U.S. Figure Skating Honors 10 Exceptional Scholar Athletes at 2011 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships

(1/28/2011) - Ten of U.S. Figure Skating's brightest and most talented athletes who shine both on the ice and in the classroom comprise the 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Scholastic Honors Team. Every athlete in this year's class has been named to the honor roll, won academic honors and/or is an honor society member.

The team was honored today during a ceremony at the 2011 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Greensboro, N.C. The program, which started in 1996, was created by U.S. Figure Skating to recognize high school athletes who excel in academic pursuits, in community involvement and in the sport of figure skating. More than 1,100 skaters have applied for the scholarship since its inception, with 168 team members selected.

The award is available to U.S. Figure Skating members of all disciplines who are juniors or seniors at an accredited high school. They must be full-time students with a grade point average of 3.4 or higher and have competed at the novice, junior or senior level during the past two years. Candidates submit an application and an essay, which are reviewed by a panel that selects the team.

The 2011 honorees are:

Amanda Bertsch, a senior at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, Mich. Bertsch is the winner of the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club Sportsman of the Year Award, She volunteers with the learn-to-skate program as a junior coach and has performed at fundraising events, including "Melody on Ice" and "On the Road to the Olympics." Bertsch has been a Greenhills Scholar, awarded to those students who maintain an A- or above for three consecutive years, and was inducted into the Cum Laude Society her junior year. Bertsch scored in or above the 94th percentile on all three sections of the SAT, including a perfect 800 in math. She volunteers with Vista Maria, mentoring and educating abused, drug-addicted and homeless teens; the Wayne State University School of Medicine "Future Doc" program, which encourages young children to consider a career in medicine; and is the co-coach of the WESO Science Olympiad Team, where she led a group of third and fourth graders to the gold medal in 2009 and the silver medal in 2010. She placed fifth this season in the junior ice dancing division at the Pacific Coast Sectional Figure Skating Championships.

Lauri Bonacorsi, a senior at Radnor Hill High School in Radnor, Pa. Bonacorsi is enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania's Young Scholars program. A straight-A student, she has been on the honor roll throughout her high school career and is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society. Bonacorsi is a recipient of the President's Award for Educational Achievement as well as a two-time recipient of the U.S. Figure Skating Athlete Alumni Ambassador (3A) Award, given to those skaters who have achieved a level of excellence in their sport and volunteer and contribute within their community. She was also a member of the 2010 Scholastic Honors Team. As a member of the Peninsula Figure Skating Club, Bonacorsi and partner Travis Mager won novice gold at the 2009 U.S. Championships and have won two Junior Grand Prix Series bronze medals. Bonacorsi serves as a Team USA ambassador, mentoring and supporting young figure skaters. In addition, she volunteers with the Special Olympics and with "Success in Style," a nonprofit group that helps disadvantaged and homeless women re-enter the workforce. This season, she placed first in junior ice dancing at the Eastern Sectional Championships.

Melissa Li, a member of the Cascade Valley Figure Skating Club, finished third at the 2011 Northwest Pacific Regional Championships in the senior ladies division. A National Merit Scholar, Li will graduate this spring from Interlake High School in Bellevue, Wash. She is an AP scholar with honors and has been an honor roll student every semester. She is a member of GATE, the high school gifted program, and in 2010 received an international baccalaureate diploma. Li is the recipient of the Johns Hopkins Talented Youth Award and the PRISM Excellence Award, and is a DECA state finalist. She received the top score on all seven AP exams she took and scored in the 98th percentile on all three sections of the SAT. Outside of school, she is a learn-to-skate instructor, private math tutor and intern with Eastside Education. Li volunteers with the Bellevue Arts Museum; Relay for Life, for which she has raised more than $1,000 for cancer research; and the Cascade Valley FSC.

Christine Mozer will graduate in the top 10 percent of her class this spring from the Professional Children's School in New York. A National Merit Commended Scholar and a College Board AP Scholar, she has made the academic high honor roll every semester. During her junior year, Mozer won the Dani Brenner "Dare to Dream" award for excellence in expository writing. Representing the Skating Club of New York, Mozer finished 12th in the junior ladies division at the 2011 Eastern Sectional Championships and first at the 2011 North Atlantic Regional Championships. In 2010, Mozer was the executive co-producer of "CitySkate," a U.S. Figure Skating-sanctioned exhibition that raised more than $15,000 to benefit Brooklyn Ice, a free after-school program dedicated to making skating possible for kids living in Brooklyn's Prospect Park area. The event was covered in a five-page spread in SKATING magazine and an exhibit at the National Library Museum in Philadelphia. Mozer has appeared in figure skating shows for various charities, including "Blades Against Aids - Save the Children Benefit" and "Skate for the Cure" benefiting juvenile diabetes. She is a recipient of the TD Bank Young Heroes Award and the Presidential Bronze Award for community service.

