Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Dorchester School District Two celebrated academic excellence at three separate Academic Awards ceremonies held Oct. 1 at Ashley Ridge High School, Oct. 16 at Fort Dorchester High School, and Oct. 23 at Summerville High School. A total of 497 sophomores, juniors, and seniors from the district high schools were awarded academic letters and medals during these ceremonies in recognition of outstanding academic performance during the 2011-2012 school year. Since its beginnings in 1995, the Academic Awards Program has honored more than 8,500 students for outstanding academic achievement.
To receive the award, students must have an academic average for the previous school year of 90 or above. Among the award recipients, 75 students received the Board of Trustees Award indicating they achieved an A (93 or above) average in every subject. Each of the honored students received a medal, designed and struck especially for the Academic Awards Program. Seniors received a gold medal, juniors a silver medal, and sophomores a bronze medal. In addition, students also received an academic letter for his or her respective school.
This unique program was established to publicly recognize the achievement of high school students and has been supported and entirely funded through donations by the business community. In addition, business sponsor MeadWestvaco sponsored three scholarships of $1,000 each for a senior receiving an Academic Award from Ashley Ridge High School, Fort Dorchester High School and Summerville High School. This year’s Academic Awards Scholarship winners were Jessica Lauren Hagins, Ashley Ridge High; Kai Holnes, Fort Dorchester High; and Sara I. Grant, Summerville High. All seniors receiving an Academic Award have the opportunity to apply for these scholarships.
Ashley Ridge High Senior Jessica Hagins is a well-rounded student who has participated in extra-curricular activities while excelling in academics. During her high school career, she has served in leadership roles in student government and earned the Jefferson Leadership Award. Her desire to help others has led to her involvement with community service programs and missionary trips to South Africa and Nicaragua. Jessica would like to attend Clemson University and major in early childhood education.
Kai Holnes is an academically gifted student who has excelled in numerous extracurricular activities. Her involvement and leadership role with the Girls and Boys Club of America earned her their highest award, 2011 South Carolina Youth of the Year Award. Her future plans are to pursue a career in mechanical engineering “to create products that will help people all over the world.”
Sara I. Grant is a well-rounded student in every sense of the word. During her high school career, she has earned recognition from the National Leadership Forum, the National Society of High School Scholars and received the President’s Education Award. Sara also lettered in varsity tennis and basketball. Her volunteer involvement with Palmetto House for the homeless and the Wounded Warrior Foundation has shaped her future plans to attend college to prepare for a career in the medical science field.
A favorite part of the program for students and teachers alike is the recognition of special teachers. Student honorees are provided the opportunity to name one teacher who has been an inspiration during his or her school career. This year 180 special teachers were named and invited by students to attend the ceremony. Each of these teachers received a pin and certificate in recognition of being a special teacher. Since this teacher recognition began, more than 1,400 Dorchester District Two teachers have been named for this honor.