Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities
Tired of bad news about kids and they schools they attend?
We have the antidote: The Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Team.
They are 20 high school seniors — 10 young women and 10 young men — chosen by independent judges as the best of an outstanding group of nearly 200 nominees.
They are all top students. The collective grade point average is more than 4.0, when you take advanced courses into account. But these are students notable for more than good grades.
They are student body leaders, musicians, artists, outstanding athletes, prize-winning scientists, even an award-winning clothes designer. None of these achievements came easily. For some, the usual hard work was complicated by bouts with cancer and other obstacles.
These are, in short, good kids. Just ask any of the high school principals and counselors who nominated them.
Nomination forms were sent to every public high school and virtually all private high schools in Arkansas. Home-schooled students also are eligible for consideration. The nominations go through two screening procedures. The first screening produces a list of finalists, reported below. A group of educators then gathers to pick the winners from that group of finalists.
The winners receive a plaque, a $250 cash scholarship award and are honored at a ceremony hosted by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. This is the fifth year of the All-Star competition and brings to more than $25,000 the total awarded by the Arkansas Times to outstanding students.
This year's All-Star Team.TRANNY ARNOLD IV
Tranny Arnold IV lost an eye to retinoblastoma, a rare form of cancer, as a small child.
But that didn't stop Tranny from begging his parents to let him play football. They finally relented, and Tranny played from seventh grade all the way through last year.
Nor did it stop Tranny from reaching for academic honors. The 18-year-old senior at Catholic High was selected for the LEAD summer business program for minorities, taking courses at the University of Arizona graduate School of Business. The selection was so prestigious, Tranny turned down a trip to the Arkansas Governor's School to make it.
Tranny, one of only three African Americans in Catholic's senior class, plans to continue his business studies at college. He's won bids from Princeton, Northwestern, Georgetown, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Minnesota. At press time, Penn was "in the driver's seat."
After college it's politics, Tranny said. "It's been an interest since I was young. ... I'd like to take a leadership role and to help others. The best way to serve them is to be involved in politics."
Tranny credits his parents' attitude for his academic successes. "When I was young my dad read to me before bed, and that helped me strive. My parents said, 'No Cs will ever come into this house.' " And they didn't — except for one, he recalls, in penmanship.
Virginia Arnold, Tranny's mother, said Tranny is "the greatest son in the world."
Her "gentle giant," as she calls him, surprises her with his maturity and poise. "He's so focused to be so young — it's like he's been here before."
In addition to his studies, Tranny has for many years volunteered at the St. Jude's Children's Hospital telethon. It was at the Memphis hospital that he was first diagnosed and treated, and he has returned there regularly over the years for checkups. He's been cancer-free for 17 years.
At least Debbie Pelley isn't running for anything.( probably proslyetizing those communist bike trails),
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