McLane Law Firm Presents Seacoast Students with the 2012 Harvard Prize Book Award

Attorney David Wolowitz of the McLane Law Firm recently presented seven outstanding area high school students with the annual Harvard Prize Book Award on behalf of the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of New Hampshire.

The Prize Book is awarded to students in the incoming senior class who combine excellence in scholarship, high character, and achievement in other fields. Students are nominated by their school’s administration.

This year’s winners are incoming seniors Ian Smith of Exeter High School, Jailin Shi of Oyster River High School; Samuel Pallas of  Spaulding High School; Katie Rocci of Newmarket Junior-Senior High School; Alena Naimark of Portsmouth High School; Rose Clemons of Dover High School and Alexander Goff of Nute High School. Each of the students received a copy of the book entitled, Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds.

About the Students:

Ian Smith of Exeter High School is a Varsity athlete in Cross Country and Track and Field.  He is also a student senator and the Vice President of the National Honor Society. Last year, he was on a team of students that created a documentary on the 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth. This film made it to the national level in the National History Day Competition. This year, Ian attended the Summer Leadership Seminar at West Point.  The Summer Leadership Seminar is an academic program in which students are exposed to the academy as well as attend lectures by West Point professors. Ian also attended the Youth and Government and Boys State government programs. In college, Ian hopes to pursue a major in International Relations.

Jialin Shi of Oyster River High School, in Durham, participates in community services activities such as soup kitchen for the Salvation Army, visitation to the elderly and Special Olympics. She is a member of the math team (which she will captain this coming year) and is the top scoring junior in the Tri-State league. Jialin also attended the national math competition at Pennsylvania State University. She is a part of the First Robotics team at her high school where she and her team competed at WPI. Jialin is a member of the National Honor Society and the National French Honor Society. This summer, she attended the Advanced Studies Program at St. Paul’s School where she studied Engineering. In addition to winning the Harvard Book Prize, Jialin won Rochester University’s Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology, highest honors from the Society of Women Engineers and New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics Award. She is also a National Merit Scholar Nominee. In her free time, Jialin likes to fence, play badminton and swim.

Samuel Pallas of Rochester’s Spaulding High School is a model student who has always had a great desire for learning. A Varsity soccer player, Sam’s love for the sport of soccer is matched only by the determination he has to never cease improving, and to help others do the same. Sam is a member of Spaulding’s National Honor Society, French Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta and has aspirations of obtaining leadership roles within these clubs when the next school year begins. An active member of the Rochester community, among Sam’s favorite community service events include raising money for and walking in the Relay for Life, and helping young children learn basic soccer skills at a local soccer camp. Working over the summer as a friendly and hardworking cashier, Sam will be entering the new school year ranked first in his class at Spaulding.

Katie Rocci of Newmarket High School will enter her senior year as president of the National Honor Society. She has also served on Student Council for each year of high school and was the public relations officer last year. Katie was delighted to participate in the Penguin Plunge this past school year. She is also a year-round Varsity athlete in soccer, basketball, and track. She was awarded Best All-Around Junior Girl and the Saint Michael’s Book Award for Academic Achievement and Social Conscience. Last summer, she thoroughly enjoyed RYLA, a youth leadership camp.

Alexander Goff of Nute High School in Milton has served as Leo club president for two years. He has served on the Student Council for the past three years. He has served as class secretary. and he will serve as Student Council President this coming year. He volunteers in various community activities year round. Alex is a member of the National Honor Society and he volunteers for his church’s annual penny sale. He is working on his Eagle Scout project in Boy Scouts. This summer, Alex attended the Advanced Studies Program at St. Paul’s School where he studied in Changing the World, and will be attending a two day leadership conference in Bartlett, NH to learn how to help further improve his school community. As a military child, Alex has learned the importance of service, adaptability and acceptance.

Rose Clemons will return to Dover High School as the Secretary of the National Honor Society for the Class of 2013. She has been a member of her school’s Varsity swim team since her freshman year and was the team’s co-captain her junior year. She runs cross country in the fall and has run track and field in the spring of her freshman and sophomore years and played tennis her junior year. She has been a member of the French National Honor Society since her freshman year and was recently awarded a Certificat d’honneur in recognition of receiving the second highest score in the state for this year’s National French Exam. She plays baritone in her school’s gold medal-winning marching band in the fall, and plays saxophone in the concert and jazz bands during the school year. She is a member of her school’s Varsity math team as well as a member of the school’s newest club: Interact- a community service group that works with the city’s Rotary on both local and international projects. This past year Rose was recognized for excellence in AP Calculus BC and AP Language and Composition. Rose is looking forward to an exciting senior year and the completion of her college application process.

Alena Naimark of Portsmouth High School is a member of her school’s French Club and its school literary magazine club, Epitome. She is a Honor Society member and is on the Junior Varsity tennis team and swim team. Alena has played piano for ten years, and volunteers weekly at a nursing home, as well as for school events.  She is an avid artist, and took courses this summer at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  She also participated in Granite State Girls week long government program.

About the Award

The national Harvard Prize Book Award program encourages Harvard alumni to conduct outreach to their local schools, to give students who may consider applying to Harvard a local contact and role model.

David Wolowitz, a Director at the McLane Law Firm’s Portsmouth Office, was the first to introduce the program to Seacoast schools, where he has been honoring students for more than twenty years. More than 60 New Hampshire schools have had students honored with the award.

“This award recognizes students not just for their academic accomplishments, but for their acts of responsible citizenship and positive contributions to their communities,” comments David Wolowitz.

Rolf Goodwin, a fellow Director at McLane’s Manchester office and Harvard alumnus added, “The Harvard Prize Book program was developed to encourage local students to consider applying to Harvard, and to remind students that financial need is not an impediment to admission. In fact, in 2011-12, Harvard awarded more than 60 percent of its students a total of $166 million in need-based grant assistance.”

Comprehensive information about Harvard admissions and financial aid may be found at  The College website may be found at

About the McLane Law Firm

Founded in 1919, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association is the largest full-service law firm in the state of New Hampshire, with offices in Manchester, Concord and Portsmouth, as well as Woburn, Massachusetts.  Driven by the firm’s depth of sophisticated legal expertise and an unwavering commitment to client service, McLane has built collaborative and lasting relationships with a broad spectrum of domestic and international clients.