Portsmouth Christian Academy Announces Class of 2017 Top Seniors

Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover is proud to announce the Class of 2017’s top students, whose consistent hard work and focus on excellence helped them achieve High or Highest Honors every marking period during their time at Portsmouth Christian Academy’s Upper School.

Highest Honors

Rebecca Hotz, Valedictorian, is the daughter of Dr. Matthew and Daniele Hotz of Lee.  Rebecca will be attending Sunderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College, where she was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Scholarship this fall, and will pursue a dual degree in bassoon performance and history. Rebecca was also accepted at the University of New Hampshire and Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Rebecca has maintained Highest Honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover.  She was awarded the Portsmouth ProMusica Scholarship, as well as awards in French, history, and symphony classes. Rebecca has served as manager of PCA’s Quiz Club and a member of its award-winning ‘A’ team, manager of PCA’s symphony orchestra, and captain of the girls’ varsity cross country team.  Additionally, Rebecca is a co-leader of Helping and Healing Through Music Club and a member of Prom Committee.

Musically, Rebecca has performed with the PCA Symphony and the Seacoast Wind Ensemble (winning the Paul M. Erwin Music Scholarship) and the New England Conservatory Festival Youth Orchestra. In addition, Rebecca has performed with the All-State Music Festival for three years and the All-State Chamber Music Festival for two years. She will also be performing with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra in June.

Rebecca and her family attend Rye Congregational Church. She works part-time as a cashier at Hannaford’s in Durham, volunteers in the school library, and babysits.  Her passions and hobbies include music, studying history, reading, and knitting. She hopes to become a professional symphony musician as well as to find the missing manuscripts of famous composers.

William J. Scire, Salutatorian, is the son of William E. and Penny Scire of Dover. William will be attending Berklee College of Music in Boston in the fall, pursuing a career in music composition, specifically film, television, and video game scoring. Will was also accepted to Northeastern University, Boston College, Vassar College, and the University of New Hampshire.

Will has maintained Highest Honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. While at PCA, Will participated in Math Team, Quiz Club, Hayao Miyazaki Club, Helping and Healing Through Music Club, and Jazz Club. In addition, Will served as head of the second violins in Portsmouth Christian Academy’s symphony orchestra and performed as a second violinist in the pit orchestra for the PCA Players’ spring musical “The Pirates of Penzance.” Will was also a member of the varsity tennis team, Tennis Club, and Ski and Snowboard Club during his time in high school.

Will also composed an instrumental album during the summer of 2016 titled Frameless Minds. The album consisted of 12 pieces which he self-produced and released on his personal website and YouTube Channel under the name of Stephen Noir. Will is currently working on two additional albums and hopes to release more music in the coming months.

During his summer vacations, Will has worked at the Kennebunk Beach Improvement Association, a day camp for children.

Ben Abraham is the son of Philip and Jill Abraham of Waterboro, Maine. Ben will pursue a degree in Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and received the university’s Chancellor’s Scholarship.  He was also accepted at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of New Hampshire, SUNY Binghamton, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts – Lowell and the University of Maine.

Ben has maintained Highest Honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. Ben served as president of the junior class and continues to assist with school festivals and events. Ben is also captain of Quiz Club’s “B” team, as well as “A” team alternate and member of the Granite State Challenge team. During spring break of his sophomore year, Ben travelled with PCA’s mission team to New York City, evangelizing to and serving those in need.

Ben was involved in Portsmouth Christian Academy’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” playing the role of Gad, one of Joseph’s brothers. He also participated on PCA’s varsity track team for six years, and considers discus to be his favorite event. During the summers, Ben enjoys volunteering at his local hospital. This summer, he also plans to work part-time at Hannaford’s.

Amanda Bartley is the daughter of Marcel and Deborah Bartley of Eliot, Maine.  Amanda will be attending Iona College in the fall and will pursue a degree in psychology.  Amanda was also accepted at Baldwin Wallace University, Concordia College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Lasell College, Lesley University, Regis College, Roger Williams University, Suffolk University, and the University of Hartford.

