Anyone who spends time at the State House has seen team after team of high school basketball, baseball or jerseyed football players lined up along the House rostrum, necks draped with striped ribbons and awards of some sort, being regaled by Representative Proud O'Mine and the whole Pickyer County delegation.
It's so sad that earning highest academic marks doesn't rate such glamour and fawning attention from lawmakers. I reckon no school district in the entire state has an activity bus set aside to bring members of the district principal's list to the bus parking spaces on Senate Street in Columbia.
That's fine. South Carolina's lesser-known state motto -- the one struck on the rear of the state seal -- reads, "Prepared in mind and resources," and that's precisely what South Carolina's academic scholars are becoming.
So, in anticipation that these scholars will one day take their seats in the chambers of our Capitol, a banquet to honor their personal and intellectual achievement is sufficient and appropriate.
And that's what's happening tomorrow night in Beaufort.
The Beaufort County School District will honor 26 high school seniors, including five from Bluffton High School, for outstanding academic achievement at Thursday night’s annual Senior Scholars Banquet.
Seniors who receive this recognition have maintained a 3.5 grade-point average, are in the top 10 percent of their classes and have earned at least an 85 average in each quarter of all of their high school courses.
This year’s guest speaker at the banquet is one of the honorees, Tibra Wheeler of Bluffton High School. Wheeler was recently named a finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. She has a 4.876 cumulative GPA and has excelled in Advanced Placement and Honors courses. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Interact Club. Beyond the classroom, she was elected by the student body last fall as the schools 2011 Homecoming Queen. She also competes on the school’s varsity basketball, cross-country and track teams.
This year’s scholar honorees are: Lily Bartell, Jasmine Berks, Michael Burke, Samantha Crandall, Christopher Davis, Sabrina Drammis, Hannah Durbin, Michael Evans, Joseph Galtelli, Jacob George, Jason Guo, Hunter Hodges, Jacqueline Homyk and Jasmyn Howell.
Also: Malcolm Kates, Guy Kemmann, August Lehnert, Savannah Lehnert, Victoria Lobaugh, Morgan McNeal, Weber Pike, Rachel Taylor, John Weller, Tibra Wheeler, Alexandra Zack and Nicholas Zarra.
Congratulations, you Senators and Representatives in waiting. We can hardly wait for your preparation to conclude and your leadership of our state to commence.