Oakton Accolades

April 2019

Oakton Leadership Students

Our two Oakton Leadership classes have taken it upon themselves to restart the Cougar News show this year.  Each class produces a 5-10 minute show that helps students know what is going on throughout the building and helps the student body get to know each other a little better.  This is a huge undertaking considering we do not currently have a broadcast studio. They have done all the filming and editing and made a positive impact on the school climate.  We are very proud of all of their efforts. We would also like to recognize Blake Switzer who has also been the lead editor for the Highlander Hype and Veterans’ Day video this year.


OPUS Literary Magazine

Congratulations to Ms. Susan Sullivan and the OPUS literary magazine for earning the NSPA 2018 Magazine Pacemaker finalist.  This makes Oakton’s magazine one of 28 nationally to be named a finalist. Congratulations to all of our students, especially our editors Sayrin Kang and Catarina Medas.  This is a huge honor and we are incredibly proud of all they have accomplished.  


National Merit Scholar/Regeneron Talent Search

Congratulations to Carolyn Qu for becoming a National Merit Scholar!  This is an incredibly competitive pool of students nationwide.  Carolyn was also named a top 300 scholar in the 78th Regeneron Science Talent Search.  


Coca Cola Scholar/Harry Byrd Jr. Scholarship

Congratulations to Catherine Xiang for becoming a Coca Cola Scholar for 2019!  The Coca-Cola Scholars Program scholarship is an achievement-based scholarship awarded to graduating high school seniors. Students are recognized for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities.  Catherine also received the prestigious Harry Byrd Jr. scholarship earlier this year!


Regional Science Fair

This year at the Regional Science Fair, Oakton HIgh School had a total of 22 projects with 28 students participating.  Below is a list of all the awards and recognitions earned by our students. We are very proud of all of them!


CATEGORY AWARDS( all first place winners qualify for States)

Grand Prize and First Place Winner and qualification for International Science Fair: Jerry Wei -Robotics


Grand Prize Nominees and First Place Winners: Team -Maggie Tong and Sydney Chen-Environmental Engineering, and Akshay Subramanian-Chemistry


First Place Winners:

Sitara Sastry, Ankish Singh, Team Charlotte Peterkin, Harin Ok & Wen Ip-Earth and Environmental Sciences-

Grace Brown- Environmental Engineering

Helen Sparling- Materials Science


Second Place Winners:

Clare Sparling and Anusha Allamsetty- Earth and Environmental Sciences

Dhruv Sundararaman and Charitha Vennapusa-Microbiology

Alex Heise-Physics and Astronomy

Team -Tristan Scott and Leah Zarlenga-Engineering Mechanics


Third Place Winners:

Sena Flo- Animal Sciences

Abby Cortez- Biomedical and Health Sciences

Emily Mui- Physics and Astronomy

Neil Suri-Robotics and Intelligent Machines


Honorable Mention Winners:

Team-Haley Longfellow and Madelyn Flickinger-Biomedical and Health Sciences

Berk Kasimcan- Engineering Mechanics                          

Other Participants: - Nandita Venkataraman, Team- Madison Thompson and Mika Nair- Earth and Environmental Sciences



  • Jerry Wei-Aerospace Corp-1st place and a $100 gift card and invitation to present, Armed Forces Communications-2nd place and $400 cash award and banquet invitation, Intel-Excellence Award and $200 award

  • Maggie Tong and Sydney Chen-Dominion Energy-1st place and S50 Amazon and certificate, Stemtree of Vienna-1st place and $100 Amazon card, VA Lakes and Watershed-$60 Target gift card

  • Clare Sparling-American Water Works Association-1st place and $200 cash and certificate, Federal Water Quality Association-2nd place, ribbon and  t-shirt, VA Water Environment Association-2nd, $75 cash, Stockholm Junior Water prize and certificate, Washington Statistical Society-HM Certificate

  • Sitara Sastry - American Water Works Association-2nd place and $100 cash and certificate, 1st, $150 cash, Stockholm Junior Water prize and certificate, Federal Water Quality Association-2nd place, ribbon and t-shirt

