Chamber PRAISEs high school scholars
Published 11:03 pm Friday, April 25, 2014
Some of the county’s best and brightest were honored this week at the annual PRAISE Banquet.
The Education Committee of the Chamber of Commerce awards PRAISE, an acronym for Program Recognizing Achievement In Secondary Education, scholarships to the highest ACT scores at each area high school.
The program also provides scholarships to students who are involved in an academy and plan to pursue in the academy field. This year’s Academy Scholarship award recipients were Mi’esha Folmar in the Culinary Academy and Kali Stanton in Business and Finance.
“The $250 Academy scholarships go to upcoming seniors in the academy career track,” said Jerrid Olmstead, education chair.
PRAISE’s ACT scholarships are awarded $350 each. The student with the highest ACT score in Pike County gets $1,000. Students are also given the opportunity to honor one of their teachers.
“Each chooses a teacher for being influential,” said Olmstead. “It’s a way to honor everyone in the education system.”
Lynze Price, Goshen High School’s scholar, chose band director Daniel Walden as her most influential teacher. She said she chose Walden because she acquired a passion for music and learned to be a leader as part of the marching band.
Pike Liberal Arts scholar Chandler Cox chose DeWight Ward, his history and driver’s ed instructor. Ward has earned Cox’s respect and become someone he looks up to.
“He is an amazing instructor and mentor inside and outside the classroom. He is also an incredible role model,” said Cox. “I know he will be one of the biggest things I’ll miss about Pike.”
Blake Norris, Pike County High School’s recipient, said he chose Carrie Rigdon because she nurtures individual interests while introducing new ideas.
“One of the best parts of her class is you don’t even realize how much you have improved until you hit that point and compare to how you would have done prior to taking her class,” he said.
Jacob Bensinger of Charles Henderson High School was named the overall winner, having scored a 34 on the ACT test. He recognized Gwyn Huggins as his most influential teacher.
“She has helped by being more than a teacher, she cares about us; even if it was just listening to me complain about college stress we all experience around this time in our lives,” said Bensinger. “She has been such a great and positive part of my year, Mrs. Huggins is the perfect example of the cool science person I want to be one day and she will always be someone I remember and cherish.”
For Olmstead, the best part of the program is the banquet. Recipients gathered with their favorite teachers, their parents, community leaders and members of the committee at the Troy Country Club this week.
“It’s us showing it takes the entire community to raise up students,” he said.