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SUPPLEMENT TO THE OKLAHOMAN | MAY 12, 2013


Rachel Webber, Executive Assistant

Students, teachers in Oklahoma public schools need our support

Brenda Wheelock, Director, Development & Communications

BY DAVID BOREN

Dayna Rowe, Communications Specialist

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence chairman and co-founder

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Staff Emily Stratton, Executive Director

Karen Rose, Director, Local Education Foundation Outreach Beverly Woodrome, Director, David & Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Executive Committee David L. Boren, Chairman Patti Mellow, President Les Risser, President-Elect Sandy Werner, Secretary-Treasurer Teresa B. Adwan, Leah M. Barby, Steven L. Barghols, Claudia Holdridge Bartlett, Bob Burke, Sandy Garrett, Caroline Gist, Anil Gollahalli, Morgan Harris, Joseph Harroz Jr., Stephen B. Holton, Dow R. Hughes, Sherrel A. Jones, Nancy L. Leonard, Linda K. Neal, Charles L. Oppenheim, Peter J. Regan, Cathryn Render, Lisa Robertson, Stewart Ryan, D. Craig Story, Susan I. Thurmond, Deacon Turner

ON THE COVER Illustration by Suzanne Green, The Oklahoman Graphics

OKLAHOMAN STAFF CREDITS The Academic All-State section is published once a year as a supplement to The Oklahoman and is produced in associated with the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Editor and vice president of the News and Information Center: Kelly Dyer Fry Managing editor: Mike Shannon Director of Custom Publishing: Yvette Walker Senior news editor: Amy Raymond Section designer: Jordan Gamble Marketing consultants: Derek Villanueva, Jerry Wagner, Gian Santoro

It’s hard to believe that it has been 27 years since the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence held its first Academic Awards Banquet to honor the state’s brightest public high school seniors and outstanding educators. While the honorees and distinguished speakers have changed through the years, one thing remains the same. The Academic Awards Banquet is a special and inspiring celebration, attended annually by more than 1,000 Oklahomans and experienced by thousands more on statewide public television. One of our keynote speakers aptly described the evening as the “Academy Awards” for public education in Oklahoma. It is truly a great celebration! The theme for this year’s banquet, “Champions for Education,” is a fitting one as we pay tribute to championship students and educators who have dedicated themselves to excellence in learning and teaching. This year’s Academic All-Staters represent the top 1 percent academically of all public high school seniors in the state, with an average ACT score of 33.2 and an average GPA of 4.17. Our All-State honorees are a source of great pride in their communities and have become role models for academic achievement throughout Oklahoma. We also present this year’s Oklahoma Medal for Excellence awards to four outstanding teachers —

David Boren will be the master of ceremonies at the 2013 Academic Awards banquet on Saturday. PHOTO PROVIDED

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is working year-round to help cultivate young minds through programs in the teaching of American history, through the support of mentoring, through grants to teachers for professional development and outreach to public school foundations.

one each at the elementary, secondary, regional university-community college and research university levels — and we honor a remarkable public school administrator. We celebrate these medalists for their creativity, their depth of knowledge, their compassion and their commitment to help students realize their fullest potential. To help us honor Oklahoma’s heroes in public education, we are excited to welcome as our keynote speaker three-time Pulitz-

er Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Thomas L. Friedman. Friedman is a widely respected foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times and the author of such works as “The World Is Flat.” According to “Foreign Policy” magazine, “Friedman doesn’t just report on events; he helps shape them.” The Academic Awards Banquet would not be possible without the generous support of individual donors, corporations and

foundations who are committed to recognizing excellence in public education. We are especially grateful to those who have stepped forward to become Academic All-State partners. Each partner provides a scholarship for one of our 100 All-Staters. The partners, often paired with students based on geographic area or shared interests, have the opportunity to sit with their assigned All-Staters at the banquet and form bonds that can last long after the evening is over. On a night when we celebrate public education, we must remember that our public schools need our support and involvement to be successful. Oklahoma is one of just three states in the nation which have cut perstudent spending by more than 20 percent since 2008. With such deep cuts, schools must often focus on bare necessities and cut back on things like teacher training and enrichment opportunities for students. Private giving to public education is more important than ever. The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is working year-round to help cultivate young minds through programs in the teaching of American history, through the support of mentoring, through grants to teachers for professional development and outreach to public school foundations. We invite you to join us in encouraging academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools. For the sake of Oklahoma’s future, be a champion for education!


Foundation to honor educators, students BY BRENDA WHEELOCK Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence

OKLAHOMA CITY — Five outstanding Oklahoma educators will be honored along with 100 of the state’s top public high school seniors when the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence hosts its 27th Academic Awards Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens. Doors open at 6 p.m. “Champions for Education” is the theme of this year’s banquet, which will feature a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Thomas L. Friedman. David L. Boren, founder and chairman of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, will serve as master of ceremonies for the statewide tribute honoring “the best of the best” in Oklahoma’s public schools. The gala event, which is attended by nearly 1,000 people, also will feature musical entertainment by the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute Orchestra. Admission is $50 per person. A mailin reservation form is available online at www.ofe.org. For the first time in the banquet’s history, the event is being led by former honorees. Morgan Harris, 1998 Academic All-Stater and owner of the Green Bambino of Oklahoma City, is serving as banquet chair; and 1987 All-Stater Jami Rhoades Antonisse, an Oklahoma City attorney, is co-chair. “As a former Academic All-Stater, it is great to come full circle and help

LEARN MORE I Columnist and Pulitzer-prize winner Thomas Friedman will be the keynote speaker at this year’s banquet. See page 6. I Attend the banquet or find out how to watch the evening on TV. See page 6. I For more information on the Academic Awards Banquet, go to www.ofe.org or call 236-0006.

organize the event that was so special to me many years ago,” Harris said. “We have an exciting evening planned, including teacher and student awards, musical entertainment, and a keynote address by world renowned columnist and author Thomas Friedman. I hope everyone will make reservations and join us for this inspiring celebration.” The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is a nonprofit, charitable organization founded in 1985 by then-U.S. Sen. Boren to recognize and encourage academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools. Through its Academic Awards Program, the foundation has awarded more than $4 million in scholarships and cash awards to honor graduating seniors as Academic All-Staters and educators as Medal for Excellence winners. The foundation will present its 2013 Oklahoma Medal for Excellence Awards in Teaching to elementary honoree Jill Edwards Steeley, Central Elementary School, Coweta; secondary winner John Waldron, Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa; regional university/community college winner Ruth Brelsford Askew, professor of speech and

Honors Program Coordinator, Eastern Oklahoma State College, Wilburton; and research university recipient Richard Bunce, professor of chemistry, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. The recipient of the Medal for Excellence in elementary/ secondary administration is Cathy Burden, superintendent of Union Public Schools, Tulsa. Each medal recipient will receive a $5,000 cash award as well as a glass “Roots and Wings” sculpture, created by the late Oklahoma artist Ron Roberts and produced by Jim Triffo, of Oklahoma City. With support from scholarship sponsors, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence also will present merit-based Academic All-State Scholarships of $1,000 each and medallions to 100 Academic AllState Scholars. The 2013 All-State class hails from 85 schools in 77 Oklahoma school districts. The honorees were selected from 599 nominations in what is described by Boren as “Oklahoma’s most rigorous academic competition.” Four Oklahoma high schools will celebrate their first Academic All-Stater: Afton, Dewar, Oklahoma City’s Santa Fe Charter and Verdigris.


Foundation promotes academic excellence BY BARBARA WHEELOCK Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence

Twenty-seven years ago, while serving Oklahoma as a U.S. senator, David L. Boren brought together a group of Oklahoma business and community leaders with the common goal of improving public education in the state. All agreed that private investment was crucial to the success of public schools in Oklahoma. They also wanted to celebrate the successes of Oklahoma’s public school system by giving statewide public attention to outstanding students and innovative educators. The result was the formation of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, established with the mission of recognizing and encouraging academic excellence in public schools in Oklahoma. Today, the foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization supported by private contributions and led by a 180-member board of trustees composed of leaders in business, education and public service from throughout Oklahoma. To carry out its mission, the foundation focuses on five key programs: Through its Academic Awards Program, the foundation has provided more than $4 million in scholarships and cash awards since 1987 to honor outstanding graduating seniors as Academic AllStaters and exceptional educators as Medal for Excellence winners. Through its Local Edu-

cation Foundation Outreach Program, the foundation provides free technical support and training to local education foundations across the state and sponsors the Fall Forum for Local Education Foundations and other training and networking events for education foundation volunteers and public school supporters. Among its Early American History Education initiatives, the Foundation for Excellence coordinates a program to send Oklahoma teachers to the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute each summer and provides subscriptions for schools to receive Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trips. The award-winning field trips help students experience 18th-century colonial life through live television broadcasts, website activities and direct access to Williamsburg historians. The foundation is co-sponsor of the annual Colonial Day at the State Capitol and promotes the development of Colonial Day events statewide through its website at www.colonialday.org. In

Fifth-graders participate in an archaeology lesson led by Little Axe teacher Vanna Owens as part of Colonial Day at the Capitol, an interactive history education program cosponsored by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Owens is a graduate of the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute, one of many programs administered by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. PHOTO PROVIDED

recent years, the foundation has partnered with Mount Vernon, the Oklahoma History Center and A+ Schools to co-sponsor the George Washington Teaching Ambassador Program, offering teacher workshops, hands-on history trunks and online teaching resources. During its 20th anniversary in 2006, the foundation launched the David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative to promote the growth and establishment of quality youth mentoring programs throughout Oklahoma. Through the initiative, the SEE PROGRAMS, PAGE 5S


Programs: Raising the bar FROM PAGE 4S

foundation is working with school districts, businesses, faith groups and mentoring organizations to promote mentoring as a positive step toward academic success. The foundation has been designated as Oklahoma’s lead organization for National Mentoring Month by the Harvard Mentoring Project. The Foundation for Excellence administers Professional Development Grants for Teachers to attend national conferences and institutes and, in 2006, partnered with the national Fund for Teachers and the Tulsa Community Foundation to provide grants of up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for teams of teachers for

Kambria Givens, right, a volunteer with Campfire Green Country, was among 35 outstanding youth mentors from across the state who were recognized in January during Oklahoma Mentor Day at the Capitol, presented by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and its David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative. Making the awards presentation is foundation trustee Kathy Taylor, former mayor of Tulsa. Givens was joined by several of her mentees, who ranged from kindergartners to second-graders. PHOTO PROVIDED

self-designed summer professional development opportunities in locations around the world. Thanks to generous bridge funding from the national Fund for Teachers, 677 Oklahoma educators have received grants totaling $2.3 million in the past eight years. “Thanks to the vision of our founder David Boren and the dedication of our statewide network of trustees, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has raised the bar for pub-

lic education in Oklahoma,” said OFE President Patti Mellow of Oklahoma City. “By honoring outstanding public school students and innovative educators, we have increased public awareness of the importance of educational excellence for the future of children, our communities and our state. “The work of this foundation can also be seen in communities all across the state where local educa-

tion foundations are flourishing, and teachers and students are benefiting from our professional development grants, history education partnerships and mentoring programs,” she added. “We have much to celebrate, but we must remain steadfast in our work to support and strengthen our public schools.”


