Students at CASH win widespread acclaim

Achievements range from academic to leadership to sports

By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times

Flanked by her mother, Jessie Ng (left), and principal Robert J. Fisher, Cindy Ling accepts her commendation from the National Merit Scholarship program.

From first in the senior class to first on the golf course, high-achieving students at Coatesville Area Senior High School were celebrated this morning.

Senior Cindy Ling, ranked No. 1 in her class, was recognized for being one of 34,000 students  – out of 1.5 million nationwide – commended for her PSAT score by the National Merit Scholarship program.

Ling, president of the National Honor Society, is also secretary of her class and a member of the Interact Club and the field hockey, swimming and track teams. When she isn’t excelling at school, Ling volunteers at the Chester County Food Bank.

Henok W. Abraham accepts his award surrounded by his father Chekol (from left), 3-year-old sister Sinit, mother Aster, and Principal Robert J. Fisher.

Henok W. Abraham, president of Student Council, was honored for winning a 2013 National Achievement Scholarship Program Outstanding Participant Award. He was one of 3,100 black American high school students across the county who earned the distinction from a pool of more than 160,000 who entered the program.

Abraham, ranked fourth in his class, is a National Honor Society member and a varsity soccer player who participated in the mentoring program at Caln Elementary School. He also managed to find time to volunteer at Brandywine Hospital and assisted the Coatesville Youth Initiative in constructing a community garden.

Lake Greene accepted a plaque bearing her name from  Jason Britton, associate director of admissions at Widener University. She is the first Coatesville recipient of the High School Leadership Award, a joint venture between Widener and WCAU-TV/NBC 10.

“Sorry that you don’t get to take it with you,” said Kimberly Kiszely, a CASH guidance counselor. She explained that the plaque will be displayed at the school and other names may be added in the future.

Freshman Samantha “Sammie” Staudt has won praise – and golf tournaments.

Greene was one of 69 juniors in the region selected last year to receive the inaugural award, which will give her a $20,000 scholarship over four years if she decides to attend Widener. She was nominated by her principal, Robert J. Fisher, for  demonstrating “academic excellence and character traits” that identify her as a potential leader and future citizen of character.

Senior Lake Greene holds the leadership plaque she received from Widener University and accepts congratulations from Kimberly Kiszely, her guidance counselor.

Samantha Staudt was unable to attend  the recognition ceremony because she hadn’t yet returned from the PIAA Eastern Regional golf tournament in Fleetwood. Staudt was the Ches-Mont girls’ golf champion and advanced to the District 1 Golf Championships last week at Turtle Creek Golf Course in Montgomery County. She finished in the top eight, qualifying her for the Fleetwood competition.

“And here’s what’s even more amazing: She’s only a freshman,” said  Fisher.

Fisher and  Kiszely offered enthusiastic congratulations to the students and relatives who were able to attend. “We’re very proud of these kids,” Fisher said.

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