La Lumiere senior Kaveh Jalinous, from South Bend, was recognized as a 2020 Indiana Academic All-Star by the Indiana Association of School Principals.
Jalinous, who is set to attend Columbia University, is among the 40 high school seniors throughout Indiana that were selected from a field of 280 student nominees from the state’s public and private accredited schools. First and foremost, the distinction of an Academic All-Star is meant for students who excel in the classroom. Also, the awardees are actively involved and contributing to their school and community.
Throughout his time at La Lumiere School, an independent day and boarding school in La Porte, Indiana, Jalinous has been an active student leader. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Jalinous served as the Head Prefect, the highest student leadership position on campus. As the school transitioned to remote learning in the spring semester, he continued to provide leadership and participate in community activities beyond the scope of classwork.
“Kaveh is an excellent and exceptional student, and it has been a privilege to work with him over these last three years,” Katie Wall, an art teacher at La Lumiere said. Wall was the teacher that Jalinous wrote an essay about for who he believed deserved the Influential Educator Award, the essay is a component of the application. “Mrs. Wall has changed the way I view learning and the world, which is both something I stated in my essay and something I hold true in my heart,” Jalinous said.
During Jalinous’ four years at La Lumiere, he excelled academically and as a student leader, but he also recognizes the importance of the community: “My experience as Head Prefect has taught me how unique and special the student body and faculty is - we’re all so different from each other, and that’s what makes the school function so well,” Jalinous said.
Each school may nominate one senior for consideration for the Indiana Academic All-Star award. The nominees are reviewed by a selection committee, which chooses the regional winners and the 40 Indiana Academic All-Stars. The evaluating criteria looks at standardized test scores, seven-semester grade-point average, academic achievements, academic extracurriculars, community service, and others.
“My biggest take away from this award is that all of us are learners and all of us are teachers, and that education at its best is an exchange of information and ideas two ways. I certainly learn as much from my students as they learn from me,” Wall said.
The Indiana Association of School Principals program aims to honor academic excellence and provide a showcase for academically talented and driven students. In addition, the organization and fellow sponsoring organizations (DePauw University, Indiana University Bloomington, Purdue University, and Herff Jones) hope to encourage students to recognize the value of academic excellence and promote a positive image of the young people in Indiana.