Ninety-two students from Ponca City East Middle School and 60 from Ponca City High School have been named Oklahoma Scholars 2004 in honor of their academic achievement this year.
Oklahoma Scholars 2004 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 Ponca City Public Schools, Pioneer Bank and Trust, Via Chrsti Oklahoma Regional Medical Center 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: Melissa Bacher, Donovan Becker, Amanda Behar, Vincent Bird, Daniel Blake, Kyle Blakeburn, Craig Borkenhagen, Hollie Brown, Cecilia Burley, Travell Carnes, Alec Carson, Jessica Chamberlain, Brandie Choate, Amie Coble, Nyssa Cullin, John Custer, Chandler Deming, Niki Dick, Reba Diveley, Chelsea Dyer, Philip Emmons, Dana Fjare, Gregory Forton, Jessica Free, David Gilliland and Megan Gonser.
Also, Braden Hail, Mekara Hall, Danika Hanck, Benjamin Harrison, Courtney Haynes, Kelli Henderson, Amie (Hill) Reid, Sabrina Hoddy, Kirian Hodges, Sarah Holder, Russell Holler, Kyle Hoover, James Huff, Matthew Jack, Peter Jensen, Linfan Jin, Jessica Johnston, Evan Jordan, Austin Keathly, J. Miguel Keating, Katie Keith, Jessiecah Ketchum, Kanten Klinger, Devin Klopp, Caitlin Knott and Adam Lewis.
In addition, Zachery Long, Eaphy Mao, Megan Maples, Kavin Martin, Sarah McGinty, Jamen McKee, Katy McNew, Shawn McVay, Laci Moore, Matthew Nash, Amber Newland, Jeri Newton, Charleston Noble, Chad O’Connor, Ariel Parry, Reema Patel, Jesse Patterson, Garrett Peresko, Alyssa Potts, Carder Price, Kiefer Pruett, Carrie Sanders, Tommy Schiltz, Taylor Seales, Cameron Shannon, Ryan Sherer, Caleb Sneath, Neil Stangeland, Alyssa Steele, Ryan Taber, Clairissa Talbert, Hilary Teten, Tanner Tewksbury, Brandon Thomas, Rachel Tyrrell, Shelby White, Patrick Winterrowd, Autumn Wood, Christopher Wood and Benjamin Wright.
Sophomores being honored are: Andrew Adams, Eric Allen, Christopher Banerjee, Steven Bradley, Holly Catlin, Michelle Chao, Brady Clark, Sam Colvin, Camille Conely, Luke Connally, Melodie Cooper, Travis Denny, Benjamin Dickinson, Scott Didericksen, Rebecca Emmons, Holly Gibson, Daniel Gilliland, Ashley Hampton, Brittney Hatton, Danielle Hays, Brian Hercyk, Myranda Hicks, Timothy Hraban, Jason Ivers, Jordan Jamison, Kristen Jennings, Jason Jensen, Lyndsie Johnson, Mathavi Jothimurugesan, Anthony Kent and Brian Knapke.
Also, Beatrice Kraft, Sarah Lane, Michael Lewis, Derek Love, Nicholas Manley, Brian Masters, Kevin Mattenson, Alexander McCumber, Kati Musgrove, Gregory Myers, Alyssa Page, Amanda Palmer, Cassi Palmer, Austin Peresko, Robert Perz, Tiffany Phillips, Jordan Piel, Stephanie Pierce, Stuart Powell, Vanessa Ramsey, Leslie Sanders, Troy Schmitz, Dominique Schreiner, Ryan Schwanke, Jennifer Seddlemeyer, Justin Senseman, Katie Southard, Andrea Stephenson and Jessica Woods.
“Congratulations to these students for their academic success,” said Chancellor Paul G. Risser. “Strong skills in the core subject areas of English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning are needed to be successful in college and in the workforce.”
Special guests and speakers set to attend are State Regent Carl Renfro, chief executive officer and chairman of the board, Pioneer Bank and Trust, Ponca City; Dr. Phyllis Hudecki, executive director, Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition; Terri Grissom, northeastern regional coordinator, Oklahoma GEAR UP, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Dr. Patty Ladd, executive director, Curriculum and Instruction, Ponca City Public Schools; Bill White, superintendent, Ponca City Public Schools; Dr. Linda Powers, principal, Ponca City High School; Paula Horn, assistant principal, Ponca City High School; Barbara Davis, principal, Ponca City East Middle School; and Karen Humble, assistant principal, Ponca City East Middle School.
The Oklahoma Scholars 2004 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 proud of these students,” said Regent Carl Renfro. “This evening is intended to honor the hard work and dedication exhibited by these young people. Their academic achievements are to be commended.”
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.