Amanda achieved Highest Honors throughout her high school career at Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover.  She was actively involved in volunteer work with the younger students and worked at Portsmouth Christian Academy’s after-school program for three years.  Amanda also works as a camp counselor at the school’s summer camp.

Amanda has received Iona College’s full-tuition Presidential Scholarship from the college’s Honors Program. She is a part of the National Society of High School Scholars, an organization which recognizes academic excellence in high-achieving students.

In her free time, Amanda volunteers at various retirement centers in the area and enjoys interacting with their residents.  She frequently babysits for members of the community, as her passion is working with children.

Danielle Brackett is the daughter of Troy and Jessica Brackett of Somersworth. Danielle will be a University Scholar in the Honors College of Baylor University in the fall, where she will concentrate in neuroscience with a pre-medical focus. Danielle was also accepted at Brandeis University, Boston College, and Wellesley College, as well as Emmanuel College, Simmons College, Stonehill College and the University of New Hampshire Honors Programs.

Danielle has achieved Highest Honors each term of her high school career while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. This year marks her 16th year at PCA. She is a National Merit Scholar Finalist and recipient of the full-tuition academic Baylor Regent’s Gold Scholarship, an additional National Merit Baylor University Scholarship, and TURBOCAM’s Cross Culture Scholarship.

Danielle has served as captain of the winter and spring varsity track and field teams during her junior and senior years, receiving the 2017 NHIAA & NHADA Scholar Athlete award. She was founder and president of Helping and Healing Through Music Club,  editor-in-chief of the PCA yearbook,  and leader of Prom Committee for two years. Danielle also played viola in the school’s symphony orchestra and select string quartet for three years, is a four-year member of Wednesday Girls, and serves as a small group leader.

Danielle served as Cadet Commander of the Seacoast Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol, receiving the 2016 Cadet of the Year award. She reached the rank of captain while receiving the Amelia Earhart, Billy Mitchell, and Wright Brothers’ awards. She was recognized as the Honor Officer of the 2016 NH/VT Summer Academy. Danielle also participated in a cross-cultural leadership exchange to the United Kingdom and has soloed in a Cessna 172 aircraft.

As a research trainee at Brigham and Women’s Hospital during the summers, she is a contributing author on a melanoma study pending publication in the academic journal Cell.

Danielle is Director of Sacred Music at her church, St. John’s Anglican Catholic Church in Somersworth. She also has worked at Watson Fields Assisted Living Facility in Dover since the age of 14 and has volunteered over 800 hours in community service while in high school.

Marielle Carpentier is the daughter of John and Dominique Carpentier of Dover. She will be attending Marywood University and will pursue a degree in art therapy. Marielle was also accepted to Hofstra University, Seton Hill University, University of New Hampshire, and Lesley University.

Marielle achieved Highest Honors status throughout her high school career and received the National Merit Liberty Mutual Scholarship.

During her four years at PCA, Marielle also worked as a member of the tech crew for seven PCA theatre productions.  She also performed in PCA’s production of “The Sound of Music.” Marielle joined the winter and spring track and field teams later in her high school career, where she enjoyed competing in the 300-meter and high jump events, and received a varsity letter. She was also a member of the school’s choral group as well as several clubs, including Helping and Healing Through Music Club and Science Club. Outside school hours, she enjoys learning about and creating art.

Katherine Engalichev (Katya) is the daughter of Constantine and Judith Engalichev of Madbury.  Katya has maintained Highest Honors status throughout her four years at PCA. She previously attended elementary and middle school in the Oyster River school district and lives in Madbury with her parents, two younger sisters, and various pets. Katya’s lifelong passion for working with horses allowed her to be a six-year, founding member of the Oyster River Equestrian Team, on which she served two years as captain. She is also involved in the New Hampshire High School Equestrian Teams State Board of Directors, has volunteered with the UNH Therapeutic Riding Program since 2013, and earned money during high school by teaching riding lessons.

