UNION COUNTY — The nine members of the Union County Board of School Trustees rose to their feet Monday night and shook hands with the middle school students who have been named either Duke Tip Scholars or Junior Scholars.
Union County School District Director of Instruction and Accountability Cindy Langley announced the names of the scholars, the schools they attend, and which scholars program they been named to. Langley then presented each student with a certificate naming them either a Duke Tip Scholar or a Junior Scholar. Each student then went up and shook the hands of each board member who stood in their honor.
The following students are 7th Grade Duke Tip Scholars:
• Nicholas Hale — Lockhart Schools
• Anna Gregory — Sims Middle School
• Ethan Balkum — Sims Middle School
• Madeline Gilstrap — Sims Middle School
• Halen Lawing — Sims Middle School
• Hunter Senn — Sims Middle School
The following students are 8th Grade Junior Scholars:
• Dayton Caldwell — Jonesville Elementary/Middle School
• Trey Best — Sims Middle School
• Chaniah Brown — Sims Middle School
• Garrison Hendrix — Sims Middle School
• Austin Millwood — Sims Middle School
• Robert Sanders — Sims Middle School
• Katherine Wagner — Sims Middle School
• Spencer Woodall — Sims Middle School
“We’re very proud to recognize our six Duke Tip Scholars and our eight Junior Scholars,” Langley said.
Duke Tip Scholars
In her address to the board, Langely explained the process of becoming a Duke Tip Scholar.
“The Duke Tip Scholars Program is a talent search for seventh grade students who are eligible to participate if they score at or above the 95th percentile on an approved grade level standardized achievement test,” Langley said. “For South Carolina that would be the state test we give for ELA (English-Language Arts) in May.
“Once the students are selected on that basis they are eligible to take either the ACT or SAT,” she said. “Students who score at the 50th percentile are recognized as State Winners. Those who score at the 90th percentile are recognized as Grand Winners.”
Langley said that Anna Gregory of Sims Middle School is a Grand Winner while the other seventh graders recognized Monday are State Winners. She said that by achieving Grand Winner status Gregory, along with the rest of this year’s Grand Winners, will be invited to a ceremony that will be held in their honor at Duke University in May.
Duke Tip Scholars also have the opportunity to take part in college/university-level academic programs this summer.
“They are eligible to participate in summer programs in areas such as science, technology, mathematics, and health sciences,” Langley said. “It gives the students the opportunity to explore academic disciplines in various fields at surrounding colleges.”
Langley also pointed out that Duke Tip Scholars have the opportunity to become Junior Scholars.
“The Junior Scholars Program was developed by the South Carolina Department of Education to identify eighth graders with exceptional talent,” Langley said. “Students must be either an identified Seventh Grade Duke Tip Scholar or they must score 550 or higher on the evidentiary based reading and writing portion and 530 or higher on the math portion of PSAT/NMSQT.”
Langley added that Junior Scholars will receive a certificate of merit signed by the State Superintendent of Education and may be invited to attend summer educational opportunities at participating South Carolina colleges and universities.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.