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Maharishi School Wins 6 Congressional Art/Photography Awards 2008

Maharishi School won six awards out of seven in the 26th Congressional Arts Competition for 2008, “An Artistic Discovery,” hosted by Congressman Dave Loebsack of Iowa. The judging took place on April 12 at Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. There was a reception afterwards, with Congressman Loebsack announcing the winners and meeting the teachers from the schools represented. There were 146 pieces entered from the 2nd District of Iowa.

The first-place winning work will be hung in the “Cannon Tunnel Gallery” of the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. representing Iowa for one year. Elysia Belilove has won three round-trip Southwest Airline tickets from Chicago to Washington, D.C. for her reception with Congressman Loebsack along with all of the other congressmen and their students to hang the new winning entries for this year in the Cannon Tunnel Gallery.

The Maharishi School winners are: Foot Soles

1st Place Award: Elysia Belilove, Grade 9 - Photography “Foot Soles” (pictured)
Teacher: Carolyn L. Waksman


3rd Place Award: Choey Shreck, Grade 11 - Drawing “Flow”
Teacher: Greg Thatcher


Honorable Mention Award: Benji Jones, Grade 12 - Photography “Alleyway/India”
Teacher: Carolyn L. Waksman


Honorable Mention Award: Hagen Rainbow, Grade 12 - Photography “Mark Rainbow”
Teacher: Carolyn L. Waksman


Honorable Mention Award: Dodie Page Thiel, Grade 9 - Photography “Girl/Train"
Teacher: Carolyn L. Waksman


Honorable Mention Award: Sothea Shreck, Grade 12 - Photography “India Woman”
Teacher: Carolyn L. Waksman


The Honorable Mentions will be hung in the Iowa District Offices of Congressman Dave Loebsack, representing Maharishi School for one year. “An Artistic Discovery” was created in an effort to recognize the creative talents of young Americans. All 50 states have artwork displayed in the “Cannon Tunnel Gallery.” Elysia’s photograph will be joining them, as well as one artwork from each of the congressional districts in Iowa. This is the 26th year if the contest, with students from all 435 congressional districts nationwide creating work for the theme “An Artistic Discovery.”

In five years the Maharishi School students have won 18 awards at the Congressional Art Competition.

Congratulations to all!

Maharishi School Destination ImagiNation Teams Win First Place

Two Destination ImagiNation Teams at Maharishi School won first place at the State competition in Ames. Both Senior level boys’ teams will go on to compete at Global Finals in Knoxville, Tennessee, May 20-25.

The team named “Hit or Myth” (1/2 acting ½ technical) included Ty Huggins, Jordan Stakland, Yale Shaw, Jurgen Schoner, Ryan Stakland. This team also got a special award, “The Spirit of DI Award,” for being outstanding role models for the younger kids in the Destination ImagiNation program. The other team to receive first place was named “Obstacles of Course” (technical), and this team included Jay Stewart, Phil Carter, Eric Caplan, Dominic Borg, and Toby Walker.

Three teams came in 2nd: “DI’ve Got a Secret” (acting, senior level) which included Yelana Loiselle, Ellora Hans-Price, Emily Wofford, Minca Borg, Paavani Kar, Auriel Jones, and Joella Travis; “Chorific (improv, senior level) that included Coco Clark, Penelope Makeig, Pandy Wadsworth, Tahra Wilkins, and Jhana Valentine; “Chorific” (improv elementary level) which included Giovani Cingire, Demitri Makeig, and David Wadsworth. This team will also be going to Knoxville for Global Finals.

Two teams came in 5th place: “Hit or Myth” ( ½ acting ½ technical, middle level) which included Avery Mullenneaux, Nathan Haerr, Alexander Hauptman, Michael Corazza, Matthew Rowe, Surya Sawhney, and David Fleshman; “Obstacles of Course” (technical, elementary level) that included Dia Huggins, Jacqueline Leete, Kadie Roberts, Jaya Muehlman, Courtney Swanson, and Ana Unger. This team also got a special award, “The Spirit of DI Award” for not giving up in the face of adversity.