Mike Larsen painting chosen for commemorative poster Oklahoma Arts Institute, the University of Oklahoma Reynolds Performing Arts Center and OU’s School of Dance. In 2008, Larsen completed a two-year project of eight murals for the Pokagon Band Potowatomi Tribe in Michigan. He has also completed the Chickasaw Nation’s Living Elders project, which is currently hanging in the Oklahoma Heritage Center. He recently completed a public commission for a twice-life-sized sculpture for St. Joseph’s Regional Health Center in Patterson, N.J., and is preparing to work on a project on the Civil War in Oklahoma.

BY BRENDA WHEELOCK Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence

“Ancient Ways,” an acrylic painting by American Indian artist Mike Larsen, of Perkins, has been selected for the commemorative poster for the 27th annual Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic Awards Banquet. “Each year, the foundation creates a poster featuring a Native Americanthemed painting to present to its Academic AllState and Medal for Excellence winners,” said Emily Stratton, executive director of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. “We are grateful to Mike Larsen for sharing his beautiful, vibrant painting for our 2013 poster.” Born in 1944 of Chickasaw heritage, Larsen grew up in farming communities in Oklahoma and Texas. He studied at Amarillo Junior College and the University of Houston before attending the renowned Arts Student League of New York, where he focused on traditional art disciplines. Larsen has spent more than 40 years as a full-time artist, progressing from street shows to nationally known festivals to prestigious galleries. Today, Larsen’s work is featured in galleries in California, Arizona and Oklahoma. Larsen creates paintings and sculpture commissioned by governments, corporations and individuals. His love for painting and sculpting dancing figures began when he was commissioned by the State of Oklahoma to paint a 26-

“Ancient Ways,” an acrylic painting by Oklahoma artist Mike Larsen, is featured on the commemorative poster for the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence 2013 Academic Awards Banquet. IMAGE PROVIDED

BUY THE POSTER The 2013 Academic Awards Banquet commemorative poster, designed by Daren Shepherd of Southwestern Printing, is available for $20, including shipping. It can be purchased at the Academic Awards Banquet or by contacting the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence at 2360006 after May 18. For more information, go to www.ofe.org.

foot-long mural for the state Capitol rotunda portraying five internationally

prominent ballet dancers, all born in Oklahoma. He has painted murals for the

AT A GLANCE

Selection criteria for Academic All-State Scholars Participants must be Oklahoma public high school seniors and must be nominated by their principals or superintendents. To be nominated for Academic All-State, students must meet one of these criteria: I an ACT composite score of at least 30; I an SAT combined critical reading and math score of at least 1340; I or be selected as a semifinalist for a National Merit, National Achievement (African American) or National Hispanic Scholarship. Once nominated, recipients are selected on the basis of academic achievement, leadership experience, extracurricular activities and community involvement, as well as an essay submitted by each nominee.

SELECTION COMMITTEE The selection committee, chaired by retired Tulsa attorney Teresa Adwan, works independently of all other foundation activities. The committee members are a diverse group of business, education and civic leaders, as well as Academic AllState alumni and former Medal for Excellencewinning educators.


Oklahoma Medal for Excellence winners Dr. Jill Edwards Steeley The winner of the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Elementary Education teaches second grade at Central Elementary School in Coweta. In her 42 years as an educator, Steeley has taught all ages and grade levels, from kindergartners to university students in education. She has also devoted herself to a lifetime of learning, earning a Master of Education degree in reading, a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction and national board certification in literacy. “Teaching is all I have ever wanted to do,” Steeley said. “In my 42nd year in the profession, I still look forward to coming to school each day. I never tire of seeing a student grasp a new concept, grow in confidence or willingly persevere to overcome a challenge.” Among the characteristics of an effective teacher, Steeley said she seeks to establish positive relationships and good communication with students and parents, creating a blog and weekly newsletter to help engage parents in their children’s learning. Other characteristics she values are strong knowledge of subject area, effective pedagogy, passion, reflection, flexibility and creativity. She said she loves the daily challenge of creating a poem, chant, game or craft to help children master learning objectives. Fellow teacher Marilyn Burks credits Steeley’s creative teaching with helping her own son, Matthew, transform from an insecure student with doubts about his abilities to a confident student who loves to read for pleasure. “It’s been five years since Matthew had Dr. Steeley, and he remembers his year with her with great fondness,” Burks said. “He is still able to sing songs she taught him in order to remember facts and refuses to throw away projects he completed in her class.” Named Coweta’s 2011 Teacher of the Year and an Oklahoma Teacher of the Year finalist in 2012, Steeley was invited to deliver the Coweta High School commencement address to more than 2,000 attentive guests and graduates.

AT A GLANCE

Five educators honored with Medal for Excellence The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has announced the winners of its Oklahoma Medal for Excellence awards honoring five outstanding educators in Oklahoma’s public schools. The awards will be presented at the foundation’s 27th annual Academic Awards Banquet on Saturday at the Cox Convention Center. Each of the winners will receive a $5,000 prize and a glass “Roots and Wings” sculpture, designed by the late Oklahoma artist Ron Roberts and produced by Jim Triffo of Oklahoma City. This year’s Medal for Excellence winners are: Dr. Jill Edwards Steeley, Central Elementary School, Coweta, elementary teaching; John Waldron, Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa, secondary teaching; Ruth Askew Brelsford, professor, speech and theater department chair and Honors Program coordinator, Eastern Oklahoma State College, Wilburton, regional university/community college

teaching; Dr. Richard A. Bunce, professor of chemistry, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, research university teaching; and Dr. Cathy Burden, superintendent of schools, Union Public Schools, Tulsa, elementary/secondary administration. “We know that education is the best investment Oklahoma can make in its future,” said David L. Boren, founder and chairman of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a nonprofit organization that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in the state’s public schools. “By honoring these exceptional educators, we are sending a message that Oklahomans deeply value excellence in public schools and the professionals who have given so much of themselves to enrich the lives of our children.” BRENDA WHEELOCK, OKLAHOMA FOUNDATION FOR EXCELLENCE

John Waldron

Ruth Askew Brelsford

The winner of the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Secondary Teaching teaches social studies at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa. A 20-year teaching veteran and National Board Certified educator, Waldron currently teaches courses in world history and Asian history for the school’s International Baccalaureate program, as well as U.S. government, ancient and medieval history, and Advanced Placement government and politics. He is also the founder of Booker T.’s Model United Nations program. “I came into education with a specific goal in mind: to make good global citizens out of my students by exposing them to ideas in the social studies and by promoting good thinking skills,” said Waldron, who earned a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University. “It is important to me that students recognize the increasingly globalized nature of modern society and be prepared to compete in a global marketplace.” Waldron’s interactive and student-centered lesson plans have included a mock Nuremberg Trial, a Viking role-playing game and a model Versailles Peace Conference. He has also built an extensive lending library of 1,200 social studies books to support students in their research and writing. Booker T. graduate Morgane Martinet said she still views herself as Waldron’s student because she continues to learn from the lessons he instilled in her: “critical analysis, historical accuracy and a desire to understand every facet of an issue. By teaching his students history, he prepares us for our future,” she said. Gabrielle Inhofe, a 2012 graduate, described Mr. Waldron as a “Booker T. High School legend” who ensures his students are able to analyze and evaluate materials — not just recite facts. Above all, Waldron is cited for being a caring mentor who goes the extra mile for his students, even holding “office hours” each Sunday afternoon at a local coffee shop to discuss academics and life with students and alumni.

The recipient of the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Teaching at a Regional University/ Community College is a professor and department chair in speech and theater and Honors Program coordinator at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton. Brelsford’s 26-year career as an educator has included teaching in middle school, high school and university settings, as well as in a college creative writing program for inmates at a local prison. In each case, her teaching challenges students not only to comprehend concepts, but also to analyze, evaluate and apply their knowledge to real-world problems. “My teaching techniques are based on listening to students and then introducing them to that really huge world out there, reminding them that they have every right to succeed in it — and can — but they have to think critically and communicate effectively,” said Brelsford, who teaches Eastern Oklahoma’s introductory speech course. As the Honors Program director, Brelsford also teaches an Honors Seminar each semester that challenges students not only to read and write about great social and political issues, but also to take action in their community. Their projects have included launching a campuswide recycling program; developing an antibullying workshop to serve local youth; and making 1,000 paper cranes and raising $1,000 for tsunami relief. Brelsford is also an adviser to many international students, inviting them to her home for meals, taking them on outings to attend cultural events and involving them in community projects. Outside the classroom, Brelsford and her students have co-led voter registration drives, coordinated a Constitution Day forum and organized Veteran’s Day observances on campus. “Professor Brelsford instills an appreciation for education that reaches far beyond academia,” said student Colby Lloyd Carpenter. “She teaches her students the practical application of an educated mind. For that, I will always be grateful to her.”


Medal for Excellence winners Dr. Richard A. Bunce The professor of chemistry at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater has been named winner of the Medal for Excellence in Teaching at a Research University. Now in his 29th year at OSU, Bunce has established a national reputation as a leading organic chemist, recently earning a grant for the development of broad-spectrum antibiotics to treat drug-resistant anthrax. Bunce brings his expertise and passion for chemistry to the classroom, where he teaches introductory chemistry for majors and non-majors, as well as upper-level and graduate courses in organic chemistry. As the undergraduate adviser for all chemistry students at OSU, he has been credited with doubling the number of chemistry majors in the past five years. “Chemistry is considered to be a difficult subject by many students and is often frightening to entering students,” said colleague Barry K. Lavine. “With patience, kindness and availability … Richard is able to relate to undergraduates and interact with them in such a manner that an atmosphere of trust develops.” In the classroom, Bunce intersperses demonstrations and real-life examples to illustrate concepts. He sets clear expectations for success and offers strategies for studying. “Rich’s classes are outstanding in every way,” said former student Paul B. Jones, now on the chemistry faculty at Wake Forest University. “He is an exceptional lecturer, but also works hard to establish a rapport with the large number of students enrolled. … At the same time, he is demanding and leads his students to rise to his expected level of performance.” Bunce is a pioneer in promoting research with undergraduates at OSU, and has involved 70 undergraduates in his research work, taking great care to familiarize them with advanced research techniques and instrument operation. He has been recognized twice with the OSU College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Adviser Award and was the 2010 OSU Regents Distinguished Teaching Award winner.

