in Southeast Washington, D.C., to
immigrants who are preparing for
the U.S. citizenship exam.
David Lopilato, The Tattler’s
In eighth grade, Gaithersburg’s Grace Schuler won first place in a public speaking competition after
faculty adviser, says Andrew’s
intellect and ability to analyze
complex issues are matched by
his social intelligence, humility
and work ethic. “One Friday
afternoon, we were all here late,
grinding away at an edition of the
paper, and Andrew learned he got
into Stanford,” Lopilato says. “He
didn’t miss a beat. It was like,
‘That can wait. We have a paper
to put out.’”
Andrew plans to major in
Asian-American studies in college.
reciting President Ronald Reagan’s five-minute speech about the 1986 explosion of the space
“I couldn’t believe I won,” says Grace, who earned a scholarship from the sponsor, Our Lady of
“It was very impressive how Grace took it on. She was super organized and had a plan,” says
Good Counsel High School in Olney, the school she was planning to attend. “I did it without a lot of
experience and wondered what kids could do with some experience.”
Inspired by her victory, Grace created a free public speaking program called “Speak Out!” for
middle school students. The program provides after-school activities and mini-competitions to help
students overcome their nervousness about public speaking and is now offered at two Catholic
schools, one in Gaithersburg and one in Rockville. To date, the program has served more than 100
students, including six who have earned scholarships through the same public speaking competition
that Grace won.
Helene Redmond, Grace’s English teacher at her former school, St. Martin of Tours in Gaithersburg.
Grace put in more than 600 hours building the “Speak Out!” program, earning the Girl Scouts’
highest honor—the Gold Award—for her efforts. She hopes the program will continue after she
graduates, with the help of younger high school students she’s recruited.
Grace, 18, is also a member of Good Counsel’s speech and debate team, and its chamber choir.
She’s active in her church and has taken service trips in the U.S. and to the Dominican Republic.
She realized at age 10, while helping to organize her grandmother’s surprise 70th birthday
party, that she wanted to be an event planner, so she is planning to study hospitality management
GRACE SCHULER Senior, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School