One team came in 6th place: “DI’ve Got a Secret” (acting, middle level) Phoebe Carter, Minna Mohammadi, Pearl Sawhney, Avery Travis, and Leanna Miller. One team cam in 7th place: “Chorific” (improv, middle level) which included Dillon Evertson, Toby James, and James Francis.

All the teams did a great job, and congratulations go to all.

State Science and Technology Fair 2008

Maharishi School students received nine top awards at the Iowa State Science Fair 2008. There were three projects entered in the senior division and one project entered in the junior division.

In addition to the awards listed below, each year two freshman students are awarded an all-expense-paid trip to the 2008 International Science and Engineering Fair in Georgia. This year, Maharishi School students Atreya Dey, Raph Burne, as well as Dr. Mousumi Dey, their sponsoring teacher, attended the conference in May. 



Raph Burne Atreya Dey


Senior “Best of Category” Awards:

Engineering — Raph Burne (9th grade): Sound Insulation: What Material Insulates best in Different Climates?

Biochemistry — Atreya Dey (9th grade): Which is the Best Deicer: organic, Inorganic or a Combination of Both?


Iowa Biotechnology Association Award:

($2000 scholarship to any Iowa University or $1000 scholarship to any university outside state.)

Atreya Dey


Seminar Awards (Team):

2nd Place — (10th grade) Matt Fleshman & Joseph Gelfand: Water Purification: Natural vs Manufactured


Seminar Awards (Individual):

2nd Place Physical — Atreya Dey

4th Place Physical — Raph Burne


American Chemical Society Award:

3rd Place — Atreya Dey


Junior High Category Award:

3rd place Physical — Pearl Sawhney (8th grade): Can Vegetarianism Reduce Obesity?


Iowa State University of College of Human Sciences Award:

($2,500 scholarship to study at the ISU college of Human Sciences)

Pearl Sawhney


Society for Science and the Public Middle School Program:

Pearl Sawhney


US Air Force Award:

Pearl Sawhney


Sponsoring Teacher and Mentor: Dr. Mousumi Dey

Congratulations to all!

2008 Superconference Art Show

Maharishi Upper School students came away with 13 art and photography awards, out of 15 entered at the 2008 Southeast Iowa Superconference Art Show in Mt. Pleasant. Five of the awards were 1st places. The conference was held on April 8 at Iowa Wesleyan College. The students entered their work into the contest and participated in workshops taught by professionals in their fields. It is a great opportunity for the students to learn new skills by participating in the workshops and to show their work by entering the contest. The Maharishi Upper School Photography teacher is Mrs. Carolyn L. Waksman and the Maharishi Middle and Upper School Art teacher is Mr. Greg Thatcher.


The winners are:


1st Place-Camille Morehead, Grade 12, “Plastic Mask”

2nd Place-Benji Jones, Grade 12, “Painted Girl”

3rd Place- Dominic Rabalais, Grade 12, “Untitled”

Honorable Mention-Mollie Cutler, Grade 11, “Mask”

Honorable Mention-Mira Moore, Grade 11, “Emily”


Judges Category:

1st Place Photography (Multiple Image)-Ellora Hans-Price, Grade 12, “Sheila”


Computer Generated:

1st Place- Sophia Blitz, Grade 10, “Dancer”

2nd Place Sam Arsanjani, Grade 9, “Untitled”



1st Place- Sam Johnson, Grade 12, “Untitled”

2nd Place-Gabrielle Hathaway, Grade 10, “Untitled”


Achromatic Drawing:

Honorable Mention-Kenzie Wacknov, Grade 10, “Two-Faced”


Mixed Media:

1st Place-Gabrielle Lamaureux, Grade 10, “Tree”

3rd Place-Dominic Rabalais, Grade 12, “Untitled”


Congratulations to all!

History Day

Six of our 7th graders were chosen to compete at the State competition in Des Moines on April 28. The entire 7th grade class competed against 12 other schools at the History Day District on Tuesday, March 18. The competition was held at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center for the very first time. Teacher, Marie Loiselle and parent Donna Nelson accompanied them, with many other parents attending for parts of the day. Judges representing our district were John Huff and Gary Gagnon.