Dr. Cathy Burden The winner of the Medal for Excellence in Elementary/Secondary Administration is now in her 19th year as superintendent of Union Public Schools in Tulsa. Burden, who retires this summer after 41years in public education, began her career as a special education teacher then school psychologist before moving into administrative positions. Her early training provided an indelible emphasis on the importance of a studentcentered school environment, Burden said. “As a leader, it has been my mission to create such an environment by building a culture of care and support for our students and their families, respect and empowerment for our professional educators, and a dynamic learning experience to develop the full potential of our students,” she said. Under her leadership, Union has added four new elementary schools with space for universal, all-day prekindergarten and kindergarten. She took steps to equalize opportunities for children in poverty be developing Community Schools at eight Title I schools, offering after-school and summer programs for students and involving parents with on-site medical clinics and educational activities. With the goal of graduating 100 percent of Union students “college- and career-ready,” Burden instituted Union Collegiate Academy, which offers college and career counseling, Advanced Placement courses, college concurrent enrollment and other services to help students successfully transition to college. Burden has also overseen the passage of more than 27 school bond proposals totaling $306 million dollars in construction and improvements. Her commitment to her staff is demonstrated through a variety of benefits, including tuition reimbursement for continuing education, a district-subsidized wellness center and employee medical clinic. “Dr. Burden’s leadership has established the gold standard for successful leadership in the public education sector,” said school board member Ed L. Payton. “Her leadership success is a combination of commitment to community interaction rather than insulated decision making, collaborative rather than top-down management, and cultural rather than cosmetic change.”


Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars

Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars

Sarah Rose Anderson, Jones High School Anderson is a member of National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta math honor society as well as four-year, co-captain of the academic team. She is an officer or active member in Key Club, student council, Planet Earth Club, Jones Against Drugs and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. A two-time Academic All-Conference recipient, she competes in varsity basketball and cross country. She is a volunteer for the Metropolitan Library System’s Come Read with Me program. Anderson plans to study biochemistry at the University of Tulsa.

Mariah Burris, Cushing High School Burris is a valedictorian, National Merit Commended Student and Girls State delegate. A member of National Technical Honor Society, she is vice president of National Honor Society, president of Health Occupations Students of America and senior class officer on student council. She is president of First United Methodist Church Youth and volunteers for a veterinarian. She participates in Lady Tiger basketball, varsity soccer, Spanish Club and the academic team. Burris plans to major in biochemistry and molecular biology at Oklahoma State University.

Angela Chang, Jenks High School Chang is a National Merit Finalist, Questbridge Finalist and Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. A member of National Honor Society, Key Club, Chinese Club, student council and the History-International Club, she co-wrote and edited the documentary “Running Miles,” winner of the Regional Scholastic Art in Writing Gold Key Award and National Scholastic Art in Writing Silver Medal. Her short film about American education won honorable mention in the C-SPAN Student Cam competition. Chang will attend the University of Oklahoma.

Davey Dolan, Berryhill High School Dolan is a four-time wrestling state champion and wrestling AllState winner. Selected as Student of the Month in August, he is a member of National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Mu Alpha Theta, student council and the service group Serteens. A leader in Catalyst Youth Group, he has also coached elementary wrestling and elementary football. In addition to participating on the academic team and taking college classes concurrently, he volunteers for the local food bank. Dolan will attend Oklahoma State University to major in engineering.

Scholarship sponsor: Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation

Scholarship sponsor: SONIC, America’s Drive-In

Scholarship sponsor: Mrs. Walt Helmerich III

Scholarship sponsor: American Heritage Bank

Annah Baykal, Edmond Memorial High School Baykal is a National Merit Finalist, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and Wendy’s High School Heisman State finalist. She is the Edmond Memorial Swim Team captain and a member of the National Honor Society, Oklahoma Indian Student Honor Society and National Junior Classical League Honor Society. A member of the Chickasaw Nation, Baykal is a founding member of the Oklahoma Swimming Diversity Committee and helped establish the Native American Cultural Swim Meet. She participated in 252 Internship, a service-leadership program offered by North Church. Baykal plans to study biochemistry.

Hunter Burrow, Miami High School Burrow is a class valedictorian, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and 2012 Oklahoma Girls State delegate. She is president of National Honor Society, Community Service Chair of student council and vice president of the senior class. A member of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe, she is the coordinator of her school’s Veteran’s Day assembly, developer of a schoolwide talent show, and creator of a citywide clothing drive. She has participated in Dartmouth’s Native Bound Program. Burrow plans to major in biochemistry at Oklahoma State University.

Grant Coles, Lindsay High School Coles is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and the first student to earn the “triple five” on the Advanced Placement calculus and physics exams at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) Wayne Regional Center, where his peers chose him as the Most Valuable Classmate. He performs in marching band, trombone quartet and men’s vocal ensemble. He is president of the senior class, section leader for the low brass ensemble and worship leader for the Banner Baptist Church youth group. Coles plans to major in mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University.

Hunter Edwards, Piedmont High School Edwards is an Oklahoma State Regents Scholar, National Merit Commended Scholar and valedictorian. He is drum major of the 4A State Champion Pride of Piedmont Marching Band and has played in jazz band and the wind ensemble of Honor Band. He is a teacher at the Soldier Creek Church of Christ, founder of Alpha and Omega, and a member of National Honor Society and the academic team. As a Boy Scout, Edwards has earned the Life Rank. He is a math tutor, plays the piano and enjoys running and robotics. Edwards plans to attend Oklahoma Christian University, majoring in mechanical engineering.

Scholarship sponsor: American Exchange Bank

Scholarship sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Sias

Garet Crispin, Thomas Fay Custer High School Crispin is an Oklahoma Academic Scholar, member of the Thomas Academic Enrichment Association and recipient of the Kiwanis award for Outstanding FFA Member in Custer County. He is a member of the football team and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and captain of the academic team. A member of his church’s youth leadership committee, he volunteers with the children’s program and Vacation Bible School. Crispin is vice president and treasurer of his FFA chapter. He plans to major in mechanical engineering Oklahoma State University.

Magen Eissenstat, Putnam City North High School Eissenstat is a National Merit Finalist, valedictorian and Youth City Council At Large representative. She is the confirmation leader of her Church of the Servant youth group, secretary/historian of the Drama Club and the Putnam City North Orchestra and is the Class of 2013 historian. She is poetry editor of The Adroit Journal, a nonprofit online journal. A Regional All-Star Actor and an award-winning original orator, she also plays the piano and the viola. Eissenstat will major in English.

Scholarship sponsor: The First National Bank & Trust Company of Miami/Charles A. Neal & Co.

Scholarship sponsor: The Chickasaw Nation - Bill Anoatubby, Governor

Nicole Biddinger, Bartlesville High School Biddinger is a two-term finalist at the International Science and Engineering Fair, a research presenter for the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and a regional winner of the National Center for Women Information Technology Award. She is editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, chapter president of Health Occupations Students of America and an officer for Oklahoma Scholastic Media. A ballet dancer, she also volunteers for The Lighthouse, Blue Star Mothers and at an elementary school. Biddinger plans to attend Purdue University to major in biology, health and disease.

Beverly Case, Yukon High School Case is a National Merit Finalist and Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. She is president of St. John Nepomuk Youth Advisory Board, captain of the varsity academic team, president of Physics Club and a member the National Honor Society. She twice advanced to World Finals as a member of Yukon’s Odyssey of the Mind team. She is a tuba player and color guard member of the Yukon High School Band and acted in the school’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” Case plans to study chemical engineering at Louisiana Tech. Scholarship sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. Stephen J. Heyman

Scholarship sponsor: Polly and Larry Nichols

Scholarship sponsor: Thomas-Fay-Custer Education Foundation

Victoria Boudiette, Eisenhower High School Boudiette, of Lawton, is a Baccalaureate Scholarship recipient at Cameron University. She served as executive editor of the yearbook her junior and senior years and created an after-school learning program for her successors to gain a leadership position on the yearbook staff. She is senior class treasurer and a member of the Eagle Escorts, Open Doors and the Lawton Junior AMBUCS. She is the “E” in the Babes in Blue spirit line. Boudiette plans to study medical technology at Cameron University.

Hunter Chalfant, Hinton High School Chalfant is a valedictorian, Oklahoma Academic Scholar and Boys State delegate. He is the co-captain of the football team and member of the All-District Team. He also plays basketball and baseball and is a member of the National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He delivers teddy bears to the OU Children’s Hospital, decorates the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center for the holidays, and gathers and stocks food for the local food bank and veteran’s hospital. He volunteers as a veterinarian’s assistant. Chalfant plans to study pre-medicine at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Connor Cusack, Fairview High School Cusack is a National Merit Finalist, Boys State delegate and Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Regional Center graduate. He is co-captain of the basketball team, captain of the academic team, president of National Honor Society, vice president of Business Professionals of America and senior class representative on student council. He is a member of the robotics team and the Future Career and Community Leaders of America and will soon achieve Eagle Scout rank. He is an altar server at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. He plans to study chemical engineering.

Scholarship sponsor: Kenneth & Juliette Woodward Scholarship Endowment Fund

Scholarship sponsor: Legacy Bank

Scholarship sponsor: Mustang Fuel Corporation

Tanner Boyd, Weatherford High School Boyd is valedictorian, a Rotary Youth Leadership Award recipient and an Eagle Scout. He is an officer in student council, National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is captain of the varsity tennis team. He has been a page for Oklahoma Sen. Mike Schulz, is a delegate to the Model United Nations and participates in show choir. A member of the Weatherford First Baptist Church, Boyd is an Early Bird Reader for an elementary school and a volunteer for Home Makeover: Weatherford. He plans to study history at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Melissa Chanderban, Muldrow High School Chanderban is an Advanced Placement Scholar, speech and debate state medalist, and two-time academic team national qualifier. She is co-president of the competitive speech and drama team, president of Math Club, vice president of Science Club and public relations officer of HOPE Environmental Club. Her other interests include Beta Club, the robotics team, Teens Energetically Empowering Neighborhoods Coalition and Students Working Against Tobacco. She volunteers as a weekly mentor for Reading Encourages All Dreams. She plans to attend the University of Oklahoma, majoring in microbiology.

Nicholas Lee Denker, Pioneer High School Denker is a valedictorian, All-District Defensive Back in football and Boys State delegate. He works on the family farm and is four-year president of student council, president of Beta Club, president of 4-H Club, president of the senior class and captain of the academic team. He is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and First United Methodist Church’s youth group and choir. Voted homecoming king, he is first chair trumpet in the Pioneer Band; plays in the jazz band; and starts in football, basketball and baseball. He plans to attend Oklahoma State University to major in history.