  • Helen Sparling-Patent and Trademark Office Society-1st place certificate

  • Ankisha Singh- American Water Works Association-3rd place and $50 cash and certificate, Federal Water Quality Association-1st place, $50 award, lunch invitation

  • Anusha Allamsetty-American Meteorological Society-2nd place and certificate, Express Search-the Rodger Flagg Memorial Award and $300, Geological Society of Washington-1st place and invitation to present, VA Tech-2nd place and certificate

  • Charlotte Peterkin, Harin Ok and Wen Ip- American Meteorological Society-3rd place and certificate, Geological Society of Washington-=3rd place, NASA Earth System Certificate

  • Charitha Vennapusa-American Society for Microbiology-2nd place and $30, Ricoh Americas Corp-Outstanding Engineering Award, $25 gift card, Washington Statistical Society-HM Certificate

  • Aakshay Subramaniam-VA Tech College of Natural Resources and Environment-3rd place and certificate

  • Dhruv Sundaraman- American Society for Microbiology-3rd place and $20

  • Emily Mui-Optical Society of America-1st place in Optics and Photonics certificate

  • Neil Suri-Aerospace HM and invitation to present, Office of Naval Research-$50 certificate and medal

  • Haley Longfellow and Madelyn Flickinger-American Industrial Hygiene 1st place and  $300 cash and certificate, Commissioned Officer Association, U.S. Public Health-HM, certificate and medal

  • Tristan Scott and Leah Zarlenga-Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-Technology Certificate

  • Madison Thompson and Mika Nair-Geological Society of Washington-HM and certificate, VA Lakes and Watersheds Association-$60 Target gift card

  • Nandita Venkatarman -Stemtree of Vienna-HM and $50 Amazon gift card


Miss India USA Pageant

Congratulations to Anagha Sreenivas, Oakton High School senior, who participated in the Miss India USA Pageant and placed Top 5!  


Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Students of the Year Campaign

Oakton High School students were represented in this national, philanthropic, leadership campaign this past winter and went on to raise $72,000.  This team was led by Hannah McNeal and included: Cami Brown, Grace Brown, Lydia Church, Isabella DeLew, Carson Kabance, and Kennedy Kabance.  They earned a Top Fundraiser Award and the opportunity to link their names to a LLS research grant!


2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards



This year four Oakton students earned recognitions for 11 works of writing at the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards - the nation’s longest-running, largest, most prestigious recognition program for creative teenagers.  


• Emily Bach, 11th grade, Regional Silver Key for "panic attack" (Personal Essay/Memoir)

• Emily Bach, 11th grade, Regional Honorable Mention for "why i didn't report" (Poetry)

• Emily Bach, 11th grade, National Silver Medal (and Regional Gold Key) for "rahmah" (Personal Essay/Memoir)

• Daniel Hong, 11th grade, Regional Honorable Mention for "A Writer's Confession" (Personal Essay/Memoir)

• Gloria Wang, 11th grade, Regional Silver Key for "Letters, Love Aldo" (Poetry)

• Gloria Wang, 11th grade, Regional Silver Key for "When the Dinner Bell Rings" (Poetry)

• Gloria Wang, 11th grade, Regional Silver Key for "A Race for Inclusion: Women in Single-Seater Auto Racing" (Critical Essay)

• Gloria Wang, 11th grade, Regional Silver Key for "The Fight for a Voice: African American Language in Schools" (Critical Essay)

• Gloria Wang, 11th grade, Regional Gold Key and American Voices Nominee for "16th and Euclid" (Poetry)

• Gloria Wang, 11th grade, National Gold Medal (and Regional Gold Key) for "Home Is Far from Where I Stand" (Poetry)

• Charlie Williams, 10th grade, National Gold Medal (and Regional Gold Key) for "Jack" (Flash Fiction)



This year we had a grand total of 41 pieces of artwork that earned a gold key, silver key, or honorable mention at the 2019 Scholastic Art Awards!  This includes 13 Gold Key winners from 11 students, 10 Silver Key winners from 10 students, and 18 Honorable Mentions from 15 students. This is an incredibly talented group of students and we are very excited about their recognition!  


