$7,500 in scholarships awarded to four MCHS alumni
By Kathryn Schiliro
Four Morgan County High School alumni received $7,500 in scholarships to their respective post-secondary institutions last Friday.
The top achievers in the school's Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs for 2011 and 2012 were granted the honor by the Morgan County Foundation for Excellence in Public Education (MCFEPE).
From the Class of 2011, Katherine Key received a scholarship for having the highest AP scores – she was an AP Scholar as well as the 2011 valedictorian – that will go towards her post-secondary education at Washington D.C.'s Georgetown University.
"With Georgetown being a private college, there's added financial pressure," Key said. "Every little bit helps."
Sara Lydia Tuell, also of the Class of 2011, received a scholarship for her achievements in the IB program. She's currently attending Georgia Tech.
Kiara Smith, Class of 2012 valedictorian, received an MCFEPE scholarship for her IB accomplishments; she will attend Mercer University in the fall.
Smith, like Key, is also attending a private institution.
"Every little bit helps," Smith said. "Hard work and studying pays off in the long run."
2012 graduate Lucas Greenway, MCHS's first-ever National AP Scholar, also received a scholarship for his AP achievements and will attend Georgia Tech in the fall.
Greenway's been working all summer to save up for school.
"The scholarship's going to save my bank account," Greenway said. "It will cut down on expenses."
The MCFEPE picked up where MCHS's Academic Booster Club left off, administering the scholarships after consulting with MCHS and school board administration as well as the former Academic Booster Club board, Dr. Stan DeJarnett, of the MCFEPE, said.
"Instead of a lot of small awards, we try to recognize the highest performing IB graduate and the highest performing AP graduate," DeJarnett said.
The awards were not handed out last year due to the organizational transition from the Academic Booster Club to the MCFEPE, DeJarnett said, which is why, this year, four awards were given to alumni.
As far as the effect of taking advanced coursework in high school, all scholarship recipients interviewed agree it's prepared them well for their foray into college.
"I wouldn't change my IB experience for the world," Smith said. She went on to share that she feels the program taught her time management, how to balance life and school, and prepared her for college classes.
"Taking AP classes, like Calculus and chemistry will help," Greenway, who's facing his first semester at Tech, said.
"Advanced classes in general taught me time management and how to study," Key said. "I could not have made it at Georgetown without [taking] advanced classes."
"I think these are two programs that prepare kids for college," DeJarnett said.
It is the MCFEPE's hope, according to DeJarnett, that these scholarships can eventually expand to high-performing graduates in other advanced programs as well.
Printed in the August 16, 2012 edition