Class of 2019 Top Seniors
June 4, 2019PCA News Stories
Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover is proud to announce the Class of 2019’s top students, whose consistent hard work and focus on excellence helped them achieve highest honors status throughout their years at PCA.
Qingyun Wu (Carol), valedictorian, is the daughter of Yuan Wu and Lan Huang of Shanghai, China. Carol lived with Jere and Brenda Vincent of Durham while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Carol will be attending Kenyon College in the fall and will pursue a degree in sociology. She was also accepted at Penn State University, Ohio State University, and Franklin and Marshall University.
Carol has maintained highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy and has received awards in Bible, literature, French, and history classes.
While at school, Carol was a member of the voices choral group for four years and the math team for three years. Furthermore, she was the manager of the girls’ volleyball team for two years. Her heart for serving others also drove her to be the home game scorer for both girls’ and boys’ JV and varsity basketball teams in her senior year.
Carol spent the summer of her freshman year volunteering at her local community back in Shanghai, where she helped organize activities for elders and children, and wrote reports concluding each event.
During the summer of her junior year, Carol attended summer school at Cornell University and received an A in International Human Rights in Theory and Practice. During the program, she was also involved in two research projects related to foreign affairs.
Outside of school, Carol volunteers at Youzimu Subtitle Group, translating from oral English into written Chinese. Every month, she is assigned translation of two five-minutes long videos and each draft is about 2500 words.
This summer, Carol plans to intern as a teaching assistant in a pre-school English class in Shanghai.
Amanda Esters, salutatorian, is the daughter of Michael and Kimberly Esters of Brentwood, NH. Amanda will be attending Gordon College in the fall as a deciding major in the A.J. Gordon Honors Program. Amanda was also accepted into the Liberty University Honors Program.
Amanda has maintained highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. She has participated in debate club and quiz bowl, and has served on student council. She has also competed on the track team and spent four years as a varsity starter on the soccer team, of which she served as captain for three years.
Amanda is a National Merit Commended Scholar and received the Turbocam Cross Culture Scholarship, Gordon College Founder’s Scholarship, and A. J. Gordon Scholarship.
Amanda attends Bethany Church in Greenland, with whom she has served on mission trips to New York, Rhode Island, and Texas. This summer will be her third year working as a counselor for a summer camp in Brentwood.
Gillian Brown is the daughter of Scott Brown and Stacey Delbridge of Hampton Falls. Gillian will be attending Miami University (Oxford) in the fall where she will be pursuing dual degrees in Mathematics and Mathematics Education. Gillian was also accepted at the University of New Hampshire, University of Vermont, Quinnipiac University, Purdue University, High Point University, and Marist College.
Gillian has maintained highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Gillian served as secretary of the class of 2019 for three years. Gillian was a member of the Upper School symphony since freshman year and most recently the first chair in the flute section. She was also part of the flute choir. Gillian has participated in the PCA Players’ Productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Surprise, and Mary Poppins. Gillian was also privileged to be the assistant choreographer of The Secret Garden and the choreographer of the Lower School’s production of Annie, Jr. She was also a small group leader during her senior year.
Gillian has been dancing for 15 years and has had the opportunity to perform with various professional and pre-professional companies. Gillian had the honor of being in Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker in 2011 and 2012. She also danced with American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancers, Misty Copeland and Gillian Murphy, in 2014 and 2015. Gillian had the opportunity to dance at the Upper School Christmas concert this past year when the orchestra performed the Nutcracker Suite. While attending Portsmouth Christian Academy, Gillian danced at Londonderry Dance Academy and Russian Ballet Academy.
Gillian spends her summers scooping ice cream at Lago’s Ice Cream in Rye, NH.
Maeve Joyce is the daughter of David and Erica Joyce of Stratham. She has maintained highest honors status every quarter while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Maeve has also received many highest GPA awards in her classes throughout her high school career.
Maeve participated in quiz bowl during her years at Portsmouth Christian Academy and was also on the Granite State Challenge team. Maeve also participated in math team during her senior year and played the violin in her school’s orchestra. During all four summers of high school, Maeve participated in the First Tee LPGA golf league.
