Senior gets accolades from WXYZ-TV

Notre Dame senior Natalie Lyijynen honored by local TV station as 'brightest and best' for academic achievement and commitment to community service​.

Notre Dame senior Natalie Lyijynen was among the 200 young men and women from 10 different counties in Michigan who were honored Saturday, May 11, by WXYZ-TV for academic achievements and community service throughout their high school careers.

It's the 40th straight year that WXYZ-Channel 7 has welcomed graduates and their families for a morning of celebration at station headquarters in Southfield.

Lyijynen, who will graduate from Notre Dame Prep on May 19 as a member of the National Honor Society, also is a valedictorian and a candidate for the International Baccalaureate Diploma. She has been a member of Notre Dame Prep's girls golf team, and her artwork has consistency earned honors, most recently from this year's Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition in which she was awarded two "Gold Keys," one each for a drawing and a painting. 

More on the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition is here.

Lyijynen will attend the University of Michigan where she will major in biology with future plans for law school. 

Students at the Brightest and Best event this morning also were able to take part in a Twitter scavenger hunt put on by WXYZ, which required them to run around the grounds, mingle with WXYZ reporters and anchors, and snap photos. They took over social media with their adventures and you can get a recap by checking out the hashtag #BrightestAndBest on Twitter.

According to Mike Murri, vice president and general manager of WXYZ-TV, Best and Brightest is a public recognition of academic achievement and commitment to community service by high school seniors in the Detroit area. 

"This event gives us an opportunity to highlight the hardworking accomplishments of these students from very diverse backgrounds, schools and neighborhoods throughout Southeast Michigan," Murri said. "Their dedication to studying and learning has finally paid off in a way that can never be taken away from them. They are the future leaders of this state and nation."

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Prep enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's Marist Academy enrolls students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. NDPMA is an International Baccalaureate "World School" and is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers. It is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at