The Shelby County Board of Education recently honored the district’s top scholars at the Superintendent’s Super Scholars Awards held March 6 at Calera High School. The awards night is designed to honor the academic achievement of high school students throughout the Shelby County School District.
The guest speaker for the event was Chelsea resident and parent Rich Bartlewski, area vice president for Boston Scientific. Bartlewski, who played college football for California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) and three seasons in the National Football League, shared leadership lessons he learned from his college football coach – Jim Sweeney.
Students who were honored included 2018 National Merit Finalists, National Merit Commended Students, Presidential Scholar Candidates, Advanced Placement Scholars with Distinction, Advanced Placement Scholars with Honor, Advanced Placement Scholars, PSAT Scholars, Larry Headrick Award winners, and the 2016 top Valedictorians (Evan K. Major Award winners).
Each year, over one million high school students nationwide take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) to compete in the National Merit Scholarship Program. High School juniors who score in the top two percent in each state are selected as semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. These semi-finalists are then considered for the National Merit Scholarship Awards, which is awarded to students who score in the top one percent.
This year, there are nine students from Shelby County who have been named National Merit Finalists. They are Evan Mealins from Chelsea High School, Tyler Morris from Shelby County High School, and Lawson Brown, Alyssa Gruman, Emery Little, Gabe McPherson, Josh Myers, Adam Pendry, and Cole Sullivan, all from Oak Mountain High School.
Five students were honored as National Merit Commended Students. These students scored in the top five percent in the nation on the PSAT. Students honored were Keanu Dickinson Madison O’Connell from Chelsea High School, Mitchel Pinkston Hunter Rush from Oak Mountain High School, and Jace Aldrich from Helena High School.
High school seniors across the nation that score exceptionally well on either the SAT or ACT are invited to apply to be considered for the Presidential Scholar Program, which recognizes 141 of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. These scholars are selected on the basis of broad academic achievement, or because they demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. Presidential Scholars will be named in April and will be honored in June during a National Recognition week held in Washington, D.C. The following students were honored as Presidential Scholar Candidates: Evan Mealins from Chelsea High School; Josh Myers, Adam Pendry, and Cole Sullivan from Oak Mountain High School; and Tyler Morris from Shelby County High School.
The top valedictorians from each school were honored with the Evan K. Major, Jr. Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. The award is named in honor of former superintendent, Evan K. Major, Jr. Students honored included Oscar Becerra, Calera High School; Jessica Lewis from Chelsea High School; Jace Aldrich from Helena High School; Jordan Johnson and Jordynn Thomas (tied) from Montevallo High School; Adam Pendry from Oak Mountain High School; Tyler Morris from Shelby County High School; and Broxton Sanders from Vincent High School.
Others honored as Super Scholars included 10th-grade students who exhibited outstanding performance on the Fall PSAT/NMSQT and 12th-grade students who demonstrated exceptional achievement on the college-level Advanced Placement (AP) exams. Less than ten percent of the more than 840,000 students nationwide who took the AP exams performed at a level high enough to merit this recognition. PSAT Scholar honors are awarded to students with PSAT Selection Index scores in the top 20 percent.
Advanced Placement Scholars with Distinction awards were given to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3.0 or higher on five or more of the exams that were taken on full-year courses. Jessica Lewis from Chelsea High School, Adam Pendry and Cole Sullivan from Oak Mountain High School and Tyler Morris from Shelby County High School were honored.
Advanced Placement Scholars with Honor is awarded to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3.0 or higher on four or more of the exams that were taken on full-year courses. Students who received this award were Carter Burleson, Keanu Dickinson, Evan Mealins, Michael Middleton and Morgan Seay from Chelsea High School; Tyler Ball, Lawson Brown, Alyssa Gruman, Joshua Myers, Jonathon Porco, and Samantha Valladolid-Garcia from Oak Mountain High School; and Erika Stetson from Shelby County High School.
Advanced Placement Scholars awards were given to students who receive scores of 3.0 or higher on three or more AP exams that were taken on full-year courses. Honored were Oscar Becerra from Calera High School; Jessica Bausch, Brianna Braden, Emma Bunyard, Samuel Ferguson, Carl Garrett, Maddison Martin, Wade Moore, Madison O’Connell, and Autumn Pipkin from Chelsea High School; Jace Aldrich, James Brakefield, Laurel Briley, Mara Davis, Katie Graham, Lily Rimmer, and Julia Stith from Helena High School; Erin Acree, Amberly Acton, Christopher Angus, Jadon Bailey, Kaylie Beard, Baylor Boyd, Joshua Childree, Madison D’Amico, Eric Dollar, Jacob Dziadula, Jan Foksinski, Gabriella Holt, Natalie Hummel, Allison Johnson, Connor Kelley, Jovanna Kloss, Emma Lamoureux, Emery Little, Gabriel McPherson, Amelia Patrick, Kaitlyn Prima, Lindsay Roberts, Alden Rogan, Hunter Rush, Olivia Shivers, Christian Stockdill, Jonathan Stroud, Trae Stroud, Natalie Vizzina, Samuel Williams, and Omar Zuaiter from Oak Mountain High School; Kobe Martin from Shelby County High School; and Broxton Sanders and Colby West from Vincent High School.
PSAT Scholars who were honored included: Harrison Jackson from Calera High School; Morgan Bright, Gabriel Caots, Taylor Duzan, Sarah Hyde, and Kaitlyn Nail from Chelsea High School; Miranda Batchelor, Haleigh Beard, Alexandra Chuang, Abigail Ford, Jabe Hildreth, Alexandra Hughes, Jackson Kelley, Megan Oakes, Samantha Robinson, Alyssa Scott, Elijah Tilton, Madelynn Tuech, and Anastasia Watters from Helena High School; Grayson Fulmer from Montevallo High School: Maggie Beard, Evie Bell, Trey Besch, Matthew Bray, Elizabeth Camp, Adrienne Cooley, Neil Furman, Elena Gagliano, Reese Johnson, Connor Judson, Eugene Lee, Gideon Lombardo, Luke Love, Angela Ly, Gregory McCallum, Dylan Moore, Tyler Noland, Chandler Norman, Charles Padgett, William Pfaffman, Abrianna Porco, Cole Rierson, Chiraag Samal, William Sawyer, Joshua Scherer, Bailey Shin, Rilyn Todd, Jack Walley, Julia Wolter, Caleb Yousif, and Charlene Zhao from Oak Mountain High School; and Noah Harper from Shelby County High School
Students who scored in the top five percent on the PSAT were given the Larry Headrick Award, which is named for the district’s former High School Coordinator. Students who were honored were Megan Oakes from Helena High School; Maggie Beard, Matthew Bray, Elizabeth Camp, Neil Furman, Eugene Lee, Gideon Lombardo, Dylan Moore, Chiraag Samal, Joshua Scherer, Rilyn Todd, and Charlene Zhoa from Oak Mountain High School.