Anchorage Running Club 2008 Scholarships
by Bonnie Swanson
Earlier this year, the Board voted to confer two $1500 scholarships, one each to a male and female college-bound runner, in 2008. Funding for these scholarships is provided primarily by profits from the ARC’s “Big Wild Life” runs, including the Humpy’s Marathon. The selection committee met on Monday, March 24, and chose two high school seniors to each receive a scholarship this year.
Brian Kirchner is a senior at South High School. He ran at the varsity level for the Cross Country Team throughout high school, and was team captain during his senior year. In addition, he ran (and lettered in) track and field during his freshman year. He also excels in Nordic skiing; he lettered all four years at the varsity level for the Nordic ski team, and was team captain during his senior year.
Brian’s courage, determination, and commitment to justice shone through in his senior year when he virtually single-handedly changed what he successfully argued before the school board was religious and cultural discrimination by the Anchorage School District. As a result of his efforts, there is now a new official ASD policy preventing all major school activities from being scheduled on important religious dates. His scholastic record is remarkable. His cumulative GPA is 4.39, his SAT scores are all in the 99th percentile, and he ranks second in his class of 459. He has served our community throughout his high school career by serving as attorney, judge, and ethics board member for the Anchorage Youth Court. In addition to his extensive hours at Youth Court, he also volunteered at various events and races while a member of the Alaska Winter Stars.
The Scholarship Committee selected Anna Dalton from West High School to receive the scholarship for female runners. Anna obviously has a prodigious amount of energy—just reading through her portfolio made this writer want to take a nap. Anna’s commitment to running is clear due to her extensive involvement with both the cross-country running and track teams throughout her entire high school career. In addition to obtaining a varsity letter for both teams every year, she also was the team captain for the cross-country team in 2007. She is a well rounded athlete, evidenced by also lettering in soccer all four years, participating on West’s cross country ski team, and voted “most athletic” by her classmates this year.
She also is academically gifted, earning a 4.119 GPA, scoring a total of 2080 points out of 2400 on the SAT, and ranking 14th in her class of 362. She also had enough energy left over after sports and studying to give back to our community by assisting with a tutoring program for Spanish-speaking kids, working in the classroom for the Denali Elementary tutoring program, and helping out at both the Mayor’s and Humpy’s marathons during all 4 years of high school. In addition to babysitting 5 hours/week during the school year, she works long and hard during the summer at a variety of jobs, including soccer referee, table busser at Orso and Bear Tooth, salesperson for Skinny Raven and Evan’s Igloos, and mowing lawns.
Please join the selection committee in congratulating these amazingly talented and hard-working seniors. We are proud to support fine young people such as these, and wish them well.