Last updated: February 19. 2013 9:18PM - 485 Views

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Erin Murray, an art teacher from Wyoming Valley West High School, was recently selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction, a special program of the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) that honors educators worldwide. Murray was nominated by her student Patrick Snyder. The honor was awarded for her significant contribution to her students' academic careers, her leadership in being a positive role model and for her lasting influence on the lives of students. Murray received a letter and a certificate of recognition for her achievements. She was also invited to submit articles for the NSHSS monthly Scholar's Journal, to serve on a scholarship judging panel and to nominate her students for membership in NSHSS. Murray heads the art department at Wyoming Valley West.

Sisters Rebecca Zenkert and Rachel Storer earned doctoral degrees in the summer. Zenkert graduated in June with a Psy.D. in clinical psychology from Widener University and Storer graduated in July with a Ph.D. in atmospheric science from Colorado State University. Zenkert is employed in New Jersey and Storer in Wisconsin. Both sisters graduated from GAR Memorial Jr.-Sr. High School. Zenkert earned her bachelor's degree from Wilkes University and Storer earned her bachelor's degree from Penn State University Main Campus. They are the daughters of Connie Storer, Wilkes-Barre.

Maria L. Shiptoski, Berwick, graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and minors in biochemistry and philosophy from the University of Scranton in May. She was a member of the Honors Program. During her undergraduate career, she was inducted into the Beta Beta Beta National Honor Society for Biology, Phi Lambda Upsilon Honorary Chemical Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta National Health Pre-professional Honor Society, Phi Sigma Tau International Honor Society in Philosophy, Nu Rho Psi National Honor Society in Neuroscience and Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society for First Year Students. She was also nominated to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and received numerous scholarships. She served as the president of the Biology Club for over three years and was active in several other clubs. Shiptoski is continuing her education at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia. She is a 2008 graduate of Berwick Area Senior High School and the daughter of Carmela Shiptoski, Berwick and the granddaughter of John and Marion Heycock, Yatesville.

Kelly Shiptoski, Berwick, graduated with highest honors from Berwick Area Senior High School in June. She was ranked fifth in her class and was a distinguished honor roll student for all four years of high school. Throughout her high school career, she completed 15 honors and advanced courses. She was a runner up for the Health Care Hero Award, a finalist in the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Essay Contest and was named an AP Scholar. Shiptoski was a member of the National Honor Society and attended the National Young Leaders Conference. She was involved in the Ski Club, Advanced Research in Medicine, Drama Club, marching and concert bands, Mathletes and Future Business Leader of America. She is attending Drexel University. Shiptoski is the daughter of Carmela Shiptoski, Berwick, and the granddaughter of John and Marion Heycock, Yatesville.

Hoang Viet Tran, Hanoi, Viet Nam, a senior at Wyoming Seminary Upper School, tied for 20th place in the national 12th -grade division in the 2012 FallStartup Event, a national math contest. This is the third year Tran has placed among the top 25 winners in the competition. Tran is a member of the school's Math Club, which is coached by James Doherty, cair of the mathematics department, and Kathy Rickrode, math teacher.

Justin Sheen, a senior at MMI Preparatory School, recently had his artwork selected to appear on the cover of the National Spanish Honor Society's quarterly magazine. Sheen, the son of Kwangsup and Chaeyun Sheen, Mountain Top, designed the cover of the latest issue of ¬°Albricias!, the magazine published by the Sociedad Honoraria Hisp√°nica and used by all Spanish honor societies in the United States. Sheen is also president of the student council and the National Spanish Honor Society. He is a co-chair of the school's annual food drive, a member of the Mock Trial team, FBLA, PJAS, National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society and the tennis, golf and cross country teams.

Nancy Pacheco, Wilkes-Barre, a student at King's College, recently participated in a service project in Camden, N.J. She was among six King's students who worked at the Center for Environmental Transformation during fall break. The students went to a school in the Waterfront South community to help out with gym class and mentor students in the classroom. They also planted flowers and other plants throughout the community and helped at a farmers market. Members of the Center for Environmental Transformation gave a presentation for the college students that promoted awareness on living a more sustainable and environmental-friendly life. Pacheco is a sophomore majoring in education.

Melissa Flack, a student in the 6th form (12th grade) at Kent School in Kent, Conn., was named to the high honor roll for the fall term of 2012-2013. Flack is the daughter of Harold and Jean Flack, Dallas.

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