Five high school students from Rogers County are among the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence prestigious 2014 Academic All-State Awards.
Zach Shaw, Claremore; Erika Ward, Foyil; Chance Fletcher, Oologah; Andrew Johnston and Mindi Nellis, Owasso, are part of the 100 high school seniors, selected from 567 nominations statewide, hail from 79 schools in 70 Oklahoma school districts.
The 2014 Academic All-State Class is the 28th to be selected by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Since the award program’s inception in 1987, some 2,800 high school seniors from 314 school districts have been named All-State scholars. One Oklahoma high school, Erick, will celebrate its first Academic All-Stater.
Each of this year’s All-Staters will receive a $1,000 merit-based scholarship and a medallion. The All-Staters will be recognized at the foundation’s 28th annual Academic Awards Banquet on May 17 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman. The featured keynote speaker for the banquet will be bestselling author and Harvard Professor Robert D. Putnam.
David L. Boren, chairman and founder of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, describes the selection of the scholars as “Oklahoma’s most rigorous academic competition.” To be nominated for Academic All-State, students must meet one of the following criteria: an American College Test (ACT) composite score of at least 30; a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) combined critical reading and math score of at least 1340; or be selected as a semi-finalist for a National Merit, National Achievement or National Hispanic Scholarship.
This year’s All-Staters scored an average of 33 on the ACT, with nine recipients scoring a perfect 36. In addition, 37 of this year’s All-Staters are National Merit semifinalists, while four are National Hispanic Scholars.
Academic All-Staters are nominated by their principals or superintendents and are selected on the basis of academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community involvement, as well as an essay submitted by each nominee. The selection committee, which is chaired by retired Tulsa attorney Teresa B. Adwan, works independently of all other foundation activities.