Michael Felder, Eisenhower High School Felder is a National Merit Finalist, an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and homecoming king. He is senior class president of student council, vice president of Key Club, vice president of Spanish Club and a member of National Honor Society. He participates in Junior AMBUCS of Lawton, Real World Design Challenge and varsity tennis. He works part-time and is a chemistry laboratory technician. He created a tutoring program for Pre-AP students. Felder plans to major in mechanical engineering and physics at Southern Methodist University.

Scholarship sponsor: Weatherford Public School Foundation

Scholarship sponsor: OGE Energy Corp.

Scholarship sponsor: Bert and Janice Mackie

Scholarship sponsor: Kenneth & Juliette Woodward Scholarship Endowment Fund

Scholarship sponsor: Phillips 66

Rashidul Esrar, Edmond Santa Fe High School Esrar is a National Merit Finalist, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and National Forensic League National Tournament Qualifier. He is viola section leader and council vice president of the school orchestra, president of National Honor Society, vice president of Spanish National Honor Society, copresident of Young Democrats and a member of the competitive drama team. He is a graduate of Leadership OKC’s Youth in Action Class XII, Ward 8 representative for Oklahoma City Youth Council and a volunteer for the Regional Food Bank. Esrar plans to major in global affairs, economics or biochemistry at the University of Chicago. Scholarship sponsor: Home Creations


Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars

Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars

Sarah Rose Anderson, Jones High School Anderson is a member of National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta math honor society as well as four-year, co-captain of the academic team. She is an officer or active member in Key Club, student council, Planet Earth Club, Jones Against Drugs and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. A two-time Academic All-Conference recipient, she competes in varsity basketball and cross country. She is a volunteer for the Metropolitan Library System’s Come Read with Me program. Anderson plans to study biochemistry at the University of Tulsa.

Mariah Burris, Cushing High School Burris is a valedictorian, National Merit Commended Student and Girls State delegate. A member of National Technical Honor Society, she is vice president of National Honor Society, president of Health Occupations Students of America and senior class officer on student council. She is president of First United Methodist Church Youth and volunteers for a veterinarian. She participates in Lady Tiger basketball, varsity soccer, Spanish Club and the academic team. Burris plans to major in biochemistry and molecular biology at Oklahoma State University.

Angela Chang, Jenks High School Chang is a National Merit Finalist, Questbridge Finalist and Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. A member of National Honor Society, Key Club, Chinese Club, student council and the History-International Club, she co-wrote and edited the documentary “Running Miles,” winner of the Regional Scholastic Art in Writing Gold Key Award and National Scholastic Art in Writing Silver Medal. Her short film about American education won honorable mention in the C-SPAN Student Cam competition. Chang will attend the University of Oklahoma.

Davey Dolan, Berryhill High School Dolan is a four-time wrestling state champion and wrestling AllState winner. Selected as Student of the Month in August, he is a member of National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Mu Alpha Theta, student council and the service group Serteens. A leader in Catalyst Youth Group, he has also coached elementary wrestling and elementary football. In addition to participating on the academic team and taking college classes concurrently, he volunteers for the local food bank. Dolan will attend Oklahoma State University to major in engineering.

Scholarship sponsor: Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation

Scholarship sponsor: SONIC, America’s Drive-In

Scholarship sponsor: Mrs. Walt Helmerich III

Scholarship sponsor: American Heritage Bank

Annah Baykal, Edmond Memorial High School Baykal is a National Merit Finalist, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and Wendy’s High School Heisman State finalist. She is the Edmond Memorial Swim Team captain and a member of the National Honor Society, Oklahoma Indian Student Honor Society and National Junior Classical League Honor Society. A member of the Chickasaw Nation, Baykal is a founding member of the Oklahoma Swimming Diversity Committee and helped establish the Native American Cultural Swim Meet. She participated in 252 Internship, a service-leadership program offered by North Church. Baykal plans to study biochemistry.

Hunter Burrow, Miami High School Burrow is a class valedictorian, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and 2012 Oklahoma Girls State delegate. She is president of National Honor Society, Community Service Chair of student council and vice president of the senior class. A member of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe, she is the coordinator of her school’s Veteran’s Day assembly, developer of a schoolwide talent show, and creator of a citywide clothing drive. She has participated in Dartmouth’s Native Bound Program. Burrow plans to major in biochemistry at Oklahoma State University.

Grant Coles, Lindsay High School Coles is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and the first student to earn the “triple five” on the Advanced Placement calculus and physics exams at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) Wayne Regional Center, where his peers chose him as the Most Valuable Classmate. He performs in marching band, trombone quartet and men’s vocal ensemble. He is president of the senior class, section leader for the low brass ensemble and worship leader for the Banner Baptist Church youth group. Coles plans to major in mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University.

Hunter Edwards, Piedmont High School Edwards is an Oklahoma State Regents Scholar, National Merit Commended Scholar and valedictorian. He is drum major of the 4A State Champion Pride of Piedmont Marching Band and has played in jazz band and the wind ensemble of Honor Band. He is a teacher at the Soldier Creek Church of Christ, founder of Alpha and Omega, and a member of National Honor Society and the academic team. As a Boy Scout, Edwards has earned the Life Rank. He is a math tutor, plays the piano and enjoys running and robotics. Edwards plans to attend Oklahoma Christian University, majoring in mechanical engineering.

Scholarship sponsor: American Exchange Bank

Scholarship sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Sias

Garet Crispin, Thomas Fay Custer High School Crispin is an Oklahoma Academic Scholar, member of the Thomas Academic Enrichment Association and recipient of the Kiwanis award for Outstanding FFA Member in Custer County. He is a member of the football team and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and captain of the academic team. A member of his church’s youth leadership committee, he volunteers with the children’s program and Vacation Bible School. Crispin is vice president and treasurer of his FFA chapter. He plans to major in mechanical engineering Oklahoma State University.

Magen Eissenstat, Putnam City North High School Eissenstat is a National Merit Finalist, valedictorian and Youth City Council At Large representative. She is the confirmation leader of her Church of the Servant youth group, secretary/historian of the Drama Club and the Putnam City North Orchestra and is the Class of 2013 historian. She is poetry editor of The Adroit Journal, a nonprofit online journal. A Regional All-Star Actor and an award-winning original orator, she also plays the piano and the viola. Eissenstat will major in English.

Scholarship sponsor: The First National Bank & Trust Company of Miami/Charles A. Neal & Co.

Scholarship sponsor: The Chickasaw Nation - Bill Anoatubby, Governor

Nicole Biddinger, Bartlesville High School Biddinger is a two-term finalist at the International Science and Engineering Fair, a research presenter for the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and a regional winner of the National Center for Women Information Technology Award. She is editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, chapter president of Health Occupations Students of America and an officer for Oklahoma Scholastic Media. A ballet dancer, she also volunteers for The Lighthouse, Blue Star Mothers and at an elementary school. Biddinger plans to attend Purdue University to major in biology, health and disease.

Beverly Case, Yukon High School Case is a National Merit Finalist and Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. She is president of St. John Nepomuk Youth Advisory Board, captain of the varsity academic team, president of Physics Club and a member the National Honor Society. She twice advanced to World Finals as a member of Yukon’s Odyssey of the Mind team. She is a tuba player and color guard member of the Yukon High School Band and acted in the school’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” Case plans to study chemical engineering at Louisiana Tech. Scholarship sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. Stephen J. Heyman

Scholarship sponsor: Polly and Larry Nichols

Scholarship sponsor: Thomas-Fay-Custer Education Foundation

Victoria Boudiette, Eisenhower High School Boudiette, of Lawton, is a Baccalaureate Scholarship recipient at Cameron University. She served as executive editor of the yearbook her junior and senior years and created an after-school learning program for her successors to gain a leadership position on the yearbook staff. She is senior class treasurer and a member of the Eagle Escorts, Open Doors and the Lawton Junior AMBUCS. She is the “E” in the Babes in Blue spirit line. Boudiette plans to study medical technology at Cameron University.

Hunter Chalfant, Hinton High School Chalfant is a valedictorian, Oklahoma Academic Scholar and Boys State delegate. He is the co-captain of the football team and member of the All-District Team. He also plays basketball and baseball and is a member of the National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He delivers teddy bears to the OU Children’s Hospital, decorates the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center for the holidays, and gathers and stocks food for the local food bank and veteran’s hospital. He volunteers as a veterinarian’s assistant. Chalfant plans to study pre-medicine at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Connor Cusack, Fairview High School Cusack is a National Merit Finalist, Boys State delegate and Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Regional Center graduate. He is co-captain of the basketball team, captain of the academic team, president of National Honor Society, vice president of Business Professionals of America and senior class representative on student council. He is a member of the robotics team and the Future Career and Community Leaders of America and will soon achieve Eagle Scout rank. He is an altar server at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. He plans to study chemical engineering.

Scholarship sponsor: Kenneth & Juliette Woodward Scholarship Endowment Fund

Scholarship sponsor: Legacy Bank

Scholarship sponsor: Mustang Fuel Corporation

Tanner Boyd, Weatherford High School Boyd is valedictorian, a Rotary Youth Leadership Award recipient and an Eagle Scout. He is an officer in student council, National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is captain of the varsity tennis team. He has been a page for Oklahoma Sen. Mike Schulz, is a delegate to the Model United Nations and participates in show choir. A member of the Weatherford First Baptist Church, Boyd is an Early Bird Reader for an elementary school and a volunteer for Home Makeover: Weatherford. He plans to study history at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Melissa Chanderban, Muldrow High School Chanderban is an Advanced Placement Scholar, speech and debate state medalist, and two-time academic team national qualifier. She is co-president of the competitive speech and drama team, president of Math Club, vice president of Science Club and public relations officer of HOPE Environmental Club. Her other interests include Beta Club, the robotics team, Teens Energetically Empowering Neighborhoods Coalition and Students Working Against Tobacco. She volunteers as a weekly mentor for Reading Encourages All Dreams. She plans to attend the University of Oklahoma, majoring in microbiology.

Nicholas Lee Denker, Pioneer High School Denker is a valedictorian, All-District Defensive Back in football and Boys State delegate. He works on the family farm and is four-year president of student council, president of Beta Club, president of 4-H Club, president of the senior class and captain of the academic team. He is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and First United Methodist Church’s youth group and choir. Voted homecoming king, he is first chair trumpet in the Pioneer Band; plays in the jazz band; and starts in football, basketball and baseball. He plans to attend Oklahoma State University to major in history.

