BLOOMINGTON - The Pantagraph's 22nd annual Student of the Year college scholarship competition has nominated five students in its eighth week.
The program, sponsored by The Pantagraph, includes 33 Central Illinois high schools. Each school will nominate candidates whose profiles will appear in The Pantagraph every Monday through the middle of January. The students are eligible to compete for one of two $5,000 Student of the Year awards.
The students for this week are Brad Kennedy and Daniel Pratt, both of Ridgeview High School; and Christopher Ragusa, Hayley Ralph and Julia Swanson, all of Streator Township High School.
Selections are based upon several criteria, including scholastic achievement, involvement in school activities, leadership and responsibility, ambition and community involvement. Financial need is not a consideration.
The number of Students of the Week will vary based on the school's enrollment. Schools with 500 or more students will nominate three seniors. Those with 200 to 499 students will nominate two seniors. Schools with fewer than 200 students will nominate one senior.
In February, a panel will screen the weekly nominees, based on student applications and grade transcripts, and choose 10 students from schools with enrollments of more than 500, and 10 students from schools with enrollments of fewer than 500.
These 20 students will be the finalists and will be asked to complete essay questions, submit college test scores and conduct an interview in March with a panel of judges. The judges will name two $5,000 Student of the Year winners - one from the larger schools and one from the smaller schools.
This week's nominees are
w Kennedy, son of David Kennedy and Lori Kennedy of Colfax, attends Ridgeview, where he is a member of National Honor Society; received English, science and computer programming awards and was a WYSE state qualifier in computer science and chemistry. He had a Wendy's Heisman nomination; and is involved in CAPTAINS, student government, academic team, baseball, basketball, track and football.
w Pratt, son of Dave and Teresa Pratt of Colfax, attends Ridgeview, where he is a member of National Honor Society; and received awards in agriculture, chemistry, ag sciences, American government and ag mech and tech. He is a member of FFA; livestock judging; and supervised agricultural experience program. He also has been involved in football and basketball.
w Ragusa, son of Alan and Debra Ragusa of Streator, attends Streator, where he is a member of National Honor Society; drama club; academic team; and WYSE. He also has been involved as helper at Study Table; aide to class during advanced project physics; and volunteer for local junior high activities.
w Ralph, daughter of Michael and Katherine Ralph of Streator, attends Streator, where she is a member of National Honor Society; and named All-Conference All-Academic. She is a WYSE team member; health and fitness student of the year; science and social studies student of the month. She is a member of Congressional Student Leadership conference; Key Club; student council; varsity letter club; and executive council. She also has been involved in Streatorette dance team and softball.
w Swanson, daughter of Jamie and Sharon Swanson of Streator, attends Streator, where she is a member of National Honor Society and was a National Merit semifinalist. She was Student of the Month seven times; and a member of WYSE; Key Club; academic team; drama club; band; and German club. She also has been involved in cross country and track and field.