz: Named an AP Scholar, Receiving the Panther Pride Award, the YMCA William Brubaker Swimming Scholarship, the Larsen Educational Trust Scholarship, the Christ Scholarship and attending the University of Pittsburgh; Tritan Plute: Chancellor’s Scholarship from the University of Pittsburgh; Kaitlyn Schau: Christ Scholarship and attending West Liberty University; Michael Schwarz: Patriot Scholarship from Robert Morris University and the Christ Scholarship; Lucretia Shumate: Rensselear Medal Award, the First Choice American Credit Union Scholarship, the Auxiliary of Wheeling Hospital Scholarship, the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium Scholarship, the Christ Scholarship and named an AP Scholar and attending the Rensseleaer Polytechnic Institute; Austin Sims: Named an AP Scholar and awarded the Christ Scholarship and attending the University of Pittsburgh; Oleg Smirnov: West Virginia University Scholarship of Distinction, the Christ Scholarship and the West Virginia University G. Belmont Berry Scholarship; Katelynne Spurrier: Duquesne University Academic Scholarship, Room Award and ROTC Scholarship, the Brooke Hills Free Methodist Church Scholarship, and the American Maritime Officers Union Scholarship; Katherine Staley: Named an AP Scholar and awarded the Christ Scholarship and attending Penn State University; Lolita Thompson: the International Student Award and attending St. Thomas University; Daniella Truong: Named an AP Scholar and receiving the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship and the Columbia University Merit Award; Ashish Urval: Named an AP Scholar and receiving the Auxiliary of Wheeling Hospital Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship and attending the University of Michigan; Andrew Vargo: West Virginia University Scholarship of Distinction, the West Virginia Promise Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship; Hudson Wagner: Named an AP Scholar and awarded the Christ Scholarship and attending Penn State University; Paige Walbert: Christ Scholarship and attending Washington and Jefferson College; Andrew Weiss: the Bethany College Merit Scholarship, the Kalon Leaders Award and the Christ Scholarship; Logan Welch:

West Virginia University Presidential Scholarship and Scholarship of Distinction, the West Virginia Promise Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship; Braedyn West: Kentucky Heritage Scholarship, the Kentucky Futures Scholarship, and the Christ Scholarship and attending the University of Kentucky; Carleigh West: Shepherd University Presidential Scholarship, the Political Science Scholarship, the Bordas and Bordas Anti-Bullying Fighting for Justice Award and the West Virginia Promise Scholarship; Alexander Williamson: Receiving the Provost Scholarship, the CBC Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship and attending Towson University; Taylor Wisvari-Weir: Chatham University Founders Merit Scholarship, the Academic Scholarship and Scholarship Interview Day Award and the Christ Scholarship; Shiyun Xu: Named an AP Scholar with Distinction and a National AP Scholar and recognized by the American Psychological Association for Academic Achievement in Psychology and attending the University of California Berkeley; Zeen Xu: AJ Drexel Scholarship to Drexel University; Sicheng Yuan: Presidential Scholarship to the Maryland Institute College of Art; Kyle Zelenitz: Named an AP Scholar with Honor and awarded the Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship and the Christ Scholarship and attending Princeton University.

The United States Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award, which goes to those seniors who have demonstrated high achievement in both academics and athletics, was presented to Malachi Onwuka, son of Mrs. Loana Hoffman of Spencer, WV and Daniella Truong.

The Linsly Social Studies Award is given to that member of the Senior Class who has achieved an outstanding perception of Social Studies, and has attained the highest cumulative average in that discipline during his four year Upper School career at Linsly. This year’s recipient was Shiyun “Jimmy” Xu.

The Robert W. Schramm Physics Award, given in memory of Henry Brown, former Linsly Military Institute Mathematics Department Head was awarded to Kevin Pietz.

Daniella Truong was named the recipient of The Gilleland Award, established in memory of Professor Brady Gilleland, recognizing a graduating senior who studied Latin and succeeded in her study.

Shiyun “Jimmy” Xu was named the recipient of The Linsly Mathematics Award, given to that member of the Senior Class who, determined by the Mathematics Department has attained the highest cumulative average in that discipline during his four-year Upper School career at Linsly.

Austin Sims was named the recipient of The Linsly Science Award given to that member of the Senior Class who has attained the highest cumulative average in that discipline during his four year Upper School career at Linsly.