Katya also works as a French tutor, reading tutor, animal caretaker, and more. Her entrepreneurial streak has allowed her to finance her beloved horse, Billy, who will be joining her at college this fall. In addition, Katya has played varsity soccer, basketball, and sung in the St. Xenia Russian Orthodox Church choir while in high school. She is highly involved in PCA’s Missions Club, serving abroad in Guatemala during her junior year and in Chattanooga, Tennessee, during her senior year. Katya has also co-led a girl’s small group at PCA since her sophomore year.

Katya’s passion for writing has resulted in numerous accolades from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards each year, as well as a place in the 2016 Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop at Kenyon College in Ohio.

Katya was accepted to Elon University with a Presidential Scholarship, the University of Rhode Island with a merit scholarship, Christopher Newport University, University of Vermont (receiving their Presidential Scholarship), Gettysburg College as a Lincoln Scholar, and the College of Charleston Honors Program with a merit scholarship, but has ultimately decided to attend the Winthrop University Honors Program, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, as a Winthrop Gold Scholar. She was also awarded TURBOCAM’s Cross Culture Scholarship. Katya intends to pursue a major in pre-medical psychology with hopes of later attending medical school and becoming a psychiatrist.

Matthew Esters is the son of Michael and Kimberly Esters of Brentwood.  In the fall, Matthew will be attending Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts as a member of the Gordon Global Honors Program and will pursue a major in business administration.  Matthew was also accepted to Bentley University, Babson College, Bryant University, Rivier University, Messiah College, Grove City College, and University of New Hampshire.

Matthew has maintained Highest Honors status throughout all four years of high school at Portsmouth Christian Academy.  He has been an active participant in Quiz Club, Debate Club, and Bible study for multiple years.  During his junior and senior year, Matthew served as a small group leader.  Matthew was also a member of the newly formed Model UN Club, which participated in its first conference at Plymouth State University in April.

Matthew has received TURBOCAM’s Cross Culture Scholarship, the Gordon Leadership Scholarship, and the Gordon Founder’s Merit Scholarship.

Matthew regularly attends Bethany Church in Greenland, NH.  He has been a member of the varsity tennis team at PCA for four years and served as a team captain for the last two years.  He was awarded the Granite State Conference award as he helped lead the team to its first playoff berth in school history.  He has also volunteered as an assistant tennis instructor in PCA’s Tennis Club for the past two years.  During the fall and winter, Matthew worked as a flag football and basketball referee for the town of Exeter.

Hannah Gagnon is the daughter of Robert Jr. and Heidi Gagnon of Epping. Hannah will be attending Dean College as a member of the Honors Program in the fall, with a double major in musical theatre and communications. Hannah was also accepted at University of New Hampshire and Plymouth State University.

Hannah has achieved Highest Honors status for all four years of her high school career at Portsmouth Christian Academy. During her senior year, Hannah served as leader of the Upper School’s chapel team, and organized the “Night at the Academy” dinner theatre, one of the senior class fundraisers. She participated in the PCA Players’ fall and spring productions throughout her time in high school. She also participated for five years in the Upper School’s chorus, Honors Voices. Hannah was also a member of PCA’s winter track team during her sophomore year and spring track team in her junior year.

Hannah attends church at Bethany Church’s Raymond campus, where she volunteers in the nursery, as well as serving as a vocalist on the worship team. She was a cast member in the Northeast Thespian Festival’s Northeast Musical at UNH in 2016 and 2017.  Hannah works part time in the summer at The Isles of Shoals Steamship Company in Portsmouth. She loves to spend time with her family, especially her two-year-old sister Analese.

David Harju is the son of John and Ichiko Harju of Nottingham.  David will be attending Grove City College in the fall and will pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.  David was also accepted at Cedarville University.

David has maintained Highest Honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover.  David was a member of PCA’s two-time regional champion Quiz Bowl team, as well as the school’s Granite State Challenge and Math teams.  He ran for the school’s cross-country and winter track teams and participated in PCA’s symphony orchestra and drama productions.

David attends Tri-City Covenant Church in Somersworth, where he is active in music ministry.  He has performed the role of Toby in the Rochester Opera House production of Sweeney Todd.  David works part time at the Market Basket in Lee.  He is an accomplished chess player, winning the 2014 Danny Kopec NH Tornado Tournament (Novice Section).

