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Past Scholarship Award Recipients

The Sisters Merit scholarship is intended to support a student “who will enrich Salem with her presence, inspire her fellow students, and extend the reputation of Salem beyond her years as a student. A Sisters Merit Scholar is committed to academic excellence and to a lifetime of learning, and her leadership will recognize our global world. Through a four-year journey of immersion in Winston-Salem and the surrounding community—science/technology, fine arts, community service, and government—she will discover her passion and set off on her own journey while, at the same time, she will be committed to roles outside herself that inspire others, and roles that build community and make the world a better place in which to live.”

Applications for the Sisters Merit Scholarship are received annually from all over the country.  The scholarship application deadline is usually in December and finalists visit campus in February. Given the current world health situation, our visit will be virtual in 2021. 


2021 Recipient | Annika Lilja

Annika Lilja

Annika Lilja of Plymouth, Minnesota, has been named the recipient of the 2021 Salem Academy Sisters Merit Scholarship. This competitive award enables an incoming boarding student to attend Salem Academy, a boarding and day high school for girls, tuition-free.

Lilja is the daughter of Dave Lilja and Tina Lilja also of Plymouth, Minnesota.

Lilja will enter Salem Academy in the fall of 2021 as a freshman. She is the creator and founder of All Teen Politics, an unbiased political website and blog driven by the goal of not only informing other teenagers on political issues in America but also to help teens communicate their opinions and ideas. Lilja has a passion for science, reading, and theater and hopes to be a surgeon or politician.

“What I’m most excited about in coming to Salem is to be surrounded by other hardworking and ambitious girls that share my passion for learning,” said Lilja. “I have big aspirations, and I know that Salem is going to give me the head start to my future I’ve been seeking. I want to spend my life working hard and learning constantly and Salem Academy is just the place to do that.”

Past Recipients

2020 Recipient | Harlan Porfiri

photo of Harlan Porfiri

Harlan Anne Porfiri of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has been named as the recipient of the 2020 Salem Academy Sisters Merit Scholarship, a competitive award that enables an incoming boarding student to attend the 248-year-old Academy for high school girls tuition-free for three years.

Harlan is the daughter of Dave Porfiri and Linda Duvoisin. Harlan is a current 9th grader at Girls Preparatory School; the Alma Mater of Ms. Killebrew, our Head of School.

What distinguished Harlan, outside of her academic success, was her maturity and creativity.  Harlan is a published author of Absolute Time and in her school’s literary magazine, an avid dancer with a passion for choreography, and wants to be a lawyer for social justice issues.

When asked about her goals for the future, Harlan responded, “One goal that has been at the forefront of my thoughts is the pursuit of new experiences and culture… I have a desire to learn more.” 


2019 | Morgan Alysabeth Tringali

Morgan Alysabeth Tringali class of 2023 Sisters Merit Scholarship Recipient

Morgan Alysabeth Tringali of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been named as the recipient of the 2019 Salem Academy Sisters Merit Scholarship, a competitive award that enables an incoming first-year boarding student to attend the 247-year-old Academy for high school girls tuition-free for four years.

Morgan is the daughter of Matthew and Julie Tringali. Morgan attended Mint Hill Middle School in Matthews, NC. 

When asked what is the most important quality of a leader. Morgan responded, “Staying committed even in difficult times, being responsible, other-centered, and how to support others in times of need.”

In reviewing Morgan’s application, Morgan’s academic successes are extremely impressive but what made her stand out the most is her character.  Morgan is a young woman who is a very active member in her community, creating fundraisers to help those in need such as “24 Foundation”, which supports local cancer support programs; and brought North Carolina Virtual Public School to her school. Morgan has a kind heart that was admired by other students while getting to know her on Accepted Students Night.


2018 | Elizabeth “Rennie” Parker

Elizabeth “Rennie” Parker from Hatteras, NC, has been named as the recipient of the 2018 Salem Academy Sisters Merit Scholarship, a competitive award that enables an incoming first-year boarding student to attend the 246-year-old academy for high school girls tuition-free for four years.

“In my visits, I have seen the class sizes and teaching styles here and I believe Salem could make me the best version of myself,” Rennie said.

The daughter of Laura and Charles Parker, both of Hatteras, Rennie attended Cape Hatteras Secondary School of Coastal Studies. Her interests include volleyball, reading, writing, traveling, basketball, violin, and gardening.

The scholarship application describes the recipient as a student “who will enrich Salem with her presence, inspire her fellow students, and extend the reputation of Salem beyond her years as a student.

As evidenced by her already impressive list of community volunteer events, such as her involvement with hurricane relief organizations, Rennie’s application really stood out.


