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Loudoun County’s Future Leaders of 2013

Peter Arundel
A publisher's note on Loudoun’s best and brightest

Each year, the Loudoun Times-Mirror celebrates some of the county’s most outstanding senior students, chosen from a spectrum of scholastic pursuits, such as civil outreach, sports, arts, science and leadership.

This year, a Times-Mirror community panel selected 15 Future Leaders from more than 75 nominations.

The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation has generously underwritten the annual program, which is in line with the foundation’s mission to improve educational standards across the state.

Additionally, some of Loudoun’s most prestigious corporate citizens have donated to the scholarship fund. These contributions have allowed us to grow the amount of the fund and continue rewarding these Future Leaders.

Priyal Gandhi, of Thomas Jefferson High School, is the 2013 winner of the top prize, earning the $3,000 Times-Mirror scholarship. The other 14 Future Leaders will each receive $1,500 to put toward their college studies.

This project is very gratifying to our team at the Times-Mirror, and we are proud to honor this county’s Future Leaders.

Peter Arundel is publisher of the Loudoun Times-Mirror.

The 2013 Future Leaders gathered for a group photo March 8 at the School Business Partnership breakfast at the National Conference Center. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny

The 2013 Future Leaders are (click links for profiles):

William Avdellas, Tuscarora High School

Rachel Boisjolie, Loudoun Valley High School

Deborah Cadenas, Foxcroft School

Jack Carlin, Heritage High School

Suchita Chharia, Loudoun Valley High School

Gillian Chugg, Dominon High School/Academy of Science

Melissa Fairfax, Loudoun Valley High School

Kelsi Faley, Heritage High School

Eileen Fauteux, Potomac Falls High School

Alexander Gagliano, Stone Bridge High School/Academy of Science

Priyal Gandhi, Thomas Jefferson High School

Maddy Kellen, Briar Woods High School

Miranda Rashid, Foxcroft School

Pablo Rivera, Park View High School

Kim Tran, Dominion High School

Thomas Jefferson student wins top Times-Mirror scholarship

Priyal Gandhi
"Her freshman year English teacher and I predicted early that year that Priyal Gandhi was going to rule the world one day." – Alexa Scott, Thomas Jefferson school counselor

Priyal Gandhi, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, is this year's winner of the $3,000 Times-Mirror Future Leaders scholarship.

Gandhi was the Times-Mirror community panel's first choice to receive the scholarship – a program that began in 2002.

The remaining 14 Future Leaders each will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Gandhi, 18, is an outstanding student with incredible motivation to make a difference in not only her community, but the world.

From spending a summer in the slums of Mumbai, India, teaching English to children to working as editor-in-chief of Thomas Jefferson's yearbook to director of education for the Young Jains of America, the teen has an impeccable resume of achievements.

With a 4.362 GPA, Gandhi also makes time in between her many other duties to excel academically. The $3,000 Times-Mirror scholarship acknowledges her achievements.

Painting with light

Each of the 2013 Future Leaders were profiled in a special publication included in the March 6 edition of the Loudoun Times-Mirror. The portraits this year were created using a process called "Painting with Light." To learn more about the process, read Photo Editor Beverly Denny's take here.

The 2013 Future Leaders Judges

The Loudoun Times-Mirror Future Leaders program received more than 85 applications this year. Each application was reviewed and rated by each member of the five-person selection committee.

Internally, the candidates were evaluated by three members of the Times-Mirror editorial staff.

*John Geddie is the editor of the Loudoun Times-Mirror. A large proponent of the Future Leaders program, he is a graduate of the Loudoun County Public Schools system, having graduated from Park View High School and later attending James Madison University and the David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia.

*Alanna Dvorak is the education reporter for the Loudoun Times-Mirror. A graduate of Potomac Falls High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dvorak is also known for her local sports coverage over the past year.

*Aaron Koepper recently completed his short tenure as education reporter for the Loudoun Times-Mirror. He is a graduate of James Madison University.

In addition to these internal judges, the Future Leaders applications were also reviewed by two volunteer community judges.

Joe Motheral of River Creek is a regular contributor to the Loudoun Times-Mirror. Formerly in the civil engineering industry, Motheral currently serves as chair of the book and author committee at the National Press Club

Former Loudoun County supervisor Jim Burton and his wife Lina agreed to represent the community and join the judges panel this year. In addition to serving on the Board of Supervisors for four terms, Burton is also a retired U.S. Air Force colonel. In 1993, he wrote "The Pentagon Wars" detailing his experiences.

Each judge commented on the quality of applicants in 2013 and the difficulty in making their final selections.

To read about the 2012 Future Leaders, click here.

For a list of Future Leaders since the program's inception, click here.

To learn more about Loudoun County Public Schools and the history of education in Loudoun, click here.


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