McLean, Va. (May 1, 2012) - Oakcrest School proudly announces the selection of two Valedictorians for the Class of 2012, Alexandra Joy Gadiano and Mary Alice Zischkau. The graduation ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, in Oakcrest’s G. Lloyd Bunting, Sr. Theatre.
Alexandra Joy Gadiano of Reston will attend Colgate University in the fall on a Division I NCAA Softball Athletic Scholarship, where she will also study Chemistry and Spanish. She is an AP Scholar with Honor Award Winner and the current Student Body President. Gadiano has received many academic distinctions, including: National Spanish Honor Society, National Spanish Exam Silver Medalist (2009, 2010) and Honorable Mention (2011), National Junior Honor Society (President 2008-2009), National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society (Vice President 2011-2012), and the 2008 Oakcrest Veritas Award recipient. She has played Varsity Softball (Starter) for seven years, was named the 2011 PVAC Player of the Year, 2011 Oakcrest Athlete of the Year, PVAC First Team All Conference since 2009, Varsity Letter Recipient (Starting Middle Infielder), MVP Award and a member of the 2009 and 2011 PVAC Tournament Champions teams. She also plays for the Shamrocks Travel Softball team and is an Oakcrest Varsity Swimmer. In 2010 she was awarded a federal grant through the NIH to work for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) program and spent the following two summers at Georgetown University Drug Discovery Lab as a research assistant intern synthesizing chemical analogues for the treatment of nicotine addiction.
District of Columbia resident Mary Alice Zischkau is an AP Scholar with Distinction, President of Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society and Member of the National Junior Classical League and the National Honor Society. She has participated in regional Math Counts and Virginia Math League competitions. Zischkau won five Summa Cum Laude Gold Medals on the National Latin Exam (NLE), putting her within the top 0.1% of all NLE students. Zischkau plays Varsity Soccer (Starter) and Varsity Track (2011 Coach’s Award winner) for Oakcrest School and swims during the summer for the Arlington Knights of Columbus. Last summer, she was an intern at Catholic University of America’s Vitreous State Lab. Zischkau also volunteers as a Sunday school teacher assistant for her parish, Our Lady of Lebanon Catholic Church. She will attend the University of Dallas in the fall.
The 2012 graduation speaker will be Jane A. Driver, MD, MPH. Driver is a research physician at the Boston, Mass. V.A. Medical Center, a member of the Division of Aging, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Trained as a geriatrician and an oncologist, her research focuses on the epidemiology, prediction and prevention of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. She is currently funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate the relationship between cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, working on a new diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s, as well as helping to build a geriatric oncology program at the Dana Farber Cancer Center which will offer specialized care for elderly cancer patients.
The members of the Class of 2012 are: Theresa Babendreier, Kathryn Bell, Natalia Chamandy, Danielle Dar Juan, Elizabeth Darcey, Alexandra DeSanctis, Eileen Dolan, Desiree Francisco, Alexandra Gadiano, Elena Guirguis, Amanda Hernandez, Paula Kaufmann, Mary Teresa Kuzma, Carolyn Lucas, Carolina Lulli, Angelina Maimone, Jean Maloney, Madeline Manaker, Ellen McGovern, Angélica-María Meléndez-Muñoz, Elizabeth Navin, Kathleen O’Donnell, Jamie Rule, Daphne Tsamouras, Fatima Tundo, Elizabeth Wahle, Victoria Zehnder, and Mary Zischkau.
Oakcrest School is an independent school for girls grades 6-12 guided by the teachings of the Catholic Church.