Posted on Jun 01, 2018

The Rotary Club of Lynn's Scholarship Committee had a very difficult time, after reviewing some 29 applications from nine area high schools where Lynn seniors attend, before finally reaching consensus on four truly outstanding students to be recipients of the Richard Maloney and Robert Hastings Memorial Scholarships. Valerie Von and Olga Hernandez of Lynn English, Sara Melara of Lynn Vocational Technical Institute and Rebecca Smalley of Essex Technical High School were announced by Committee chairman Dr. Ray Bastarache as the “best of the best” at Thursday's luncheon meeting at the Porthole Restaurant.


“I know I can speak for the committee when I state that the selection process gets more challenging every year,” Bastarache, a longtime Lynn educator asserted. "Olga, Valerie, Rebecca and Sara had a combined weighted GPA (grade-point average) of 4.1 as a result of some 40 Advance Placement and Honors Level courses they have taken over the past three years. However, when you average out the GPAs of all 29 applicants, the number came to 3.7. That's impressive!"  Bastarache praised each student for being leaders in their respective schools whether serving as captains for sports teams, class or organization officers, and for urging fellow classmates to take advantage of volunteer opportunities. In his introductory comments, Bastarache provided the Rotarians, parents and school administrators in attendance with some perspective on this year’s applicant pool.


“As in past years, our scholarship applicants came from all over the world: Guatemala, Nigeria, Haiti, Laos, Congo, Venezuela, Belarus and the Dominican Republic and while were bilingual, some were multilingual,” he said. “Several have previously been recognized as La Vida Scholars, John and Abigail Adams Scholars and Global Scholars. As to National Honor Society, 71% had been inducted."