District winners, their projects and categories are:

Individual Documentary:

Olin Knight, "Conflict Over the Destruction of Smallpox"

Group Documentary:

Chosie Titus and Rachel Hathaway, "Conflict and Compromise Over the Rightful Place of Wolves”

Megan Comey and Grace Fernyhough, "The Amistad - Conflicts and Compromises Over the Fight for Freedom"

Science Fair

All eighth grade students participated in the Super Conference Science Fair in Burlington. There were some interesting and innovative projects for the judges to evaluate. The projects will be on display at the School in April.

Congratulations to the following award winners:

Pearl Sawhney, Silver medal in the Junior Physical Science Division: “Digestion of Animal and Plant Protein.”

Thomas Weiss, Bronze medal in the Junior Physical Science division: “What is the Best Coat Insulation?” Sam Arsanjani, Bronze medal in the Junior Biological Division: “The Effects of Certain Neuroplasticity Exercises on the Stoop Effect.”

Pearl Sawhney competed in the Iowa Science and Engineering Fair in Ames at the end of March. Thanks to the following parents who judged and chaperoned: Shelley Fulcher, Carole Simmons, Peter Lamoureux, Tim Mahaney and Ali Arsanjani.

Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair Competition

The Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fair is a science and engineering project competition for students in grades 6–12 from schools throughout eastern Iowa. Each March the students come to the Fair to exhibit the results of their experiments and compete for prizes. The top prize is a trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May, where they compete with the best students from around the world.

Four students from Maharishi School competed in the Senior Division against some of the best students in the state of Iowa who have been working on their projects for at least four years at the University of Iowa/ Iowa State University labs. A total of 217 students attended with 171 exhibits. There were 39 exhibits at the senior level, mostly by seniors and juniors, Upward Bound, and TAG students. This was the first year of participation in the senior division for Maharishi School students, and they came away with five prizes.

They are as follows:

Matt Fleshman & Joseph Gelfand, “Water Filtration: Natural vs. Manufactured”: Class I, Senior Physical (Cash Prize)

Raph Burne, “Sound Insulation: What materials insulate best in different climates?”: Class II, Senior Physical (Cash Prize) and Alan B. Adams Meritorious Achievement (Cash Prize)

Atreya Dey, “Which is the Best De-icer: Organic, Inorganic or a Combination of Both? Honorable Mention, Senior Physical and Alan B. Adams Meritorious Achievement (Cash Prize)

These students were selected to attend the State Science Fair at Ames on March 28 and 29.

These students were coached by our own Dr. Mousumi Dey. Dr. Pradheep Challiyil helped Matt and Joseph with part of their project at the Genetic ID Lab. Ms. Mary Tarnoff, Dr. Richard Wolfson, Daniel Bloomfield and Dr. Challiyil also helped by looking over the projects and giving the students suggestions on how to improve them.

This is the first time that all of the participating Maharishi School students have been selected to present at the Seminar section of the State competition. This is one of the most difficult sections to enter, since the level of work has to be superlative and only eight entries in each category are selected to present their project to a panel of University of Iowa and Iowa State professors, research scholars, and Intel judges. This is indeed a very rare opportunity and honor for our students. Also, it is very rare that freshmen and sophomores would be so honored, since the top awards are usually awarded to the juniors and seniors.

2008 Texas A&M University-Commerce National High School Shoot-Out


The results are in for the 2008 Texas A&M University-Commerce Third Floor Photographic Society National High School Shoot-Out. The contest now in its 26th year, was held during the ATPI Winter Conference in Arlington, Texas, on February 16. The annual contest is sponsored by the Third Floor Photographic Society at the University and is a student organization of the Photography Division. The Texas A&M Photography Program is widely recognized as the best photography program in the southwest.

