Senior awards recognizes outstanding students Senior awards recognizes outstanding students
BY SABRINE BRISMEUR Dozens of seniors took the stage Thursday night to be recognized for accomplishments in sports, service, academics and scholarships, taking home... Senior awards recognizes outstanding students


Dozens of seniors took the stage Thursday night to be recognized for accomplishments in sports, service, academics and scholarships, taking home awards ranging from small medallions to two-foot trophies.

The program began with recognition of scholarships that were awarded to students by third parties, ranging from Broward County scholarships to Burger King and Wendy ones. These students received several thousand dollars from these merit-based scholarships, with some starting at one thousand dollars and others rising into the hundreds of thousands.

Benjamin Goldstein received the Carsons Scholarship Fund for 1000 dollars for his published research in the medical sciences and will be attending the University of Florida to study Computer Science.

“I’m really happy that CCHS is doing so much to encourage their interests in the sciences,” Goldstein said. “I hope that future students will feel similarly supported in their research endeavors.”

College scholarships soon followed, with some students on stage receiving more than 300,000 dollars from their universities to pay for their tuition. From large Florida universities to small liberal arts colleges and mid-size Ivy Leagues, seniors from Cooper City displayed a wide variety in school decisions on senior awards night.

Melanie Smith, who is attending Tulane University in New Orleans to study Ecology and Evolution Biology, received over 200,000 dollars in scholarship money. Karina Blodnieks, the editor-in-chief of The Lariat, was granted over 250,000 dollars in financial aid through the QuestBridge program to Columbia University in New York, where she will be pursuing Political Science and English Literature.

“I feel like this is the capstone of not just my high school career, but my life,” Blodnieks said. “My QuestBridge Match Scholarship gave me an opportunity I’d never thought would actually happen.”

Seniors are recognized for their scholarship opportunities. Photo by Sabrine Brismeur

Senior awards night also recognized students for any awards they may have received based on their performance in school or scores on college entrance exams.

National Merit finalists Landon Counts, Hunter Harrington and Benjamin Goldstein were honored for their performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Less than 1% of students who take the PSAT/NMSQT are awarded this scholarship, which grants each student 2500 dollars.

The Miami Herald newspaper recognized three students as Silver Knights, “one of the nation’s most highly regarded student awards programs,” according to their website. These finalists – Ashley Santiago, Benjamin Goldstein and Madison Steinman – received 2000 dollars from the Pulitzer-award-winning paper.

Nine students out of a class of over 500 were acknowledged for straight A’s throughout high school, over 25 as scholar-athletes and only one student, Daniel Werbin, was recognized for his perfect attendance since ninth grade.

Finally, senior awards concluded with Departmental Awards, which gave accolades to students who have displayed excellence specifically in Cooper City. From Fine Arts to Language Arts and Mathematics, department heads and their teams had the opportunity to pick one student which they felt embodied their specific subject.

Most Outstanding, Max Mickenberg and Cecilia Luna. Photo by Sabrine Brismeur

Cooper City’s Most Outstanding awards went to Max Mickenberg and Cecilia Luna, who posed with an oversized trophy engraved with their names. Most Outstanding is generally regarded as the highest honor at CCHS, which is awarded to a male and female student that display exceptional well-roundedness, service and academic prowess throughout high school. Mickenberg will be attending Dartmouth University and Luna will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

“Getting the award was one of the most shocking experiences of my life,” Luna said. “I’m really grateful for the recognition and I’m so happy to be where I am now.”

The full list of awards can be found below:


American Legion Post #223: Cadet Slade Yester and Cadet Natasha Testa

Dr. Brian Dassler Memorial: Gaston Gosselin and Nicole Pardon

Broward College: Tiffany Fields and Emily Valdes

Cooper City Firefighers: Craig Barr and Brandon Newland

Cooper City Kiwanis Club: Nisa Moses

Cooper City Waste Management: Hunter Harrington, Katie Slinkosky and Ryan Rabinowitz

James Henry II & Lindsay Jean Layer Memorial: Jemma Miller, Cayla Yellen and Slade Yester

Independent Insurance Agents of Broward County: Krystianna Clouse

John McCall Memorial: Craig Barr and Natasha Testa

National Sporting Clays Association: Nicholas Blenker

Partners in Education: Daniel Fraga, Alyssa Mohammed, Danielle Kurtz and Hunter Harrington

PTSA Steve Schultze Stampede Memorial: Elena Nesvat and Katie Slinkosky

CCHS Smash-spectacular Meatballs Are Served Here: Jeremy Brower and Kathy Yanes-Perez

Soroptimist International of Davie: Krystianna Clouse

The American Legion Cadet of the Year Scholarship: Natasha Testa

Arts for the Future Scholarship: Grehan Edmunds

Brian Piccolo Scholarship: Slade Yester

Broward County Athletic Association Scholarships: Logan Piper, Katie Slinkosky and Cayla Yellen

Burger King Scholars Award: Daniel Lobaton

Carson Scholarship Fund: Benjamin Goldstein

College Week Live Scholarship: Natasha Testa

Cumberland Farms Believe & Achieve Scholarship: Daniel Lobaton

Comcast Leaders & Achievers Scholarship Program: Katie Slinkosky

Davie-Cooper City Chamber of Commerce: Nicholas Bither, Taylor Handelman, Daniel Lobaton, Edward Mulvaney, Rachel Seng and Josh Townsly

DECA: Cayla Yellen and Max Mickenberg

Carl H Grisham & Laura Estella Grisham Scholarship: Benjamin Goldstein, Hunter Harrington and Max Mickenberg

