Monday, June 9, 2014

Wait, WHO was an All-Star Scholar?

We've gone all the way back to the first All-Star Scholars -- when they were called the "All-City Brains Team" -- and gathered names of stellar students through the years, from 1956 to present-day.

Know where they are now? (One's serving in the N.C. House of Representatives. Do you know him?)
Take a look at this list and see who you know and who you might remember. (One works at The Observer today and at least one used to. Do you remember them?)
At least one is a Rhodes Scholar. How many Morehead-Cain Scholars do you see?

Were you on this list? Tell us what you're doing now. See someone you know who has done interesting things? Let us know that, too.

Comment, or email

(Note: We list all Scholars in the early years. In 1969, the News began naming finalists, then a single Senior of the Year, but only for Mecklenburg. In 1994, The Observer made the Seniors of the Year truly regional, naming seven winners. That evolved to today's 10 Seniors of the Year, who each receive a $1,000 scholarshiop.)

1956 The first “All-City Brains Team” was designated Jan. 2, 1956, by the Charlotte News. The idea came, said the News' story, from a White House Conference on education, which had asked: “If Newspapers can publicize All America football players, who not all America brains?”

Central High: Jimmy Edwards, Betty Galloway, Phil Grose, Reid Hinson, Janice Hudson
Harding High: Jerry Godfrey, George Hart, Willa Lynn Leary, Betty Ann Smith, Carol Spurrier
Myers Park High: Gary Heeseman, Carolyn Mason, Ken Oliver, Verner Stanley, Joe Wearn

1957 The following year, the paper named 25 students to two teams, in separate stories. The first, a story headlined “City All-Brains Team Announced” announced five students from each of the three white high schools, noting “A team of five teenagers from each of the two Negro schools will be announced next week.” 

Central: Patricia Edwards, Robert Kirkpatrick, Rhodes Corbett, Barbara Snyder, Betty Place Harding: Mike Bolt, Joanna Brooks, Barbara Dodson, Gail Power, Sammy Smith
Myers Park: Betsy Wilson, Susan Hull, Anne Way, Burton Buchan, Ken Oliver
West Charlotte: Eddie Joe Johnson, Emanuel Bagby, Ella Ruth Riley, Albert Heath, Marian Platts Second Ward: Shirley Blakeney, Willie Rufus Boulware, Nathaniel Brown, Robert Reid, Bessie Lee Tillery

1958 This year, the News changed the name of the team to “All-Star Scholars,” and included county schools for the first time, yielding a total of 53 students, chosen by principals, advisers and teachers.

Central: Mary Elizabeth Willard, Judy Killheffer, George A. Rembert, Mary Grose, Judy Crotts
Harding: Sue Williams, Dickie Blackwell, Judy Shankle, Jennie Lee Satterfield, Patricia Christenberry
East Mecklenburg: Helen Wayne, Jeanne Foard, Dorothy McGill, Ed Chesnutt, Linda Kay Furr Myers Park: Carroll Rogers, Mary Katherine Ulmer, Mike Shulman, Charles Adams, Graham T. Allison Jr.
West Mecklenburg: Dorothy Jane Gilliam, Patsy Ann Bryant, Sarah Jane Price, Suzanne Helms, Charles Sparrow
West Charlotte: Clara Withers, Antonia Wallace, Willie Mae White, Charles Tinsley, William McCant
North Mecklenburg: David Martin, William Bates, William Workman, Mary McCutchan, Barbara Ann Metcalf
Second Ward: Charlotte Bauknight, Horace Witherspoon, Dorothy Beatty, William Crowder, Gloria Yongue
J.H.Gunn: Patricia Stitt, Lincoln Abraham
Torrence-Lytle: Lucy Knox, Frankie Allison, Willie Gaston, Joyce Douglas
Sterling: Beulah Mae Miller, Delores Rabb
Plato Price: John Ashford, Leonard Smith, Nancy Springs, Ernest T. Moore, Alex Thompson

1959 Beginning this year, city and county high schools nominated Scholars in proportion to their schools’ size: one per each 90 seniors, for a total of 29. 

