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Celebrating Academic Excellence

HHCA Honors Student Academic Achievements

Hilton Head Christian Academy school leaders and mentors recognized outstanding academic achievements of middle and upper school students at its annual Evening of Academic Excellence on Wednesday, May 17, 2023.  

Among the recipients were students in 8th grade named as South Carolina Junior Scholars, several AP Scholars, Middle and Upper School Merit Award winners, and students who earned highest average and other recognition from their mentors. 

Several students sharing their experiences about participating in two key HHCA programs:

  • Diploma With Distinction
  • The HHCA Internship Program

Many students were named College Scholars from various colleges and universities. Always a highlight of the event, college book awards were also given.  Notably, the University of Virginia Jefferson Book Award and the Harvard Book Award were revealed. 

Representatives from the Lutzie 43 Foundation, Zonta Club of HHI, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry,, American Legion VFW Post 205, and many others were on-hand to present numerous scholarships to students in HHCA's Class of 2023.

Please join us in congratulating the students listed below for the outstanding accomplishments they earned, and for representing the academic excellence that HHCA strives for each year.


SC Junior Scholars are 8th grade students who achieved PSAT scores of a 550+ on the Reading section or 530+ on the Math section.  

  • Juliet Blackwell
  • Sierra Moore
  • Zac Panzarella
  • Francoise Schuppert


Fourteen HHCA students were named AP Scholars for AP tests taken  in May of 2022. To receive this honor, students must achieve a grade of 3 or higher on three or more exams. 

HHCA Class of 2022 AP Scholars:

  • Isabella Songer - AP Scholar with Honor
  • Emma Knight - AP Scholar with Distinction
  • Kate Booth
  • Annabel Court
  • Katherine Drozd
  • Sarah Jones
  • Harper Krimm
  • Jacqueline Lowrey
  • Teagan Pepper            
  • Jackson Tolerton

HHCA Class of 2023 AP Scholars:

  • Elizabeth Drozd
  • Lily Kemper
  • Anna Mossing
  • Ben Atkins - AP Scholar with Honor


  • Certificado de Excelencia: Jesse Hall and Nicolas Panzarella
  • Certificado por Servicios Benjamin Atkins and Elizabeth Drozd
  • Premio de Honor: Benjamin Atkins


World Language:

  • Spanish 1 - Anna Kate Taylor 
  • Spanish 2 - Christopher Nguyen
  • Spanish 3 - Nic Panzarella
  • AP Spanish Language - Ben Atkins
  • World Language Senior Passion Awards: Wells Sharp and Gavin Thompson


  • Humanities 6 - Amanda Drury
  • Humanities 7 - Cadence Pitman
  • Humanities 8 - Mollie Mikkelson
  • Humanities 9 (English 1 and Human Geography Honors) - Madison Moore, 8th Grade
  • English 1 Honors - Annika Muthersbaugh
  • Humanities 10 (World Literature and World History Honors) - Madison LeFew
  • World Literature Honors - Christopher Nguyen
  • Humanities 11 (American Literature and US History Honors) - Emily Phillips
  • American Literature Honors - Caleb Winget
  • British Literature Honors - Amelia Auld
  • AP English Language - Nic Panzarella
  • AP English Literature - Aaron Doerger
  • English Senior Passion Awards: Anna Mossing and Gabby Reis


  • US History Honors - Marin Mead
  • Government & Economics Honors - Noah Kaufman
  • AP Human Geography - Annika Muthersbaugh
  • AP European History - Christopher Nguyen
  • AP US History - Kate Oosthuizen
  • History Senior Passion Awards: Noah Kaufman and Caroline Yanker


  • Math 6 - Benjamin Capers
  • Math 7 - Kennedy Vance
  • Prealgebra 7th and 8th Grade - 7th Grader Ivey Taylor
  • Prealgebra 6th Grade - Austin Broene
  • Algebra 1 Honors 8th and 9th Grade - 8th Grader Mollie Mikkelson
  • Algebra 1 Honors 7th Grade - Nyla Capers
  • Geometry Honors 8th Grade - Zac Panzarella and Eli Taylor
  • Geometry Honors Upper School - Peter Rein and Kelsey Wilson
  • Algebra 2 Honors - John Mossing and Peter Rein
  • Algebra 3 Honors - Amy Schutz
  • Statistics Honors - Eliza Albert
  • Precalculus Honors - Christopher Nguyen and Nic Panzarella
  • AP Calculus AB - Millie Gilbreath
  • AP Calculus BC - Elizabeth Drozd
  • Math Senior Passion Awards: Brady Bagenstose and Noah Kaufman