National Merit Scholarship: Benjamin Goldstein and Hunter Harrington

Navy ROTC Scholarship: Eric Yeckes and Slade Yester

Salute to Education: Thuy-Thuong Nguyen and Hannah Patten

Wendy’s High School Heisman: Cayla Yellen and Slade Yester

Women of Tomorrow: Annie Parayadipura


Yellow Ribbon Award: Natasha Testa, Colorado State University

Tradition Fellowship & Grant: Cayla Yellen, Cornell University

QuestBridge: Karina Blodnieks, Columbia University

Spirit of FAU: Ariel Verona, Florida Atlantic University

Academic Grant: Isabel Hidalgo and Amber Rudner , Florida Atlantic University

Athletic Scholarship: Kara Lokeinsky, Florida Atlantic University

President Silver Award: Nickolas Bither, Florida Gulf Coast University

Gold and Blue Scholarship: Rhea McGrath and Kristen Valiente, Florida International University

Opportunity Grant: Olivia Booher, Florida International University

Freshman Scholarship: Grehan Edmunds and Ashley Santiago, Florida State University

Pinnacle & Lacrosse Scholarship: Craig Barr, Lees Mcrae College

Dean’s Scholarship: Kathy Yanes-Perez, Nova Southeastern University

Dean’s Scholarship & Shark Legacy: Joshua Townsley, Nova Southeastern University

Presidential Scholarship: Lindsey Hannah, Nova Southeastern University

SCAD Honors & Achievement: Gabriella Jaspan, Savannah College of Art and Design

Football & University Grant: Tyler Brown, St. Ambrose University

Presidential & Foundation Scholarship: Jedidiah Jhu, St. Thomas University

Dean’s Honors Scholarship: Melanie Smith, Tulane University

Has Provost Scholarship: Brent Pappas and Hunter Keyser, University of Central Florida

Pegasus Gold Scholarship: Brenda Ruiz, University of Central Florida

Director’s Scholarship: Elizabeth Peter, University of Central Florida

Presidential Scholarship: Mya Hobson and Lauren Bouskila , University of Florida

UNT Excellence Scholarship: Gaston Gosselin, University of North Texas

Dean’s Scholarship: Jesse Klauber, University of Rochester

Director & Seide Scholarship, Jeremy Brower, University of South Florida

Scholars Award: Kassidy Diaz, University of South Florida

National Merit Match: William Landon Counts, Vanderbilt University


Community Service Award: Lyndsey Kleiman

National Merit Commended: Lyndsey Hannah, Cecilia Luna, Max Mickenberg and Brent Pappas

National Hispanic Scholar: Hunter Harrington, Cecilia Luna and Karina Blodnieks
National Merit Finalists: William Landon Counts, Benjamin Goldstein and Hunter Harrington

Perfect Attendance: Daniel Werbin

Silver Knight: Ashley Santiago, Benjamin Goldstein and Madison Steinman

Broward County Senior Leaders: Carolina Chiari, Max Mickenberg, Dawson Worley and Slade Yester

Straight “A” students: Karina Blodnieks, Jeremy Brower, William Landon Counts, Benjamin Goldstein, Hunter Harrington, Cecilia Luna, Max Mickenberg, Katie Slinkosky and Melanie Smith

Scholarship Athletes: Michael Aronson, Francisco Baquedano, Jeremy Brower, Ashley Devito
Grehan Edmunds, Emily Ehrlich, Mya Hobson, Jedidiah Jhu, Daniel Lobaton, Alonso Mendoza
Jemma Miller, Brogan Ness, Brent Pappas, Noah Peska, Elizabeth Peter, Morgan Pinna, Logan Piper, Gabriella Sanchez, Katie Slinkosky, Melanie Smith, Tal Solovey, Samantha Stofsky, Natasha Testa, Katy Thompson, Cayla Yellen and Slade Yester


Exceptional Student Education: Chase Connor

Fine Arts

Art: Gabriella Jaspan

Chorus: Isabel Hidalgo

Band: Gaston Gosselin

Theatre: Jacob Rones

Language Arts

Language Arts: Max Mickenberg

Yearbook: Danielle Rachman

Newspaper: Karina Blodnieks

Debate: Kia Del Solar-Patino

Mathematics: William Landon Counts

Navy Junior ROTC: Slade Yester

Physical Education: McGarney Bowman

Science: Ben Goldstein

Social Studies: Max Mickenberg

World Languages

French: Nicole Seguy

Spanish: Cecilia Luna

Career and Technical Programs

Academy of Fashion: Alexa Katz

Academy of Finance: Max Mickenberg

Automotive: Bryan Brefil and Saied Hussain

Drafting: Isabella Escobar

Digital Media/TV Production: Jason Chua and Lian Chung-Valuntas

Early Childcare: Amanda Elliot


Student Government Association: Carolina Chiari, Logan Piper, Nicole Tjin a Djie, Alishe Hajaree, Kalli Rodgers, Chad Shillito and Heather Carpenter

Senior Class Officers: Samantha Steinberg, Danielle Kurtz, Alexa Katz, Jillian Perdeck, Brogan Ness, Katie Slinkosky

Outstanding Citizenship: Samantha Stofsky

Outstanding Leadership: Carolina Chiari

Outstanding School Spirit: Dawson Worley

Outstanding Service: Hannah Patten

Most Outstanding: Max Mickenberg and Cecilia Luna

Featured photo by Sabrine Brismeur