2017 | Maggie Dees

Maggie Dees of Salisbury, NC has been named as the recipient of the 2017 Salem Academy Sisters Merit Scholarship, a competitive award that enables an incoming first-year boarding student to attend the 245-year-old academy for high school girls tuition-free for four years.

She is the daughter of Mr. Jay and Mrs. Meg Kluttz Dees of Salisbury, NC. Mrs. Dees is a Class of 1989 graduate of Salem Academy.

Maggie attended Salisbury Academy in Salisbury, NC, and plans to continue playing basketball and volleyball. 

“Maggie  is an outstanding young woman with a bright future,” Salem Academy Associate Director of Admissions Wynne Overton said. “She is curious, engaged, and passionate about what she loves.”


2016 | AMIRA RADY

Amira Rady from Lawrenceville, NJ, was named as the recipient of the 2016 Salem Academy Sisters Merit Scholarship, a competitive award that enables an incoming first-year boarding student to attend the 244-year-old academy for high school girls tuition-free for four years.

Amira is the daughter of Mr. Khaled Rady and Mrs. Carmen Belford of Lawrenceville, NJ. Amira, who was an eighth grader at Lawrenceville Middle School, began her first year at Salem Academy in the fall of 2016. Amira applied to Salem through NJ Seeds, a nonprofit organization that prepares students for admission to private schools across the country.

Amira graduated from Salem Academy in 2020, and attends Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. 


2015 | Abigail Wucherer

Abigail Wucherer from Belmont, North Carolina, was the recipient of the 2015 Sisters Merit Scholarship. Abigail is the daughter of Rick and Talia Wucherer and the granddaughter of Robert and Mary Wucherer of Menomonee Falls, WI, and Mary Falkenstein of Zichron Yaacov, Israel, and the late Eliezer Falkenstein, whose mother is Abigail’s namesake.

In addition to her interests in piano and academic tutoring, Abigail has participated for four years in the annual Cycle to the Sea program—a 180-mile noncompetitive fundraising bike ride to benefit the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program.

Abigail graduated from Salem Academy in 2019, and is attending NC State University on a Park Scholarship. 


2014 | Charlotte Dorn

Charlotte Dorn, from High Point, NC, was the recipient of the 2014 Sisters Merit Scholarships, and is the daughter of Ms. Elizabeth Nowell and Dr. Henry Dorn.  

Charlotte enjoys traveling and visited India and Peru during Jan Term while at Salem Academy.  She was an honor guide and participated in Sisters of the Motherboard, field hockey, and soccer. She made the most of every opportunity while at Salem Academy, graduating in 2018 with the esteemed honor of being named First Honor Graduate. 

Charlotte attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. 


2013 | LIbby Tawes

Senior Libby Tawes is president of the Math Honors Society, co-president of the Latin Honors Society and is involved with the National Honors Society. She also plays field hockey and basketball and is a memeber of the robotics team.

READ MORE FROM THE WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL


2012 | Claire Ruch

From Greensboro, NC, Claire is the daughter of George and Holly Ruch.  While Claire attended Salem, she served as an Honor graduate and as a member of the Athletic Council; she was an athlete in field hockey, tennis and soccer. She is currently attending The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


2011 | Mary Beth Browne

During Mary Beth’s years at Salem, she served as the president of the National Honor Society, co-president of Model United Nations, and president of Drama Club, and she held leadership positions in Key Club, Ecology Club, and Mu Alpha Theta, the national mathematics honor society. As an athlete, she participated in track, cross country, and swimming. She served on the Academy’s student-led honor cabinet, volunteered as an orientation committee member and as a dormitory prefect, and was the second honor graduate in 2015. She  attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a recipient of the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship.


2010 | Catherine Ward

While attending Salem Academy, Catherine was a member of the Spanish Honor Society, the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, and the International Thespian Society. She was a two-time Citizenship Honor Award-winner, and served as Commencement Marshal for three years before being named first honor graduate for the Class of 2014. She served as president of Key Club, and of the Student Council. She co-developed the Salem Academy Model United Nations team, and contributed to the Grassroots school newspaper, served as Literary Editor for the Academe literary magazine, and was editor for the Quill Pen yearbook. She was presented with the 2014 Elisabeth Oesterlein Award. Catherine attended Duke University as a Benjamin N. Duke Scholar.


2009 | Kiersten Washle

Kiersten graduated from Salem Academy in 2013 and attended George Washington University, studying systems engineering.


2008 | Madeleine Shelton

Madeleine graduated from Salem Academy in 2012 and attended Pennsylvania State University.