2019-2020 End-of-Year Senior Awards

Left to right: Rebekah Perales, Razik Rehman, Simon Bruhn

The Francis L. Nemeck Award: 
Awarded in honor of TMI’s longtime Dean of Students to the student who has shown the most improvement. 

Rebekah Perales 
Bekah’s interest and commitment to causes that champion the underdogs in American society have contributed to her growth as a student of history, psychology, government and literature. Her growth is most evident in the research she has done to familiarize herself with the issues surrounding these causes and then in her willingness to bring this newfound knowledge to the classroom during debates, Socratic Seminars, class discussions and essay writing.  The passion and knowledge that she brought to these class engagements made her the de facto leader of many of the classes she populated and earned her the respect of both her teachers and her classmates. 

The Panther Citizenship Award: 
The Panther Citizenship Award is presented to the upper school student who best represents TMI Episcopal in every way.  This student encourages others while holding himself or herself to a high standard of personal excellence.  The recipient of this award abides by TMI’s high standards of conduct, represents TMI as a leader throughout the campus, and actively supports all types of TMI activities.  This student is a model of the kind of person TMI strives to develop. 

Razik Rehman
A captain and leader on cross country and swimming teams, Razik was omnipresent on the TMI campus whether at a Corps event, an athletic competition, student function or school play. An excellent student with friends across the TMI social spectrum, Razik would attend athletic competitions with either his Corps unit or dressed to show his panther pride or decked out in red, white, and blue at Basketball games. Normally a student with a purposeful nonchalant attitude, Razik would transform at competitions cheering on friends. 

The Edward P. Droste Award: 
Presented in honor of a former headmaster of TMI from 1964 to 1970 to the senior who has gained those qualities of “a desire to know, a seeking for the reason why, a search for the truth,” attributed to West Texas Military Academy by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.

Simon Bruhn 
Inside and outside the classroom, regardless of academic discipline, Simon always wanted to know more. A frequent visitor to faculty offices, Simon struck up conversations on a wide range of topics from social inequalities in the United States and Israeli politics to soccer formations. His significant academic successes were the natural result of his intellectual curiosity.  

Left to right: Nicolas Ituarte Camara, Montserrat Martinez, Bo Yin, Zachary Perkins

The Phillip Spiller History, Government, and Economics Award:  
Awarded in honor of Phillip Neal Spiller, who served as an Army officer during World War II and taught history at TMI from 1955 until his death in 1961. 

Nicolas Ituarte Camara
Nico is a hard-working student who is passionate about the social sciences, excelling in many classes during his time at TMI. Thomas Jefferson’s description of himself over two centuries ago is fitting for Nico: “bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason wherever they led, and bearding every authority which stood in [his] way.” 

The Sylvia Gonzalez Foreign Language Award: 
This award honors the student who has done the best work in Latin or Spanish. Sylvia Gonzalez taught Spanish at TMI from 1997 until her retirement in 2017. The 2008 yearbook was dedicated to her for always challenging her students to try their best and for her generous and loving heart. 

Montserrat Martinez 
Although Montserrat is a native Spanish speaker, her natural curiosity about language shone through as she applied herself in Latin. She not only has had success in AP classes in both Spanish and Latin, but also English. Her love for languages goes beyond our classroom and is married to her love of music. She has been training to sing opera in multiple languages, including Italian, French, Spanish, and German. In addition, she has been a very positive part of the Spanish Club and a willing participant in Spanish and Latin competitions. 

The Francis Morgan Frasher, Jr. ’48 Memorial Award for Mathematics: 
This award honors the student who has done the best work in mathematics. It was first presented in 1958 by Eleanor and Francis Morgan Frasher, Sr., in memory of their son, Francis Morgan Frasher, Jr., valedictorian of the class of ’48 who died at age 19 in a car accident during a geology field trip to Nova Scotia, Canada, as a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Bo Yin 
Bo is one of the best math students TMI has seen, but especially noteworthy is Bo’s active love of mathematics that goes beyond acing tests, asking questions, and doing homework. This year in Advanced Topics, when he presented his lectures on multidimensional Taylor polynomials, there was a technical proof that was left out of the book – noting in the margin that the proof of the result was “surprisingly difficult.”  Bo took this as an invitation to present that proof on the board and ended up setting the standard for all future student lectures in the class. He throws himself into difficult math problems as a form of casual relaxation and his enthusiasm for that encourages others around him to do the same.   

