IBMA Student Excellence Awards: 2019


An IBMA Student Excellence Award in the amount of $500.00 will be granted to at least one student enrolled in a PYP or MYP Programme, and $1,000 to at least one student enrolled in a DP or CP Programme, provided that the IBMA Student Excellence Award Committee determined that there was at least one applicant per program level who qualified for the award. The application and Student Excellence Award guidelines are here. The winners for 2019 are:

  • Career-related Programme: Yumna Iqbal, South Lakes High School (Susan K. Brownsword, CP Coordinator)

    Yumna is currently the district 14 president of DECA and leads all schools in her district in this role. She organizes, plans, and implements DECA events and serves as a liaison between the schools in her district and DECA regional officers. She is also her school’s yearbook staff and serves as a team leader where she leads others in recording events, gathering interviews, and organizing the yearbook. In addition, Yumna serves as the manager of the South Lakes High School football team where she coordinates the logistics for the football program to make sure it runs smoothly. She sets up for all games, manages inventory, and assists the coaches and players. She is a leader and role model among her peers.

    Yumna’s teachers credit her with “strong communication and leadership skills.” This is evident through a service project where she collaborated with with the South Lake’s Food Pantry to provide students at South Lakes with groceries and toiletries. She also led a team of peers in the development of a business plan that would help the Food Pantry maximize its reach in the community. Through these efforts, the Food Pantry’s orders increased from 20 per month to approximately 130 per month. Yumna and her team were recognized by the Best of Reston and the Food Pantry received an achievement award and recognition as well.  Yumna has served her community in an intentional way and exemplifies the IB Learner Profile.

  • Diploma Programme - Rose Lee, Richard Montgomery High School (Nancy Shay, DP Coordinator)

    Rose is the founder of Twinbrook Tutors: The RM Futures Project            , a program dedicated to tutoring and fostering relationships with underrepresented and financially disadvantaged students. The students at Twinbrook Elementary School, a Title One school in Rose’s school district, directly benefitted from this initiative; they were able to grow academically and engage in hands-on STEM activities. Rose states that the program’s main goal was to “close the achievement and confidence gap.”

    Rose is also active in forensics and public speaking. She describes that giving speeches in front of large crowds is one of her greatest passions and provides her a platform to “express herself to the fullest extent.” Through Forensics, she is able to communicate her political and scientific ideas and has the “privilege of coaching and leading other members.”  Rose also volunteers for the KID Museum where she facilitates and leads hands-on STEM activities for children, allowing them to express their creativity and encouraging them to “let their ideas take them anywhere.” Her ultimate goal is to foster curiosity and open-mindedness in children. 

    Rose is described as a “stellar student,” not just for her dedication and work ethic, but also for being a supportive classmate and community servant who wishes to make the world a better place.  Reliable, respectful, and willing to be challenged, she is a “model IB student with her excellence only shadowed by her humility.”  Rose embodies the ideals of the IB Diploma Program.

  • Middle Years Programme: Maya Kelly Schindler, DC International School (Dean Harris, MYP Coordinator)

    Maya is involved with the Young Playwrights' Theater (YPT), where she has worked to develop her writing skills and create plays. She wrote a play based on her experience as a girl playing baseball. The play, which is called "I Got This", was chosen as one of five middle school plays to be professionally performed as part of YPT’s New Play Festival.

    Maya credits her MYP courses with helping her to “find ways to explore [her] issues and express her thoughts.” She describes an art project she created after researching the death penalty and criminal justice reform. She represented statistics and facts in powerful ways, including a painting and a video. She has participated in marches and rallies such as the Women’s March, the Families Belong Together March, and the March for Our Lives. She also active in the Equality Matters club. In this club she works to create a safe space for all and participates in important discussions about race, religion, and LGBTQIA+ issues. In addition, Maya has played on her middle school soccer team for four seasons.

  • Primary Years Programme: Binyamin Hassan, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (Carrie Checca, PYP Coordinator)

    Binyamin is a member of the Odyssey of the Mind team which recently created solutions to problems using recycled materials. He has also planted trees in his local neighborhood to improve the canopy cover and the local environment overall.  Additionally, Binyamin is involved with Operation Earthwatch, a community program that promotes environmental awareness in order to instill a love and passion for the environment as well as inspire a call to action to improve it. He deeply cares for the environment and his community and demonstrates this through his community service projects.

    Benjamin also participated in a service project called GIVE Day, where students brainstormed social issues, such as hunger, poverty, natural disasters. Binyamin reflected on this activity by saying, “I learned from GIVE Day that working to find a solution to a problem is how all good things get done.” In addition, Binyamin and his peers created a presentation about global warming and pollution and also designed a website on origami. He undertook both of these projects on his own time in order to expand his knowledge and fuel his curiosity. Binyamin embodies the IB Learner Profile and reflects the ideals of the IBMA Student Excellence Award.