  • Science 6 - Austin Broene and Calvin McKiddie
  • Science 7 - Nyla Capers
  • Physical Science 8 - Mollie Mikkelson and Madison Moore
  • Biology Honors - Audrey Burden, Caitlyn Jackson, and Regan Matthews
  • Chemistry Honors - Christopher Nguyen
  • Environmental Science Honors - Dawson Taylor
  • Marine Biology Honors - Mary Kovalcik
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors - Millie Gilbreath
  • Physics Honors - Jillian Campenella
  • AP Biology - Emma Evans
  • AP Chemistry - Maya Norcross
  • Project Lead The Way Biomedical Science (Inaugural Class) Honorees: Molly Mau and Katie Ireland
  • Science Senior Passion Awards: Isabel Cunningham and Aaron Doerger


HHCA Merit Awards are based on the criteria of attitude, diligence, and a true desire to learn.  To further encourage excellence in our competency-based academic model, mentors nominated students being mindful of the areas of agency, collaboration, and written and oral communication. Merit Award recipients were those nominated by multiple mentors but did not receive a highest academic average award in any course. They winners represent those students who consistently produced high-quality projects, made meaningful contributions to class discussions and demonstrated ownership of their own learning that elevated and impacted the classroom environment.  

Middle School Merit Awards:

  • Kylah Arnholt
  • Stella Burger
  • Callie Kolarov
  • Maggie Maine
  • Austin Marshall
  • Grace McGuire
  • Kate McKiddie
  • Mason Mikkelson
  • Eli Morgan
  • Reese Napier
  • Lucy Reese
  • Sophia Skinner

Upper School Merit Awards:

  • Ruby Chapman
  • Levi Eidson
  • Halle Kruse
  • Maddie Lange
  • London Geyer
  • Emma Taylor
  • Kenzie Bryant
  • Jackson Conrad
  • Ella Grace Cook
  • Isabel Cunningham
  • Evan Elliott
  • Jesse Hall
  • Margaret Hiers
  • Mya Hutchinson
  • Jack Mau
  • Morgan Scott
  • Briana Williams
  • Caroline Yanker



  • Leadership in Middle School Strings: Austin Broene and Sam Strum
  • Excellence In Middle School Strings: Abbagail Cooke and Ariella Maharaj
  • Leadership in Middle School Chorus: London Ivory

Music Director’s Awards 

This award is given to students in grades 8 through 12 who have participated in five of ten opportunities in the Hilton Head Christian Academy Music Department.

  • Emma Berry
  • Ruby Chapman
  • Sean Cullen
  • Peyton Dobbs
  • Ava Hahn
  • Chris Nguyen
  • Nic Panzarella
  • Liam Reeves
  • Emma Taylor

Band Dedication Senior Award:

  • Brady Bagenstose

J.P. Sousa Band Award

This award was introduced in 1955 to honor the top senior in the high school band, and recognizes superior musicianship and outstanding dedication. It was created with the approval of Helen Sousa Albert and Priscilla Sousa, daughters of the famous composer and bandmaster.  

  • Ben Atkins


  • Excellence in Middle School Theater: Benjamin Capers
  • Excellence in Upper School Theater: Millie Gilbreath

Middle School Theater Director’s Awards

  • Faith Fowler
  • Mallory Krimm
  • Milla Porcelli
  • Stella Shipman
  • Mattox Stonesifer

Upper School Theater Director’s Awards

  • Amelia Gilbreath
  • Jack Mau
  • Maya Norcross
  • Charlie Peirce
  • Caroline Thomas
  • Briana Williams

Technical Theater Director’s Awards

  • Phillip Court
  • Nicolas Panzarella
  • Kyle Pepper
  • John Cameron Thomas

Visual Arts

Middle School Artist Character Awards:

  • Visual Arts: Elianna Muthersbaugh
  • Digital Media: Cadence Pitman and Nathan Grunkemeyer

Middle School Art Service Award:

  • Ben Harris

Middle School Art Visionary Award:

  • London Danyluk

Rising Middle School Artists:

  • Visual Arts: Madison Moore
  • Digital Media: Asher Craddock

Middle School Distinguished Artists:

  • Aleksander Coupland
  • Mallory Krimm
  • Sophia Skinner

Upper School Distinguished Artists:

Recipients have shown great promise in the artistic field, dedicating time outside of class/school to excel in their assigned projects. Even though they faced challenges, they preserved with a stronger character and a greater appreciation for art.

  • Grace Avret
  • Campbell Dalzell
  • Sarah Drury
  • Reynolds Etheridge
  • Millie Gilbreath
  • Will Helmstetter
  • Chloe Knight
  • Maddie Lange
  • Grace Ofner
  • Amy Schutz

Heart for the Arts Senior Award:

This award is for a senior that has a big heart for art and creation. They have a skill set and desire that superseded most. There is a clear gifting in the visual art field.

