McLane Law Firm Presents Seacoast Students with the 2014 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 selected by their school’s administration.
This year’s winners are incoming seniors Samantha Stewart of Oyster River High School; Emma Clarke of Spaulding High School; Sarah Filion of Newmarket Junior-Senior High School; Colin Yost of Portsmouth High School; Connor Patrick Gaffney of Dover High School, Kelsey Taatjes of Nute High School; and Anna Dullea of Exeter 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:
Heading into her senior year, Samantha Stewart of Oyster River High School holds the top academic ranking in her class. She has received awards for achievement in mathematics each year at Oyster River and this year was awarded the Rensselaer Medal from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, for excellence in math and science. She has also received a highest honors certificate of merit in science and mathematics from the Society of Women Engineers. This summer, Samantha participated in the CATS Program (Challenging Academically Talented Students) at the University of New Hampshire, learning Chemical Principles for Engineers. Sarah is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, and the National Honor Society.  She is part of the Community Service club’s Relay for Life, and a past member of the Durham Rotary Club’s Interact club. She has played soccer and basketball for three years at Oyster River, also playing for the Lady Spartans basketball team.
Emma Clarke of Spaulding High School in Rochester spent time this summer on a STEAM studio design precollege course through Brown University. She will return to Spaulding High School as a Co-President of the Interact Club, in which she has also served as Treasurer and Secretary. Emma is a United States Figure Skating Association gold medalist and as a competitive figure skater has won two gold medals while representing New Hampshire at State Games of America championships. She has been honored as a Rochester Athletic Association Athlete of the Month multiple times. Emma is a member of the Latin Honor Society and will continue as secretary in Spaulding’s Latin Club. She is also a member of Mu Alpha Theta and participates in Project SEARCH and Poetry Out Loud.  
Sarah Filion of Newmarket High School is currently the President of the Newmarket Class of 2015, and Treasurer of the National Honor Society. She is ranked first in her class, and was recently awarded with the University of Rochester’s Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award. This summer, Sarah attended St Paul’s Advanced Studies Program for five weeks of rigorous study in the course of Molecular Biology. On top of her academic and service commitments, she is also a three-sport athlete, participating in cross country, cheerleading, and outdoor track every year. She is passionate about poetry, and has been a two year finalist in her school’s Poetry Out Loud competition. She enjoys spending time outdoors, often using her free time to ski and swim.
Colin Yost of Portsmouth High School spent his summer at New Hampshire’s Boys State and at Boys Nation in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the American Legion. While at Boys State, Colin received the Eli A. Marcoux Good Citizenship Award and was also nominated as a finalist for the National Samsung Scholarship. When Colin returns to Portsmouth High School this fall, he will continue to serve as one of his class’ representatives to the student council as well as the co-head of the National Honor Society for his school. At the end of the last school year, Colin was awarded the Haven Medal as the highest academically ranked student in his class. He is also an active member of the Portsmouth High School’s award-winning Marching and Concert Bands, Woodwind & Brass ensemble, and world-champion Percussion ensemble with musical capabilities spanning piano, flute, oboe, and percussion. In February 2014, Colin earned his Eagle Scout Rank after completing his Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project at the John Paul Jones Historical Home in Portsmouth, and he continues to serve his community through volunteer work at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. Colin has also worked at Target in Greenland, New Hampshire for over one year, and in his free time, he enjoys filmmaking, specifically screenwriting, and is an avid downhill skier.
Connor Gaffney entered Dover High School after receiving both the President’s Award for Educational Excellence and the American Citizenship Award in his eighth grade year. He has been active in the Special Olympics Golf Tournament, local food shelters, and as a Pease Greeter, welcoming men and women in the Armed Forces as they pass through Pease International Air Force Base on their way to or home from active duty overseas. He has been a member of the National Honor Society and the World Language Honor Society since his sophomore year, and is entering his second year as a member of the Athletic Leadership Council. In addition, Connor is currently the Valedictorian of his class and serves as a tutor during the school year. Connor also participates in sports as a varsity athlete in hockey and baseball and will serve as a Captain for the baseball team and Assistant Captain for the hockey team. He is also a member of the USA Maverick’s Showcase baseball team. During his junior year, he was named the Coach’s Impact Player of the Year for hockey, Offensive Player of the Year for baseball and nominated to the All-State team in Division 1 baseball and selected to the Junior Showcase Game for New Hampshire’s top juniors in the state.
Kelsey Taatjes of Nute High School is an active member in her community. She has volunteered with the Faith Formation program at Holy Rosary Parish in Rochester, NH and participated in various activities, such as visiting the elderly at the Rochester Manor, working at annual church Christmas fairs, and delivering Christmas gifts to the elderly. Kelsey also took place in the crop walk to end hunger this past year. Kelsey has earned Highest Honors throughout her high school career and is at the top of her class. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has played volleyball and basketball throughout her high school years. Kelsey was a member of the Nute Varsity volleyball team that took the title of division III state champions last year. During the summer of 2012, she participated in an ELO at Myhre Equine Clinic and High Knoll Equestrian Center in Rochester, NH where she could expand her knowledge and share her love for animals. She works at her father’s hardware store in Milton , NH, and in her free time enjoys being outdoors, snowboarding, and fishing.
Anna Dullea of Exeter High School, is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the French National Honor Society and Rho Kappa (social studies honors society). She is a member of the Exeter High School outing club and manages the girls varsity basketball team. This summer she attended Granite Girl’s State, a weeklong conference on local and state government. Out of school, Anna enjoys a variety of community service activities, volunteering at the Rockingham county nursing home and for Exeter’s town recreation department. Last year, Anna spent three weeks in Peru a trip organized through Lifeworks International.
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 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.   
Comprehensive information about Harvard admissions and financial aid may be found at  The College website may be found at
About 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.