Gold Key

Student Name



Hussam Ali


Patterns In The Backseat

Rachel Bloom



Isabel Day


Head In The Clouds

Jacob Johnson



Julia Lopresti

Art Portfolio

What Lives Inside Our

Julia Lopresti

Digital Art

You’re Dreaming

Kenan Murray


Puerto Rico

Sung-Hyun Park



Morgan Rogers


Far Outside And Deep

Morgan Rogers


All At Once

Ethan Waple

Art Portfolio

The Art In Artist

Joe Wong



Jessica Xing


Girl And Cat


Silver Key

Student Name



Amara Brown


Photo Flip

Tyler Chapman



Audrey Craig


Self Entropy

Namchi Dao

Mixed Media

Lucid Dreaming

Monica Kwon



Angela Liu


Drowning In Stress

Kenan Murray



Fatima Rafie

Digital Art

Touch The Sky

Daniela Reyes Atencia


Brothers For Life

Erik Reynolds


190 Days Of Literally


Honorable Mention

Student Name



Saya Butani

Mixed Media


Bryce Buttrey

Digital Art

Escape The Dead

Namchi Dao



Isabel Day

Art Portfolio

Merging Worlds

Luis Fonseca

Art Portfolio

Stencil Parade

Jasmine Foo

Digital Art


Yurie Hattori

Digital Art


Yurie Hattori


Blackened Image

Jay Hetman

Digital Art

Head In A Fog

Herbert Ho

Digital Art


Aliya Kaplan



Aliya Kaplan


Stand Up

Julia Lopresti

Digital Art

Baby City

Alexandra Martschenko



Kenan Murray



Kenan Murray



Sung-Hyun Park


Beyond The Boundaries

Kaitlyn Stanton

Digital Art



Emerging Visions: Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE)

Several of our art students had the opportunity to include their artwork as a part of the Youth Art Month “Emerging Visions” exhibition at the Greater Reston Arts Center.  For the first time this exhibit included artwork by students from all grade levels and included Oakton High School, South Lakes High School, Herndon High School, Rachel Carson Middle School, Dogwood Elementary, Hunters Woods Elementary, and Hutchinson Elementary.  The following students had artwork included in the exhibit: Dawn Bangi, Felipe Fonseca, Erik Reynolds, Lucy Han, Kenan Murray, Lilah Fortin, Rebecca Rainhart, Stephanie Suh, Daniela Reyes Atencia, and Logan Zimmerman.  


VHSL State Forensics

Two Oakton students represented our school at the VHSL State Forensics competition!   Jay Deshmukh, a senior and one of the co-captains of the team, won 1st place in the category of Extemporaneous Speaking! While he wasn't able to place for the championship round, Nick Garrone made a good show for his first year of competition, coming in at 5th overall in the Original Oratory category.


Performing Arts: Assessment and Festival Disney Results


VA District Assessments

Orchestra – String Ensemble, Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras all received Superior ratings from all judges.

Chorus – Treble Basso Choir received an Excellent rating, Chamber Choir and Oakton Singers received Superior ratings

Band – Concert Band 2 received an Excellent rating, Concert Band 1 and Symphonic Band received Superior ratings


Since the top performing ensemble in all disciplines received Superior ratings, Oakton High School qualifies again this year as a Blue Ribbon School for the 6th year in a row!


Additionally, the Band program is now a 24-year Virginia Honor Band.  Half of the Honor Band award consists of the marching band earning a superior at the state marching assessment in the fall, and the other half consists of our top concert band earning a superior at Concert Band Assessment!  


