9 win Corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarships

Nine Tucson-area teens have been named Corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship winners.

Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their sponsors.

Corporate sponsors provide awards to finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serves or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

The winners of National Merit Raytheon Scholarships are: Bodo Lee and Luis G. Ortiz of Basis Oro Valley, Daniel Wieland of Catalina Foothills High School, Ryan M. Blanchard of Salpointe Catholic High School, Clare Kimiko Remy and Ian W. Schwind of University High School, and Aaron J. Steele of Pusch Ridge Christian Academy.

Ekow A. Buadu of Basis Tucson North was awarded the National Merit Citizen Watch Scholarship.

The National Merit Walgreen Co. Scholarship went to Luann M. Zerefa of Basis Tucson North.

Most of the awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000.

The recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice.

Students enter the National Merit Scholarship competition by taking the Preliminary SAT, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants.

Approximately 16,000 semifinalists were named, 15,000 of whom advanced to the finalist level.

Around 7,500 winners with the strongest combination of academic skills and achievements, extracurricular accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies will receive National Merit Scholarships.

7 campuses receive

A+ School designation

Seven Southern Arizona campuses have been named A+ Schools of Excellence.

The Arizona Educational Foundation honored the following schools for the 2016-17 school year:

  • Benson High School, led by Ben Rodriguez in the Benson Unified School District.
  • Elvira Elementary School, led by Andy Townsend in the Sunnyside Unified School District.
  • Flowing Wells High School, led by James Brunenkant in the Flowing Wells Unified School District.
  • Rattlesnake Ridge Elementary School, led by Cindy Lewis in the Marana Unified School District.
  • Rio Rico High School, led by Shelly Vroegh in the Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District.
  • Walden Grove High School, led by Teresa Hill in the Sahuarita Unified School District.
  • Walter Douglas Elementary School, led by Tamara McAllister in the Flowing Wells Unified School District.

The schools were evaluated in the areas of student focus and support, school culture, active teaching and learning, curriculum, leadership, community and parent involvement and assessment data.

Each will receive $500 and a banner designating them as an A+ School of Excellence winner.

All staff and faculty at the award-winning schools will be eligible for partial scholarships from Argosy University Phoenix.

The foundation has identified and honored exemplary pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade public schools since 1983.

Arizona Daily Star