Myers Park: Louise Ann Habicht, Nancy Duvall, William Spicer, Benjamin Gravely
Central: Mary Mayfield, Virgil Spencer, Dewey Corbett, David Hobson, Sarah Love
Harding: Randolph Lambe, Beth Clinkscales
East Mecklenburg: Brenda Balch, Betsy Gardner, Peter Little, Ralph Connor Reid Jr.
West Charlotte: Henry Marvin Davis Jr., Elizabeth Priscilla Withers
Second Ward: Cora Cannon
York Road: Lemar Foster
Charlotte Catholic: Julianne Butler
West Mecklenburg: Mary Bynes, James Clark, James Kelly
North Mecklenburg: Elizabeth Irene Withers, Jerome Baucom
Torrence-Lytle: Virginia Grier
Sterling: Osie Stewart
Plato Price: Barbara Ann Brown
J.H. Gunn: Rosetta Vaughn

1960 31 Scholars named.
Myers Park: Mary Lucas, Sally McKaig, Meredith Clifton, Alice Stratton, Laura Livingston Harding: Jerry Boyd, Eddie Aycoth
East Mecklenburg: Jane Wilson, Elizabeth Speer, Jane Miller, John Allgood
West Mecklenburg: Stephen Garrison, Arthur Holshouser
South Mecklenburg: Carol Ford, James May
West Charlotte: Linner Ward, Dealver Brown
North Mecklenburg: William Blackwelder, Joan Daggy
Second Ward: Ernest Cohen
York Road: John Montgomery
J.H.Gunn: Carrie Barnes
Torrence-Lytle: Fannie Brown
Sterling: Louis Wallace
Plato Price: Lloyd Davis
Charlotte Catholic: Margie Peavy
Garinger: Elaine Moss, Carol Brooks, Clifton Suitt, Susan Dellinger, Kathryn Green

1961 A jump to 37.
Myers Park: Shirley Spratt, Susan Stephenson, Howard Greene Jr., Richard B. Sargent, Linda Orr Harding: Patricia Jones, Winfred Seitz, Donald Sigmon
East Mecklenburg: Sarah Cohen, Rebecca Crews, Ernest Eich, Frances Pittman, Henry Tysinger West Mecklenburg: Gordon Coley, Barbara Hensley, Gloria Deaton
South Mecklenburg: Russell Eppley, Valory Rogers
West Charlotte: Mary Howey, Thelma Byers, Vivian Rippy
North Mecklenburg: Dudley Brown, Thomas Dunn, Patrick Fisher
Second Ward: Eureatha Jones, Vivian Carelock
York Road: Laverne McIlwaine
J.H.Gunn: Peggye Johnson
Torrence-Lytle: Madeline Brown
Sterling: Christine Foust
Plato Price: Larry Sloan
Catholic: Wayne Brown
Garinger: Jeff Pearson, Eleanor May, Susan Appleton, Harriett Baugh, Davis H. Ranson

1962 35 Scholars.
Myers Park: Ann Jackson Loftin, William Mackey Clark, Jean Ann Gaskell, Carey Dean Shore, Carol Grant Anderson
Harding: Sammy Woodward, Sue Chapman, Cameron Hood
East Mecklenburg: Mildred Jane Williams, James O. Funderburk Jr., Bonnie Jean Eicher, Robert W. Lenon Jr.
West Mecklenburg: James Walton Hyder, Linda Adale Macken, Michael Davis Bridges
South Mecklenburg: Libby Crane, Doug Pratt
West Charlotte: Leona Anderson, Elizabeth McCorkle, Roscoe Trimmier
North Mecklenburg: Billy Jean McKeown, Frank D. Ghigo
Second Ward: Annette Marie Lewis
York Road: Clifton Woods III
J.H.Gunn: Willis Alvin Orr
Torrence-Lytle: Thomas Franklin Kearns
Sterling: Edward Lewis Holloway
Catholic: Phillip M. Walker
Our Lady of Mercy: Carol Minnick
Country Day: John Palmer
Garinger: Richard Michael Minday, Phyllis L. Huffman, Norman Austin Smith, Alma Sue Green, Ruth Lestha Doyle

1963 These 34 were feted at a dinner at the Central YMCA, a tradition that would continue for years. 
Myers Park: Nancy Manning, William Purnell, Raleigh Shoemaker, Thomas Spencer, Betsy Strawn, Alice Kimel
Harding: Richard Harris, Don Skinner
West Mecklenburg: Susan Eskildsen, Dorothy Feeney
York Road: Ruth Rainey
East Mecklenburg: Jane Lynch, Richard Forbis, Linda Murchison
South Mecklenburg: Alexander Forney, Jan Hudson, Jane Glenn, Roger Bruhwel
West Charlotte: James Alexander, Willine Carr, Sara Bryan
North Mecklenburg: Susan Martin, Zoe Ann Hough
Second Ward: Daisy Smith
Charlotte Catholic: Gary Eck
Our Lady of Mercy: Ann Guise
Country Day: Erwin Laxton
J.H. Gunn: Karene Coleman
Sterling: Oneal Walker
Garinger: Mitchell Nicholaides, William Spivey III, Ann Stovall, Timothy Kroboth, Benjamin Roth