  • Josephine Arraj


HHCA Junior Marshals comprise the top 12 students in the class at the end of first semester of their junior year.  They will serve as hosts at our 2023 graduation and participate in various leadership opportunities throughout their senior year. 

  • Eliza Albert
  • Jillian Campanella
  • Emma Evans
  • Millie Gilbreath
  • Ava Hahn
  • Jesse Hall
  • Chloe Knight
  • Jack Mau
  • Walker Mikkelson
  • Maya Norcross
  • Kate Oosthuizen
  • Jack Ussery


Sponsored by the American Legion, Palmetto Boys State was established in 1935 to cultivate future male government leaders. 

Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Palmetto Girls State was established in 1947 to develop future female government leaders. Each are considered premiere state-wide leadership and citizenship development programs with alumni that include our own Mrs. Guscio, Mr. Matt Smith, Ms. Kopitsky, Mr. Mousseau, as well as leaders across the country.  

Palmetto Boys State:

  • Jack Mau
  • Connor White
  • Dawson Taylor (alternate)

Palmetto Girls State:

  • Margaret Hiers
  • Emme Lentz
  • Briana Williams


Presented annually, students receiving the Governor’s Citizenship Award demonstrate outstanding achievement in the areas of Character, Service, Leadership, Responsibility, and Discipline.  

  • Emma Kate Dalzell
  • Camille Sposato
  • Connor White



Students are nominated for the college scholar awards based on specific criteria set by each school.  Criteria might include GPA, rank in class, PSAT, SAT or ACT scores. 

  • Eliza Albert
  • Tyler Borack
  • Kenzie Bryant
  • Jillian Campanella
  • Ava Castro
  • Dylan Clark
  • Ella Grace Cook
  • Erin Engler
  • Alex Epstein
  • Reynolds Etheridge
  • Emma Evans
  • Milie Gilbreath
  • Sarah Grunkemeyer
  • Ava Hahn
  • Jesse Hall
  • Margaret Hiers
  • AJ Houpt
  • Chloe Knight
  • Keely Langhals
  • Jack Mau
  • Walker Mikkelson
  • Maya Norcross
  • Kate Oosthuizen (Oostayzen)
  • Charlie Peirce
  • Ava Pratt
  • Camden Pratt
  • Liam Reeves
  • Amy Schutz
  • Camille Sposato
  • Dawson Taylor
  • Trace Taylor
  • John Cameron Thomas
  • Jack Ussery
  • Connor White
  • Caleb Winget
  • Devon Yarde


High Point Book Award:

  • Christopher Nguyen

St. Michael’s College Book Award:

  • Ella Grace Cook
  • Reynolds Etheridge 

Clarkson University Leadership and Achievement Awards:

These awards are designed to recognize junior students who demonstrate strong leadership qualities, positively impact their high school and local community, and have a proven academic record. The recipient of the Clarkson Achievement and Leadership Awards receives a certificate of recognition and a $12,000 to 15,000 annual scholarship if accepted and enrolled full time at Clarkson.

  • Achievement Award: Walker Mikkelson
  • Leadership Award: Jillian Campanella

University of Virginia Jefferson Book Award:

  • Maya Norcross

Harvard Prize Book Award:

  • Jack Ussery


Lutzie 43 Scholarship:

  • Lilly Parker

American Legion School Award Medal:

  • Ben Atkins
  • Elizabeth Drozd

PEO Women in Education Scholarship: Molly Mau

The Philanthropic Educational Association is an international organization of women helping women, providing scholarships and loans to women pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. This award is a $3,000 Scholarship for Women in Education, granted to a high school graduate who has been accepted into a college program of study leading to teacher certification and a teaching career. This year’s recipient is Molly Mau. Molly plans to study special education at Appalachian State University. During her interview, Molly clearly demonstrated a passion for teaching children with special learning challenges. She understands their struggles and has a commitment to helping all children discover their strengths and talents. Molly is exactly the kind of person needed in the field of special education, and we are delighted to support her in this educational journey. 

Children’s Relief Fund Gregory Fotia Scholarship: Molly Mau

The Children’s Relief Fund recognizes that every person, no matter what their disability, has a place in our society. Their goal is to provide the Special Needs Children in our area with the appropriate tools to live productive lives in our community. These very special children, like all other children, deserve their chance to shine! This totally volunteer organization has been serving the special needs children in the LowCountry since its inception in 1991. They have raised millions of dollars to benefit specific families’ needs, to fund specialized therapeutic programs designed to advance physical, mental and emotional development and to provide this scholarship. 

Zonta Margaret Gould Scholarship: 

  • Molly Mau

Jeff Katon Scholarship:

  • Judy Austin

Dwon DJ Fields “Live Like DJ” Scholarship:

  • Lilly Parker
  • Judy Austin


And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him

- Colossians 3:17