The Virgil Espino Science Award: 
Awarded in honor of Mr. Virgil Espino, who served in TMI’s Science Department from 1955 to 1988. 

Zachary Perkins 
Zachary has a genuine passion for discovery and an intuitive grasp of scientific concepts. He displays an interest in all areas of science and excels in them all. As a creator, he has a solid grasp of the design thinking process. As a scholar, he puts in the hard work and the time to succeed. As a person, he looks for how science can be used to better the human condition. 

Left to right: Yufei Lu, Yara Akhrass, Montserrat Martinez, Samantha Dickie

Richard T. Whatton English Award:  
This award honors the student who has done the best work in English.  Richard T. Whatton (1916-1980) taught English at TMI from 1961 until his retirement in 1972 and was appointed English department chairman, assistant dean and dormitory supervisor. 

Yufei Lu
Fei Lu contributes in a thoughtful and insightful way to the community in the English classroom. She is humble and kind to her fellow students. Fei’s writing is both clear and lyrical with a sophistication that allows her to communicate complex ideas.

Class of 2019 Muse Award:  
The Class of 2019 Muse Award is awarded to a senior student in the Creative Writing elective who makes an outstanding contribution to The Muse. The award itself is a $100 gift card. 

Yara Akhrass
Yara writes with empathy about characters of a variety of nationalities, ages, and life situations. She approaches her classmates’ work with seriousness and care, and her experience with visual arts has been an asset in assembling The Muse. 

McDonough Fine Arts Award:  
Given to the student who has done outstanding work in the Fine Arts, this award honors the McDonough family — Myriam and James P. McDonough Jr. and their children, James ’05, Matthew ’07 and Sarah ’09 — for their support of the Fine Arts at TMI. 

Montserrat Martinez
Montserrat has taken part in all areas of Fine Arts that TMI offers, excelling and exceeding expectations. She has shown dedication and purpose in her Fine Arts education, especially in music and vocal performance. Her commitment in this area has earned her acceptance into the Vocal Performance degree program at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee where she will study Voice/Opera Performance.   

Bishop Johnston Award: 
The Bishop Johnston award for excellence in Christian service is named after Bishop James “Steptoe” Johnston, who is the founder of TMI and the second bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. This award symbolizes the commitment of the Episcopal Church to the education and formation of students at TMI, and the commitment of TMI to raise up young men and women to follow Jesus Christ within the Episcopal tradition.

This award is given to a junior or senior student who has demonstrated significant involvement in their community of faith, a deep interest in the study and application of Holy Scripture, and diligent commitment to service in their community and church. This is symbolized by the giving of embossed Study Bible to the recipient, and summarized by the prayer written inside: 

“May you use this Bible to draw near to Christ, and may Christ use this Bible to make you more like Himself, that you may shine forth his Light and Love to all those around you. Amen.”

Samantha Dickie 
Samantha has demonstrated significant involvement in faith, a deep interest in the study and application of Holy Scripture, and diligent commitment to service both here at TMI and Camp Capers at the Diocese of West Texas’ Happening movement. 

Alpha-Omega Award

This honor is awarded to the senior students who have attended TMI continuously from grades 6-12. Recipients of this award will wear an orange and black cord during graduation with their cap and gown. Congratulations to:

Yara Akhrass, Cloi Bryan, Poni Bryan, Bryce Christopherson, Allison Dickie, Samantha Dickie, Bailey Dietzmann, Jonathan Garcia, Danny Hakim, Lucas Kirma, Joseph Kuri, Delaney Martin, Alessandro Moya, Avery Neiman, Emmet Owen, Lucas Prado, Liseth Rodriguiez, Isabela Ruiz, Danae Salinas, and Nicholas Tawil

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