1964 39 Scholars.
Garinger: Pat Wright, William Lewis, Chris Nicholaides, Dennis Carroll, Beth Gault
Christian High: Terry Cook
Sterling High: John Adams
West Charlotte: Frances Jones, Marcia Allen, Georgina McLaughlin
South Mecklenburg: Susan Walker, Bill Findlay, Carolyn Eppley
North Mecklenburg: Tom Park, Anita Dresser, Bennett Setzer
Our Lady of Mercy: Francine Frate
York Road: Melvin Phifer
East Mecklenburg: Ware Botsford, George Evans Jr., Eddy Tucker, Ken Pittman, Frances Lynch West Mecklenburg: Donna Prather, Morris Newlander, Fred Eggleston
Harding: Lew Brown, Miriam Terres, Jo Ann Anderson
Charlotte Country Day: Nan Heinbaugh
Torrence-Lytle: Henrietta Donaldson
Charlotte Catholic: Freddy Garges
Second Ward: Vernie Johnson
Myers Park: Jan Wuertenberger, Henry Benoit, Mohe Stone, Sara Jane Fallis, Joan Ellen Moritz J.H. Gunn: H.S. Johnson

1965: A jump to 47.
Myers Park: Phillip R. Wallas, Tracy Whittaker, Rosemary Hill, Ben Hawfield Jr., James D. Cahill Jr., Margery Venning
Torrence-Lytle: Ronald Potts
Harding: Carol Thompson, Andrea Plummer, Carlyn Smith
West Mecklenburg: Charleen Funderburk, Paul E. Thomas, Ellison Funderburk III, Linda Ann Jones, Greg Cox, Kenneth Antley
York Road: Peggy Hemphill
East Mecklenburg: Mary Fedarko, David Stevenson, Robert Braxton, Donald Pearce
South Mecklenburg: Margaret Mohrmann, Douglas M. Franks, Thomas McCaslin, Catherine Morrison
West Charlotte: Norma Leak, Janice Belton, Drayton Graham, Howard Counts
North Mecklenburg: William Hough, Terrie Baumgardner, Thomas Kerns, Mary Thomas
Second Ward: Boyce Faulkner, James Coleman
Catholic: Walter C.West
Our Lady of Mercy: Patricia Pietras
Christian: Edward Cooper Jr.
Country Day: Christina Yates
J.H. Gunn: Dorothy Mason
Sterling: Mary Murphy
Garinger: Ann Elmore, Linda Tall, Georgia Beyer, Luther Moore, Jerry Hicks, Maria Helms
(James Coleman (above right) is the John S. Bradway Professor of the Practice of Law at Duke Law, and director of the Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility.)

1966: 48 Scholars.
Myers Park: Richard Betts, Kitty Nicholson, Ginger Reeves, Gena Lobdell, Mary Whitton, Michael Lyle
Torrence-Lytle: Norma Jean Carr
Harding: Shawn Rudisill, Beth Snavely, Jeremy McCreary
West Mecklenburg: Joyce Davis, George Petrides, Shayne Arrowood, Betty Blythe
York Road: Eddie Sifford, Robert Massey
East Mecklenburg: Susan Ballinger, Brenda Owen, Michael Engelberg, Jeffrey Lazarus, Lawrence Litwak, Kathryn Gallaway
South Mecklenburg: Dale Boyd, Betty Newton, Allen Wenner, Jackie Dunn, Norman Hurwitz West Charlotte: Alicia McCullough, Vicille Wallace, Carolyn Cuthbertson, Kelly Alexander, Larry Frazier
North Mecklenburg: Nancy Withers, Judith Mackay, James Puckett
Second Ward: Mack Foster, Ira Dixon
Catholic: William Wygand
Our Lady of Mercy: Karen Meyers
Christian: Mary Lou Davis
Country Day: Shelley Welton
J.H. Gunn: Calvin Murphy
Garinger: Charles Ducey, Wanda Ball, Ellen Culp, William S. Lachicotte, Terry Miller, Barbara Hargett
(Kelly Alexander, above left, currently serves in the N.C. House of Representatives.)
1967: 48 Scholars.
Myers Park: Robert F. Allen Jr., Elsie Love, Betty Mayfield, Graham McGoogan, John Northey, Bruce Page, Sarah Shaw
Garinger: Suzanne Aycock, Jackie Hollingsworth, Marie Lewis, Anne Martin, Paul Noll, Veronica Sorban, Susan Stroud
Harding: Rickie Carlisle, Catherine Rasberry, Kathy Ann Folk
West Mecklenburg: Cathy Navey, Paul Scott, Marsha Springs, Reggie Whitley
West Charlotte: Isaac Heard Jr., Arnold Sanders, Bernestine Singley, Bernice Wallace, Katura Williams
Independence: Sandra Corriher, Ronald Williams
Second Ward: Harry Ezell, Shirley Hyatt
Catholic: Paul Gaffney
Our Lady of Mercy: Mary Potter
Christian: Milli Crosier
Country Day: Mary Howe
Olympic: Philip Blanks, Vicki Yandle
South Mecklenburg: Theron Crump, George Ealy, John Newell, Janice Stewart
East Mecklenburg: Linda Bost, Jean Braxton, Diane Harbuck, Mike Honegger, Tim Timmons North Mecklenburg: Janette Davis, William W. Strong, Stephen L. White

