Celebrating Student Achievements

1. Clean Hands

St. Marks student Abhi Jain set out to make a healthier hands sanitizer after he became worried about the ingredients in the hand-sanitizing stations he saw around town.

Biology teacher Dr. Bonnie Flint, along with the larger science department at St. Mark’s helped mentor and guide Jain through the project. He also worked with chemists and microbiologists.

The end result was a natural hand sanitizer without alcohol that Jain says smells good and keeps the skin moisturized. He presented his scientific data at the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair held in February.

He launched online fundraising to raise awareness of the potential harmful side effects of many hand sanitizers, and for continued testing and distribution of his own hand sanitizer.

2. Quiz Bowl

Kate Ponnambalam

Kate Ponnambalam of Greenhill School finished first in the middle school division of the National Quiz Bowl’s Buzzword Food and Drink Special. This isn’t the first accolade for Ponnambalam, though–in fifth grade, she captained her elementary level team all the way to the Texas state championship.

3. St. Marks Seniors

They were one of the last schools to hold commencement exercises, but on July 31, St. Marks School of Texas feted its departing seniors. 

Valedictorian Nicholas Tsao and senior class president Colin Campbell

Valedictorian Nicholas Tsao and senior class president Colin Campbell had the opportunity to address classmates before they received their diplomas, and Eugene McDermott Headmaster David W. Dini singled several seniors out for special distinctions, including Campbell, who won the Headmaster’s Cup, and Will Mallick, who won 2020 J. B. H. Henderson Citizenship Cup.

The School Flag, which is usually awarded by the faculty to a senior showing loyalty, dedication, and distinguished service to the school, was given to the entire senior class this year. 

“As a Class, you’ve grown together, worked through difficulty, and celebrated success,” Dini told the graduates. “You’ve given your all to sustain the values and ideals that have made St. Mark’s special for generations.”  

4. Summer Internship

Ursuline rising seniors Alecia Paul and Maci Mitchell spent the summer interning with cardiologist Dale Yoo at Heart Rhythm Specialists, where they learned about the “happy side of medicine as well as the ugly side.”

The two spent the summer gaining exposure to care of cardiac patients. This observational experience lets students shadow a cardiologist while gaining inspiration for a future career in medicine.

5. Debate

The Greenhill School’s World Schools Debate Team (along with rising senior Joshua Timmons)

The Greenhill School’s World Schools Debate Team (along with rising senior Joshua Timmons) were all crowned national champions at the National Speech & Debate Association’s National Tournament in June. 

The team — which consisted of rising juniors Caroline Greenstone, Jothi Gupta, Cameron Kettles, Ashley Shan, and Aimee Stachowiak – captured an 8-3 victory in the final round to claim the national title.

Timmons won the NDSA National Championship in Poetry Interpretation, outlasting five other students in the final round.

The National Speech & Debate Association’s National Tournament is the largest academic competition in the world. This year, the entire national tournament was held online.


For nearly 40 years, People Newspapers has worked tirelessly to tell the stories—good, bad, and sublime—of our neighbors in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. To support our efforts, please contact [email protected] for advertising opportunities. Please also consider sharing this story with your friends and social media followers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *