Two Outstanding MHS Seniors Receive Annual Commonwealth Scholarships

Hannah Snyder
Photo: Michael Stahl (

The Commonwealth Club has awarded its annual Karl Gabriel Memorial Scholarship grants to two outstanding Montclair High School 2013 graduates, Hannah Snyder, who will attend Whitman College in the fall, and Hayden Kline, who will enter Yale University.

“We are excited and honored to recognize Hannah and Hayden for their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the school and community at large,” said Kevin Murphy, president of the Commonwealth Club. “We wish them both great success as they continue their education.”

Scholarships named for Karl Gabriel, who served 4 years as a trustee and 17 as club’s beloved treasurer

The Commonwealth Club Karl Gabriel Memorial Scholarships — $500 grants given annually to a female and male senior — pay special tribute to concerned young adults whose academic achievement, community spirit and actions inspire others. The scholarships are named for the late long-time treasurer of the club.

While in earlier years, Hannah said she loved playing soccer on club and high school teams. In her senior year, she took a different path, working two days a week at Watchung Booksellers, where she learned many aspects of the business and helped coordinate events the shop put on. She said her proudest academic achievement was the 5 she got on the advanced placement biology test.

“I love bio and might look pre-med,” Hannah said. I’m interested in psychology, too.” Located in Walla Walla, Wash., Whitman is an elite small college – “half the size of the high school,” Hannah said, with 400 incoming first-year students. “I’m really excited. It’s very outdoorsy, with strong academics, and the faculty, students and alumni all seem great.”

Hayden Kline

In a letter to the club, Hannah wrote: “Thank you for your incredible generosity… (The scholarship) has already gone toward my upcoming education…. Thank you so much for supporting my college dreams.”

Hayden was captain of the Montclair High crew team, a member of the cast of Hairspray and singer in the a cappella group Passing Notes.

“I really enjoyed being part of diverse communities,” he said of his activities at the high school. On the other hand, echoing what many of his classmates would probably admit, he said he found the college search and application process “grueling and cut-throat.” At Yale, he’d like to pursue political science and economics, and continue the music theory and composition work he began in high school. He’d also like to be able to carve out the time to take part in crew at the club level and to tutor music.