BLOOMINGTON — The Pantagraph's 22nd annual Student of the Year college scholarship competition has nominated five students in its sixth 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 Alicia Allen and Kelly Reuss, both of Illini Central High School; and Meredith Crews, Lindsey Geshiwlm and Sara Strauch, all of Normal Community West 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:
* Allen, daughter of Andy and Linda Allen of Green Valley, attends Illini Central, where she is a member of National Honor Society; was student of the month and a Journal-Register Scholar-Athlete; and a member of Spanish club; art club; science club; student council; class officer, all four years; prom committee; and school musical/school play. She also has been involved in volleyball.
* Crews, daughter of Danny Crews and Karen Crews of Normal, attends Normal West, where she is a member of National Honor Society; French National Honor Society; Mu Alpha Theta; French club; Key Club; Advocates; math league; breakfast club; spring musical; decorations for orchestra Hauntcert; internal review team; debate conference; powder puff; junior board aide; student council lock-in; musical contest; and trip to France/Italy.
* Geshiwlm, daughter of Douglas and Kimberly Geshiwlm of Carlock, attends Normal West, where she is a member of National Honor Society; Mu Alpha Theta; Key Club; varsity club; class board; SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions); Illinois Math League; mock election; guidance office monitor; breakfast club; and prom and homecoming committees.
* Reuss, daughter of Darrel and Kay Reuss of Mason City, attends Illini Central, where she is a member of National Honor Society; homecoming committee; Future Educators of America; science club; link crew; and prom committee. She also has been involved in volleyball and pompon squad.
* Stauch, daughter of Alan and Susan Strauch of Normal, attends Normal West, where she is a member of National Honor Society; French Honor Society; Mu Alpha Theta; Breakfast of Champions; IMEA; Key Club; advocates; Future Health Care Club; French club; SADD; Illinois Math League; solo/ensemble contest; and Madrigal orchestra. She also has been involved in cross country and track.