Maeve will be attending the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire in the fall and will pursue a degree in hospitality management.
Maggie Joyce is the daughter of David and Erica Joyce of Stratham. She has maintained highest honors status every quarter while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Maggie has also received many highest GPA awards in her classes throughout her high school career.
Maggie participated in quiz bowl during her years at Portsmouth Christian Academy and was also on the Granite State Challenge team. Maggie also participated in math team during her senior year and played the violin in her school’s orchestra. Maggie played on the varsity softball team all four years of high school. During all four summers of high school, Maggie participated in the First Tee LPGA golf league.
Maggie will be pursuing a degree in history in the Honors Program at the University of New Hampshire where she received the Presidential Scholarship.
Delaney Kjendal is the daughter of David and Cheryl-Marie Kjendal of Durham, New Hampshire. Delaney will be attending University of New Hampshire in the fall and will pursue a degree in nursing. She was also accepted into the nursing programs at Northeastern University, Husson University, University of New England, and University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth.
Delaney has maintained highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy. She also received the TurboCam Cross Culture Scholarship.
Delaney has gone on four, week-long missions trips to Boston to serve the community with 516 Missions and has participated in many service projects with the Portsmouth Christian Academy track and cross country teams.
Delaney is an avid runner and participates in races all around the seacoast area. Delaney has been a runner on the varsity cross country, varsity indoor track, and varsity outdoor track teams, all four years of high school, earning several school records, MVP and mighty in spirit, and the Granite State Outdoor Track Player of the Year award. She also served as captain on those teams for many seasons.
Kathryn Komerska is the daughter of Richard and Carolyn Komerska of Newmarket. Kathryn will be attending Champlain College in the fall and will pursue a Bachelor of Science in game art and animation. Kathryn was also accepted at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Savannah College of Art and Design, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Southern New Hampshire University.
Kathryn has maintained highest honors every year while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Throughout her high school career, she was involved with quiz club, book club, and various Bible studies, as well as acting as a leader to a group of girls to support them. Kathryn spent the summers after her freshman and sophomore year interning at a software company, and she currently works part time as a sales associate at Michaels in Epping.
Outside of PCA, Kathryn has been an active member of her church, Regeneration Church in Exeter, NH, and regularly volunteers as a childcare giver in the nursery. She has attended a week-long missions trip to Boston every summer to accomplish various service projects. Additionally, Kathryn has been active in martial arts for the past twelve years and is a junior black belt, and is working towards the rank of adult black belt. She also enjoys running and regularly participates in local races.
Kathryn actively pursues artistic excellence, and won the grand prize for the school-wide art competition her senior year. She also received third place twice for the Dover Public Library poetry contest. She enjoys photography, drawing, painting, and digital art and looks forward to continuing to create in a college setting.
Emilee LaRose is the daughter of Michelle and Roland LaRose of Dover. Emilee will be attending the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami this fall and will pursue a degree in music therapy with a minor in psychology. She was also accepted to the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University, Florida State University, The John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University, and the University of New Hampshire.
Emilee has received highest honors while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. She served as class treasurer her freshman and sophomore year. Emilee has been captain of the varsity quiz bowl team for two years and captain of the Granite State Challenge team. Over the summer and weekends, Emilee worked part-time at Tucker’s in Dover. She also worked as a Counselor-in-Training at the Portsmouth Academy of Performing Arts overnight summer camp and received the Rising Counselor award.
Emilee received the President’s Music Scholarship at University of Miami for her exceptional musicianship, audition performance, and high grades. Other awards include the University of New Hampshire merit scholarship and Music Department scholarship, Mary Pappert School of Music tuition waiver and music enrichment scholarship, and a merit scholarship from Montclair State University.
