News Post

Spring 2017 Applause

Clubs, Teams and Individual Honors

DECA club members participated in the District 3 competition, where Justin Gainsley '18, Timo Hemphill '20 , Kyle Meredith '18 and Campbell Morrison '18 earned a trip to the state competition. At state Gainsley finished second and was a finalist for his marketing role play, earning him the opportunity to participate at internationals. Gainsley and Meredith earned state finalist ranking and placed fourth in the innovation plan category. Morrison was a state finalist and finished 12th for his marketing role play. DECA strengthens skills in marketing, finance, hospitality and management for high school and college students. Pictured L to R: Hemphill, Morrison, Gainsley, Meredith

The Science Olympiad team placed second at state in the small school division (enrollment under 800) and 14th out of the 33 teams overall. Blake's team, made up of 15 competitors participating as pairs in 23 events, did well in several events:

    Jessie Kang '18 and Cole Woerner '18, fifth in optics
    Allison Ahern '17 and Woerner, eighth in dynamic planet
    Kang, Sneha Sinha '18 and Sarah Weinshel '18, ninth in experimental design
    Mina Abukhadra '18 and Emmet Whitely '18, ninth in hovercraft
    Emma Owens '18 and Lauren Sabes '18, 10th in write it/do it

For the fourth year in a row, the team qualified for state competition by placing fourth in regional competition. Varsity team members earning medals at the regional meet include:

    Lola Chamberlain '19 and Will Maddrey '18, first in robot arm
    Sarabeth Brandt '17 and Maddrey, third in electric vehicle
    Ahern and Woerner, third in dynamic planet

Medalists for the junior varsity team include:

    Timo Hemphill '20 and William Pannell '18 in astronomy
    Saji Champlin '19 and Brandon Sun '19 in towers
    Sonal Sinha '19 and Izzy Wu '19 in write it/do it

A contingent of Blake's Model United Nations students traveled to Chicago for the MUN conference, where they represented China. Students Lane Lipschultz '19 and Zachary Marmet '19 received honorable mention for their work on the Human Rights Council.

Blake's math team captured the division title and secured a spot in the state tournament. The following students received individual honors for top scores in the division: Ravi Chepuri '18 (5), Daniel Jing '17 (2), Jessie Kang '18 (10), Jackson Wahl '17 (3) and Gemily Wang '20 (12).

Blake's chess team placed second at the Minnesota Scholastic Championship state chess tournament that took place this March at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. Read more here.

Joel Jude '18 won the national circuit Seymour Invitational and James Madison Memorial Big Questions debate tournaments. Big Questions is a new format of debate combining science and philosophy.

Performing Arts

Shreya Mohan '22 appeared in "Ritu: The Seasons," an original production of Bharatanatyam dance, at the Anne Simley Theater in St. Paul. The production was inspired by Kalidasa's 4th century Sanskrit work Ritu Samhara and Vivaldi's 18th century Italian work Le Quattro Stagioni.

Dennis Eum '22 was one of eight students selected for the MacPhail Center for Music Spring 1 Honors Recital, where he performed "Papillon, Op. 77" by Gabriel Faure.

Visual and Writing Arts

Senior Katerina Papanikolopoulos collaborated with Eric Byrd, curator of the American Indian Movement Interpretive Center, on an exhibit in the Upper School's Martha Bennett Gallery. The show features the work of Dick Bancroft, who has spent years photographing the American Indian Movement.

Blake students received recognition in the 2016-17 Minnesota Scholastic Art Awards at the Weisman Art Museum. Works invited for inclusion in the exhibit were awarded the Gold Key Award, Silver Key Award or Honorable Mention:

    • Gold Key – Katerina Papanikolopoulos '17
    • Silver Key – Christopher Gill '18, Paige Norgaarden '17 and Cindy Quinn '17
    • Honorable Mention – Kelly Brakken '17, Anika Mirza '18, Papanikolopoulos and Quinn

Gold Key recipients were automatically entered in the National Scholastic Art Awards competition, where Papanikolopoulos' ceramic piece "Lady of Cyprus" (pictured) was named a national silver medalist.

