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June 27, 2005 :: Media Advisory: State Regents to Honor 56 GEAR UP Essay Contest Winners

Media Contact: Amy Bruce
Office: 1.405.225.9281

WHAT: Photo and news opportunity as 56 students receive Dell computers and certificates of achievement for their winning entries in the Oklahoma GEAR UP Essay Contest. Seven 12th-grade winners will also receive $2,000 scholarships for use at an Oklahoma college or university this fall.

WHEN: 3 p.m., Thursday, June 30, 2005

WHERE: Presbyterian Health Foundation Conference Room, 655 Research Parkway (first floor), Oklahoma City

WHO: Fifty-six student winners, seven each from grades five-12 (see list of winners below); parents, GEAR UP partners; the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and Chancellor Paul G. Risser.

WHY: To celebrate the work of Oklahoma students in fifth through 12th grade who have benefited from preparing for college activities, information, materials or programs offered by GEAR UP.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded Oklahoma with a state GEAR UP grant totaling $20.5 million in August 1999. The grant has been matched by more than $25 million from state and partner resources. With the addition of year six federal funding, Oklahoma's GEAR UP program has received approximately $25 million in federal funds since 1999. GEAR UP receives 50 percent of total funding from the federal government and 50 percent from other organizations.

Oklahoma GEAR UP Essay Contest Winners

Oklahoma GEAR UP Essay Contest winners, their schools and hometowns, include:

Fifth-Grade Winners: Miranda Bray, Madill Elementary, Kingston; Abby Gelino, Remington Elementary, Tulsa; Allon Gillispie, Milfay Elementary, Milfay; Lauren Hanna, Banner Public School, El Reno; Sarah Manning, Banner Public School, Yukon; Johnathon Ridgill, Edgemere Elementary, Oklahoma City; Katherine Stephenson, Vici Elementary, Camargo

Sixth-Grade Winners: Karrissa Alred, Tony Goetz Elementary, Muskogee; Mollie Crank, Tony Goetz Elementary, Muskogee; Felicity Harl, Altus Middle School, Altus; Stephon Henderson, Green Pastures Elementary, Spencer; Ashley Ledbetter, Tony Goetz Elementary, Muskogee; Emylee Smith, Banner Public School, El Reno; Marlin Smith, Banner Public School, Yukon

Seventh-Grade Winners: Kendra Collins, Roblyer Middle School, El Reno; Zack Ellison, Wagoner Middle School, Wagoner; Courtney Malott, Foster Middle School, Tulsa; Anna Mason, Central Guymon Junior High, Guymon; Mechelle Montgomery, Whitney Middle School, Tulsa; Dominick Praither, Central Guymon Junior High, Guymon; Wiley Wright, Central Guymon Junior High, Guymon

Eighth-Grade Winners: Melody Cochran, Inola Public Schools, Inola; Juliet Farrell, Apache Middle School, Apache; Gurpreet Kaur, Plainview Middle School, Ardmore; Jeri Lollis, Madill Middle School, Madill; Carlos Najera, Webster Middle School, Oklahoma City; Brian Porter Jr., Yale High School, Yale; Amy Tai, Jenks Middle School, Tulsa

Ninth-Grade Winners: Katy Bruce, Pawhuska High School, Pawhuska; Haoyu Deng, Edmond North High School, Edmond; Amy Easley, Pawhuska High School, Pawhuska; Karley Haddox, Luther Public Schools, Luther: Tamara Hughes, Pawhuska High School, Pawhuska; Nastassia King, Chickasha High School; Verden; Ana Ledezma, Porter Consolidated High School, Porter

10th-Grade Winners: Abigail Le, Northwest Classen High School, Oklahoma City; Cari Miller, Sequoyah High School, Claremore; Lacy McCool, Red Oak High School, Red Oak; Tracy McCool, Red Oak High School, Red Oak; Rande Patterson, Carl Albert High School, Oklahoma City; Kimberly Perrier, Owasso Mid-High, Owasso; Scott Roney, Town and Country School, Okmulgee

11th-Grade Winners: Ashley Abbe, Walters High School, Walters; Stacy Carden, Apache High School, Lawton; Briana Croce, Moss High School, Holdenville; Ginnifer Fenwick, Northwest Classen High School, Oklahoma City; Krystal Floyd, Marietta High School, Marietta; Cory Satepauhoodle, Apache High School, Apache; Chelsea Short, Tahlequah High School, Tahlequah

12th-Grade Winners: Katy Ellington, Pawnee High School, Pawnee; Greg Federko, Stillwater High School, Stillwater; Holt Hagy, Frederick High School, Frederick; Aurielle Hairston, Broken Arrow High School, Broken Arrow; Leslie Ketcher, Stillwel High School, Stilwell; Shonda Sherwood, Wapanucka High School, Bromide; Vincent Winston, Douglass High School, Oklahoma City