Sammy Chouffani, Class of 2017, Awarded Prestigious
UNCC Levine Scholarship
Sammy Chouffani El Fassi, Class of 2017, has received a Levine Scholarship from University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). The four-year scholarship includes full tuition, valued at more than $100k, as well as a grant to implement a service project of the Scholar's own design, and four summers of experiences that will develop leadership skills, social awareness and an international perspective.
After two full days of interviewing, Sammy was selected with 19 other students from a pool of approximately 3,000 candidates. He will study chemistry with a biochemistry focus, with the goal of a career in surgery. He credits his grandmother for sparking his interest in medicine, recalling when he was seven years old and she gave him a lamb heart to investigate while she was preparing a special meal. He cut into it and was fascinated by the structures.
Sammy recreated that experience with his Senior Pride Project, a requirement at Pine Lake, for which he performed a laparoscopic surgery on a lamb heart, simulating an operation to repair a heart wall that is too thick. Jim Hancock, M.D., served as Sammy's mentor and spent a significant amount of time coaching Sammy with the project, and furthering his interest in medicine as a career.
Anatomy teacher, April Baucom, showed a video of it to the class to demonstrate how the circulatory system works.
"Sammy's project was amazing! He was able to borrow tools from a doctor to perform laparoscopic heart surgery on a lamb heart. Sammy determined the defect and was able to correct it. He even went as far as to suture it up! I showed his video to my Anatomy classes, as we were finishing up the Circulatory System. It was an opportunity to show the practical uses of what they are learning," said Baucom.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Sammy is involved with the Tri M Music Honor Society and started a non-profit through the music honor society which pairs volunteer student musicians with students interesting in taking music lessons but do not have access. The web address is
"I knew I wanted to do something big with the honor society, and this was a way to help urban kids who wanted to get involved with music and (and an option to) stay out of trouble. A lot of schools don't get a lot of funding and this is a way for them to get free music tutoring from experienced band students via video conferencing."
Sammy is a skipper on PLP's sailing team, coached by Mike Mergenthaler. The team recently placed 4th at a regatta in Brunswick, GA.
Both of his parents, Mike and Noufissa Chouffani El Fassi, attended UNCC. He is very excited to be a part of this elite group of Levine Scholars Program provides. Students in the program are sent abroad for two semesters and spend summers doing leadership building experiences, including a month-long wilderness adventure this summer.
"I'm excited because the Levine scholars I met were incredible people - they were from diverse backgrounds. very sharp, very good with people - not typical nerds," he said with a laugh.
Sammy credits Ximena Blankenship, his Spanish teacher, for connecting him with Levine Scholars, and Physics teacher, Jim Cooke, for his recommendation letter, as well as Amanda Dworsky and Michelle Honore, from the College Counseling department, for helping him prepare for the interview process by communicating what he had to offer to the program.
"Sammy demonstrates the values you want to see as a future graduate student of PLP, he is honorable, respectful, dedicated, enthusiastic and inquisitive about his learning. Sammy appreciates learning about other cultures and he embraces any cultural challenge that comes his way," said Blankenship.
"Sammy's work ethic and desire for learning are contagious. He is going to bring positive energy to any situation he is involved in," said Cooke. He is the type of student who thinks, practices and asks questions until he builds the abstract understanding necessary for performing well in my physics classes."
Sammy has as much positive to say about Pine Lake as his teachers do about him. "I've been at PLP since the fourth grade and I don't think I would be as prepared for college if I wasn't here for so long. We have the most supportive teachers."
About the Levine Scholars Program
The Levine Scholars Program takes the brightest, most capable students and gives them the tools, resources and environment they need to connect, transform and make a difference in the world. The four-year scholarship includes full tuition, room, board, a grant to implement a service project of the Scholar's own design, and four summers of experiences that will develop leadership skills, social awareness and an international perspective. The total value of this four-year package is estimated at $105,000 for in-state students and $155,000 for out-of-state students.
A passion to make a difference is a defining attribute of a Levine Scholar. All Scholars receive access to a service grant to implement a project of their own design in the community. The grant and the service project transform the lives of the Levine Scholars, the lives of the individuals and the families with whom they work, and the communities where Scholars extend their energy and creativity. Upon graduation, Levine Scholars move into their chosen careers fully prepared as talented scholars, gifted leaders and passionate humanitarians.
Learn more at : http://levinescholars.uncc.edu/about-us/levine-scholars-program-overview
Putt for Pride Registration Open!
Register your golf foursome, or sign up as an individual to golf, or reserve a corporate sponsorship at the 2017 Putt for Pride Golf Tournament, which will be held Monday, May 8th at The Peninsula Club in Cornelius.
The Golf Tournament is a PLP tradition. A time for parents, friends, business associates and others to enjoy a day of golf at the scenic Peninsula Club, while supporting a PLP fundraising event. The Ladies Luncheon is an event that brings together mothers, grandmothers and other friends of PLP for a delicious lunch, speaker, and raffle items to bid on.
