STEM and a Dozen High Achieving Grads

Profiles in Excellence
Posted on 06/17/2019
Image of STEM Valedictorians(Courtesy Side Leader)

Akron Public Schools’ National Inventors Hall of Fame Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (NIHF-STEM) High School had 12 students in the Class of 2019 graduate as valedictorians with a summa cum laude designation.

According to school officials, all students with GPAs above 4.0 are named valedictorians. The students, along with colleges they plan to attend and scholarships accepted include: Sarah Rich, The University of Akron (UA), full tuition covered with an Innovation Generation Scholarship; Paige Ryder, Kent State University (KSU); Taia Rahim, KSU; Gwendalyn Jenkins, University of Cincinnati (UC); Madelynn Zarembka, Ohio University; Kala Mahanke, UA, full tuition covered with an Innovation Generation Scholarship; Chase Mizell, State University of New York (SUNY) Cobleskill; Nathan Dort, The University of South Carolina; Hagan Leeds Richman, George Washington University; Aaron Brown Jr., The Ohio State University as a Morrill Scholar, full tuition scholarship; Kareemat Melaiye, UA, full tuition covered with an Innovation Generation Scholarship; and Isaac Kirsch, UC.

Kirsch gave the valedictorian address to the class at graduation.

The Class of 2019 was made up of 83 students, all of whom met graduation requirements. The graduation ceremony was held May 15 at Goodyear Theater.

According to school officials, NIHF-STEM honors students with several specific awards designed to reflect contributions to the class, the school and the community.

Core Value Awards are designed to recognize the characteristics of learners who reflect the visionary leadership that began the Akron Public Schools NIHF-STEM program and schools. Core Value Awards and student recipients include: Rahim and John Krochka, Donald Plusquellic Core Value Award for Imagination; Beth Balint and Quran’ McClelland, David W. James Core Value Award for Inspiration; Jordan Pinzon and Nathan Dort, Traci Buckner Core Value Award for Integrity; Allisa McElroy and Ayden Contracier, Larry W. Johnson Core Value Award for Innovation; and Jenkins and Wan Yu, Susan Hall Core Value Award for Inquiry.

Manhood and Womanhood Awards were given to Clayton Esposito and Zarembka, respectively. These are awarded to students who embody all of the core values in such a way that they are representative of high moral and ethical standards, are leaders among their peers and in the larger community, display positive attitudes about life and give of themselves in service to others, school officials said.

Other students offered full tuition Innovation Generation Scholarships to UA are Parker Beal, Anthony Brown, Jason Clark, Shane Fugate, John Krochka, Leonardo Sabatina and Alyssa Snyder. Eva Soucek was awarded the Morrill Scholarship to OSU, which will cover full tuition.

According to school officials, 35 students reported being offered academic scholarships from colleges. The total value of scholarship money offered to the class was around $2.6 million, with almost $1.1 million accepted.

In other honors, the following seniors earned State of Ohio Academic Honors Diplomas: William Anderson, Balint, Beal, Clark, Esposito, Dort, Darius Glocar, Taylor Henderson, Alana Hopson, Lindsey Jackson, Delaney Jones, Brooke Jordan, Krochka and Leila Sims.

Receiving State of Ohio STEM Honors Diplomas were Aaron Brown Jr., Jenkins, Melaiye, Mizell, Arjun Rai, Rich, Ryder, Sabatina, Soucek, Zarembka, Talia Kirksey, Kirsch, Richman and Rahim. Anthony Brown, Mahanke and Yu earned State of Ohio Social Science and Civic Engagement Honors Diplomas.

Image of STEM Valedictorians
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