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Local students earn ‘Rising Sunshine State Scholar’ honor

By Staff | Nov 14, 2008

A number of students at Mariner High School were recently recognized for earning a high level on the FCAT and Advanced Placement examinations.

Sixteen students at the school were named “Rising Sunshine State Scholars,” and five were presented with “Advanced Placement Scholar Awards.”

For the Sunshine State Scholars recognition, students were recognized for scoring a Level 5 on the FCAT mathematics and a Level 4 or 5 on the FCAT science test.

“Someone from the Sunshine State Scholar program got in touch with our district and informed the superintendent that we had several scholars,” said Ronda Amaya, assistant principal at Mariner High. “We had an awards program in the media center where we gave them printed certificates that the superintendent provided.”

Many of the Sunshine State Scholars at Mariner High are also enrolled in the Mathematics, Science and Technology Academy. The academy is designed for those students who are college-bound and interested in pursuing the science or research fields.

Another five students were recognized for scoring high on the Advanced Placement test. Overall, Mariner High offers 19 College Board AP courses.

“Several of them are graduates from last year and one of them is still here on our campus,” said Amaya.

Mariner High’s Rising Sunshine State Scholars are Monica Amaya, Nicole Ballman, Joseph Benitez, James Bennett, Ronald Buckley, Shannon Claus, Richard Curtis, Peter Frumhoff, Robert Johnson, Alex Marsh, Josh Mena, Terence Piper, Samantha Suarez, Paul Teleweck, Kayshell Trudell and Joseph Wallace.

Mariner High’s Advanced Placement Scholars are Jocelyn Michaud, who scored 3.25 or higher and passed four or more college level exams, as well as Shane Geffe, Joseph O’Connor, Joseph Saxon and Natalie Vonderheide, who scored a 3.0 or higher and passed three or more college level exams.

The school is also using a new statewide examination called “Ready to Work” that is furnishing students with additional credentials to entice employers. The test can be taken by students in grades 9-12 as well as residents in the community. Approximately 100 business students at Mariner High are taking the test as part of the business curriculum.

“It is somewhat rigorous and they can pass with certain levels of achievement to show potential employers that they have basic skills that employers are looking for,” said Amaya.

Test takers who exceed expectations in reading, mathematics and information literacy on the Ready to Work test are awarded a gold, silver or bronze credential certifying them in basic skills.