There were 2,001 prints entered from 24 high schools across the nation. The judges were Jerry Jones and Greg Kopriva. Both are commercial photographers and alumni of the Texas A&M University-Commerce Photography Program. The judges acknowledged the high quality of work entered. “The competition was incredible.” The level of design, composition and conceptualization involved in the imagery impressed the judges.

Maharishi Upper School Photography students won five national awards. The teacher was Mrs. Carolyn L. Waksman. The winning students are:



1st Year Color:

1st Place: Owen Blake - Grade 12, “Pasha” (pictured)

2nd Place: Camille Morehead - Grade 12, “Mask”

3rd Place: Tye Huggins - Grade 11, “Black Hand”

Honorable Mention: Owen Blake - Grade 12, “Mirrors”


All Years Open Color:

Honorable Mention: Mollie Cutler - Grade 11

“Portrait of Phoebe”


Congratulations to all!  

Maharishi School Coach Eyre Receives Sectional Coach of the Year Award

Feb. 26, 2008

Lawrence Eyre

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has selected Maharishi School Coach Lawrence Eyre to receive the 2007 Central Sectional Coach of the Year award for the sport of Boys Tennis. The Central section includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. As the Central sectional winner Coach Eyre became a finalist for the national coach of the year award.

Coach Eyre led the Pioneers to the state team tourney for the tenth time in 2007. Maharishi School won team titles in 1991, 1999, 2000 and 2002, with second place efforts in 1992, 1997, 1998 and 2006.  Twice — in 1999 and 2000 — his team won the Triple Crown of prep tennis by taking the singles, doubles and state team titles. Eyre, a 1970 Yale University graduate, started the Pioneers' team in 1988 and it ranks as one of the state's most consistent and respected programs.

In his 20 seasons with Maharishi School, Coach Eyre's players have earned 16 state championships (7 in singles, 5 in doubles, and 4 in team tennis) and 7 runner-up finishes (1 in singles, 2 in doubles, and 4 in team tennis) in Iowa 1-A tennis.

Coach Eyre's teams have advanced to the Final Four ten times in 20 seasons.

Coach Eyre received the 1993 USPTA Missouri Valley Coach of the Year (Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma) and the 2000 Iowa Tennis Association Coach of the Year.  He has been on the Iowa High School Athletic Association Tennis Advisory Committee since 2000.  He established a National Junior Tennis League chapter in 1990 and a USTA After-School Team Tennis program in 2003.  He implemented the USTA No-Cut Tennis Team program in 2006.  He has held the United States Professional Tennis Association Level 1 Certification since 1992; was named in Who's Who Among America's Teachers and Educators in 1997 and 2007; and has served as an Intercollegiate Tennis Association Certified Umpire (Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences) from 1998 to the present.

Coach Eyre's reflects his philosophy of athletics in the following statement: "My goal as a teacher and coach is to help student-athletes grow to express their full potential. I aim to provide a balance of encouragement and challenge, emphasizing that commitment to the process of continuous improvement is more enriching than working toward outcome goals alone."

Banner Year for Maharishi School Senior!

David Boyle

Maharishi School Senior David Boyle brought home the State Banner for Solo Mime last weekend at the Iowa High School Speech Association’s annual All-State Speech Festival. Under the direction of John and Elaine Speer and their team of coaches, forty Maharishi School students participated in the 2008 Iowa High School Speech Association’s annual competition. They received outstanding ratings on the state and all-state levels.

For many students, including state winner David Boyle, this year was their first experience with Speech Competition. In David's case, his winning mime was the first he had ever attempted.

David Boyle triumphed over 17 other top competitors in the solo mime category with his first-place performance of “The Joy of Skiing” at the competition held in Ames at Iowa State University. David's banner-winning performance was praised by mime judge Brian Begley. He told David, “I’d like to have you on my fencing team because you have amazing control of your body. You are a gifted natural and I can’t believe you’ve never done mime before." David's coach for the performance was Thomas Selleck.

Besides David Boyle, a "TV News" team of six students was selected to perform at the festival. The Acting Ensemble team of two students received Honorable Mention but did not perform.

