American Community Schools Alumni Association

The ACSAA Scholarship Awards

The ACSAA Board of Directors (at the time Robert Johnson ‘64, Richard Gaskill ‘60, Joan (Lugo) Wilkinson-Steele ‘62, Esther (White) Laver ‘51, Frances Milligan ‘72, Alan Pando ‘48, Ann (Wittman) Manoukian ‘58, Lois (MacCormac) Rolla ‘72, and Michael Haurie ’77) presented its first scholarship awards at the Class of 2005 graduation ceremonies to Estefania (Stephanie) McPhaul and Federico Rey.

The Awards Committee (Lincoln Deputy Superintendent and College Counselor Jane Lowery, Dave Bishton ‘72, Bill Santoni '66, and Bob Johnson ‘64) developed a set of criteria for the award recipient(s) selection. It was approved by the Board of Directors in time to implement the program in 2005. The award recipients are chosen by a committee composed of Lincoln School faculty and staff. Each recipient is awarded $1500 to be used towards future college expenses. The number of recipients honored and the amounts given are reviewed each year by the ACSAA Board of Directors.

To be considered for an ACSAA scholarship award each student must have:

  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0;
  • Plans to attend a college or university of their choice where they can share their cultural diversity and experiences from Lincoln School;
  • Character qualities of honesty, integrity, and service, with a belief in achieving positive change to society through established legal means; and
  • Enthusiastic school spirit demonstrated by participation in student activities, clubs, or school government.

Each student must also submit of a statement of 250 words or fewer about how he or she would be a good alumni ambassador for Lincoln School in the future.

The decision to initiate an ACSAA awards program and to name it after Iris Lestani was made at the joint Board of Directors/Class Rep meeting held during Reunion 2003 in Denver, Colorado. The information was kept confidential so that Iris would not find out. The 2005 presentation was made by President Emeritus David Bishton '72. The biggest surprise of the evening was reserved for Iris Lestani who was invited to the stage and informed that the annual awards were being named after her! Iris devoted over 40 years of service to Lincoln School and over 20 years to the ACSAA as the school’s Alumni Liaison representative.

In 2016 one of the ACSAA scholarships was renamed the Jim Gill and Claudia Cansler Zaunbrecher Award. Jim Gill ’65 and Claudia Cansler Zaunbrecher ’68 were the driving forces that created the ACSAA as we know it today. In 1972, after two successful reunions of the 1960’s classes, Jim and Claudia decided that there should be a formal alumni reunion open to all classes. They spent the next several years, hours and hours and hours, tracking down former ACS, Lincoln, and Colegio Ward students by telephone and snail mail—no Internet! The data base that Jim and Claudia put together was the seed that became the ACSAA. The first realization of their vision was the Reunion 1982 in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, Jim passed away in 2014. We are proud of his and Claudia’s legacy to our alumni and to our school. We honor Jim and Claudia with this scholarship. Big successes come from small ideas….and perseverance. We hope the new graduates of Asociacion Escuelas Lincoln will be inspired by Jim and Claudia.

    Recipients of the ASCAA Scholarship Awards are:

    2019 Michelle Joos & Carolina Soares Rasteiro
    2018 Malen Iglesias & Andrea Kim

    2017 Ivan Martin Huang  & Mariana Suarez Claure
    2016 Caio Rodrigues Faria Brighenti & Jeong Eun Kim
    2015 Nicolas Urbicain & Tomas Ignacio Gonzalez Cueto
    2014 Esteban Alvaro Choi & Nicolas Valotta Galazi
    2013 Carola Asdrea Rojas Moreno & Martin Urbicain
    2012 Ines Gurovich & Lucrezia Rigano
    2011 Kyu Yeong Kim & Larisa Manescu
    2010 Mary McClain & Sofia Santamarina
    2009 Amy Paladin-Forrester & Ricardo Pimentel
    2008 Rachel Scott & Kelly Williamson
    2007 Nicolas Hung & Peter Mothe Hinsberger Martinez
    2006 Marcos Hung & Sonia Vergel
    2005 Stephanie McPhaul & Federico Rey

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