The Edmond Sun

March 15, 2014

Edmond area boasts 8 Oklahoma Academic All-State students

Patty Miller
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has announced the recipients of its 2014 Academic All-State Awards. The 100 top public high school seniors, selected from 567 nominations statewide, represent 79 schools in 70 Oklahoma school districts.

Edmond is the home of eight of the Academic All-State students including: Kayla Martin, Deer Creek High School; Parker LaMascus, Edmond Memorial High School; Tyler Robison, Edmond Memorial High School; Daisy Velasco, Edmond North High School; Ty Charles Landon Keck Wright, Edmond North High School; Steven Kappen, Edmond Santa Fe High School; Yifan Song, Edmond Santa Fe High School; and Vincent Po, Oklahoma School of Science & Mathematics.

The 2014 Academic All-State Class is the 28th to be selected by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.  Since the award program’s inception in 1987, some 2,800 high school seniors from 314 school districts have been named All-State scholars. One Oklahoma high school, Erick, will celebrate its first Academic All-Stater.

With six students named as 2014 Academic All-State award recipients, Edmond Public Schools leads the state in representation on the prestigious list of scholars.

“We would like to thank the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence for their continued support of high expectations and rigorous academic preparation,” said Debbie Bendick, executive director of secondary education. “The foundation’s encouragement, under the leadership of President Boren, affirms Edmond’s insistence on providing a well-rounded educational experience for our students, including opportunities in academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community involvement.

“A point of particular pride for Edmond is the solid representation from each of our three comprehensive high schools that includes two All-Staters from each school: Santa Fe, North and Memorial.”

Each of this year’s All-Staters will receive a $1,000 merit-based scholarship and a medallion. The All-Staters will be recognized at the foundation’s 28th annual Academic Awards Banquet on May 17, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman. The featured keynote speaker for the banquet will be best-selling author and Harvard Professor Robert D. Putnam.

David L. Boren, chairman and founder of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, describes the selection of the scholars as “Oklahoma’s most rigorous academic competition.” To be nominated for Academic All-State, students must meet one of the following criteria: An American College Test composite score of at least 30; a Scholastic Aptitude Test combined critical reading and math score of at least 1340; or be selected as a semi-finalist for a National Merit, National Achievement or National Hispanic Scholarship.

This year’s All-Staters scored an average of 33 on the ACT, with nine recipients scoring a perfect 36. In addition, 37 of this year’s All-Staters are National Merit semifinalists, while four are National Hispanic Scholars.

Academic All-Staters are nominated by their principals or superintendents and are selected on the basis of academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community involvement, as well as an essay submitted by each nominee. The selection committee works independently of all other foundation activities.

The Academic Awards Banquet is open to the public, with admission priced at $50. The awards ceremony will be televised statewide by the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority at 8 p.m. May 24. For more information, call the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence office at 236-0006 or visit its website at www.ofe.org.