The recipients of The Max W. Laborde Award, given to those Senior English students who, in the opinion of the English Department, best met the standards set forth in the department were Maria Holubeck, Grace George, Kevin Pietz and Kyle Zelenitz.

The John Anwar Spanish Award is given in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Anwar’s eldest son, John, who passed away in 1991 when he was a senior at Linsly. This award recognizes the graduating senior who, through consistent dedication and hard work, has distinguished herself in the study of Spanish. Receiving the John Anwar Spanish Award was Jessica Ghobrial.

The following students received their diplomas on Sunday, May 28 as part of The Linsly School’s graduating Class of 2017:

West Virginia: Wheeling: Greysen Archbold, Joshua Auten, Stephen Dlesk, Jack Dudich, Emma Fletcher, Destinee Frye, Grace George, Jessica Ghobrial, Kathryn Holt, Amelia Jones, Gwendolyn Mirzoyan, Joseph Morano, Chantal Naum, Malachy Newman, Mariah Nickoles, Hannah Ondeck, Megan Ondeck, Jennifer Orban, Jaslynn Orth, Kevin Pietz, Daniella Truong, Ashish Urval, Andrew Vargo, Christopher Wakim, Braedyn West; Benwood: Gage Giovengo; Williamstown: Marc Lifson; Morgantown: Isabella Loverde; Spencer: Malachi Onwuka; Weirton: Lucretia Shumate; Wellsburg: Katelynne Spurrier, Logan Welch; Moundsville: Robert Targosky, Carleigh West.

Ohio: Bridgeport: Thomas Curtin, Jr., April Knight; St. Clairsville: John Devin Diosi, Leon Francis Favede II, Maria Holubeck, Mitchell Marhefka, Ann-Marie McConaghy, Kyle Zelenitz; Brookside: Mackenzie Manukin; Beallsville: Jacob Murray; Shadyside: Kaitlyn Schau; Bellaire: Austin Sims; Martins Ferry: Taylor Wisvari-Weir.

Pennsylvania: Washington: Vivian Allison, Morgan Carlisle, Charles Machiko, Julie Songer, Tritan Plute, Hudson Wagner, Andrew Weiss; Greensburg: Tyler Courtney, Killian Joseph; Scenery Hills: Anna Levy, Pittsburgh: Zachary Oladimeji, Prosperity: Michael Schwarz; McDonald: Katherine Staley; Claysville: Paige Walbert.

Out of Tri-State Area: The Woodlands, Texas: John Hansen; Miami Shores, Florida: Oleg Smirnov, Jr.

International: Canada: Zachary Carrigan, Dylan Harrison; China: Mingjia Chen, Sizhe Fang, Yutong Gao, Ziheng Hua, Zihe Jiang, Yike Lu, Yufei Meng, Bo Pang, Zhongye Xie, Shiyun Xu, Zeen Xu , Sicheng Yuan; Bahamas: Floid Giddings, La-Kevia Neely, Warren Saunders, Yufei Sui, Lolita Thompson, Alexander Williamson; South Korea: Jihoo Han, Hyejin Lee; Rwanda: Jesse Nkusi.

Among the eighty-six members of Linsly’s graduating Class of 2017, twenty-one members of Linsly’s graduating Class of 2017 began their career at Linsly in the fifth grade, completing grades five through twelve at The Linsly School. Those graduates, also known at Linsly as “lifers” are: Greysen Archbold, Joshua Auten, Stephen Dlesk, Emma Fletcher, Grace George, Gage Giovengo, Kathryn Holt, Amelia Jones, Mitchell Marhefka, Joseph Morano, Mariah Nickoles, Kaitlyn Schau, Michael Schwarz, Lucretia Shumate, Daniella Truong, Ashish Urval, Christopher Wakim, Paige Walbert, Andrew Weiss, Braedyn West and Kyle Zelenitz.

In his Commencement speech, Linsly Headmaster, Mr. Justin Zimmerman, addressed the Class of 2017, reflecting on their many individual and collective contributions to both the school and the community as they embraced this year’s school theme, “Prepare Today for Tomorrow.”

Taking time to reflect on the many individual students that make up the graduating Class of 2017, Zimmerman recalled the numerous academic, athletic, and artistic achievements of this class including members of the senior class who were recognized as AP Scholars, OVAC champion winning teams, and participated in community service work.



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