Michael Felder, Eisenhower High School Felder is a National Merit Finalist, an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and homecoming king. He is senior class president of student council, vice president of Key Club, vice president of Spanish Club and a member of National Honor Society. He participates in Junior AMBUCS of Lawton, Real World Design Challenge and varsity tennis. He works part-time and is a chemistry laboratory technician. He created a tutoring program for Pre-AP students. Felder plans to major in mechanical engineering and physics at Southern Methodist University.

Scholarship sponsor: Weatherford Public School Foundation

Scholarship sponsor: OGE Energy Corp.

Scholarship sponsor: Bert and Janice Mackie

Scholarship sponsor: Kenneth & Juliette Woodward Scholarship Endowment Fund

Scholarship sponsor: Phillips 66

Rashidul Esrar, Edmond Santa Fe High School Esrar is a National Merit Finalist, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and National Forensic League National Tournament Qualifier. He is viola section leader and council vice president of the school orchestra, president of National Honor Society, vice president of Spanish National Honor Society, copresident of Young Democrats and a member of the competitive drama team. He is a graduate of Leadership OKC’s Youth in Action Class XII, Ward 8 representative for Oklahoma City Youth Council and a volunteer for the Regional Food Bank. Esrar plans to major in global affairs, economics or biochemistry at the University of Chicago. Scholarship sponsor: Home Creations


Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars Bolton Ferda, Blackwell High School Ferda has earned a state superior rating in trumpet and competed in the University of Oklahoma Engineering Fair glider competition. Captain of the academic team and junior class secretary, he is also a member of National Honor Society, student council and the jazz, concert and marching bands. He works on the family ranch and takes Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics classes concurrently at Pioneer Technology Center. He is also a BancFirst Student Director. His interests include ranch sorting competitions and volunteering for the National Weather Service. He plans to major in aerospace engineering.

Emma Gade, Noble High School Gade, a valedictorian, is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor and a recipient of the President’s Leadership Scholarship from Truman State University. Vice president of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta math honor society, she is the clarinet section leader of concert and marching band and captain of the varsity soccer team. A Girls State delegate, Gade is a volunteer for the Noble Chamber of Commerce, Feed the Children, Salvation Army and American Red Cross. Gade plans to major in psychology at Truman State University. Scholarship sponsor: Crawley Family Foundation

Scholarship sponsor: Cordelia Lunceford Beatty Trust

Luke Fletcher, Fletcher High School A valedictorian, Fletcher is the recipient of the National I Dare You Award and the American Legion School Award. He is president of student council, vice president of the senior class and a member of the basketball team and Fellowship of Christian Athletes leadership team. He participates in the Adopt-A-Grandparent program and Fletcher Christian Church youth activities, including mentoring. He has organized fundraisers to provide food in Haiti and to rebuild a tsunami-destroyed home. Fletcher will study pre-medicine at Oklahoma Christian University.

Nicholas Garcia, Santa Fe South High School Garcia, a National Hispanic Scholar, was selected as Bass II in the Oklahoma Music Educators Association 2013 All-State Mixed Chorus and 4th Chair Flautist in the Central Oklahoma Directors Association wind ensemble. He is president of Band Council and Choir Council. He teaches basic music theory at the Granville Community School of Music. He has been named to the President’s Honor Roll at Oklahoma City Community College, and will have completed 53 college credit hours. Garcia plans to major in chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Scholarship sponsor: Denise and John Bode

Scholarship sponsor: The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation

Emily Frantz, Bethany High School Frantz, a flutist for the Oklahoma Small School Band Directors Association Honor Band, was selected the Outstanding Drum Major in Class 4A at the Pauls Valley Marching Festival. She has participated in concert and marching band, jazz band and full orchestra. She is a member of Putnam City Baptist Church youth group’s leadership team, National Honor Society, Book Club and Masque and Gavel. She is active in youth leadership, tutoring and musical theater. Frantz plans to attend the University of Oklahoma to major in engineering.

William Gardner, Warner High School Gardner, a National Merit Finalist, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and U.S. Presidential Scholars candidate, is chapter president and state vice president of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, vice president of student council, local officer for the 4-H Club and president of Teens for Christ. He is captain of the Academic Bowl team, the 2012 State Champion and runner-up in 2013. He is drum major of the marching band, a member of the All-District Honor Band and a first chair alto sax in the All-State Band. He plans to study chemistry/biochemistry at Harvard University.

Scholarship sponsor: Mrs. John W. Nichols

Scholarship sponsor: Helmerich & Payne, Inc.

Emily Frech, Norman High School Frech is a National Merit Finalist, Oklahoma Arts Institute participant in percussion, Scholastic Art and Writing National Gold Medal recipient and American Voices medalist. She is band president, drum line captain, National High School Student Council District 8 Convention chairman and a National Spanish Honor Society member. As a Norman Safety Town volunteer, she teaches fire, traffic and medical safety to preschoolers. She is a former page for Oklahoma State Rep. Emily Virgin. Frech plans to study molecular biology at Duke University.

Marissa Griffin, Broken Arrow High School Griffin is a National Merit Finalist, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and recipient of a Certificate of Achievement from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. She is president of Environmental Science Club, vice president of French Club, and a member of the Advanced Placement Committee and Key Club. She helped develop the campus recycling program and Aqua for Tharaka, a project providing clean water to remote areas in Kenya. Griffin plans to study chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Scholarship sponsor: A. Max Weitzenhoffer Jr.

Scholarship sponsor: Ruth Nelson

Carrie Funderburk, Edmond North High School Funderburk is a National Merit Finalist and editor-in-chief of the Kiikmik yearbook. She is a two-year president of the Edmond Fine Arts Institute’s Teen Board and teen liaison to the organization’s board of directors. As a Bring a Light to Others student fundraiser, she has raised more than $14,000 for children’s medical charities and earned the BALTO Princess title for being the top fundraiser. A former Junior Class Student of the Year and varsity cheerleader, she is also a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Spanish Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, SUN Club and Peace Lutheran Church youth group.

Grant Guzman, Western Heights High School Guzman is a Gates Millennium Scholar Finalist, the Best AllAround Rookie Year Student at the Francis Tuttle Pre-Engineering Academy and three-time winner of the Principal’s Top Jet Award. He is vice president of Key Club, secretary of student council, a Junior Rotarian for Rotary Club 29 and Ward 3 representative for the Youth Council of Oklahoma City. He is a member of Mu Alpha Theta math honor society, the academic team and the South Lakes Competitive Soccer Club. He volunteers for the Early Bird Pre-K Literacy Program and Rebuilding Together. He plans to major in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Virginia.

Scholarship sponsor: The Robert S. and Grayce B. Kerr Foundation

Scholarship sponsor: Daniel G. Webber Jr. PC


Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars Anna Bryson Haa, Plainview High School Haas is valedictorian and a member of Youth Leadership Oklahoma Class of 2012. A member of the Oklahoma High School Honor Society, Beta Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, she is president of student council, vice president of the senior class and treasurer of Youth in Government. A pianist and dancer, she is a member of the Shannon Crites School of Dance Competitive Company and Drawbacks Youth Tap Ensemble in Dallas. She volunteers teaching ballet to Kippers Gymnastics Team and started an HFV Wilson Community Center Hip-Hop class. She has been a bell ringer for the Salvation Army since 2009.

Bonnie Jordan James, Skiatook High School James participated in the Chemistry Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Tulsa and co-authored an article for the scientific journal “Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry.” She is valedictorian and a member of the Skiatook Junior Chamber and the conference championship-winning academic team. James was a Girls State delegate and received the George Nigh Scholarship for submitting the best piece of legislation. She volunteers at Saint Francis Hospital and the Mentor 180 Program. She plans to major in pre-pharmacy. Scholarship sponsor: The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation

Scholarship sponsor: The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc.

Corey Hembree, Dale High School Hembree is a class valedictorian and recipient of the Oklahoma Heritage Hall of Fame Scholarship and the St. Anthony Volunteer Award. A member of the Creek Nation, he is student council president, Fellowship of Christian Athletes president, academic team captain, senior class vice president and jazz band section leader. He enjoys playing the ukulele, writing songs and playing the drums. He volunteers as a peer counselor for youth camps such as Camp Nikoti for Native American Youth, Falls Creek and sports camps. He is also a leader in the Charistatic Youth Group. Hembree will attend Oklahoma State University to major in physics and pre-medicine. Scholarship sponsor: Mrs. Edward C. Joullian III

Dae-Kun Heo, Mustang High School Heo is a National Merit Semifinalist and Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction who earned second place in chemistry at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Regional High School Academic Competition. He is president of Key Club, co-captain of the Relay for Life team, and member of Eco Club, National Honor Society and the bowling team. He enjoys playing the flute, bowling and volunteering at Yukon Sharing Ministry as well as Pets and People Humane Society. Scholarship sponsor: The Meinders Foundation

Kristina Hill, Snyder High School Hill is salutatorian of her senior class and will graduate this month with a liberal arts degree from Western Oklahoma State College. Owner of Krisee’s Snow Cones, Hill is a member of Youth Leadership Oklahoma, student council, the Accounting Club and the academic team. She participates in her school’s gifted and talented program and volunteers as a junior high school tutor. Hill plans to major in accounting and finance at Cameron University. Scholarship sponsor: EZ Go Stores

Annica Houston, Shawnee High School A National Merit Scholar Finalist and National Hispanic Scholar, Houston is secretary/treasurer of the National Honor Society and a member of the Drama Club. She also takes advanced courses at the Oklahoma School of Science & Mathematics’ regional site. She is a junior volunteer at St. Anthony’s Hospital and has spent the past two years serving as an art teacher at the Shawnee Youth Coalition’s summer sports and arts camp for underprivileged children. Houston plans to attend Oklahoma State University, majoring in aerospace and mechanical engineering. Scholarship sponsor: The Williams Foundation

Chris Jeng, Oklahoma School of Science & Mathematics Jeng, a Ponca City resident, is a National Merit Scholar Finalist, Fleming Scholar and an American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) qualifier. To strengthen his writing skills, Jeng attended the Carleton Summer Writing Program. He is vice-captain of the Junior Engineering Technical Society TEAMS and a member Oklahoma State University Honors Orchestra. He plays tennis and is involved with the OSSM dance choreography group. Jeng plans to major in chemical engineering at the University of California-Berkeley. Scholarship sponsor: Pat Evans

Christy Jenkins, Beggs High School Jenkins is class valedictorian and a National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar. An accomplished musician, she is a member of the Oklahoma Small School Band Director’s Association All-State Band and percussion leader in her school’s concert and marching bands. She also plays the piano and marimba and participates in the Assemblies of God Church Fine Arts Program. Jenkins is a reporter for the National Honor Society and a member of the archery and golf teams. She plans to attend the University of Oklahoma. Scholarship sponsor: Choctaw Nation SAP/Sullivan Insurance Agency