Gunwoo (Gunnar) Lee is the son of Bongkil Lee and Hyunja Ko of Busan, Korea. Gunwoo lived with Dan and Kathy Rocconi of Brentwood while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. He will be attending Lehigh University in Pennsylvania in the fall. Gunwoo was also accepted at Binghamton University and Drexel University.

Gunwoo has maintained Highest Honors status while attending PCA and received the Highest GPA awards in Pre-calculus, AP Calculus, World History, French 1, French 2, and Introduction to Christianity.

While at Portsmouth Christian Academy he was a member of Math Team for three and a half years and participated in the 44th and 45th Annual New Hampshire High School Mathematics Contest, where the team placed second and third place, respectively. Gunwoo was also a member of the spring track team in his freshman year and joined the varsity tennis team in his sophomore year, playing for the team for three years.

Riley Andrew Sipp is the son of John and Diane Sipp of Somersworth.  Riley will be attending Assumption College in the fall, where he was awarded their Presidential Scholarship. He will double major in environmental science and political science as a member of the Honors Program. Riley was also accepted to Fairfield University, Fordham University, the University of NH, Hofstra University, and St. John’s University.

Riley has maintained Highest Honors status every term while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover.  Riley served as treasurer of the sophomore and senior class, and in freshman year won first place in the physical science category at the PCA Science Fair. He is president of PCA’s Social Justice Club and captain of the school’s Quiz Bowl and Granite State Challenge teams.   Riley is a small group leader at PCA and a member of the mission team which worked at a children’s home and a non-profit in Tennessee this  April.

Riley has received the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship as well as TURBOCAM’s Cross Culture Scholarship. He was also nominated to Boy’s State  his junior year and attended the Summer Honors Institute at Long Island University last summer for a program in diplomatic solutions and international relations.

Riley was a member of PCA’s Ski Club all through high school. He was also a member of the varsity winter and spring track teams during his sophomore, junior and senior years, where he earned the “Mighty in Spirit” award and is the assistant captain for the varsity track team this spring. Riley works part time at Regal Cinemas in Newington and in his spare time, he is a film buff and enjoys learning all he can about history and geography.

David Song is the son of Myungkeun Song and Jihye Park, Seoul, Korea. David lived with Donald and Pamela Martin of Rochester while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. David will be attending the University of Washington in Seattle in the fall and will pursue a degree in computer science. David was also accepted at the University of California – San Diego, Purdue University, and New York University.

David has maintained Highest Honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover and received Teacher’s Choice awards in Chemistry and Literature.

David attended Guhyun High School in Seoul, Korea for his freshman year, where he achieved High Honors. While there, he participated on the school’s table tennis and robotics teams. David spent the summers of his sophomore and junior year at a public service center teaching English.

While at Portsmouth Christian Academy, David was a member of Math Team for two years and joined the varsity cross country team as well as the track team. He also participated in the school’s symphony orchestra as first oboe.

Dengbo Yang (Beverly) is the daughter of Zhiguang Yang and Min Deng of Shanghai, China. Beverly lived with George and Nancy Monahan of Stratham while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy.

Beverly will be attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the fall and will pursue a degree in chemical engineering. Beverly was also accepted at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She was named a Rensselaer Medalist, and as such, received the Rensselaer Medal Scholarship.

Beverly has maintained Highest Honors status while attending Portsmouth Christian Academy at Dover. She was the treasurer for her class in her junior year. She was an active member in Flute Choir, Math Team, Quiz Club, and Science Club. Beverly ran for PCA’s cross country team during her senior year. She was also a crew member and member of the pit orchestra for multiple theatrical productions.

Beverly attended Shanghai No.4 Secondary School for her freshman year, where she served in student government.

Beverly participated in the New Hampshire Youth Band and volunteered her time during her summers, helping children from migrant families living under poverty line, as well as assisting at a local nursing home.

High Honors

Students who have received High Honors are (pictured above) Elizabeth Henry, Jack Longo, Zachariah Martin, Ashley Vining, Yilin (Ailene) Zhang, Yang (Will) Zhou, Keyo (Benjamin) Zhang.