Ponca City Senior High School is proud to announce that student Kaylee Wimberley has been named Academic All-State Scholar by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. This prestigious award honors 100 outstanding public high school seniors selected from 379 nominations statewide, hailing from 77 schools in 69 Oklahoma school districts.
Kaylee is the daughter of Chris and Dondi Wimberley. One of the qualifying factors for Kaylee receiving Academic All-State was that she scored 34 on the ACT exam her sophomore year. After high school, she plans to pursue an education and career in Speech-Language Pathology, which was inspired by her four years as a peer tutor in the severe and profound special education program at Po-Hi.
Each of this year’s All-Staters will receive a $1,000 merit-based scholarship and a medallion. The All-Staters will be recognized at the Foundation’s 35th annual Academic Awards Celebration on Saturday, May 22, 2021, at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa.
David Boren, founder and chairman of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, describes the selection of the scholars as “Oklahoma’s most rigorous academic awards selection process.” To be nominated for Academic All-State, students must meet one of the following criteria: an American College Test (ACT) composite score of at least 30; a combined SAT evidence-based reading & writing and math score of at least 1370; or be selected as a semi-finalist for a National Merit, National Achievement or National Hispanic Scholarship.
This year’s All-Staters scored an average of 33 on the ACT, with 11 recipients scoring a perfect 36. The students’ average GPA was 4.26. In addition, 34 of this year’s All-Staters are National Merit semifinalists, and two are National Hispanic Scholar semifinalists.
Academic All-Staters are selected based on academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community involvement, as well as letters of recommendation and an essay submitted by each nominee. The selection committee, which is chaired by retired Tulsa attorney Teresa B. Adwan, works independently of all other foundation activities. The committee members are a diverse group of business, education, and civic leaders, as well as past Academic Awards Program honorees.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Academic Awards Celebration will have limited attendance for the safety of honorees and their guests. The awards ceremony will be televised statewide May 29 by OETA, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority. For more information, call the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence office at (405) 236-0006 or visit its website at www.ofe.org.
The 2021 Academic All-State class is the 35th to be selected by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Since the award program’s inception in 1987, some 3,500 high school seniors from 330 school districts have been named Academic All-State scholars.
“The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic Awards Program is the Oklahoma’s premiere awards program honoring academic achievement, innovation and leadership among students and educators in our public schools,” said Executive Director Emily Stratton. “By working together to give outstanding students and educators the recognition they deserve, we send a strong message to our state and to the nation that Oklahomans value academic excellence.”
Founded in 1985, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing and encouraging academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools. Through its Academic Awards Program, the foundation has provided more than $5 million in merit-based scholarships and awards to honor outstanding graduating seniors as Academic All-Staters and exceptional educators as Medal for Excellence winners.