Merrisa Kendrick Jennings, Collinsville High School Jennings has earned a Certificate of Merit for Achievement in Math and Science from the Society of Women Engineers and a Letter of Commendation for Outstanding Performance on the PSAT from the National Merit Scholarship Program. She was named to the President’s Honor Roll at Tulsa Community College. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Astronomy Club and Youth Alive, is recycling leader for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and is alto saxophone section leader in band. Jennings volunteers with the Collinsville library’s summer reading program. Jennings plans to attend the University of Arkansas, majoring in sustainable biological engineering with a minor in African studies. Scholarship sponsor: The Meshri Family

Austin Johnson, Afton High School Johnson, vice president of his local FFA chapter, was named Oklahoma FFA Northeast District Star Farmer. He also received an Oklahoma State University Institutional Scholarship. He is involved in hunting, basketball and football, and was recognized as a Class A Football All-Star. He is Academic Club president and vice president of the senior class, FFA, National Honor Society and student council. Johnson plans to major in agricultural business at Oklahoma State University. Scholarship sponsor: Oklahoma State University


Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars Nikhil M. Kamath, Stillwater High School Kamath is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and National Merit Scholar Finalist. An accomplished violinist, he is concertmaster for the high school symphony orchestra and attended the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain. Kamath is National Honor Society president, student council parliamentarian, Academic Team captain and delegate of the YMCA Youth in Government Program. He plans to major in electrical engineering at Northwestern University. Scholarship sponsor: Kirti and Satish Kumar

Julia Mae Lindsay, Bethel High School A member of the Bethel Art Club, Lindsay earned first place and Judges Choice at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma art competition. She received the Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (STEM) Award from Gordon Cooper Technology Center. Lindsay is an active member of the New Hope Baptist Youth Group and volunteers with the Prowl-Sadd Mentoring Program. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Academic Bowl Team and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She also participates in track and dance. Lindsay plans to attend the University of Oklahoma, majoring in pre-medicine. Scholarship sponsor: Susan Chambers

Aryn Kitchell, Tonkawa High School An avid reader, Kitchell is founder and president of the high school Book Club and placed third in English III at the Northern Oklahoma College Interscholastic contest. She is a four-year academic letterman and president of the National Honor Society and Humanitarian Club. She performs in local plays and musicals, volunteers at the Tonkawa Public Library and works as a veterinarian technician. Kitchell plans to major in liberal studies at the University of Oklahoma. Scholarship sponsor: Farmers Exchange Bank/First National Bank of Oklahoma

Raychel Kozik, Washington High School Kozik is a class valedictorian, National Merit Scholar Finalist and Oklahoma State Regents Scholar. A student at Oklahoma School of Science & Mathematics regional center, Kozik is secretary of the Science Club and vice president of student council. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is captain of the varsity golf team and section leader in the high school band. She also volunteers with the local Little League. Kozik plans to attend Oklahoma State University to major in chemical engineering. Scholarship sponsor: First American Bank, Norman

Katy Beth Layman, Bartlesville High School Layman is president of the Washington County 4-H Club and earned the 4-H State Fabrics & Fashion Gold Award. A National Merit Scholar Finalist and Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, she is a member of the National Honor Society and Oklahoma Indian Student Honor Society. Layman, an All-State Band percussionist, participates in her high school band’s leadership team, the percussion ensemble and the steel drum band. She also earned the Girl Scout Silver Award. Layman plans to major in horticulture and music at Oklahoma State University. Scholarship sponsor: Choctaw Nation SAP/Sullivan Insurance Agency

Thomas Littlejohn, Coweta High School Littlejohn is active in the arts, serving as a video production project leader, director, cameraman, prop designer and actor. He is also a producer for his school’s Tiger TV and a guitarist for the Calvary of Broken Arrow Worship Team. He is a National Merit Scholar Finalist, Advanced Placement Scholar and Coca-Cola Scholarship semifinalist. Co-captain of the varsity academic team, he also volunteers as a math tutor and special education mentor. Littlejohn plans to major in computer science and electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Scholarship sponsor: Kerr-McGee Corporation

Savannah B. Manning, Verdigris High School A member of the Claremore Civic Band, Manning received the Shane Graham Award for Most Valuable Band Member and was honored as a jazz drummer by the Oklahoma Bandmaster Association and the Mideast Oklahoma Band Directors Association. She is a member of the Oklahoma Honor Society and National Honor Society and is senior delegate on her school’s Textbook and Health Safety committees. She was recognized as Outstanding Member of the robotics team. She is a volunteer with the Special Olympics and as a mentor. Manning plans to study leadership and entrepreneurial management at the University of Iowa. Scholarship sponsor: Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Linda Lambert, Trustee

James Camden Martin, Idabel High School Martin participates on the Kiamichi Technology Center Robotics Team and earned first place in computer science and second place in chemistry at the Oklahoma Tournament of Champions. He is a member of the Warrior Pride marching band as well as the concert and jazz bands, and he is brass section leader. A Boys State delegate, he is a member of the academic team, National Honor Society, Business Professionals of America, Skills USA and the McCurtain County Soccer Club. Martin plans to attend the University of Oklahoma, majoring in electrical engineering. Scholarship sponsor: Idabel Foundation for Academic Excellence

Derek Lehman, Antlers High School Lehman, a 2011 Boys State delegate, is the recipient of the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition Youth Leader Award. Captain of the Academic Team, he is also a member of the 4-H Club and Students Working Against Tobacco. He participates in drama productions, plays tennis and volunteers with Friends of the Antlers Public Library. He earned the Presidential Student Service Gold Award for completing 100 volunteer hours. Lehman plans to major in biology and pre-medicine at the University of Oklahoma.

Daniel McClain, Byng High School An Eagle Scout, McClain is a member of Youth Leadership Oklahoma and serves on the Citizens Bank of Ada Student Advisory Board. He is a member of the All-State Mixed and Jazz choirs, and spends time writing songs and performing with the alternative rock band Urban Zoo and his church’s worship band. McClain is parliamentarian of Business Professionals of America and the National Honor Society. He plans to major in music composition at Oklahoma City University.

Scholarship sponsor: Sean and Carole Burrage

Scholarship sponsor: Kirkpatrick Foundation, Inc.


Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars Kameron Todd McCombs, Owasso High School McCombs is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and a member of the National Honor Society. McCombs is a member of the academic, mock trial and robotics teams. He is also involved in Students Teaching AIDS to Youth (STAY), a program designed to teach HIV/AIDS prevention to teenagers. McCombs plans to study chemical engineering and mathematics at the University of Tulsa or Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind.

Macy Muirhead, Tecumseh High School Muirhead is the recipient of the President’s Award for Academic Excellence and earned the Masonic Student of Today Award. She is president of Beta Club and the National Honor Society, vice president of student council and managing editor of the yearbook. Muirhead, a member of Oklahoma Honor Society and Link Crew, volunteers with Relay for Life, is manager for the volleyball team and plays softball and the piano. She plans to attend the University of Oklahoma, majoring in journalism.

Scholarship sponsor: Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation

Scholarship sponsor: Koch Industries, Inc.

Pryce Michener, Lawton High School Captain of the Academic Decathlon Team, Michener earned top honors at the statewide competition as highest scorer in both the state and honors divisions and as a member of the first-place team. He is a National Merit Scholar Finalist and Advanced Placement Scholar with Honors, and earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT. Michener spends time tutoring middle and high school students and volunteering as a Lawton Teen Court attorney, with more than 400 hours of service. He is president of the National Honor Society and a member of the academic team and Gentlemen of Lawton High. Michener plans to study chemistry at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

Grant Newton, Kingfisher High School Newton is a Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Stater and is president of his school’s FCA chapter. A member of the football and basketball teams, he is Region I Male Scholar Athlete of the Year and Class 3A All-Star Quarterback. Newton is president of National Honor Society, vice president of student council and his senior class, and a member of Business Professionals of America. A member of Kingfisher Church of the Nazarene, he volunteers with the Josh Heupel Foundation Thanksgiving Basket Delivery program and Oklahoma City Regional Food Bank. Newton plans to major in agricultural economics and pre-law at Oklahoma State University.

Scholarship sponsor: The McCasland Foundation

Scholarship sponsor: Pioneer Telephone Cooperative

Tanner Miller, Mulhall-Orlando High School Miller, class valedictorian and a Boys State delegate, is a livestock showmanship volunteer instructor and raises Miniature Australian Shepherds. He is president of the local FFA chapter and was national FFA Proficiency winner in small animal production and care. He is president of student council and a member of the National Honor Society, and he volunteers for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Miller plans to attend Oklahoma State University, majoring in agriculture education.

Christine G. T. Nguyen, Westmoore High School Nguyen trains for marathons, is girls’ captain of the Westmoore High School swim team and was named Moore Monthly’s Athlete of the Week. She is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor and Commended National Merit Scholar. Nguyen is group leader of the Vien Giac Buddhist Youth Association, a dancer on the Vien Giac Lion Dancing Squad and parliamentarian of the National Honor Society. She volunteers at OU Medical Center and is interested in Buddhist studies. Nguyen plans to attend Stanford University, majoring in human biology.

Scholarship sponsor: Bill & Joffa Kerr

Scholarship sponsor: OPUBCO Communications Group

Dallas Milligan, Westmoore High School Milligan is interested in medical research and works as a laboratory assistant at the Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Research. He is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honors and an Oklahoma State Regents Scholar, and he earned the Jane Austin Chemistry Award. Milligan is a member of the National Honor Society, Asian American Society, Senior Council, yearbook staff and Oklahoma Scholastic Media. He volunteers as a tutor for Moore Public Schools and as a collection agent for England’s Help for Heroes fundraising campaign. Milligan plans to major in medical humanities at the University of Oklahoma.

Dylan Matthew Oney, Muskogee High School Oney is a National Latin Exam Silver Medalist, a National Merit Scholar Finalist and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor. A member of the Muskogee Community Band, he is a percussionist for the Soul Focus praise band and captain of the high school drumline. Oney is a member of the science club and president of Junior Classical League, Young Democrats Club and United Methodist Youth Muskogee District. He has participated in mission trips and volunteered as a Salvation Army bell ringer. He plans to study chemical engineering at Oklahoma State University. Scholarship sponsor: BancFirst Corp.

Derek Bobby Moates, Moore High School A class valedictorian, Moates is a National Merit Scholar Finalist and a Presidential Scholar nominee. He has earned more than 800 volunteer hours serving at Highland Baptist Church and as a Campfire USA counselor and intern at Sooner Flight Academy. He is drive team coach for FIRST Robotics, captain of the Academic Team and a member of the National Honor Society. Moates plans to study aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Jared Ontko, Classen School of Advanced Studies A class salutatorian, Ontko is an Eagle Scout, a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program finalist and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Fleming Scholar. President of GermanAmerican Partnership Program, Ontko teaches basic German to at-risk elementary students at Kinder Deutsch. He is treasurer of Key Club International and National Honor Society and a Junior Rotarian. An Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute alumnus, Ontko is a member of the Academy Sinfonia Youth Chamber Orchestra and volunteers as a math tutor. He plans to major in chemical engineering at Northeastern University in Boston.