The Minnesota Scholastic Writing Awards were announced, and Blake Middle and Upper School students garnered 24 awards. Find the full list of recipients here. Ben Lee '19 then moved on in the competition and was named a national silver medalist for his poem "Seplophobia" (Fear of Decaying Matter).

Honors and Awards

Blake was named best private high school in Minnesota for the second consecutive year by Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools across the country. The 2017 Best Private High Schools ranking is based on key statistics and reviews from students and families. Read more about the rankings here.


Stephanie Makredes '17 earned honors for a Gold Award Girl Scouting project where she worked with volunteers and Blake Lower School students to build and plant six raised garden beds on the Blake campus. Half of the food grown was donated to local food shelves and the other half went to the Blake kitchen. The project was also recognized as a distinguished finalist for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award and for the President's Volunteer Service Award.

Kindergarteners Constance and James participated in the Sheridan Story Fighting Child Hunger service project at Stonebridge World School. They worked with their mom, Ann, and corporate sponsor, Seven Sundays, to organize food packs for food insecure elementary school children.


Blake's winter athletic teams had a successful season. Team results can be found on the Blake Bears' website.

Stephanie Makredes '17 skates on a competitive synchronized skating team at Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault. She and her team earned a silver medal in the junior division at the USFS Midwest Regional Synchronized Figure Skating competition and then advanced to the national championships where they scored the highest point totals of the season. Stephanie was awarded the U.S. Figure Skating Graduating Seniors Program Platinum Level Award, which recognizes achievement in figure skating while pursuing academic studies. It is awarded on behalf of the U.S. Figure Skating Program Development Committee.

Eva Lemke '21 placed second in the all-around competition at the Lambeau Leap, a regional gymnastics competition in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She competed in uneven bar, floor, and vault and beam routines where her cumulative score placed her second in the all-around competition. Her top score qualified her to compete at the state competition. Eva is a five-year competitor with her team Classic Gymnastics in Chanhassen, as well as a level platinum Xcel gymnast.

Will Taylor '19 competed in the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championships. In the 14-15 youth men division, he placed first in slalom and giant slalom and ninth in boardercross.

Faculty & Staff

Upper School English teacher Michael Bazzett published his latest book of poems "Our Lands Are Not So Different."

Upper School Spanish teacher and GLBTQ Support and Advocacy faculty member J.J. Kahle was quoted in a Minnesota Daily article, "UMN professor helps include LGBTQ history into public school curriculum."

Middle School teacher Amy Walters was inducted into the Hopkins High Athletic Hall of Fame. Read more about Walters in this Sun Sailor newspaper article.

Associate Director of College Counseling Jim Mahoney shared advice in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine on counseling students who are awaiting college decisions.

Upper School speech and communications teacher Greg Dawson was honored at the John Edie Debate Tournament when the "Coaching Excellence Award" was named the "Greg Dawson Coaching Excellence Award of the John Edie Debate Tournament."

Director of Admissions and Financial Assistance Joe Silvestri and Lower School Director Raymond Yu presented at the National Association of Independent Schools conference on "Beyond the Mission: Inspiring and Igniting the Brand Promise."

The work of Elizabeth Flinsch, Upper School interim visual arts teacher, was displayed at the Workhorse Coffee Bar's Smallest Museum in St. Paul. The exhibit aims to connect people with the spaces they pass by every day and focuses on changes over the past 50 years at Raymond and University avenues. She used the vintage technology of a film camera and the current technology of a 360 degree digital camera to connect the architectural relics and modern infrastructure of this intersection.

Beth Calderone, Upper School social studies teacher, was featured by the University Athletic Association. A 1997 UAA Softball MVP, Beth is one of the top players in University of Chicago softball history.

Upper School English teacher Patrick Barry, Upper School arts teacher J Jolton and Middle School English teacher Stacy Swearingen have been selected as Frank Donaldson Faculty Development Sabbatical Program recipients for the 2017-18 year.


To submit an item for the summer edition of Applause, email