Emilee has participated in theater all six of her years at PCA and has performed with other local theaters and teen programs. Some of her most recent credits include Footloose at the Rochester Opera House and Mary Poppins at PCA. She is a member of the PCA voices honors choir and was a member of the 2019 All-State Mixed Choir. She has worked to improve her musical skills through an independent study in music theory and vocal, piano, and guitar lessons. In her free time, Emilee enjoys practicing music, supporting local theater, and spending time with her friends.
Xijin Lin (Angel) is the daughter of Fuxing Lin and Honghua Liu of Shenzhen, China. She lived with Samuel and Patricia Olson of Stratham while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Angel will be attending Wheaton College in Illinois this fall and will pursue the pre-med track with undecided major. She was also accepted at the Rhodes College. Angel has received Presidential Scholarships from both Wheaton College and Rhodes College.
Angel has maintained highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover and received the highest GPA award in multiple challenging classes such as AP chemistry.
While at Portsmouth Christian Academy, Angel was a member of the (chapel) worship team for all four years and was the worship team leader for two years. She was also a small group leader for two years and head of science club this year. Angel served as the student council representative of her class for all four years.
Angel was a member of the math team for four years and participated in the NH State Math Meet for three years. She was also a member of the quiz bowl team for four years and the debate team for two years. She participated in both the varsity indoor track and field and spring track and field as a hurdler/sprinter, and currently holds three school records for relay races.
She also participated in the Northern New England Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). Angel played trombone in the school symphony for four years and received an A rating in the UNH Orchestra Solo and Ensemble for piano four hands.
Angel has spent every summer of her high school years serving as a worship team drummer in the Shenzhen Christian Youth Summer Camp. She also spent two summers as a translator for missionaries in China. Angel spent the summer of her junior year interning at a Cancer Immunotherapy Lab in Shenzhen.
Sarah Poole is the daughter of Peter and Katie Poole of Rochester, NH. Sarah will be attending Christopher Newport University in Newport News,Virginia. She will pursue a double major in English and theater, and participate in the Honors program and the President’s Leadership program. Sarah was also accepted to Fordham University, Hofstra University, Drew University, Ithaca College, Salem State University, and SUNY Purchase. She received merit scholarships from each of these institutions and has been named a Presidential Scholar by Christopher Newport University.
Sarah has attended Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover since sixth grade and has achieved highest honors throughout high school. She was a member of quiz club for four years, and was on the A team for two, and also enjoyed debate club, books and brownies, and social justice club. Sarah participated in the honors voices choral group throughout high school, and was accepted to NH All-State Classical Choir for four years, as well as NH All-State Jazz Choir one year. She studied dance at Sole City Dance studio for three years, where she also assisted as an administrative intern for two years.
Sarah has participated in theater all four years of high school, serving as a stage manager for five school shows, a director for one, and acting in three. She has also stage-managed and acted in the community, and assisted with costumes and set work for various shows both at school and elsewhere. Sarah has been employed as a babysitter and currently works at Golick’s Dairy Bar. In her free time, she enjoys reading, sewing, art, crafts, and music.
Huating Sun (Paul) is the son of Haibo Sun and Yishu Liu of Changchun, China. Paul will be attending University of Washington in the fall and will pursue a degree in statistics. Paul was also accepted by University of Maryland, University of California- Santa Barbara, University of California- Santa Cruz, University of California-San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Pennsylvania State University.
Paul has earned highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover where he received the Teacher’s Choice award in new testament. Paul served as a small group leader his senior year. Paul was in the orchestra where he played percussion and piano for four years. Paul is also an active member of the pit orchestra for four years where he played percussion as well as sound effect. Paul played piano for 14 years. He is an accomplished pianist who has competed at The 4th Hong Kong International Music Festival 2017 Music Competition and achieved an Excellent award in the adult group.
In addition, Paul was a member of the varsity basketball team for two years and varsity baseball team for a year. Paul received the Most Improved Player Award during his sophomore year. Paul was also a member of the math team for two years and went to several competitions with the school.
Paul volunteered for the Sunflower Kindergarten in Changchun, China where he cared for the children and taught them how to speak. He also enjoyed serving his community through teaching STEM to kindergartners. In his free time, he enjoys programming, playing sports, watching movies, and music.