We will also be looking for items to be donated to the online auction, which is held the week before the Golf Tournament and Ladies Luncheon. If you know someone willing to donate a gym membership, restaurant gift card, theatre tickets, spa services, orthodontic services, vacation rentals, and other items of value, please contact
Father Daughter Dance a Huge Success!
It was the "ACC in Wonderland" on Saturday at the Queen of Hearts Ball/ Father Daughter Dance. More than 500 dads, daughters and special guests attended the event and enjoyed the spectacular decor and festivities. Alice, the Queen, and the Mad Hatter entertained guests and kept the event hopping like the White Rabbit.
THANK YOU to Shawna Montague and Wendy Lawson, who were the masterminds behind the event, and Matt Siegel of Renaissance Festival, which supplied actors and props to bring their vision to life.
Carrie Hoke a State Finalist for STEM Teaching Award
Ms. Carrie Hoke was a finalist for the North Carolina Science, Math and Technology Education Center's Outstanding K-8 Educator (NC Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center). Ms. Shelly Sims nominated her last fall, and a team came to observe Ms. Hoke last week. She was one of three finalists for this prestigious award for her innovative teaching. Congrats!
Order April Lunches by March 20
OrgsOnline opens for April lunch orders March 9 and closes March 20. After March 20, the system will be closed and no further orders will be accepted.
Spring Portraits March 22 and 23
Spring portraits will be taken at Lower School on Wednesday, March 22, and for Middle and Upper on Thursday, March 23. Students are invited to wear spring attire on their picture day, in accordance with the non-uniform policy.
Pine Lake Prep has a great lineup of summer camps. Registration is through OrgsOnline under the Enrichments tab.
Pine Lake's summer camps are open to family, friends and the community. Please share this information with your non-PLP friends as well!
SPORK Sells Discount Cards to Fund Competitions
Team SPORK (PLP upper school robotics team) is selling discount cards to raise money for competition expenses. The cards can be used multiple times and are valid until March 2018. The cost is $20.
There are some great deals in Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville and the cards will pay for themselves quickly.
If you would like to purchase cards, you will be able to get them from any Team SPORK member, or you can simply send in $20 (cash preferred) with your name/student name/grade, to any building, to the attention of Leslie Clegg (LS Art Teacher & Team SPORK Coach).
Also, members of Team SPORK will have cards available
March 21st and 22nd at dismissal time around the loop.
Thank you for supporting TEAM SPORK!
Artists from Upper and Middle School Earn Accolades at Mooresville Youth Art Show
Congratulations to the following Visual Art students, who won awards at the 13th Annual Mooresville Youth Art Show!
1st Place- Nathan Orf- The River-Acrylic
Honorable Mention- Sophie Dellinger- Self Portrait- Acrylic
2nd place- Heather Anderson- Frank
Honorable Mention - Gabrielle Fry- Caffrey-Graphite
Honorable Mention- Walker Perry-Striped Light-Mixed Media
Each will be recognized at a reception this Friday, March 10.
- Information and photos contributed by Richard Suarez
Upper School Choirs Earn High Marks
PLP's Upper School choirs participated in MPA (music performance adjudication). All groups performed outstandingly.
Here are the results:
Womens Ensemble - SUPERIOR!
Pride Singers - Excellent
Men's Ensemble - Excellent
Congrats to all!
A group of Upper School students are just starting their adventures in Spain and Gibraltar. Follow their adventures here:
Spain/Gibraltar Trip 2017
7th Grade Visits Washington, D.C.
Approximately 200 PLP students, teachers and chaperones returned from Washington, D.C. last week after a packed itinerary that included the Capitol, the Holocaust Memorial and Museum, Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln, World War II, and Jefferson Memorials, several Smithsonian Museums, and Arlington National Cemetery.
1 of 4 bus loads of students in front of the Supreme Court.
College and Career Week
Big shout out to these ladies, for a highly successful week including many Career Fair speakers and the first STEM College mini-fair and admissions panel, which drew 20 universities to campus.
Thank you to all who participated to talk about their careers and to these ladies for coordinating it all!
Chamber of Commerce president, Bill Russell, with Jason Perryman
Salem and Grant dressed up for their future careers. :-)
Eagle Project Paves Way for LS Students
PLP Senior, Will Weaver, completed his
Eagle Project workday February 25th, which included building three stone paver walkways at the Lower School carpool area as well as a stone and wood bench on the path between the lower school and Fine Arts buildings. There were over 16 scouts and adults who participated in the project. Will raised $1300 to cover the estimated cost of the project. Due to the generous discount from Mooresville Lowe's Home Improvement Center for the materials, Will is going to be able to donate $650 to Pine Lake Preparatory for additional improvements to this area.
Interested? Find out more at
Elevate Rock School