2013 EQT Students of Excellence - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

2013 EQT Students of Excellence

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Honoring Exceptional Students

The State Journal Presents the Fifth Annual
EQT Students of Excellence Recognition Issue

Below, you will find student profiles of high school seniors from each of West Virginia's 55 counties. These featured students are truly exceptional — they are students who have excelled in the classroom, but also have contributed their time and talents to their schools, as well as worked to improve their communities.

The accomplished students highlighted in this year's edition come from both large and small high schools and even home-school settings in the cities and rural regions of the state. While the students have different experiences and aspirations, they have one strong trait in common: They are planning for the future and developing their paths toward educational and career goals. 

The EQT Students of Excellence program would not be possible without the generous vision and help of EQT. EQT has several offices across West Virginia and is dedicated to enriching the communities where its employees live and work. As an integrated energy company with an emphasis on Appalachian-area natural gas production, gathering, transmission and distribution, EQT is pleased to support West Virginia students by sponsoring the Students of Excellence Scholarship Program. EQT has once again expanded the program, offering $1,000 scholarships for one student in every West Virginia county, and five at-large scholarships scattered throughout the state and six complete four-year scholarships, each up to $18,000 per year, to students interested in studying engineering, geology, computer science/information technology, energy or land management and environmental or safety science. 

We invite our readers to review the profiles of our state's talented young citizens — and to join their families, schools and communities in recognizing them for their perseverance and commitment. The State Journal and EQT salute these outstanding seniors.

Judges

An independent panel of six judges from throughout West Virginia selected this year's winners of the EQT Students of Excellence scholarship.

Those judges — Dr. Adam Green with the HEPC, Dr. Amelia Courts and Jessica Wintz from The Education Alliance, Jim Strawn with Highland Hospital, Margaret O'Neal with the United Way of Southern West Virginia and Keri DeMasi of Bartlett House — had the challenging task of picking just 66 students out of more than 300 applications that were submitted by teachers, principals, family members and others.

"We can't thank the judges enough for dedicating their time and energy to the Students of Excellence program," said Ann Ali, managing editor for The State Journal. "Many worthy students were nominated for this scholarship, and all of the judges took their jobs very seriously."

In particular, judges looked for students who showed good academic aptitude, a dedication to their community and involvement in extra-curricular activities. 

"The program aims to help and honor well-rounded students who are passionate about the Mountain State," Ali said. "Judges did not just consider students' grade point average, but how involved they were in the communities that helped to shape them into upstanding young men and women."

Judges couldn't have done their job, however, without the help of the state Higher Education Policy Commission, the Department of Education and guidance counselors, principals, teachers and family members throughout the state who helped to get the word out about the scholarship and encourage students to apply.