Ninety-seven students from Ponca City East Middle School and 73 from Ponca City High School have been named Oklahoma Scholars 2003 in honor of their academic achievement this year.
Oklahoma Scholars 2003 is a recognition program sponsored jointly by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and ACT Inc. to acknowledge students who score above the 95th percentile in one or more of the content areas on the EXPLORE or PLAN tests – tests designed to help eighth and 10th grade students with academic preparation for college and career interest development.
Each of the honored students will receive a certificate for academic achievement during an awards ceremony and dinner held tonight at 6 p.m. in the Ponca City High School Commons, 927 N. 5th St. The student/parent event is being sponsored by Pioneer Bank and Trust and Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), a federal program created to develop students’ potential and help students, as well as their families, better prepare for college.
Eighth-graders being honored are: Hunter Adams, Zachary D. Baker, Kyle A. Baldwin, Allan M. Bechtel, Devan S. Benton, Brooke E. Bishop, Trey H. Branscum, Lana E. Brewer, Jesse T. Burns, Casey S. Cashon, Michael W. Clinton, Torran C. Compala, Caileigh F. Cook, Christopher Davidson, Jenna B. Enevoldsen, William D. Escue, Ashley M. Evans, Brian P. Eyster, Ali N. Feist, Jared S. Fleetwood, Alex J. Foy, Melissa R. Garber, Michael Garland, Josh M. Glaser, Lindsay R. Gonzales, Devin C. Gray, Christopher R. Griffin, Mandy N. Hadley, Hillary A. Harpster, Lisa K. Harris, Kelly M. Hartl, Christopher Hartman, Christopher Henning, John T. Holley, David A. Huddleston, Connor Inskeep, Ryan L. Jenkinson and Blake R. Jesch.
Also, Blaine L. Johnson, Blake W. Keller, Joshua B. Kennedy, Sarah Killingsworth, Chelsea R. Kilpatrick, Stephanie A. Kline, Matt O. Korsmo, Kasha M. Kurtz, Brittany A. Lawrence, Jennifer D. Lobaugh, Tegan K. Magsam, Audra N. Mann, William V. Mayer, Joseph S. McDonald, Ibrahim Mohedas, Sarah C. Mustain, Jonathan E. Myers, Michael T. Nash, Austin J. Neahring, Angela D. Osborn, Alicia C. Owili-Eger, Rowdy L. Pameticky, Robert K. Phipps, Jason Pitts, Mitchell D. Plagmann, Emily S. Powell, Hannah E. Powell, Casie L. Powers, Kristina M. Richey, Caitlin F. Robertson, Kacey R. Rockett, Mandy J. Rutherford, Stacy A. Schauviliege, Kyra E. Schroth, Steven B. Self, Danny D. Seymore, Amanda K. Shultz and Caleb E. Silkey.
In addition, Anthony Smith, Thomas J. Spielbusch, Gina Staton, Rachel N. Stover, Sharon Street, Margaret C. Taylor, Raymond P. Tole, Dara R. Torres, Mary R. Tyrrell, Tyler A. VanArsdale, James B. VanDuzor, Taylor Venus, Stephen D. Viljoen, Jessi A. Vore, Zhu (Judy) Wang, Steven W. Warren, William E. Wetzel, Laine K. Williams, Jeffrey (Tucker) Wright, Taylor E. Young and Ke (Jack) Zhang.
Sophomores being honored are: Charles Barraclough, Laura Borkenhagen, Jennifer Bounds, Christopher Coleman, Mason Combes, Kathryn Comtois, Jennifer Daniel, Shasta Davis, Lauren Degan, Alaina Deitas, Kent Dennis, Robert Dick, Bethany Doerksen, William Dyer, Annalee Embry, David Eyster, Kevin Fore, Samuel Garlett, Timothy Gilbert, Jacey Graham, Mindy Hamrick, Lisa Hendrickson, Charlcy Hermanson and Maria Hester.
Also, Chad Holder, Kara Howey, Kale Jackson, Leslie Jones, Jessika Kelly, Dawn Kruckeberg, Rod Lancaster, Annette Latimer, Laura Lechtenberg, Cari Lehman, Jamie Lentz, Austin Linton, Megann Longmore, Tessany Magsam, Erika Martin, Abigail McChristian, Samuel McDaniel, McKenzie Meade, Jennifer L. Miller, Jennifer S. Miller, Sarah Miner, Kelsey Moore, Courtney Nixon and Ryan O’Connor.
In addition, Michael O’Rear, Heather Orr, Hannah Palmer, Rachel Potts, Daniel Quinn, Sameera Rahman, Chase Rheam, Ryan Scott, Cara Seal, Angela Seddelmeyer, Aaron Short, Taylor Sinclair, Laura Stangeland, Rebecka Stanton, Amanda Stephenson, Raagini Subramaniam, James Taylor, Chelsey Teten, Kyle Upchurch, Candice Vandeven, Chris Vaughan, Santanna Venturino, Daniel Whitaker, Kelsey Whitebay and Natalie Yozzo.
“These students are to be commended for their academic success,” said Chancellor Paul G. Risser. “Young people with bright minds and strong skills in the core subject areas of English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning are imperative to Oklahoma’s progress today and in the future.”
Special guests and speakers set to attend are Carl Renfro, chairman, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and chief executive officer and chairman of the board, Pioneer Bank and Trust, Ponca City; Terri Grissom, northeastern regional coordinator, Oklahoma GEAR UP, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Ike Glass, Oklahoma State Regent for Higher Education; Joe Kinzer, president, Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa; Dr. Brenda Stacy, executive director, University Learning Center, Ponca City; State Sen. David Myers; Bill White, superintendent, Ponca City Public Schools; Dr. Linda Powers, principal, Ponca City High School and director of secondary education, Ponca City Public Schools; Sharon Scroggins, principal, Ponca City East Middle School; and Karen Humble, assistant principal, Ponca City East Middle School.
The Oklahoma Scholars 2003 program is the result of a partnership between ACT Inc. and Oklahoma GEAR UP. In 1999, the U.S. Department of Education awarded Oklahoma a five-year grant totaling $20.5 million to implement GEAR UP activities across the state, including scholarships, college preparation programs and public awareness activities for students and their parents.
The EXPLORE and PLAN programs are components of the Educational Planning and Assessment System (EPAS). Funded by the State Regents and administered by ACT, EPAS is a free, voluntary program that provides academic skills and career interest assessments to Oklahoma’s eighth- and 10th-grade students. Both EXPLORE and PLAN include tests in English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning that measure what students can do with what they know.
EXPLORE is used by eighth graders.
“In eighth grade, students need to formulate their plans for high school, and the EXPLORE program helps students investigate and understand a wide range of options,” Risser said. “The results from EXPLORE provide educators with the means to structure academic planning and career exploration for students and their parents, as well as with baseline data to monitor progress.”
PLAN begins when students enter the 10th grade. PLAN is a midpoint review of progress being made by students in high school. PLAN provides direction for educational and career planning that allows for an adjustment in students’ course work so students can be better prepared to achieve their goals after high school.
“We’re extremely proud of these students,” said State Regents’ Chairman Carl Renfro. “These scores reflect a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of these young people. Their strong scholastic ethic and demonstrated academic abilities that have made them successful today will continue to serve them well as they prepare to enter college and later when they begin their careers.”
Oklahoma’s GEAR UP grant has been matched by more than $25 million from state and partner resources. With funds totaling $45.5 million, GEAR UP receives 45 percent of total funding from the federal government and 55 percent from other organizations.