BEEVILLE – On Friday, Feb. 7, during a 9 a.m. assembly, the Joe Barnhart Foundation Scholar Award will be granted to one full-time junior at A.C. Jones High School.
The purpose of the award is to encourage superior students to excel. The award is not necessarily based on the highest academic standing and takes into account the student’s potential for contributions to the world in the areas of civics, religion, other humanities, business or professions. The award amount is $7,500 and may be given for four years for a possible total of $30,000. A one-time award of $5,000 will be given in the first year of college to the three remaining finalists.
Each of the four finalists this year is representative of a well-rounded student. All are ranked in the top 10 out of a class of 208 and have a resume that details many and varied activities.
Louanne LeBourveau, A.C. Jones English teacher, describes Lindsey Lawson as someone who is always prepared in class, making a positive contribution to that day’s work. Lindsey juggles a busy schedule as she takes both dual credit classes and AP classes. Lindsey is a member of First Christian Church and volunteers each year for Relay for Life. This finalist is on a mission to create a cancer-free world. She will begin her education at the University of Texas to study biology on her journey to become an oncologist.
The second finalist can also be found volunteering throughout the community. Emily Lehmberg loves making a difference in the lives of people she has helped. During the class day she participates on the Academic Decathlon Preparatory team, is a member of the Spanish Club and several other organizations, and serves as the junior class vice president. Emily’s goal is to attend the University of California to major in anatomy and minor in linguistics to become a speech pathologist.
A love of music and singing has helped the third finalist develop confidence, determination and time management. Sydnie Maguire is described as a self-motivated student who always strives to be the best and has demonstrated this by taking challenging courses throughout high school. Sydnie excels in mathematics and has chosen to pursue a career in petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University.
The fourth finalist has dreamed of being a physician since she was very little and is on the road to making that dream become a reality. Alicia Valdez demonstrates strong academic performance, is involved in several school clubs and serves as the junior class president and as an officer for many other organizations. Fatima Garcia, A.C. Jones Spanish teacher says, “Alicia is a natural-born leader.” Alicia has chosen to become a physician and plans to attend The University of Texas to pursue her education.
Jennifer Warner Dharamsi, M.D. (pronounced “Da-ramsey”), daughter of Frank and Martha Warner, will be this year’s Barnhart Lectureship speaker. Jenny graduated from A.C. Jones in 1999; during her high school years, she ran track and cross country, played basketball, was active in student council, Spanish Club and Academic Decathlon, performed with the All-State Choir and regularly sang the national anthem at hometown football and basketball games.
Jennifer was the valedictorian of her graduating class, and with the help and guidance of Paula Duffy and the Barnhart office, she was awarded several scholarships, including the Joe Barnhart Foundation Scholarship and the FINA/Dallas Morning News All-State Scholar Athlete Award. These allowed her to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she double-majored in Spanish literature and molecular/cell biology and was a finalist for the Founder’s Medal (awarded to the top graduate in the College of Arts and Sciences).
She attended medical school at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. While there she was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Society for being among the top graduates in her class, and she spent one year as a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., where she studied the molecular basis of skin cancer.
After completing her internship at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Jennifer was happy to return home to Texas for her dermatology residency at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas. She served as chief resident her senior year, graduated from residency and completed her board certification examination in July 2012.
Jenny is now in private practice dermatology in the Dallas area, where she treats skin disease in children and adults, performs skin cancer surgeries and does cosmetic and laser procedures. She is fluent in Spanish, thanks to the inspiration of Kay Past and Jeannie Kesler, and puts it to good use in her clinic, serving as one of the few Spanish-speaking dermatologists in her community. Jenny is also a professor of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern, where she teaches resident physicians.
Jenny is married to her college sweetheart, Farid, who practices emergency medicine in the Dallas area. In her free time, she enjoys singing at her church, exercising and spending time with her husband, her one-year-old daughter, Elina, and her sister, Jody, who also lives in Dallas.