Graduating seniors from high schools in Summit, Stark, Portage, Medina, Wayne and southern Cuyahoga counties are eligible for Star Students recognition in the Akron Beacon Journal.

Guidance counselors were asked to nominate up to two students per school. From those submissions, a screening committee pared the list to 50 semifinalists for this year’s Top 25 honors. Students who made the initial cut to semifinalists but who were not selected for the Top 25 are listed below. Under each name are the student’s GPA, class rank (at the time of the nomination in late April), the student’s college choice and self-selected top accomplishments (up to three) during high school.

Mikayla Milburn

Alliance High School

GPA: 4.0 Rank: 1 of 167.

College: University of Mount Union.

•?No. 1 in class.

•?Class vice president.

•?National Honor Society member (two years)

Alexia Markowski

Archbishop Hoban High School

GPA: 4.468 Rank: 1 of 196

College: Ohio State University

•?Valedictorian

•?Cheerleading captain for three years

•?Mock trial Outstanding Witness winner

Emily Kollar

Black River High School

GPA: 4.4. Rank: 2 of 99

College: Bowling Green

•?Chapter and regional president of FCCLA

•?Accepted into first choice of college

•?Maintained Honor Roll throughout high school

Paige Gallagher

Canton McKinley High School

GPA: 4.01. Rank: 18 of 322

College: Walsh University

•?President of senior class

•?Rotary Character Champion

•?Key Club president

Alexander Cox

Canton McKinley High School

College: University of Akron

GPA: 4.2. Rank: 8 of 118

•?District qualifier (three times)

•?National Honor Society

•?Honor Roll every year

John Christopher Colangelo

Canton Central Catholic High School

College: Princeton University

•?Maintained straight A’s in high school

•?Two-time state runner-up in football and track

•?State champion in baseball

Jonah Otto

Kidron Central Christian High School

College: Earlham College

GPA: 3.994

•?Three-sport athlete three of four years in school

•?Perfect score on third grade Ohio Reading Achievement test

Ashley Richardson

Chippewa High School

College: University of Akron

GPA: 4.3

•?All-Ohio in basketball all four years of school

•?National Honor Society

•?All district in volleyball

Ben Stefanko

Cloverleaf High School

College: Ohio State University

GPA: 3.9. Rank: 1 of 209

•?Valedictorian

•?Student council president

•?Field commander of marching band

Anastasia Nelson

Fairless High School

College: Miami University

GPA: 4.0. Rank 1 of 131

•?Captain of the undefeated Academic Challenge team

•?Moot Court Gold medalist

•?Operation Christmas Child

Melissa Pedulla

Field High School

College: Ohio University

GPA: 4.0. Rank: 1 of 163

•?Student of the Month

•?Valedictorian

•?Student liaison to superintendant

Madison Houska

Highland High School

College: Ashland University

GPA: 3.644. Rank: Top 50 percent of 264

•?On the St. Baldrick’s committee

•?Accepted into Ashland’s nursing program

•?Voted prom queen (2016)

Nolan Loughry

Hudson High School

College: Ohio State University

GPA: 4.33.

•?Volunteered in activities

•?National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Award

•?Two-time national trapshooting champion

Sarah Pierce

Mogadore High School

College: Wright State University

GPA: 4.471. Rank: 1 of 68

•?ACCESS Award: Best Math and Science Student

•?Burger King Scholar

•?Wendy’s High School Heisman winner

Jenna Pletcher

Norton High School

College: Kent State University

GPA: 4.31. Rank: 2 of 177

•?National Honor Society

• Student Council

• Perfect attendance

Brian Chu

North Royalton High School

College: University of Michigan

GPA: 4.375. Rank: 4 of 400

•?Perfect Score on ACT

•?Cross country member

•?Concert master of Baldwin Wallace Senior Youth Orchestra

Ashley Vober

Our Lady of the Elms High School

College: The Ohio State University

GPA: 4.094. Rank: 3 of 38

•?Dominican Scholar

•?Senior class president

•?Graduate of Buckeye Girls State

Leah Weisburn

Revere High School

College: Colgate University

GPA: 4.46

•?National Merit Finalist

•?Four pieces in regional governors show (art)

•?Good News Club for Christian Bible School teacher

Noah Gresser

Revere High School

College: University of Akron

•?2013 Division II state champion on soccer team

•?Three-sport letterman while maintaining 4.2 GPA

•?Nominated and selected to homecoming court 2013 and 2015

Gonzalo Diago

St. Vincent-St. Mary High School

College: Ohio State University

GPA: 4.814

•?Academic letter for being awarded eight classroom excellence awards.

•?National Merit Commended Scholar

•?AP Scholar

Grace Rhoads

Smithville High School

College: Heidelberg University

GPA: 4.0

•?National Honor Society (2015)

•?11-year 4-H member of Smithie Whiz Kids 4-H club.

• Track four-year letter winner

Julia McMullen

Springfield High School

College: Kent State University

GPA: 4.2. Rank: 8 of 195

•?Portage Trail Conference Scholar Athlete

• Renaissance Award

• Soccer team captain

Darrin Gilkerson

Wadsworth High School

College: Harvard University

GPA: 4.338. Rank: 1 of 371.

•?Perfect ACT Score

•?National Merit Finalist

•?Presidential Scholar nominee

Christopher William Shorter

Walsh Jesuit High School

College: Case Western Reserve University

GPA: 4.35.

•?Maintained honor roll every semester

•?Received Yale book award for academic success

•?Awarded a certificate of achievement by the Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies

Emily Tompkin

Woodridge High School

College: Ohio State University

GPA: 4.379. Rank: 1 of 145

•?Rotary Club Student of the Month

•?Akron Engineering and Science Society Outstanding Student

•?Three-year Scholar Athlete for Cross Country