Scholarship sponsor: MidFirst Bank

Scholarship sponsor: Members of Leadership Oklahoma City

Scholarship sponsor: Devon Energy Corporation


Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars Suparshva Umesh Parikh, Durant High School Parikh is an Oklahoma State Regents Academic Scholar and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Fleming Scholar. A member of National Honor Society and Health Occupation Students of America, he is academic team captain, journalism assistant editor and Calculus Club president. Parikh is a member of the varsity tennis team and volunteers in a medical clinic. He enjoys reading science journals and solving complex math problems, and he also assists with the management of his family’s business. Parikh plans to attend Harvard University, majoring in biomedical engineering.

Amrith Ramkumar, Norman North High School Ramkumar, a National Merit Scholar Finalist and Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout and is a troop guide. He is captain of the math team, president of Mu Alpha Theta math honor society, and a member of the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. Ramkumar participates in basketball and cross country and plays the piano. He also volunteers at the Sam Noble Museum of National History and the India Cultural Foundation. Ramkumar plans to major in political science. Scholarship sponsor: Ideal Homes

Scholarship sponsor: Massey Family Foundation

Erin Peterson, Bixby High School Peterson is a member of the Pride of Bixby Marching Band, earning State Marching Band Champion in 2009 and serving as flute section leader. She has received numerous superior ratings in solos and ensembles at district and state level. Peterson also performs in a flute trio and plays the tenor saxophone for the high school jazz band. She is secretary of the National Honor Society, volunteers as a math tutor and works at BounceU of Tulsa. Peterson plans to major in mechanical engineering.

Jake Resendez, Clinton High School A class valedictorian, Resendez is a National Merit Finalist and National Hispanic Scholar. He is the editor of his school newspaper, “Tornado Talks,” and active in Key Club, Literary Club and the Socrates Advanced Placement Society. He is a member of the academic team, varsity soccer team and band. He is a math tutor, a church camp volunteer and has traveled to Utah and Nebraska on church mission trips. Resendez plans to major in mathematics education at Texas A&M University. Scholarship sponsor: Clinton Public School Foundation

Scholarship sponsor: Citizens Security Bank

Jolee Potts, Jenks High School Potts is a National Merit Scholar Finalist, an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and National Latin Exam gold medalist. A viola player, she is a member of the Jenks Chamber Orchestra and has earned four superior ratings in state solo and ensemble competitions. She also has performed with the Tulsa Youth Symphony. Potts volunteers as a math tutor and is treasurer of the National Honor Society, captain of the academic team and a member of the Native American Club. Potts plans to study biology and psychology at the University of Tulsa.

Tierani Richardson, Sulphur High School Richardson is a National Hispanic Scholar and Oklahoma Scholar. A member of the varsity track, basketball and cheerleading teams, she was recognized as OCA Region 5 Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. She participates in Spanish Club, National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Richardson is the founder of 3 Hearts 4 Change, a charity that provides new coats for underprivileged children. She has also volunteered with the Ardmore Soup Kitchen, Special Olympics and Sulphur’s Kindergarten Service Learning Program. She plans to major in business in college.

Scholarship sponsor: Teresa and Alex Adwan

Scholarship sponsor: H. E. Rainbolt

Bianca Prentiss, Cache High School Prentiss, a class salutatorian, is captain of the academic team and earned first place in advanced biology at the Challenge of the Champions. A member of the honor choir, she performs as a praise singer for her church and was named a member of the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Women’s Chorus. Prentiss, a 12-year member of Girl Scouts, received the Bronze Award and volunteers on the High Adventure Team. She is a member of Beta Club. Prentis plans to attend Yale University, majoring in English.

Alexander Richter, Hilldale High School A resident of Muskogee, Richter is a class valedictorian, Academic Bowl regional champion, and a two-time medalist in regional mathematics and engineering competitions. He is class vice president and executive treasurer for Student Council, and new member liaison and treasurer for National Honor Society. He is support specialist for Hilldale’s Information Technology Department. He enjoys building and repairing computers, rebuilding cars, playing piano and hunting. Richter plans to major in engineering at the University of Tulsa.

Scholarship sponsor: NBC Oklahoma

Scholarship sponsor: The John and Donnie Brock Foundation

Kyle Addison Price, Haworth High School The Key Club founder and president, Price was selected as Walter-Hurst Sophomore of the Year by the Texas-Oklahoma Kiwanis Foundation. He plays more than 10 instruments, participates in his church’s Acts Ministry and performs with the worship team. Price, a classical soloist, is a member of the AllState Choir and earned a superior ranking at the National Fine Arts Festival. He is president of Sunrays Show Choir and Drama Club, captain of the academic team, and director of design for FIRST Robotics. He plans to major in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

Kelsey Roberson, McAlester High School Roberson is the recipient of an Honors Scholar Award from Oklahoma State University. She is active in National Honor Society, Prom Committee, McAlester High’s “MacPack” Freshman Orientation Program and has been recognized as McAlester Rotary Student of the Month. She is secretary of the All Saints Episcopal Church youth group. She is on the varsity volleyball team and participates in Diamond Dolls, a baseball cheer group. She has organized a fundraiser to benefit McAlester volleyball and the Pittsburg County Animal Shelter. Roberson plans to major in business at the University of Oklahoma.

Scholarship sponsor: Lissa and Cy Wagner Foundation of Communities Foundation of Texas

Scholarship sponsor: The Bank N.A., McAlester


Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars Samantha Leigh Rogers, Jenks High School A National Merit Finalist, Rogers is the recipient of the Jenks Forensics Leadership Award and is president of the Jenks Debate Club. She participates in Mock Trial, Key Club, National Honor Society and is vice president of History International Club. A 13-year member of Girl Scouts, she has earned her Girl Scout Bronze Award. She is a senior high volunteer and active in chapel choir and hand bell choir at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church. She has been a junior staffer for Cameron University Debate Camp. Rogers plans to study neuroscience.

Rachel Stromberg, Booker T. Washington High School Stromberg earned first place on the National French Exam in 2011 and received a National Security Language Initiative Scholarship to study French in Russia. A National Merit Finalist, she is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and Presidential Scholar nominee. She is French Club president and active in National Honor Society. She is co-founder of the Quidditch Club and participated in the 2011 Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute in Film and Video Studies. Stromberg enjoys rowing and Tulsa Open Volleyball. She plans to attend Harvard University.

Scholarship sponsor: Ann Graves

Scholarship sponsor: Crowe & Dunlevy

Natalie J. Santa-Pinter, Choctaw High School Santa-Pinter is president of National Honor Society, senior student director for Key Club and past president of Choctaw Leadership Academy for Student Success. She is a National Merit Finalist and was named her school’s 2011-12 Outstanding Overall Business Student. A club soccer player and captain of her varsity volleyball team, she was named senior athlete of the week by KFOR-TV. She is active in the St. Teresa of Avila youth group and volunteers for Regional Food Bank and Special Olympics. She plans to study chemistry at the University of Tulsa.

Hunter Stryke, Bristow High School Stryke is a National Merit Commended Student, a Valedictorian of Distinction and an Advanced Placement Scholar. He is a two-time state qualifier in the National Forensics League and a member of the 2012 Regional Champion Academic Team. Stryke participates in Leadership Class, Rotary Interact Club, Rachel’s Challenge, Leo Club and band. He gives music lessons and is a Depew Food Bank volunteer and elementary school tutor. Stryke has served as an Oklahoma Senate page. He plans to major in political science in college.

Scholarship sponsor: Tulsa Community College

Scholarship sponsor: ONEOK, Inc.

Jack Schaefer, Booker T. Washington High School A resident of Tulsa, Schaefer is a National Merit Finalist and Presidential Scholar candidate. He is president of his school’s academic team and 6A state team champion. He is vice president of Model United Nations and active in speech and debate, the National Spanish Honor Society and the Quidditch team. Schaefer plays jazz trumpet and is a two-time winner of Rogers State University’s gameshow, “I Want Answers.” Before entering college, he will have visited all 50 states. Schaefer plans to continue his studies in international relations.

Holly Stuart, Enid High School Stuart is Oklahoma’s female recipient of the 2012-13 Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement. She is a National Merit Finalist and Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. A Girls State graduate, Stuart is secretary of National Honor Society and has been active in Mock Trial, Community Service Club and Student Council. She has been a state qualifier in cross country and track and field. Stuart is active in her church youth group and has volunteered for Our Daily Bread soup kitchen. Stuart plans to major in biochemical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines.

Scholarship sponsor: Howard and Billie Barnett

Scholarship sponsor: Patsy Gaberino Carey

Connor Sell, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Sell, of Broken Arrow, is a National Merit Finalist and two-time qualifier for the United States of America Mathematical Olympiad. He is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and an Eagle Scout. He earned the highest score in the state at the 2010 and 2012 American Math Competition and was state co-champion last year in the Oklahoma Math League competition. He has participated in the Investigative Research Scholars Program and served as a mentor for NextThought, a software company. Sell plans to major in math in college. Scholarship sponsor: Ann Simmons Alspaugh

Luke Scott Stringer, Oologah-Talala High School A National Merit Finalist, Stringer is captain and MVP of the academic team and drum major for the Stallion Battalion Marching Band. He is secretary of History Club and participates in National Honor Society and Science Club. An Eagle Scout, Stringer has served as assistant senior patrol leader and quartermaster in Boy Scouts. He is activity vice president for Venturing Crew 199. Stringer is on the soccer and swim teams, holding the school record in the 100-meter breaststroke. He participated in the Duke University TIP Summer Institute in Architecture, focusing on living and building green. He plans to major in architecture at Yale University. Scholarship sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Silas

Vincent Tang, Deer Creek High School Tang is the recipient of the Royal American Conservatory of Music Center Certificate of Excellence and the recipient of many piano performance honors. He is president of the Hlubek Piano Studio’s Student Body and co-editor of “Red Line,” a student anthology. Tang is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and member of the academic team. He is also active in the Spanish/Multicultural Club, the YLX Youth Leadership Class and the Deer Creek Student Board. Tang volunteers for Integris Baptist Medical Center, where he has been a research intern in cardiac care. He plans to major in chemistry. Scholarship sponsor: S. Kim and Suzette Hatfield

Jeffrey Terry, Norman High School Terry is lead builder for the Norman High advanced robotics team, which is ranked second in the world. A National Merit Finalist and Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction, Terry also earned first place for group documentary in the 2011 state contest for National History Day. He participates in Mu Alpha Theta math honor society and National Honor Society. Terry is active in Norman High Wind Ensemble and the cross country team. He enjoys rocketry. Terry plans to major in computer science at the University of Oklahoma. Scholarship sponsor: Republic Bank & Trust


Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars Maria Torres, Chisholm High School A class valedictorian, Torres is active in National Honor Society and Student Council. As a junior, she attended the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics in Oklahoma City. The Enid resident plays piano and participates in ballet, tap and jazz dancing. She is active in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church choir and volunteers at the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County. She is also a volunteer tutor. Torres plans to major in environmental engineering.

