Zoe Surma ’17 Named Academic All-Star

June 7, 2017



The Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) named 40 high school seniors from throughout the state of Indiana as Indiana Academic All-Stars last month. All students were selected from a field of 264 outstanding nominees from the state’s private and public schools, and they were honored at a luncheon held at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis. Among the students honored was La Lumiere School senior Zoe Surma of La Porte.

Zoe is active in golf, track and field, and Science Olympiad and has participated in numerous community service activities at La Lumiere. She has also been recognized as an AP Scholar, National Merit Commended Student, and Wells Scholar finalist. Zoe participated in the summer QuarkNet research program for rising high school seniors at the University of Notre Dame, and she has plans to attend Notre Dame in the fall to study engineering.

Each nominated student submits an essay recognizing his or her most influential educator. Zoe identified Mr. Ken Andert, her physics and calculus teacher, as the greatest influence in her high school career. “I never thought that a single educator would change my life,” Zoe says, “but that was before I met Mr. Andert. What strikes me the most about him is his refusal to let anyone fall through the cracks. A question is never too simple, a problem never too difficult, and a student never incapable.” About Zoe, Ken says, “ I am honored Zoe selected me as her most influential educator; I am proud of all her hard work and everything she has accomplished, and I know she’s going to do great things at Notre Dame and beyond.”

All-Star distinction recognizes seniors who excel in the classroom first and foremost, but who also are actively involved in their schools and communities, and take on leadership roles in those activities.

The Indiana Academic All-Stars program salutes academic excellence in the same manner that student athletes traditionally are honored. By providing a showcase for academically talented seniors, the sponsoring organizations hope to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Give academic achievement the prestige it deserves;
  • Motivate students to recognize the value of academic excellence;
  • Provide students with an incentive for academic achievement; and
  • Promote a positive image of Indiana’s young people.

Each accredited public and private high school may nominate one senior for consideration as an Indiana Academic All-Star. From these nominees, a selection committee chose the Regional Winners (representing five regions in Indiana) and the 40 All-Stars.

Selection of the school’s nominee is based upon the following considerations:

  • A mathematical formula that combines the SAT/ACT composite score and grade point average for seven semesters.
  • Extracurricular activities related to academics.
  • Nonacademic extracurricular activities.
  • Leadership, Community service and involvement.

Kyle L. Harrop, Program Director, IASP Department of Student Programs, said the program is a great way for schools to showcase talented students. “There are so many great students in Indiana schools and this gives us a chance to shine the spotlight on them.”


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