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.

SEMIFINALISTS

Benjamin Benton

Akron Early College High School

GPA: 4.23 Rank: Seventh of 78.

College: University of Akron

•?Chairperson of toy drive for NHS/AECHS

•?Chairperson of 2017 prom

•?Being voted “Most Likely to Succeed”

Sadie Wood

Barberton High School

GPA: 3.983 Rank: Fourth of 259.

College: University of Akron

•?Competing at national level for DECA marketing program in Anaheim, Calif.

•?Three-year varsity letter

•?Graduating summa cum laude

Roy Mier

Buckeye High School

GPA: 4.481 Rank: Fifth of 188.

College: U.S. Naval Academy

•?Eagle Scout project for Medina County Home

•?Acceptance into the U.S. Naval Academy

•?President of National Honor Society

Michael Connalley

Buchtel Community Learning Center

Rank: First of 108.

College: University of Akron

•?Going to Africa to volunteer

•?Being valedictorian

•?Co-defensive player of the year for the season

Karli Bigler

Crestwood High School

GPA: 4.0 Rank: 13th of 147.

College: Ohio Wesleyan University

•?Marched with the Bands of America Honor Band in the 2017 Rose Parade

•?Presented at National Medical Conference in Pittsburgh and Boston on Crestwood’s greenhouse and research facility

•?Performed at Bands of America Grand National Championship in Lucas Oil Stadium

Brandon James Griffith

East Community Learning Center

GPA: 3.74 Rank: Second of 92.

College: Ohio State University

•?Acceptance to Ohio State University with a full tuition scholarship

•?Being ranked second in the class

•?Earning a 4.26 GPA the first semester of this school year

Gabrielle Vang

East Community Learning Center

GPA: 4.01 Rank: First of 92

College: University of Akron

•?Maintained rank 1 since freshman year

•?Valedictorian of graduating class

•?Held offices as senior class president and treasurer of National Honor Society

Joseph Williams

Ellet High School

GPA: 4.9538 Rank: Third of 195.

College: University of Akron

•?Three-year varsity letter in football, basketball and baseball

•?National Honor Society

•?Four years Academic All City Team in football, basketball and baseball

Matthew Dies

Firestone Community Learning Center

GPA: 4.30 Rank: Third of 265.

College: University of Dayton

•?Being elected as an officer in National Honor Society

•?Being a four-year member of the All-City Academic Team

Lauren Stanley

Garfield High School

GPA: 3.61 Rank: Third of 122.

College: University of Akron

•?Superintendent Seminar, Akron Public Schools

•?Law & Leadership Institute

•?Junior Leadership Akron

Matthew Polatas

Hoover High School

GPA: 4.624 Rank: First of 373.

College: Ohio State University

•?Class valedictorian

•?Four-year track and cross country letter winner

•?Canton Repository’s November Teen of the Month

Baylee Vargo

Lake Center Christian

GPA: 4.4 Rank: First of 45.

College: Sanford

•?Valedictorian

•?Being accepted into University Fellows Program at Samford

•?Receiving the coaches award for volleyball

Shyann Anderson

North High School

GPA: 3.62 Rank: Eighth of 160.

College: University of Dayton

•?President of Student Council

•?Akron Peacemaker

•?Harold K. Stubbs Scholarship recipient

Madison Markus

Northwest High School

GPA: 3.94 Rank: 12th of 163.

College: Walsh University

•?Served as student ambassador on the Student Diplomacy Corps in Spain

•?Head chairperson for “Senior Citizen Prom” in my community

•?Canal Fulton’s Mayor’s Award for Service

George Workinger

Northwest High School

GPA: 4.097 Rank: Third of 163.

College: Ohio State University

•?Graduating as salutatorian of class

•?President of National Honor Society

•?Captain of basketball team

Laurel Suppan

Norton High School

GPA: 4.39 Rank: Second of 160.

College: Ohio State University

•?Member of the year for indoor drum line

•?Winner of the access math and science award

•?Third place in the world for drum line

John A. Griffiths

Norton High School

GPA: 4.39 Rank: First of 160.

College: University of Akron

•?Eagle Scout

•?Top of class

•?National Honor Society vice president

Brandon Hoxworth

Springfield High School

GPA: 4.32 Rank: First of 190.

College: University of Akron

•?Treasurer of National Honor Society

•?University of Akron President’s List for Fall 2016

•?2015 H.O.B.Y. Ambassador for Springfield High School

Brandon Peterson

Streetsboro High School

GPA: 4.4535 Rank: Third of 154.

College: University of Louisville

•?National Honor Society

•?4.45 GPA

•?Ranked fourth in class

Kateryna Shcherban

Streetsboro High School

GPA: 4.5667 Rank: Second of 154.

College: Ohio State University

•?Being salutatorian of class of 2017

•?Being in National Honor Society

•?Being accepted to Ohio State University

Xin Rong Lam

Tallmadge High School

GPA: 4.554 Rank: Second of 187.

College: Ohio State University

•?Buckeye Girls’ State delegate-Supreme Court associate justice

•?Helping fellow classmates and non-native English speakers achieve their goal through tutoring

•?Flew a single-engine Cesna airplane

Leeann Burczynski

Washington High School

GPA: 4.714 Rank: First of 272.

College: Miami University

•?Cheerleading

•?Student Council

•?Judge Ira G. Turpin Scholar

Joellen Badertscher

Waynedale High School

GPA: 4.259 Rank: Second of 88.

College: Ashland University

•?Getting accepted to do a year of Service Adventure in Johnstown, Pa., next year.

•?Wayne County Teen of the Month Award, The Daily Record

•?Being a camp counselor this summer at Camp Luz

Thomas Muha

Woodridge High School

GPA: 4.59 Rank: First of 177.

College: University of Cincinnati

•?Eagle Scout

•?National Merit Finalist

•?Rotary Club Student of the Month

Austin McCully

Wooster High School

GPA: 4.0 Rank: First of 287.

College: Case Western Reserve University

•?Winning OCC with baseball

•?Maintaining a 4.0 despite level of rigorous classes

•?Raised over 5,000 items for Nyamira orphanage through Hugs for Kenya