PCA Announces Top Seniors for 2018

Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover is proud to announce the Class of 2018’s top students, whose consistent hard work and focus on excellence helped them achieve highest honors status throughout their high school careers. 

Julia Mayes, Valedictorian, is the daughter of David and Jennifer Mayes of Hampton Falls. Julia will be attending Fordham University at Rose Hill in the fall and will pursue a degree in chemistry. Julia was also accepted at Brandeis University, Northeastern University, Wheaton College, Massachusetts, and the University of Rhode Island.

Julia achieved highest honors status every year while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy. She received the highest GPA in her class in her freshman, sophomore, and junior years. She was also awarded second place in the 2018 Science Fair, Junior/Senior Life Science Division.

Julia served as class secretary all four years, helping to organize fundraisers and promote class unity. Julia served as a member of the Missions Club, and traveled to New York City, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Puebla, Mexico for mission trips.

She was a founder, member, and leader of the social justice club. Julia was also involved in the math team, science club, and film club while attending PCA. Julia played field hockey with the Seacoast United Field Hockey Club during her freshman and sophomore years. She also played tennis on PCA’s fall tennis club for two years and was a member of the ski club for one year.

Julia has received the Fordham Loyola Scholarship and looks forward to exploring New York City during her time at Fordham University.

Kendra Leavitt, Salutatorian, is the daughter of Keith Leavitt, Dover and Kelly Lorman, Elkton, MD. Kendra will be attending the University of Valley Forge in the fall and will pursue a degree in sports management. Kendra was also accepted at Liberty University. She is the recipient of TURBOCAM International’s Cross Culture Scholarship. Kendra has received multiple Teacher’s Choice awards and earned Highest GPA awards for numerous courses.

Kendra has maintained highest honors status every term while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. She is a small group leader at PCA, mentoring a group of young ladies. She was also a member of the school’s prom committee.

She played on the JV volleyball team during freshman year and the varsity volleyball team the following three years. During her senior season, she served as captain and also received the MVP award for her contribution to the team. She was also a member of the varsity basketball team all through high school, serving as captain during her sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. She received the Mighty in Spirit award in both her sophomore and senior years. During the spring of both freshman and sophomore years, she continued playing basketball for Thunder, an AAU team from Barrington.

Kendra attends Connect Community Church in Portsmouth, NH, where she actively serves her congregation as a member of the youth group worship team, Sunday service worship team, and Connect Kids leader team. Her love of sports prompted her to lead a basketball clinic for young children at the Portsmouth Recreation Center. She has a heart for serving others and volunteered for over 300 hours in high school. Kendra works part-time at Dover Delite Ice Cream in Dover.

Juhi Munmun Gupta is the daughter of Shailendra Kumar and Aruna Shah of Dover, NH. Juhi will be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the fall to be a part of their engineering and scientific research program, and will pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. Juhi was also accepted at George Washington University, Temple University Honors Program, University of Massachusetts-Amherst Honors Program, and the University of New Hampshire’s Honors and Hamel Scholars Program.

Juhi earned highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. She served as class treasurer all four years of high school. Juhi was also the president and founder of Science Club, which aims to encourage students to pursue a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Additionally, she was a member of the math team, quiz bowl team, robotics team, and symphony orchestra. In athletics, Juhi was an avid member of the volleyball team throughout high school.

Juhi has received the AT&T oxyGEN Scholarship, TURBOCAM International Cross-Culture Scholarship, and the National Merit Scholarship through Liberty Mutual Insurance, as well as two Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute merit scholarships. She is a Rensselaer Medalist, National Merit Commended Student, and a member of the National High School Scholars Society.

Outside of school, Juhi volunteered at Frisbie Memorial Hospital, youth volleyball camps, and is currently working to raise funds as a student representative of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She also played with Great Bay Club on both open and travel volleyball teams, which have won several medals. Juhi was accepted into the University of New Hampshire’s Project SMART program, where she studied biotechnology and nanotechnology, as well as the potential for cancerous cell reversion. She also worked on a research project in the University of New Hampshire’s chemical engineering department, where she studied human cell interactions with biomaterials. She aspires to develop effective artificial organs and raise funds so that these treatments can be affordable for those affected.

Sarah Kaczynski lives in Rochester, New Hampshire with her parents, Thomas and Deborah Kaczynski. She has attended Portsmouth Christian Academy since preschool and achieved highest honors status all four years of high school. She will be attending Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT), Boston, this fall. She plans to major in computer science.

Sarah was also accepted to Stetson University, Hofstra University, Quinnipiac University, Virginia Tech, the University of Washington, the University of Connecticut, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of Massachusetts – Boston. She received merit scholarships from most of the schools to which she was accepted, including Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Sarah has been a three-season athlete for all four years of high school, participating in varsity cross country, varsity indoor track and field, and varsity outdoor track and field. She has served as a team leader on all three teams.

Sarah also danced competitively at Studio 109 through her junior year and participated in numerous other extra-curricular activities. She played cello in the symphony orchestra, competed with the math and quiz bowl teams, and was part of multiple Bible studies.

She served her school as a student council member for all four years of high school and as a member of the SITT (Students in Information Technology) team, repairing school computers and installing software. She also enjoyed serving her community through teaching STEM to kindergartners as well as teaching Sunday School at her church. In her free time, she enjoys programming, sewing, baking, cooking, painting, drawing, and music.

Xiang Li (Lily) is the daughter of Mei Zhao and Hongzhong Li, Chongqing, China. She lived with the Cook family in Rochester while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy. Lily will attend Georgia Tech, where she will pursue a degree in mathematics. She was also accepted to the University of Washington, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of the South, and Fordham University. She received the Fordham Loyola Scholarship and the University of the South International Honors Scholarship.

Lily has maintained highest honors status during her time at Portsmouth Christian Academy. While at PCA, she was a member of the tennis club for two years and the math team for one year.

Lily attended EF Academy in New York for her freshman and sophomore years, where she earned one of the highest GPAs in her class. She was a member of student council and the mountain biking club for her sophomore year and a tutor at After School Chemistry Tutoring in her sophomore year.

While at EF Academy, she co-wrote and performed a theater production called ‘State the Change’ which won an Honorable Mention Award at a New York high school theater festival. She was also a care volunteer at a Miami seabird care center during her sophomore year. She has worked as a babysitter and, during her junior year, as an assistant at The Tree Man Education Foundation.

Lily plans to attend summer school at Georgia Tech following high school graduation.

Yueyang Xing (Harly) is the son of Kaihui Xing and Hong Zheng, Shijiazhuang, China. Harly lived with Mike and Debbie DeBeck of Dover while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy. He will be attending the University of Washington in Seattle in the fall, and will pursue a degree in computer science engineering. He was also accepted by the University of Illinois at Champaign.

Harly has earned highest honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover where he received the Teacher’s Choice award in Biology. He attended Shijiazhuang Foreign Language School where he achieved highest honors in grades seven through nine before coming to the United States for further study. While there, he participated on the school’s soccer team.

He spent the summer of his junior year interning at a bank and also at a software company, both in Shijiazhuang.

While at Portsmouth Christian Academy, Harly participated on the varsity soccer and tennis teams for two years, and the JV baseball team for one year. He is an accomplished guitarist who has studied acoustic guitar and fingerpicking for six years and enjoys playing classical, jazz and music from anime shows. He performed with his guitar class at a Dover nursing home and has been a featured solo performer at school concerts and coffeehouses.