The community had a final opportunity to see the speech competition performances on Friday, April 18, at the Maharishi School Fundraiser celebration in Henry Ogden Clark Auditorium.


Maharishi School Junior Earns "Superior" Rating at State CompetitionKatie Dinkel

Katie Dinkel, a junior at Maharishi School, competed in the State Piano Solo Competition last Saturday, February 9, at Iowa Wesleyan College. Katie's brilliant performance brought in 24 out of 25 possible points for a rating of “1” for superior.  She played "Prelude in C# minor" by Rachmaninov, arranged by her piano teacher, Werner Elmker. As a pianist, Katie is "poised and professional," said the judge. "Katie breaths divine life into even the simplest of melodies, but with a fine work like the 'Prelude in C# minor,’ her true genius as a musician really shines," says Dorothy Rowe, her school music teacher. "Katie is an exceptional girl and music provides a venue for her greatness to find expression yet remain close to its source."  

Good job, Katie!

National Merit Scholarship Program Honors

Commended: Dominca Borg

National Geographic Society 2008 Iowa Geographic Bee

RYAN SMELCER WINS MAHARISHI SCHOOL GEOGRAPHIC BEE 3RD YEAR IN A ROW!! Moves One Step Closer to $25,000 College Scholarship

Ryan Smelcer, an 8th grade student at Maharishi School, won the school-level competition of the National Geographic Bee the week of January 16, competing against 15 other finalists from grades 5-8. The second and third place winners were 8th graders, Thomas Weiss and Phoebe Carter, respectively. The school-level Bee, at which students answered oral questions on geography, was the first round in the 20th annual National Geographic Bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society.


ATPI Fall Photography Contest

Maharishi Upper School photography students came away with seven national awards at the 2007 Association of Texas Photography Teachers (ATPI) Fall Photography Contest. The contest took place on Saturday, November 3, in Arlington, Texas.  Many hours passed as the judges viewed over 2,988 prints from 59 high schools. The end result of the contest was 206 winners from 45 schools high schools nationwide.

“Entering this national contest is a great opportunity for the high school students to show their work and also helps to educate them about the field of photography,” says Carolyn L. Waksman, Maharishi Upper School Photography teacher.


The 2007 Maharishi School winners are:

1st Place: Deena Thiel, Grade 11 Beginning Open “Untitled”
1st Place: Deena Thiel, Grade 11 Beginning Sports / Action “Skateboard Jump!”
3rd Place: Camille Morehead, Grade 12 Beginning Open “Face”
3rd Place: Mollie Cutler, Grade 11 Beginning Portrait “Phoebe in Blue”
1st Honorable Mention: Dominic Rabalais, Grade 12 Advanced Open “Untitled #1”
Honorable Mention: Mollie Cutler, Grade 11 Beginning Portrait “Portrait of Phoebe”
Honorable Mention: Kenzie Wacknov, Grade 10 Beginning Open “Untitled”

PIEA International Photography Competition

The Maharishi Middle and Upper School photography students have been honored with four international awards this year in the 2008 PIEA (Photo Imaging Education Association) International Photography Competition. The 2008 contest received 6,150 entries from 1,309 participants from 115 schools in nine countries!

Student and teacher winners come from middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities in Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, India, South Africa, UK and the USA. Award winners and exhibitors share in the over $158,000 in valuable prizes sponsored by 81 generous PMA member companies and organizations from four countries. Prizes include film, digital cameras, memory cards, printers, tripods, scholarships, printing paper, photo accessories and more.

Entrants compete in nine categories by age group. Each category awards Grand, First, Second, Third, Honorable Mention and Exhibitor Awards.


The 2008 award winners for the Maharishi School are as follows:

Grades 9 and Under-Single Image:

2nd Place: Dodie Paige Thiel, Grade 9 “Purple Hat/Train”
Honorable Mention: Satya Griggs, Grade 9 “Chains”
Exhibitor Award: Elysia Belilove, Grade 9 “Foot Soles”

Grades 10,11,12-Single Image

Exhibitor Award: Josh Posner, Grade 11 “Boy on Skateboard”


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