Local students honored as S.C. Junior Scholars

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More than 120 Beaufort County eighth-graders were honored last week for being named Junior Scholars by the South Carolina Department of Education.

The students and their parents were recognized at a Junior Scholars Banquet sponsored by the Beaufort County School District. 

“These students have incredible potential, as their selection as Junior Scholars demonstrates,” said Interim Superintendent Herb Berg. “Their challenge is to work hard on achieving that potential, and our challenge as educators is to support them on their journey.”

The banquet’s featured speaker was Devonta’ “Dee” Delaney, a Whale Branch Early College High School graduate who excelled in academics and sports. After graduating in the Top 10 of his class at Whale Branch, Delaney accepted a full scholarship at The Citadel, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business in 2017. He later attended the University of Miami to pursue a master’s degree in Business.

Delaney was a star cornerback for The Citadel’s football team, and he also started at cornerback for Miami. He later played for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and currently plays for the Miami Dolphins.  After football, he plans to go into the real estate business.

The Junior Scholars Program was developed by the South Carolina Department of Education to identify eighth-graders with exceptional academic talent and to develop strategies for inclusion into special programs. The program includes a process for screening, identifying and recognizing students with high scholastic achievement and intellectual ability.

Eligible students include those who score 50 or higher on the PSAT (preliminary SAT) in verbal, math, or writing, or those who participated in Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) during their seventh-grade years.

Students who qualify as Junior Scholars receive an award of merit from the South Carolina Department of Education as well as information regarding summer academic experiences sponsored by South Carolina colleges and universities.  They can use that special recognition to bolster their applications to colleges and universities.

Junior Scholars from the Beaufort area included:

Beaufort Middle School (pictured above): Lauren Myers, Suzie Nelson, Andrew Landis, Susan Livesay, Megan Alvarez, Emily Bennett, Gaea Adams

Lady’s Island Middle School: Ariana Bax, Paige Bowers, Alexandra Compton, Michael Dennison, Abigail Henry, Riley Kelley, Talan Machan, Jakyree Seabrook-Fripp, McKenzie Thompson, Logan Turner

Riverview Charter School: Benjamin Christian, Madelyn Confare, Emma Dykeman, Casey Hoogenboom, Tyler McGuire, Chase McKelvey, Walker Smith, Henry Trask, Samuel Trask, Davis Woods

Robert Smalls International Academy: Ashton Morgan, Logan Morgan, Alexander Crosson, Sophia Marin, Mehki Smalls 

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