DouglasCooley, of Winter Garden, has been awarded a Fred and Waunee Walker Scholarship at Valdosta State University for the 2015-16 academic year.
Thirty-nine new and returning students were selected to receive a scholarship through VSU Foundation Inc. These scholarships were established by private donors and are awarded each year to students with excellent academic achievement and/or financial need. Each recipient represents the high standards of the university.
The school is in Valdosta, Georgia.
+ Zweifel named Outstanding Student
Zach Zweifel has been selected as an Outstanding Student at Holy Family Catholic School. Zach was nominated for his warmth, kindness and dedication to service and for being an example for the younger students.
He is striving to reach 100 community-service hours; he has volunteered at Give Kids The World and performs magic shows at assisted-living facilities, Kiddie U, fall festivals and special holidays. He donates most of his birthday money to the March of Dimes each year.
Zach arrives early at school and has volunteered to open the gate and office door for all of the teachers. He greets everyone and wishes everyone a good day. In media class, he is always willing to help the staff and other students.
He is also a competitive swimmer; the butterfly and IM are his favorite.
+ Local students named semifinalists
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program, and more than a dozen are from West Orange County schools.
• Dr. Phillips: AnliChen, MaxKingstone, Samuel D. Rossum and ZheweiXie
• Olympia: Ayshna A.Desai, DeeshaDesai, Alexander C. Esperanza and Samantha Sexton
• West Orange: Bianca S. Wilhelm
• Windermere Preparatory School: Jarrett T. Bell, EmmaM. Goeckel, Eruj K. Haider and Alexander P. Schwartz
These high-school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for about 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2016 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 315,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.
+ Ocoee honors reading winner
Ocoee Middle School sixth-grader Sarah Hoffer collected quite the prize pack for winning the school’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Sarah read the most books in the entire school during the summer and submitted her reading log to media specialist and reading teacher MichelleHipolito.
For her efforts, Sarah received a gift basket that contained books, an iPhone case and monster-related gifts to gear up for the school’s monster-themed book fair coming up the week of Oct. 12.
+ Mascot soars into charter school
Oakland Avenue Charter School had a special friend stop by recently to have a splash of fun.
The OACS family enjoyed a glimpse at the school mascot, the eagle, in real life. The bird’s fun in the mud turned heads during dismissal traffic, and parents couldn’t help themselves to “rubberneck” at the feathered friend.
+ Valencia among top in degrees
Valencia College ranks fourth in the nation for the number of associate’s degrees awarded to students, according to a ranking of more than 3,600 colleges and universities published by Community College Week.
To compile its annual Top 100 rankings, the editors of CCW used data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and focused on degrees conferred during the 2013-14 academic year. In that year, Valencia awarded 7,384 associate’s degrees, 60% of which were earned by minority students.
The number of degrees Valencia awarded in 2013-14 jumped by 4% over the previous year.
“Valencia’s continued focus on student success is paying off,” said Dr. Sanford C. Shugart, Valencia College president. “For the past decade, the college has targeted its efforts toward helping students from all backgrounds succeed. These rankings underscore the role that Valencia plays as the first step to college for many students in Central Florida.”
Also noteworthy, the college ranks fourth in the nation in the number of degrees awarded to Hispanic students and seventh in the number awarded to African-Americans.
The college also ranked third in the nation in the number of one-year certificates awarded.
Aside from the number of overall associate’s degrees conferred, Valencia ranked high in the number of associate’s degrees awarded across a number of academic disciplines: second in the number of degrees awarded in general studies and the humanities; 14th in computer and information sciences; 22nd in business degrees, 37th in engineering technologies and engineering-related fields; 42nd in criminal justice; and 47th in registered nursing.