Mar 11, 2015
BATON ROUGE, La. – Today the Louisiana Department of Education released the names of 18 students selected as regional finalists in the state’s annual Students of the Year competition. The 18 students selected include one 5th, 8th, and 12th grader from each of the state’s six regions and represent public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools across Louisiana. The finalists will convene at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge on April 22, 2015, for an awards ceremony and the announcement of the state Students of the Year winners from each grade.

“I applaud these 18 students. To be selected as regional finalists and recognized as some of the top students in the entire state is a tremendous achievement,” said State Superintendent John White. “These students exemplify excellence in education and are truly an example for all students to follow.

All public schools, including charter schools, as well as approved non-public schools, were asked to submit one candidate from their student body.

Students compete with their peers at the district level and may advance to the regional competitions. Students are selected based on criteria that measure academic achievement, leadership skills, character, and service to their schools and communities. Regional selection committees also use student-made portfolios of accomplishments, along with student writing samples and interviews to assess the communications and critical thinking skills of each candidate.

Prior to selecting the three state winners, the state selection committee will conduct interviews and review a writing sample from each of the finalists.

The finalists are as follows:

Grade 5:

Olutunmike Adeleye, Natchitoches Magnet School, Natchitoches Parish
James Sanders, Fellowship Elementary School, LaSalle Parish
Adan Hyde, Ridge Elementary School, Lafayette Parish
Maya Trahan, Central Intermediate School, Central Community School System
Rhett Williams, Montegut Middle School, Terrebonne Parish
Ivan Smith, First Baptist Church School, Caddo Parish

Grade 8:

Ethan Coker, Haynesville High School, Claiborne Parish
Calyn Lamanno, Sterlington Middle School, Ouachita Parish
David Spicer, Maplewood Middle School, Calcasieu Parish
Emily Seighman, North Corbin Junior High School, Livingston Parish
Allison Picou, Houma Junior High School, Terrebonne Parish
Adeline Roemer, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School, Diocese of Baton Rouge

Grade 12:

Vijay Letchuman, Caddo Parish Magnet High School, Caddo Parish
Jeffrey Sanders, West Monroe High School, Ouachita Parish
Karim Khattab, Lafayette High School, Lafayette Parish
Victor Rushing, Live Oak High School, Livingston Parish
Parker Vige, East Ascension High School, Ascension Parish
Benjamin Maxey, Loyola College Prep, Diocese of Shreveport

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