Greta Riebe, a member of the Shaker Figure Skating Club, finished fifth in both senior ladies and novice ice dancing at the Midwestern Sectional Championships. A member of the Cum Laude Society, she will graduate this spring from Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Riebe carries a 4.21 grade point average, is an AP Scholar with Honors and scored in the 95th percentile or better on all three sections of the SAT. She is a four-year member of the Laurel School golf team. Riebe is a three-time varsity letter winnger and was named an All-Ohio Academic in 2010. In addition to her athletic endeavors, she is a peer tutor and a member of the French Club. She is the Laurel skating team coordinator and helped her team place third at the 2010 Ohio State High School Championships. This year, she was invited to be part of the U.S. Figure Skating Developmental International Team. Riebe volunteers with the Cleveland Sight Center, coaching blind golfers, and with the International Partners in Mission, promoting justice, peace and hope.

Maia Shibutani is a junior at Huron High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., where she is a straight-A honors student and has served as a Student Council representative. She has collected donations to support both the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor and Ele's Place, a healing center for grieving children. Maia, who represents the Skating Club of New York, won the gold medal in the junior ice dancing at the 2010 AT&T U.S. Figure Skating Championships. She and her partner (and brother), Alex, placed fourth at the 2010 World Junior Figure Skating Championships and won the bronze medal at the 2009 ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Maia has performed in "An Evening with Champions," a benefit show for The Jimmy Fund at Harvard University to support the fight against cancer, and serves on the U.S. Figure Skating Dance Committee. This season in their senior debut, Maia and Alex won bronze medals at both the NHK Trophy and Skate America.

Layla Siraj, a member of the Skating Club of Boston, finished seventh in the junior division at the 2011 New England Regional Championships. Siraj is an accomplished pianist, having performed in New York City's Carnegie Hall as part of the American Fine Arts Festival and placed in the top three at the Music Teachers National Association competition three years running. A junior at Brookline High School in Brookline, Mass., Siraj is a straight-A student. She is the recipient of the Robert T. Wiggin Award for Excellence in Mathematics, the Physics I Honors Award and the Chemistry I Honors Award, all of which are awarded to one student annually. At the age of 12, she scored higher than 91 percent of college-bound seniors on all three sections of the SAT. Siraj volunteers at the Collaborative Initiatives at MIT under the direction of Olympic gold medalist Dr. Tenley Albright. She is a teaching assistant in the Skating Club of Boston's Basic Skills program, and volunteers and performs in shows, benefits and fundraisers, including the "Boston Open," the "Mary Louise Wright Benefit" and the SC of Boston's annual "Ice Chips" show.

Kelsey Traunero is a senior at Brandywine High School in Wilmington, Del. She serves as a Basic Skills instructor and a skating buddy for the Special Olympics, and volunteers at the Skating Club of Wilmington's annual ice shows, Basic Skills competitions and fundraisers. Traunero, an AP Scholar, is a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, School Spirit Committee and Key Club. In addition to being a four-year Principal's Honor Roll student, she has won numerous awards throughout her high school career, including the Rotary Award for Academic Excellence, President's Physical Fitness Award, Brandywine Academic Achievement Award and Most Outstanding Overall Student Award. She serves as a student council representative and is the president of her National Honor Society chapter. In addition to her work with Meals on Wheels and the Delaware Nature Society, Traunero has helped collect more than $15,000 for her community through the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, Jump Rope for Heart and the Brandywine Class of 2011. This season, she placed third as a senior lady at the Eastern Sectional Championships.

Jay Yostanto is a junior at Parkview and Esperanza High Schools in Placentia and Anaheim, Calif., respectively, where he is enrolled in honors and AP courses. A straight-A student, Yostanto is a student council representative and a member of the National Honor Society and the Parent-Teacher-Student Association. Yostanto received a 5, the top score, on the AP European History exam. He also is an accomplished pianist, earning the gold medal at the 2008 California Music Teachers Association Theme Festival. Yostanto is a Boy Scout patrol leader and has performed more than 150 hours of community service. In 2009, he became an Eagle Scout and in 2010 he was named the Anaheim Eagle Scout of the Year. Yostanto has served as a volunteer marshal and messenger at the Golden West Championships, hosted by his home club, since 2007. As a member of the All Year Figure Skating Club, he placed sixth as a junior man at the Pacific Coast Sectional Championships.

Clarice Zhou will graduate from Westview High School in Portland, Ore., this spring. A straight-A student ranked at the top of her class, Zhou is a National AP Scholar Award winner and a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, Health Occupations Students of America and Model United Nations, of which she serves as president. She is the Westview High School project coordinator for the Rose Elementary School children's carnival, Dia del Nino. She volunteers as a Chinese translator and serves food to patients suffering from multiple sclerosis as part of "Hands on Greater Portland." Zhou teamed with local skaters for the "Bill Collier Ice Spectacular" to raise money for the Bill Collier Community Ice Arena. This season, Zhou, a member of the Skating Club of Oregon, finished first as a senior lady at the Northwest Pacific Regional Championships and third at the Pacific Coast Sectional Championships.