The 2001 Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Team 

Top scholars, and then some, make up latest class.

State champion runners, football players, musicians and award-winning scientists. They are all represented among the 20 members of this year's Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Team.

Now in its seventh year, the recognition program is the only statewide salute to academic achievers. We've given more than $35,000 in cash prizes since the program began.

Every high school in Arkansas is invited to nominate a male and female student for consideration. Two rounds of judging produce the winners, 10 males and 10 females.

The winners will be honored at a reception next week at UALR. They also will receive cash prizes and plaques. If history is a guide, many of them will continue to excel. Previous winners have gone on to win prestigious prizes, including the Rhodes Scholarship (Anna Terry of Fort Smith and the University of Arkansas). This year's winners:

Center of attention

AGE: 18
SCHOOL: Lonoke High School.
PARENTS: Neil Bennett Jr. and Caroline Thompson Bennett
COLLEGE PLANS: University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Daine Bennett is the original BMOC (big man on campus) at Lonoke High School.

He's academically first in his class of 117. He's the senior class president. His classmates voted him Outstanding Senior. He's the varsity football star, one of 13 in Arkansas to received the Hooten's Arkansas Football Magazine Scholar Athlete award, and he wasn't your standard hotshot quarterback or linebacker: he was the center. He was also a four-year stalwart on the Lonoke High school conference championship baseball team. He's an Eagle Scout. He's taken home all the future business and farm management awards. He's a Big Brother mentor, and the youngster you see raking old people's yards and delittering the prairie roadsides of thoughtless classmates' butts and Dr Pepper cans is most likely to be ol' Daine. He is, according to his counselor at Lonoke High, Carol Rudder, one of the all-round most popular young people ever to have come out of Lonoke.

Daine counts the Scouting as his best achievement. He's been in the program since kindergarten, and it taught him perseverance, the quality he likes best in himself. When others have given up on a project, and he has wondered himself if it might be just too hard, that's when he sets his jaw, he says.

The last five summers Daine has worked full-time on his father's farm, and he says the hard physical work, in contrast to the rigorous academic schedule he has carried, has given him a nice perspective on life that he will take to UA-Fayetteville in the fall.

Present-day Renaissance man

AGE: 18
HOMETOWN: Fayetteville
SCHOOL: Fayetteville High School
PARENTS: Dennis and Lorraine Brewer
COLLEGE PLANS: Emory University at Atlanta, or Case Western Reserve University at Cleveland, Ohio.

A recent weekend was typical for Jamison Brewer, said Barbara Prichard, director of the gifted program at Fayetteville High School.

"He began by traveling on Saturday to all-region choir tryouts, where he was selected for First Choir by audition. On Sunday morning at 8 a.m., he sang at his church and also played bass guitar and cello in other musical selections for multiple services. He left church to attend a citywide celebration to sing with the select-performance ensemble. He then rushed back home, changed into a tux, and was off to sing an aria in Italian at the Arts Center."

Jamie is all-state in both choir and orchestra, and a veteran vocalist in school and community musical productions. Academically, he's first in his class of 449 at Fayetteville High School, and his academic specialties have been science, math, and languages. He's copped a record number of writing awards in this community that loves its writers. As an ordained elder at First United Presbyterian Church, he's done an extraordinary amount of counseling and outreach church work and has still found time to play on the school's top-ranked varsity tennis team.


Speaking of Arkansas Times Academic All-Stars


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.

Latest in Cover Stories

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Most Viewed

  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.
  • 2017 legislature spreads its wings

    Also, Asa on Trump, schmoozing schedule and more.
  • Tomb to table: A Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk.

    A Christmas feast offered by the residents and future residents of Mount Holly and recipes from the Times staff.
  • Dems path forward

    The Arkansas Dems can lead by doing the opposite of what the national Dems did when they reelected the same leadership in charge since the equally embarrassing losses as seen in Arkansas. Electing 75-plus-year-olds is no way to embrace the youth.
  • The sweet hereafter

    This week, the Arkansas Times falls back on that oldest of old chestnuts: a recipe issue. Being who we are, of course, we had to put a twist on that; namely, the fact that most of the recipes you'll find in these pages are courtesy of people who have shuffled off to that great kitchen in the sky, where the Good Lord is always whipping up new things in his toque and apron, running the great mixers of genetics and time, maybe presenting the batter-dipped beaters and bowls to Jesus for a lick down.

Most Recent Comments


© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation