academics

Genevieve Hoffman graduated summa cum laude and was named valedictorian of the class of 2012 at USC. She completed the Thematic Options honors program, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year and published a scholarly journal article on military commissions in the winter 2011 issue of Washington Undergraduate Law Review. Hoffman will start law school at the University of Virginia. She is a 2008 graduate of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton.

Bentley University, of Waltham, Mass., has named Rachel Wang, of Pleasanton to the President's List for the fall semester. Students must have a GPA of 3.7 or higher with no course grade below 3.0 during the term.

accomplishments

Kyle Joseph Durand, Blake Evans Weltz, Gregory Paul Landon and Carl A. Bergsten, all of Boy Scout Troop 36 under the leadership of Scoutmaster Tom Dittrich, received their Eagle Scout awards May 12 at their Court of Honor event at Danville Veterans Hall. For his Eagle Scout project, Durand created a secure covered storage area for bicycles at Shepherd's Gate Women's Shelter. The project, a roof over an existing structure, included sketching a design, shopping for materials, setting up a work schedule and building the roof. It took 291 hours. Kyle is the son of Lisa and Christopher Durand and is a senior at Monte Vista High School in Danville.


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For his community service project, Weltz, of Danville, the son of Diane and Curtis Weltz, established an emergency container at Monte Vista High School in Danville.

Landon built a cobblestone pathway at San Damiano Retreat for his project with a team of 15 other scouts. His project entailed creating a design, securing heavy equipment, digging an 85-foot-long trench, grading the slope and laying pavers, it took 200 hours. He is the son of Christine and Geoff Landon of Danville and a senior at Valley Christian High School in Dublin.

Bergsten gathered information and database design for the All Wars Memorial in Danville for his project. He is the son of Mary Beth and Jim Bergsten and is a junior at Monte Vista High School in Danville.

Christina Mitine, of Girl Scout Troop 30986, received her Gold Award at her Honor and Commend event May 5 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. For her project, Mitine brought teenagers and senior citizens together at Pleasanton's Parkview Assisted Living Home by designing personal scrapbook pages depicting most treasured moments of participating seniors. This was a weeklong event with a Winter Senior Ball as the culminating point. Christina is the daughter of Irina and Oleg Mitine and a sophomore at Foothill High School in Pleasanton.

Danville's Boy Scout Troop 815, of Charlotte Wood Middle School, volunteered to paint the exterior railings, chains and posts at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley. The scouts, under the supervision of Matt Mariolle, a local firefighter volunteering for the facilities committee of the museum, divided the boys into teams to prepare the surfaces and protect the surrounding decks before painting the rails and posts. Scoutmaster Don DeSmidt, assisted by scout leaders Dave Van Sickle and Dean Rippee, provided hands-on supervision that resulted in an outstanding result. The donation of about 85 hours of community service was of immense value to the museum. Scout volunteers were Chase Perrien, Jacob Davis, Tanner Kelly, Mitchell Rogers, Lunke Elissery, Maxwell Henry Shmitege, Dominic Rippee, Nick Leusing, Danny Shipley, Christian Phillips, Tyler Sasake, Riley Brown, Vinny Manglinalani, Erik Rathkamp, Trenton Fong, Tony Valentine, Max Matey and Om Kumar.

The Center for Excellence in Education is pleased to announce that Bryce Hwang, of Foothill High School in Pleasanton, is among the 20 finalists to have been selected to attend the 10th Annual USA Biology Olympiad National Finals at Purdue University. The finalists were selected based on their high scores from the Olympiad Open and Semifinal Exams. The top four medalists will participate in the International Biology Olympiad in Singapore. At the conclusion of the two weeks, the students take two exams, a practical and a theoretical. The four highest-scoring students are named "Team USA 2012" and will represent America at the international event.

Valley Stars is written by Louise Hartman. Contact her at 925-847-2111, by email at vtletters@bayareanewsgroup.com or send a fax to 925-847-2189.