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March 17, 2004

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Publication Date: Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Two named winners of Zider scholarships Two named winners of Zider scholarships (March 17, 2004)

** The two, chosen from a field of eight finalists, win $15,000 scholarships.

By Marjorie Mader
Almanac Staff Writer

A student at Menlo-Atherton High School and one from Woodside Priory School have each received a $15,000 Chris Zider Scholarship Award to use for their college education.

Kelly Wright of Menlo Park and Tim Kovachy of Portola Valley were selected from of a pool of 82 applicants.

Kelly follows in her brother Steven's footsteps: He was a winner of the Zider Scholarship last year.

This is the 11th year the scholarships have been awarded in memory of Chris Zider of Portola Valley, who lost his life in a snowboarding accident at Lake Tahoe in 1992 when he was a sophomore at Woodside High School.

The finalists completed an intensive application process, based on the Stanford University application, and had two interviews with the scholarship board members.

The six other finalists were Catherine Chuter from Sacred Heart Prep; Katherine Daiss and Carson Finkle from Menlo-Atherton High School; Arianna Gianola and Charles Vickery from Palo Alto High School; and Katrina Kosco from Gunn High School.

Chris Zider's parents Chery and Bob Zider, plus family and friends created the scholarship program to recognize Midpeninsula sophomores for achievement in the classroom, on the playing fields and in the community. Award winners exemplify the values, character and qualities that Chris had, including an infectious, enthusiasm for life, said Mr. Zider.


The two winners -- Kelly Wright and Tim Kovachy -- said they will use the scholarship for college expenses.

The top prizes -- one for a girl and one for a boy -- may be used for high school or college tuition, or education-related living expenses or activities, such as taking a summer course on a college campus.

Kelly, who said she wants to be an elementary or middle school teacher, is vice president of the student body at Menlo-Atherton. She is an active member of Outreach, a community-service club at M-A.

She and other club members recently collected 100 backpacks, filled them with supplies and distributed them to homeless people they met in San Francisco. She has installed fire alarms in the homes of people who needed them, and handed out valentines to residents of convalescent homes.

Kelly's major sport is volleyball. She started playing when she was in fourth grade at Oak Knoll School. Now she stands 6 feet tall and is the middle blocker on M-A's varsity team.

Tim plays on the varsity basketball and tennis teams at Woodside Priory School. He also is a certified scuba diver who discovered and explored a sunken paddleboat in a New Hampshire lake. A big challenge for him, and also a great experience, he said, was coping with the wilderness, including clouds of bugs, during a trip to Alaska.

During the summer, Tim was a teaching assistant and counselor in the Bridge Program that brings students from East Palo Alto and Redwood City to Woodside Priory School for academic and enrichment activities.

If Tim had to choose a college major now, he said, it would be science, physics or medicine, possibly math, but he likes philosophy, too.

Other finalists

Catherine Chuter participates in crew and water polo at Sacred Heart Prep and sings in the choir. She helped build housing in Mexico as a community service project.

Katherine Daiss plays varsity soccer at Menlo-Atherton and was chosen to be on state Olympic Development Team. She has volunteered at a rescue mission in Santa Barbara.

Carson Finkle plays varsity basketball at Menlo-Atherton and plays the piano. Participating in the Amigos program, he earned his expenses to volunteer in community-service projects in Mexico.

Arianna Gianola, a varsity soccer player at Palo Alto High School, led a campaign to start a lacrosse team at Paly. She is a class representative on the student council and plays the piano.

Katrina Kosco plays lacrosse, volleyball and soccer at Gunn High School. She is member of the mother/daughter book club and a counselor-in-training for Kennolyn camps.

Charles Vickery, junior class president at Palo Alto High School, participates in cross-country. He received the Heart of Anne Frank Award for drama.


The deadline to apply for Chris Zider scholarships is March 23. All sophomores who live in Portola Valley, Woodside, Menlo Park, Atherton, East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, or at Stanford, or attend Woodside High or Menlo School, may apply.

Applications are available in the school counseling offices or from The Beta Group at 233-8700. Semifinalists will submit a full application, similar to those used by university admission officers, and will be interviewed by members of the scholarship fund board.

Winners will be announced in the fall.

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