Benjamin Wallace, Fort Gibson High School A member of the National Honor Society and Oklahoma Honor Society, Wallace is captain of the varsity Academic Pursuit Team and top ten scorer for the team. As a member of the robotics team, he helped design and fabricate a robot. He volunteers for the Red Cross blood drive and as an usher at Fort Gibson Christian Church. Wallace plans to study mathematics at Oklahoma State University. Scholarship sponsor: Leadership Oklahoma

Scholarship sponsor: The James C. and Teresa K. Day Foundation

William Hunter Turnage, Idabel High School Turnage is an Oklahoma State Regents Scholar and Boys State graduate. He serves on the Choctaw Nation Youth Advisory Board, and is president and district officer of Skills USA of Kiamichi Technology Center. He is president of Business Professionals of America and National Honor Society, and is academic team captain and class treasurer. Turnage is head of electronics for Robotics of Kiamichi Technology Center. He was a first-place winner in chemistry at the Oklahoma Tournament of Champions. Turnage volunteers to help other students prepare for the ACT. He plans to double major in chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Oklahoma.

Tyler Watson, Putnam City North High School Watson, a class valedictorian, is a National Merit Scholar Finalist and an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor. He is president of the state chapter of Health Occupations Students of America. A member of the National Technical Honor Society, Watson is former sergeant-at-arms of the local Technology Student Association chapter. He spends time programming, editing videos and learning about science. He also volunteers at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and other nonprofits. Watson plans to attend the University of Oklahoma, majoring in biochemistry and premedicine. Scholarship sponsor: Dr. Michael and Lisa Davoli

Scholarship sponsor: Idabel Foundation for Academic Excellence

Chance Upshaw, Dewar High School Upshaw is president and parliamentary procedure chairman of his school’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America chapter and is a national gold medalist in FCCLA Parliamentary Procedure. He is state vice president for Skills USA and participates in varsity baseball, varsity football and weightlifting. Upshaw takes drafting courses at Green Country Technology Center and college courses at OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee. He is a volunteer youth football coach, and a food drive and nursing home volunteer. Upshaw plans to major in mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University.

Lindsey Wengerd, Adair High School Wengerd is an active member of Adair First Baptist Church, serving on the Homothumadon drama team and the youth leadership team. She also participates in Project Cinderella, a project gathering prom dresses and accessories for students. A class valedictorian, she earned a Certificate of Distinction with Honors. Wengerd is vice president of student council and Science Club, and a member of Future Career and Community Leaders of America. She is football manager and is a member of the basketball, cross country and track teams. Wengerd plans to major in neuroscience at the University of Oklahoma or Columbia University.

Scholarship sponsor: AT&T Oklahoma

Scholarship sponsor: Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, Linda Lambert, Trustee

Jordan Van Buskirk, Marlow High School Van Buskirk is a Woodsman of the World American History Award recipient. He is vice president of Student Council and active in National Honor Society and the football team. Van Buskirk served as a page for Rep. Scott Biggs and participated in mission trips to inner-city Houston in 2010 and 2011. As a member of Random Acts of Kindness, he has volunteered for Special Olympics and a local food bank. Van Buskirk plans to major in engineering at Oklahoma Christian University.

Madison White, Edmond Memorial High School White, a U.S. Presidential Scholar nominee, is a National Merit Scholar Finalist and an Advanced Placement Scholar. She is technology officer of the National Honor Societ, and a member of the Rebuilding OKC Together teen board and the Advocating Change Together Club. White tutors elementary students, volunteers as a Bulldog Mentor and makes headbands to sell at the local farmers market. She is also a member of Latin Club and plays club tennis. White plans to major in computer science.

Scholarship sponsor: Jari Askins

Scholarship sponsor: E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation

Ernesto Vargas, ASTEC Charter High School Vargas, of Oklahoma City, is a class valedictorian, Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor and a Gates Millennium Scholars finalist. He is a volunteer docent at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and participates in Explorology, serving as a Paleo Expedition Peer Mentor. Vargas is a Junior Rotarian of Rotary Club 29, president of student council, captain of the Quiz Bowl team, and a member of Health Occupations Students of America. He also participates in the Biomedical Sciences Academy at Metro Technology Centers. Vargas plans to major in geology at the University of Chicago.

Sierra White, Woodward High School White received the Woodward Iodine Math and Science Achievement Award, the Golden “W” Award and the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award. She is treasurer of the National Honor Society and the senior class, student council reporter and a member of Key Club. A member of the Pep Club, White has served as captain of the cheerleading team for the past two years. She volunteers with Special Olympics, Grace Outreach Soup Kitchen, Relay for Life and the Red Cross Blood Drive.

Scholarship sponsor: Chesapeake Energy Corporation

Scholarship sponsor: Bruce and Sheryl Benbrook - The Stock Exchange Bank


Oklahoma’s Academic All-State scholars Tyler White, Poteau High School White is a National Merit Scholar semifinalist and co-founder of the school debate team. He earned first place in American government and second place in both biology and algebra at the Carl Albert State College Scholastic Meet, and volunteers as a calculus tutor. He is captain of the academic team and a member of the Chess Club and Art Club. He participates in marathons, cross country and track. White plans to major in mechanical engineering at the University of Arkansas.

Dalton Wyers, Roland High School A two-time Masonic Student of Today, Wyers was selected to serve on the school’s GEAR UP leadership advisory board. He is president of the National Honor Society, captain of the Quiz Bowl team and a member of Honor Club. A class valedictorian, Wyers plays basketball, volunteers with Upward Bound and tutors fellow students and college students. Wyers plans to attend the University of Oklahoma, majoring in pre-medicine zoology. Scholarship sponsor: Dr. and Mrs. Mark Harris Mellow

Scholarship sponsor: Steve and Pam Holton

Ashtyn Widney, Watonga High School An Oklahoma Academic Scholar, Widney is a delegate for Cimarron Electric Rural Electrification and served as a representative at Girls State. She is president of the student council and Quiz Bowl team captain, and is active in Gifted and Talented, Scholastics and Heritage Club. She is involved in the high school band, Watonga Community Theatre and the youth group at Watonga Christian Church. Widney plans to attend Oklahoma State University, majoring in physical therapy and biochemistry.

Sarah J. Wymer, Union High School Wymer is a cartoonist and her art has received more than 10 million views online. Ranked number one in her class, she is a U.S. Presidential Scholar candidate, Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and National Merit Commended Student. She is Environmental Club co-president, Junior Achievement Club productions officer and student council memberat-large. A member of Key Club and Mu Alpha Theta, Wymer volunteers at Oklahoma Blood Institute and is politically active in her community. Wymer plans to major in computer science at Stanford University.

Scholarship sponsor: Daniel G. Webber

Scholarship sponsor: Mr. and Mrs. James M. Sturdivant

Bailey Wilton, Claremore High School Wilton is a National Merit Scholar Finalist, Presidential Scholar candidate and Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction. A member of the state championship-winning academic team, Wilton is also National Forensics League president, Young Democrats public relations officer and Chemistry Club member. She plays on the varsity tennis team and is captain of the varsity volleyball team. Wilton also volunteers as a tutor for BLAST, an after-school program for underprivileged junior high students. Wilton intends to major in psychology at the University of Oklahoma.

Damaila Young, Shawnee High School Young is an Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon participant and volunteer. A member of the National Honor Society, she is the recipient of an academic letter jacket. She is a member of her school’s leadership class and participates in Link Crew, mentoring freshmen throughout their first year of high school. She also mentors elementary students and volunteers with Project HEART delivering meals to homebound senior citizens. Young intends to study nursing at Oklahoma City University. Scholarship sponsor: The Love Family Affiliated Fund

Taylor A. Woodward, Putnam City High School After serving at the local and district levels, Woodward was elected to the state post of Central Region vice president of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. She is an Advanced Placement Scholar and a member of the All-Region Honor Band. Woodward, a class valedictorian, is vice president of the National Honor Society and active in Model United Nations and Science Olympiad. She serves on the Infant Crisis Services Teen Board and volunteers at Excell Hospice and Central Oklahoma Humane Society. Woodward plans to major in psychology.

Alexander Zhu, Norman North High School Zhu is captain of the 6A state championship-winning swim team and a current state record holder. He is a state senior athlete representative for Oklahoma swimming and a delegate to the U.S. Aquatic Sports National Convention. A National Merit Scholar and National Advanced Placement Scholar, Zhu is president of Medical Explorers Post 901, senior class treasurer and co-president of Chinese Youth Academy. He participates in biomedical research at the University of Oklahoma and is on the stretcher team for OU football games. A President’s Volunteer Service Award gold medalist, Zhu has performed construction work with World Changers and is a Youth Council of Norman member. He plans to major in biology and biochemistry.

Scholarship sponsor: GableGotwals

Scholarship sponsor: Sarkeys Foundation

Jimmy Wu, Oklahoma School of Science & Mathematics Wu, of Norman, finished in the top 50 in the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad, and he is a two-time U.S. National Physics Olympiad semifinalist. A U.S.A. Junior Mathematical Olympiad qualifier, Wu is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the math team and academic team, and volunteers as a MATHCOUNTS teacher for Norman middle school students. Wu has earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and enjoys golf and juggling. He is captain of TEAMS Engineering and a member of the orchestra, and he has served as a physics and chemistry research intern. Wu plans to study engineering.

Julia Zhu, Edmond Santa Fe High School Zhu is a National Merit Scholar Finalist and National Advanced Placement Scholar. A three-year Orchestra All-Stater, she plays the violin and is concertmaster of the school’s orchestra. Zhu is Environmental Club president, academic team cocaptain, Young Democrats co-president and National Honor Society senior representative. She tutors, and as part of a student-led environmental club outside of school, she started the Green Reading program at the local library to educate children about the environment. Zhu plans to study business at the University of Pennsylvania.

Scholarship sponsor: Academic All-State Alumni

Scholarship sponsor: Bank of Oklahoma

Scholarship sponsor: Frank C. and Ludmila Robson



Academic Awards 2013