Get to Know Chandler Prep’s 2017 Valedictorian

Chandler Preparatory Academy May 23, 2017
Submitted by Judy Schmitt | Chandler Prep Director of College Counseling

Chandler Prep Valedictorian, Bethany Kasprzyk

If our Headmaster hired Bethany Kasprzyk tomorrow as a member of our teaching faculty, I doubt there would be much opposition. One of the most capable, mature, focused and brilliant students I have ever worked with, Bethany is not only an outstanding scholar, but a consummate scientific researcher and a politically aware advocate.  Her gifts are many but what most of her teachers and friends will share first, is the fact that Bethany is without a doubt the kindest and most compassionate person you will meet.

Her interests are broad and multi-faceted, ranging from local politics to classical  languages and always with a keen interest in the sciences. Here at CPA, she has been an outstanding contributor as a tutor, mentor, a thespian, and major volunteer for myriad programs both inside and outside our own community.  Her energy is never ending and she does it all with a grace and poise all her own.

Chosen as a member of the Gilbert, Arizona Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, Bethany will continue her responsibilities this year as she guides and helps integrate new council members and assist in coordinating programs. Students are involved in many volunteer efforts and assist the Town council in identifying problems that affect the entire community. Bethany has had opportunities to suggest designs for Gilbert’s future park, participate in mock Town Council meetings and participate in seminars about youth involvement in politics and the role of social media.

A summer seminar program studying the Classics at St. Johns’ University last summer, solidified her love of The Great Books, however, it was her winning essay for SWAEBR, “Breathtaking Breakthroughs in Asthma Research”, that enabled Bethany to win an internship at Barrow Neurological Center and subsequently work an entire summer in the Hamm Lab at Barrow participating in real-world, impactful neurobiology research. Immediately included in the lab, Bethany helped conduct research that dealt with the properties and organization of spinal neurons post spinal cord injury, and also looked to find out how the introduction of exercise can affect coordinated movement. As she explained, “I had a seemingly endless amount of amazing experiences: I performed laboratory work on a daily basis, attended neuroscience conferences, and discussed scientific papers. I was introduced to laboratory equipment like autoclaves and pH probes that I had never seen before in a biology or chemistry class. Every week I helped facilitate and film the experiments locomotion trials. With my fellow interns, I would later analyze these videos to discover patterns and potential improvements in locomotion.”

Chandler Prep Academy is also proud to announce that Ms. Bethany Kasprzyk has been named a University of Texas McDermott Scholar. Bethany attended a four-day on site interview, and was accepted into the2017 class of scholars, made up of 12 women and 12 men with 10 students from Texas, and 14 from 12 other states. Collectively, this class has an average two-part SAT score of 1564. 21 of the 24 received recognition from the National Merit Scholarship program, 5 were high school valedictorians, two were high school salutatorians, and six were Presidential Scholar candidates. This is the first McDemott Scholar awarded to a Great Hearts Academy student.

Chandler Prep is a far better place for having had Bethany as a member of our community.

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