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Arkansas scholars honored

<p>photos by KENNETH FRY</p><p>Callie Burcham (left) and Abby Burgess with their Arkansas Scholars certificates they received Tuesday night at the annual banquet hosted by the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce. Scholars also will receive medallions graduation night. Story and more photographs on Page 16.</p>

photos by KENNETH FRY

Callie Burcham (left) and Abby Burgess with their Arkansas Scholars certificates they received Tuesday night at the annual banquet hosted by the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce. Scholars also will receive medallions graduation night. Story and more photographs on Page 16.

<p style="text-align: left;">Scholars (from left) Claudia Hernandez, Paula Hamby, Ashley Meuangmany, Caitlin Hicks and Nayeli Suarez at Tuesday night’s banquet at the Van Buren High School Commons.</p>

Scholars (from left) Claudia Hernandez, Paula Hamby, Ashley Meuangmany, Caitlin Hicks and Nayeli Suarez at Tuesday night’s banquet at the Van Buren High School Commons.

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong></strong>Spooning up some spagetti is Kylie Ardemagni.</p>

Spooning up some spagetti is Kylie Ardemagni.

<p><strong></strong>Presenting the colors are (from left) JROTC cadets Tyler Holt, Candice Soucy, Cooper Snowden and Alex White.</p>

Presenting the colors are (from left) JROTC cadets Tyler Holt, Candice Soucy, Cooper Snowden and Alex White.

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong></strong>Flashing big smiles and plates of food are (from left) Paige Nguyen, Kayla Staggs and Macy Greb.</p>

Flashing big smiles and plates of food are (from left) Paige Nguyen, Kayla Staggs and Macy Greb.

<p><strong></strong>Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is Makayla Trentham at Tuesday’s banquet.</p>

Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is Makayla Trentham at Tuesday’s banquet.

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong></strong>Jordan Newell (left) and Ally Smith were two of the 102 Arkansas Scholars recognized.</p>

Jordan Newell (left) and Ally Smith were two of the 102 Arkansas Scholars recognized.

Van Buren High School seniors being honored as Arkansas Scholars were encouraged Tuesday night to “keep calm and carry on.”

Guest speaker Tom Wing of the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith quoted Winston Churchhill during a banquet in the VBHS Commons as Wing noted the 102 seniors have already proved their success with the potential to be much more successful.

“Find out what you are supposed to do and do it,” said Wing, assistant professor of history at UAFS and director of the Drennen-Scott Historic Site. “Understand who you are and don’t accept other people’s standards.”

Wing also encouraged the students to be dependable and dedicated and become good citizens and solid workers.

“Don’t let failures dampen your enthusiasm,” Wing said. “Be generous, patriotic and loving members of your family and in doing so you will make Van Buren a better place.”

One of the requirements of the program is a 95 percent attendance record for all four high school academic years.

Dr. Merle Dickerson, superintendent of the Van Buren School District, congratuated the students and praised parents for teaching their children what is important in life.

“Young people, if I was hiring, it would be you,” Dickerson said. “You don’t miss days and are not late … that’s what I would want.”

Presenting sponsor of the banquet was Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus.

The banquet also will be sponsored by the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce, University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, Arvest Bank, Lumber One, Experian Consumer Direct, Bost Inc., Citizens Bank & Trust, Press Argus-Courier and Summit Medical Center.

Arkansas Scholars, started by the Arkansas Business and Education Alliance and sponsored by local chambers of commerce, is centered on academic achievement for a broad range of students. The students are asked to meet a set of criteria that will prepare them for both the workplace and additional education after high school.

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