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Cuppett Performing Arts Center will present two performances of a full-length ballet, “Golden Gala,” on Saturday to honor founder Alzine Cuppett’s 50th anniversary in the business.

Cuppett, a native of Johnstown, Pa., received early training from dancer and actor Gene Kelly, and went on to become a Radio City Music Hall Rockette and Broadway dancer in the 1940s.

In 1962, she started a dance school in her Vienna home. The school expanded throughout the decades into a performing arts center, where more than 700 students study each year. Cuppett, who turns 85 this month, still is active at the center, now run by her daughters and other members of her family.

“I am extremely proud to carry on my mother’s legacy, and am continually inspired by our amazing faculty, parents, students,” said Amy Cuppett Stiverson, artistic director. “Parents have described Cuppett’s as a ‘home away from home’ for their children — my mother has been an inspiration to thousands.”

Since 1980, the performing arts center has been at 135 Park St., in a studio that grew to 6,500 square feet. The school offers beginning through professional classes in the Italian (Cecchetti) and Russian methods of ballet, as well as tap, jazz, modern, character, pointe, lyrical, hip-hop, acro-dance and musical theater. Many alumni have pursued professional dance careers.

Saturday’s performances are at 1 and 7 p.m. at the Kenmore Middle School Theater on Carlin Springs Road in Arlington. The program features professional Ballet Master Brian Walker and professional alumnus Ballerina Kathryn Carlson dancing in excerpts from “The Nutcracker,” “Cinderella,” “Gaité Parisienne,” “Coppelia” and “The Sleeping Beauty.”

For tickets, visit

McDonald’s scholarships go to five

McDonald’s Family Restaurants of Greater Washington, D.C., honored the recipients of this year’s McDonald’s Educates Scholarships at a banquet Tuesday evening. Five recipients are students at Fairfax County high schools.

They are Jane Lee from Fairfax High School, Samuel Asante from JEB Stuart High School, Ashley Ford from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Linda He from McLean High School and Asia Wilson from Thomas A. Edison High School.

All five were awarded $1,500 scholarships to be applied toward college tuition.

Scouting meritsŸMadeleine LeBeau, a member of Junior Girl Scout Troop 6730, received the Bat Or Award (Daughter of Light) in an April 20 ceremony at Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church.

The award, sponsored by the National Jewish Committee on Girl Scouting, honors Scouts in grades four through six who have undertaken an extensive exploration of their Jewish faith, tradition and heritage. The award has special meaning this year, the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America, as it recalls the significant contributions made by Jewish women in the beginning of the Girl Scouts movement.

Cantor Michael Shochet of Temple Rodef Shalom, who served as Madeleine adviser, presented the award. Madeleine, 10, is a student at Greenbriar West Elementary School.

ŸRyan Becker of Centreville attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He is a member of Boy Scout Troop 1113 at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church in Fairfax.

For his Eagle service project, Becker built a metal storage shed for the Infant and Toddler Connection of Fairfax-Falls Church Services in Fairfax.

His Court of Honor is scheduled for Saturday at St. Leo’s. Becker, 18, is a senior at Paul the VI High School.

ŸLuc Sasseville of Fairfax, a member of Boy Scout Troop 1524, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. His Court of Honor took place March 3 at St. Ambrose Church in Annandale.

For his Eagle service project, Sasseville raised funds that allowed him to improve safety for children and mothers at the Paul Stefan Home for Unwed Mothers. He designed and installed baby gates, bought and assembled toddler beds, and collected and delivered donated clothing and books. He and members of his troop also installed safety latches in the kitchen and picked up debris from the yard.

Sasseville, 16, is a sophomore at Woodson High School.

School notesŸEmma Hastings of Vienna, a sophomore at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, has been awarded a Gold Key at the National Scholastic Writing Awards. National winners will be celebrated at a special ceremony June 1 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The Scholastic Writing Awards competition is administered locally by Writopia Lab with the help of the DC Area Writing Project.

ŸEight Fairfax County Public Schools students have been awarded corporate-sponsored scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The students are part of a group of about 1,000 National Merit finalists chosen to receive scholarships financed by companies, foundations and other business organizations.

The scholarship winners are Kristin Edwards, Lake Braddock Secondary School, National Merit CSC Scholarship; Debbie Pan, Langley High School, National Merit CSC Scholarship; Lindsey Joost, Madison High School, National Merit General Dynamics Scholarship; Weina Bao, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, National Merit Lockheed Martin Academic Scholarship; Robert Campion, TJ, National Merit Honeywell Scholarship; George Liang, TJ, National Merit Macy’s Inc. Scholarship; Marvin Qian, TJ, National Merit Northrop Grumman Scholarship; and Mihir Srivastava, TJ, National Merit Accenture Scholarship.

Corporate-sponsored merit scholarships are renewable for as many as four years of undergraduate study and range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Recipients can use the awards at regionally accredited U.S. colleges or universities of their choice.

College creditsŸThe following area students were honored by Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Nicholas Albin of Chantilly received the Fr. Francis J. Finn, S.J. Award, presented to a member of the graduating class who best exemplifies strong spiritual values, leadership and breadth of interest.

Brian Armstrong of Fairfax received the Achieving Seniors Award, given to seniors who have participated in an NCAA Division I sports for four years and the Dean’s Athletic Award, given to student-athletes who have maintained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5.

Catherine McCafferty of Fairfax received the Dorothy Day Award, which honors two graduating students who embody a commitment to deepening their spirituality, pursuing justice and promoting pluralism.

ŸKelsey Harney of Herndon and Shannon Rubenstein of Reston were named to the dean’s list at West Chester University of Pennsylvania for the fall 2011 semester.