Eatel Corp. recently partnered with the Ascension Parish and Livingston Parish school systems to honor the 2015 Top Scholars in the community.
The ninth annual event recognized the academic success of six high school students on an episode of the “Eatel Community Connection” TV Show, a news release said. Eatel also presented each student with a $250 gift card to use toward school supplies.
“We’re proud to be able to honor these outstanding students. These top scholars have found more than just success in their studies,” said Scott Thompson, Eatel president. “These young adults we’ve honored are civic-minded and have found unique ways to give back to their communities.”
Four Ascension Parish students were honored.
The Top Scholars also named teachers who inspired them.
Honoree Ryan Hoffman, of Dutchtown High School, maintained a cumulative 4.767 grade-point average and received the school’s 2014-15 Student of the Year Award. He also received the John Philip Sousa Band Award. Hoffman participated in Beta Club, National Honor Society, Allied Health, Louisiana Boys State, BASF Science Academy, AHEC of a Summer and St. John’s Youth Group. His leadership accomplishments include section leader, band manager, band president, and drum major. He was voted most intelligent, most improved freshman in DTHS Symphonic Winds and Student of the Week.
Hoffman said his favorite teacher has been Dutchtown High’s Mark Ebarb because even though Ebarb’s class was the toughest, “he always made it fun and interesting.” Hoffman plans to attend LSU Honors College, where he will major in biological science. His intentions are to attend medical school and become a surgeon.
“It takes a lot of hard work, but anything is possible. Keep adjusting your goals and never settle,” said Hoffman.
Top Scholar Madison Knott, of St. Amant High School, held a 4.75 cumulative gpa. During her tenure at St. Amant High, Knott was named the 2014-2015 Student of the Year, was a four-year District Literary Rally participant and was recognized as an AP scholar by the College Board. She was a four-year member of St. Amant’s Student Athletic Trainer program and was a member of Interact, National Honor Society and Gator Rally. She was St. Amant’s representative for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference, the Louisiana Youth Seminar, and Louisiana Girls State.
Knott named St. Amant High’s Gisela Gautreax as her favorite teacher. Gautreax taught Knott Spanish for three semesters and inspired her to pursue a career involving the foreign language. Knott was accepted into Tulane University’s Altman Program,where she will double major in international business and Spanish.
“It’s not just ‘smarts’ that get you to success; you’ve got to truly put in the hard work and dedication,” said Knott.
Parker Vige, of East Ascension High School, who had a 4.66 cumulative gpa, began the Fellowship of Christian Students club at East Ascension High. Vige was named a Dawn Shivers Scholarship recipient by the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office. He also received scholarships from the Louisiana State Fair Association, the Gonzales Lions Club, and the Freemasons Society.
Vige recognized his favorite teacher as teacher-coach Shannon Hattier, at East Ascension High. He credited Hattier with helping students make the most of scholarships and post-secondary education available to them. Vige was selected as one of eight incoming freshmen for a gap year program offered by the University of North Carolina’s Social Justice Department, where he will travel the world for a year doing charitable work with global nonprofits. Following his year of service, he plans to major in international business at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, so that he can one day establish his career abroad in the nonprofit sector, possibly even starting his own nonprofit someday.
“As you pursue your own level of success, and it’s different for everyone, remember to look around you and enjoy the journey. Be purposeful with everything you do and remember to say ‘thank you’ along the way and give a friendly smile as often as you can,” said Vige.
Jason Williams, of Donaldsonville High School, with a 4.4047 gpa, began playing the trumpet in the marching band when he was in the seventh grade and continued throughout high school. He served in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps for four years of high school. He was the president of the National Senior Beta Club and was a co-creator of a mentorship program called “Tiger to Tiger,” where high school seniors and juniors were paired up with high school freshmen and sophomores. Williams kept up his position on the school’s honor roll and he was named a member of the Ascension Parish “30+ Club” because he made a 34 on the ACT.
Williams honored his favorite teacher, Laia Scott, his English teacher for English III and English IV at Donaldsonville High, because Williams said Scott’s classes were the most rigorous he had in high school and he enjoyed the challenges and exceeding expectations. He plans to attend Southern University and major in chemistry, and he aspires to one day be a biochemist.
“Always keep God first. Pray hard, study hard and work hard, and you will be a success,” said Williams.