The Opera Guild of Northern Virginia recognized Cora Lee Khambatta as its Music Educator of the Year on Sept. 25. Khambatta, who taught in Arlington County public schools for more than 30 years, created "El Coro Infantil," also known as the Spanish Chorus, in 1997. The musical group now consists of more than 100 Arlington elementary students who perform in Spanish at area schools and community events.

T.C. Williams High School sophomores Charis Williams and Jasmine Gaskins, members of the school's Family, Community and Career Leaders of America chapter, won first place in a poster competition held by the Virginia State Fair for their entry on stopping violence. Sophomore Orane Johnson was also recognized for his entry on financial fitness.

T.C. Williams High School seniors Todd Bernhard and James Sadighian have been named semifinalists in the 2006 National Merit Scholarship Program as a result of their scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. In addition, the following students were commended for their performance on the exam: Michael Arbuckle, Andrew Baker, Thomas Baker, Rachel Brown-Glazner, Virginia Byron, Lisa Clark, Dylan Colligan, Nora Livengood, Casey McClelland, Matthew Mertens, Kathleen Newbould, Hannah Pocock, Joseph Rice, Pet Roden, Sarah Schaffer, Stacey Schilling, Barbara Stoddard, Alex Totoiu, Ian Waters, Morgan Williams and Keegan Zacharie In addition, T.C. Williams seniors Michael Arbuckle and Tsegazeab Bekele have been named semifinalists in the National Achievement Scholarship Program, an academic competition established to provide recognition for outstanding black high school students. Students Shewit Giovanni and Joy Kazadi were also recognized.

Wakefield High School senior Laura Downes, Washington-Lee High School senior Miriam C. Cross-Cole and Yorktown High School seniors Brian T. Bodensteiner, Stephanie S. Eiss, Ruben B. Polo-Sherk, Anna K. Ratner, Jennifer L. Wieboldt and David J. Woo along with Thomas Jefferson High for Science and Technology seniors Andrew T. Bowman, Anna S. Bryan, Daniel S. Chavez, Sarah E. Edwards, Daniel R. Foster, Matthew H. Jones, Sarah E. Penney, Peter B. Swigert, Jeffrey B. Weaver and Hannah M. Wolford have been named National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists.

Washington-Lee seniors Catherine E. McDaniel and Carl Pierre and Thomas Jefferson senior Alexis B. Cook have been named semifinalists in the National Achievement Scholarship Program.

H.B. Woodlawn Secondary Program senior Anna Brown, Washington-Lee seniors Daniel Cackley and Stephanie Paredes and Yorktown seniors Benjamin Nava and Jake Sequeira along with Thomas Jefferson senior Daniel Chavez have been named scholars in the National Hispanic Recognition Program for their performance on the PSAT.

Randolph-Macon Academy senior Mark Baumgardner, 17, of Arlington, has been promoted to the rank of cadet captain, with the position of Juliet Flight Commander, at the school's Air Force Junior ROTC detachment.

Moving Words, a poetry competition coordinated by Arlington County's cultural affairs division, has named 12 student winners and 12 honorable mentions for their poems. The winners are McKinley Elementary students Catie Leigh and Kalina Newman; Key Elementary students Connor Browne, Clare Canavan and Joshua Ruiz; Ashlawn Elementary students Tommy Muir and Audrey Bowler; Drew Model School student Danielle Frye; Kenmore Middle School student Leslie Bull; Swanson Middle School students Rachel Duffy and Travis Snider; and Yorktown High School student Christine Stoddard. Students receiving honorable mentions are Jac Barbeau, Jessie Lee-Bauder, Christian Merly, Gwenivere Moore, Jennifer Dutton, May Stearman, Ethan Davis, Timmy Jenkins, Benjamin Edgar, Veronica Stokes, Margot MacDonald and Duay Cabrera. The students were scheduled to read their poems yesterday at the Clarendon Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

Recent Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School graduate Carlos Justiniano of Arlington has received the Virginia Sheriff's Institute scholarship award, dedicated to young people who plan to study criminal justice or law enforcement. Justiniano is pursuing a degree in criminal justice administration at Marymount University.

The Arlington Local Human Rights Committee won the 2005 Community Enterprise Award given by SOC Enterprises, a rehabilitation program that provides job training, employment, workplace coaching and supportive services to adults with developmental and physical disabilities. The Arlington Local Human Rights Committee, which is made up of volunteers, monitors compliance with Virginia human rights regulations and is an advocate for rights for those with disabilities.

The Arlington Human Rights Commission, a nine-member commission advising the Arlington County Board, has announced the recipients of the 2005 James B. Hunter human rights awards, recognizing outstanding accomplishments in the county. The winners are John Robinson, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center; Verizon; Clarendon Presbyterian Church; and Doorways for Women and Families, which provides housing assistance, counseling and shelter for battered women and children. The awards will be presented at a ceremony next Thursday. For more information, call 703-228-3929.

The Arlington Community Foundation will recognize Ralph Johnson, founder of Johnson Associates, for his contributions as a mentor and benefactor of youths, at the 2005 Spirit of Community Award Luncheon on Nov. 15. Johnson, an Arlington resident, has been active in Wakefield High School's cohort program to foster academic achievement for minority students and also established two annual scholarships for students from the high school to attend George Mason University. Tickets are $35 each; call 703-243-4785 by Nov. 9.

The Campagna Center's Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, which coordinates volunteer efforts for those 55 and older in Alexandria and elsewhere in Northern Virginia, received the Governor's Community Service and Volunteerism Award on Oct. 6.

Leadership Fairfax, a nonprofit organization that works to identify leaders and bring them together to study community issues, has announced members of its Signature Leadership Program class of 2006. The class will receive a 10-month training curriculum on community issues and skills development. Local participants include Arlington residents Lawrence E. Padberg and Shawn Louise Walters and Alexandria resident Jean Shaughnessy Hodges. In addition, Leadership Fairfax has chosen the members of its Emerging Leaders Institute class of 2006, who will complete a nine-month program on skills building, mentoring, community projects and community board service. Local participants include Arlington residents Emily D. Davis, Catherine M. Fitzgerald and Robert M. Jefferson and Alexandria resident Loren A. Rufino.

-- Compiled by LILA DE TANTILLO

To Submit an Item

E-Mail: alexextra@washpost.com

Fax: 703-518-3001

Mail: Names in the News, 526 King St., Suite 515, Alexandria, Va. 22314.

Details: Photos are encouraged, preferably sent as digital files. They must include the photographer's name.