Charlotte Catholic High School senior Christopher Chandler Shallal gives back to the community and is earning opportunities to do more.
Shallal is a finalist for the prestigious Parks Scholarship at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, and a semi-finalist for the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University.
“What makes me so excited in school is applying these concepts that we learn to actual, real-life situations, which is perfect for biomedical engineering, because there are so many applications, whether it be orthotics, prosthetics, robotic surgery, or gene manipulation,” Shallal says.
Shallal is the son of John and Denise Shallal of Charlotte. He serves as historian of the National Honor Society and a member of the Wounded Warriors Club.
Shallal is an intern for the Orthotics and Prosthetics Activities Foundation, a volunteer technician at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Orthotics and Prosthetics Fabrication Lab, and a patient model for Ottobock Industries, a global manufacturer of prostheses, braces and orthoses, and wheelchairs and accessories.
A lifelong double-leg amputee, Shallal uses his circumstances to explore the latest technological advances in prosthetics and to help others facing the same situation. He plans to major in biomedical engineering.
His school counselor, Sandy Needham, says “Christopher also is a lifelong double-leg amputee; however, what many perceive to be a disability is not that at all with Christopher. He goes about his life with no perspective of limitation. He in fact uses his circumstances to explore the latest technological advances in prosthetics, and to enrich his intellectual understanding of scientific possibility.”
After Shallal wrote to Ottobock Industries about how well his prosthetic legs functioned, the company invited Shallal to complete a summer program at their testing facility in Vienna, Austria. His ability to analyze, evaluate and communicate his findings was so remarkable that he was invited back to be a prosthetics test subject and model.
In addition to his internship work in Austria, he was selected to attend scientific research programs at Cornell University and at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. In his work as a volunteer orthotics and prosthetics lab technician at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, he has worked with and inspired children there to embrace what they can do, and not dwell on their limitations.
“It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Christopher became a medical doctor, working with technological advances in prosthetic engineering,” Needham said. “His ability to communicate empathetically with patients will allow him to change dramatically the lives of those he cares for. He is uniquely qualified with both life experience and a brilliant intellect to be a leader in his field of study and profession.”
Approximately 35 Parks Scholarships are awarded each year from among more than 100 finalists. As a finalist, Shallal is guaranteed a $10,000 scholarship to NC State, payable at $2,500 per year.
Time to apply: This program aims to further the education and to support leadership development of young members of Habitat and Wildlife Keepers (HAWK).
Awards of $500 will be presented to the successful applicants in May 2017.
To be eligible you must: be 16 to 25 years old as of the award date; and affirm your intention to pursue education in the environmental sciences, environmental or renewable energy engineering, biology or biology sub-specialties, wildlife management sciences, sustainability or other related fields.
Education may be through a formal academic curriculum or informally, offered by a not-for-profit organization or government agency.
If you have questions about the criteria or would like to apply, please send an email to HAWKncwf@gmail.com. The application submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. is April 10.
Semi-finalist for Robertson Scholarship: Senior Jake Sheridan have been named a semi-finalist for the prestigious Robertson Scholars Leadership Program at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University.
Sheridan was elected to the Honor Council during his freshman year, and has served on the council each year since then. He is a successful participant on the Debate and Speech Team, and played basketball as well. He is known for selecting the most challenging courses offered and is taking seven Advanced Placement classes during his senior year.
Sheridan participated in Mecklenburg County Teen Court, a program of the Assistance League of Charlotte that provides a second chance for juvenile offenders with no prior convictions when they admit guilt to a misdemeanor offense, agree to be tried by a jury of their peers, and take responsibility for their actions. Teen volunteers such as Sheridan are trained in the legal process as jurors, clerks of court, bailiffs and attorneys.
AATG Presidential Honor Roll: Lauren Hall, a sophomore, has been honored for her outstanding performance on the 2017 National German Exam for High School Students.
Hall has been awarded the Gold Medal and special recognition on the Presidential Honor Roll by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG), which sponsors the exam. She scored in the 94th percentile on the Level 2 2017 exam, which was taken by more than 26,000 students this year. Hall has the opportunity to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Germany this summer.
Hall is a student of Linda Horvath, a German teacher at th school.
Next head of middle school: Evan Kurtz will become Charlotte Preparatory School’s next head of middle school this summer. Kurtz starts July 5 after being chosen from more than 50 candidates during a national search.
Kurtz said Charlotte Prep’s welcoming community and educational vision were a perfect match for him. “As an educator who strives to foster healthy communities, I wholeheartedly believe that people come first,” Kurtz says. “That is what Charlotte Prep is all about, and it’s evident that teachers, students and parents nurture a supportive community. I look forward to being a part of creating that feeling.”
Kurtz has been in education for 19 years, with 10 of those years in a variety of administrative roles. Since 2002, Kurtz has served at Sewickley Academy in Pittsburgh, where he is currently interim head of middle school. Prior to taking that role, he earned a reputation for being “unflappable under pressure” while working as middle school dean of students, coaching three seasons of middle school sports for 14 years and leading a mentoring program for new teachers. In 2011, he was awarded the school’s Clark Faculty Chair for excellence in teaching.
Prior to joining Sewickley Academy, Kurtz was a teacher and assistant director of athletics at Georgetown Day School in Washington D.C. Kurtz earned a B.A. in communication studies from George Mason University and an M.A. in educational administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Kurtz and his wife, Rebecca, have a daughter, Emma, who is currently in ninth grade, and a son, Henry, a seventh-grader.
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