Ready for summer

Staff reports

Fifty-four students were awarded scholarships recently during the annual Summer Scholarships Awards reception for area gifted students at the Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Friends Center in Portsmouth.

The South Central Ohio Educational Service Center (ESC) Gifted Services Department acts as liaison between businesses, individuals and organizations willing to sponsor Summer Enrichment Programs and students who are identified as gifted and are interested in participating in those programs. Sponsorship is important because it provides the opportunity for students to attend programs offered by colleges and universities throughout the nation and offers them unique experiences that wouldn’t be available to students otherwise.

Nearly 150 school administrators, teachers, parents and students attended the event. Guest speakers Micah and Sarah Simmons (brother and sister) explained how and why the Summer Enrichment programs were so valuable to them, and thanked sponsors for being so generous in their donations to the Gifted Services Programs.

This year, 42 students were awarded ESC Summer Enrichment Scholarships, which will pay either all or part of their summer enrichment tuition costs. Students receiving awards were Junniper Allen, Jake Alley, Brandon Anderson, Sophia Arnett, Caden Banks, Rylie Banks, Colin Bennington, Abraham Blevins, Jordan Bowman, Dutch Byrd, Meredith Byrd, Jesse Cantrell, Megan Conley, Alex Cram, Emily Cram, Ava Cronin, Gabrielle Deacon, Shane Dixon, Owen Fitch, Emma Fleenor, Zachary Fleenor, Liam Garrison, Draden Gillotte, Sawyer Grashel, Emma Grooms, Tehya Hazelbaker, Macyn Johnson, Rohit Kataria, Serena Kataria, Sarah Lemaster, Vincent Lore, Bradley McCleese, Allie McCray, Johnathan Miller, Levi Newman, Pete Newman, Maggie Risner, Jackson Shoemaker, Ethan Swick, Sarah Throckmorton, Kathryn Wood and Tristan Wood. These students will be participating in programs throughout the United States this summer.

Jane Lee of Miami University was in attendance to recognize students who were awarded full-tuition scholarships to attend the Miami Summer Scholars Program. Scholarships for Scioto County students to attend this program come from the Scioto Foundation’s Bess and Marie Pixley Fund. Recipients of these scholarships were recognized along with those who received ESC scholarships to attend other summer programs.

Miami Summer Scholars is a selective, two-week program designed for academically talented high school students who will be juniors or seniors in the fall of 2018. Students will work with Miami’s world-renowned faculty in intensive academic modules centered on specific topics of interest, with themes like fine arts, entrepreneurship, medicine, social justice, sports management and more. They will experience college life and acquire learning experiences designed to prepare them for the college application process, including workshops focused on application essay writing, ACT/SAT test prep, and developing marketable leadership skills. To be eligible for this scholarship, Scioto County students must complete an application and have participated in rigorous coursework during high school earning a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average.

This year, 10 full Miami scholarships were awarded. Those students are Shelby Blackburn of Minford High School; Abraham Blevins and Randy Patrick of Portsmouth West High School; Kathryn Davis, Alexis Franklin, Christina Gray and Adrian Jordan of Portsmouth High School; Evan Hambrick and Carson McCorkle of Wheelersburg High School; and Katheryn Stephens of South Webster High School.

Also, as part of the awards reception, the Portsmouth Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) awarded local student Paige Martin of Minford Middle School and Olivia Deacon of Wheelersburg Middle School full scholarships to attend the week-long residential Be WISE Mathematics and Science Camp at Denison University in Granville. The awards were sponsored through SOMC.

The Be WISE camp is designed to develop interest, excitement and self-confidence in girls who are entering seventh or eighth grades this fall. The AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research and has been in existence since 1881. The Portsmouth Branch of AAUW works to award at least one scholarship each year for a student to attend the Be WISE Camp.

The vision of the South Central Ohio ESC is to provide service and support that makes success a reality. The ESC strives to develop, deliver and implement exemplary services reflective of its commitment to meeting the concerns of districts in member districts in Adams, Jackson and Scioto counties. In addition, the ESC also provides regional district services in Lawrence, Pike, Ross and surrounding counties. In accordance with State and Federal law, the Center will provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities who wish to attend and/or participate in school events. Such individuals should notify the Superintendent if they require a reasonable accommodation.

For more information about the ESC, visit online at, or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Staff reports