Individual Student Recognition:

All-Virginia Chorus

Julia Ferri – Alto 2

Molly Manhoff – Soprano 2

Zubin Kaul – Tenor 2

Tarun Sivanandan – Bass 1


All Virginia Orchestra/Band

Devon Petrecca – Bassoon, 2nd alternate, Concert Band

Justin Li – Clarinet, Concert Band

Bennett Meale – Trombone, Concert Band

Danny Harkin -French Horn, Orchestra

Harin Ok, 1st Violin

Soni Bae, Viola

Tyler Hyun, Viola


Standout Auditions

Three students were recognized for having standout auditions in the whole commonwealth!

Olivia Schmitz – Principal Contra Clarinet in the Concert Band

Ray Wang, Principal Viola in the Orchestra

Ying-yin Chen – Principal Flute in the Symphonic Band


Festival Disney

Orchestra – Both ensembles received Superior ratings with String ensemble receiving the Bronze Orchestra Award and Chamber Orchestra receiving the “Best in Class” and Gold Orchestra Awards!


Chorus – Treble Basso Choir received an Excellent rating, Chamber Choir and Oakton Singers received Superior ratings.



VA DECA State Leadership Conference

We had 100 students compete at the VA DECA State Leadership Conference in VA Beach.  Two Oakton students ran and were elected to the VA State DECA Officer team, Shritha Mandava was elected President, and Ally Silas was elected Executive Vice President.


We had 51 students qualify for Internationals which will take place at the end of April in Orlando, Florida.   Congratulations to all!


Jimmy Bach, Akshath Burra, Kalli Cannistraro, Ashlyn Casey, Anna Chen, Kirsten Clements, Arnaud Dahourou, Kaitlyn DeHarde, Viraaj Dhawan, Jane Gustafson, Zarif Hasan, Simran Havaldar, Chris Hillen, Chas Huang, Hayley Jones, Cody Kennedy, Sarah Kenny, Tyler Kimble, Abigail Kraden, Jena Lahham, Zina Lahham, Ishika Lal, Erin Lee, Louis Mancusi, Shritha Mandava, Maya Marathe, Zach Marshall, Lauren McMichael, Charlie Minichiello, Kevin Nguyen, Ryan Odell, Alex Penny, Andrew Pierce, Keelin Reilly, Kiara Riley, Matthew Sabatella, Julia Sample, Evan Schmader, Brett Schmader, Spencer Schwartz, Allison Silas, Alexis Singer, Lizzie Sleight, Meghan Sweeney, Emma Szczesniak, Maggie Tong, Alessia Ucci, Nikita Wagle, Kevina Wang, Zach Weber, Jonathan Wu


November 2018


1st Quarter Honor Roll:

Congratulations to all our 1st quarter students who made the All Honor Roll!  We are proud to say that a total of 1,032 students finished the first quarter with grades of all A’s and B’s.  We had an additional 290 number of students finish the first quarter with all A’s. Their names are proudly hanging in our entryway near Door 4.


Miss India DC 2018

Congratulations to Anagha Sreenivas for being crowned Miss India DC 2018 in September!  Anagha is a senior at Oakton. With this honor she will now represent Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia in Nationals in December.


Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2019 Students of the Year

Congratulations to Hannah McNeal for being accepted as a candidate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2019 Students of the Year campaign.  Hannah is a senior at Oakton and was nominated for her leadership, involvement in the community and her passion to find a cure for blood cancers.  Hannah will work to raise funds and awareness for the fight against blood cancers.


National Merit Semi-Finalists

Eleven of our students were named as National Merit Semi-Finalists: Hongze Chen, Emily Fang, Jonathan Guo, Sayrin Kang, Andrew Li, Justin Li, Megan Liu, Carolyn Qu, David Siamon, Alex Wang, and Catherine Xiang!  These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.  We have a lovely display case with their pictures in the main hallway nearest to Door 3 to highlight their achievement.


National Honor Society

On November 19, we inducted 244 new members to our National Honor Society.  Students were accepted based on their commitment to scholarship, leadership, character, and service. Congratulations to all of our newest members!


Underclassmen Awards

On Monday November 19 during Cougar Time we honored over 750 underclassmen students who earned a 4.0 GPA or higher for the 2017-2018 school year.  We are so proud of their hard work and dedication in the classroom and look forward to their continued academic success.