1968: 49 Scholars.
Myers Park: David Crawford, Scott Verner, Winston Boyd Edmond, Carl H. Whittaker, Robert Lipscomb, Norbert Black, John W. Roberts (Scott Verner is an assigning editor for community news in The Observer.)
Independence: Barton Menser, Jackie Ann Ross, Nancy Black
Harding: Brenda Ward, Margaret Caldwell, Susan Grubbs
East Mecklenburg: Cynthia Armstrong, Patricia Ann Flora, Margaret Mooney, David Baker, Debborah Jean Haan
West Mecklenburg: James A. Tevepaugh, Karen Clarke, Angelia Epley, Linda Payseur
South Mecklenburg: Susan Lee Millbern, David Allen Durham, Michael T. Vaden, John Charles Beall
West Charlotte: Brenda Ann Porter, Annie Black, Reginald Thompson, Barbara Williams
North Mecklenburg: Curtis H. Smith, Judith Kelly, Martha Johnston, Gloria Shuford
Second Ward: Claudette Cofield, Dorothy Wise, Cecelia Garrett
Catholic: Peter Pallard
Our Lady of Mercy: La Fleur Paysour (Paysour covered the arts for The Observer in the '70s and '80s).
Christian: Marsha Brooks
Olympic: Roy Johnson, Sarah Wilson
Country Day: Sharon L. Jones
Garinger: Richard Jones, Gayle Pettit, Diane Stinson, Ann Louise Yaeger, Dennis Young, Annette Dixon

1969 For the first time, a smaller group of All-Star Scholars was chosen as Seniors of the Year (14 of the 50) and a winner, Marilyn Adkins of Harding, was named Senior of the Year for the city and county, receiving a $250 prize.
The others: Susan Brawley, Independence; Jannis Burke, Christian; Janie Crowder, Second Ward; Mary Alice Dixon, Charlotte Catholic; Christy Eve, East Mecklenburg; Marie Floyd, West Mecklenburg; Nicholas H. Greenia, Country Day; Ned Lipford, Myers Park; Betty Elaine Moore, North Mecklenburg; Donna Newman, Garinger; Lynne Platt, West Charlotte, Wanda A. Porter, South Mecklenburg; Jane Ellen Price, Olympic.

1970 Of 52 honorees, these 13 were seniors of the year, with Cindy Millsaps of South Mecklenburg named senior of the year.
The others: Carol Baker, Garinger; William H. Bobbitt III, Olympic; John Campbell, East Mecklenburg; Rosalyn Cobb, Charlotte Country Day; John Davis, North Mecklenburg; Robert Donnan Jr., Myers Park; Phyllis Foster, Independence; Vanessa Haygood, West Charlotte; James Kenny, Charlotte Catholic; John Morris, West Mecklenburg; Barbara Norman, Harding; David Walker, Christian High.

1971 Leigh Bradford of North Mecklenburg became Senior of the Year among these 13 chosen from 51 Scholars.
The other finalists: Kenneth J. Armstead, Charlotte Catholic; Linda Dale Fickling, Independence; Betty Glenn George, Myers Park; Trena Hardin, Harding; Charles Walton Kirby, Garinger; Pamela Jean Mewborn, West Mecklenburg; Carolyn Stacy Nash, Country Day; Cader Olive, South Mecklenburg; J. Byron Walthall Jr., East Mecklenburg; William Allen Winget, Olympic; Claudia Annette Withers, West Charlotte; Alice Wyckoff, Christian.

1972 Of the 13 finalists from 51 honorees, Sharon Campbell of Harding won.
The other finalists: Louis Bradley Jr., Charlotte Christian; Sharon Campbell, Harding; Tom Campbell, South Mecklenburg; Sally Dowd, Country Day; Henry Ervin, West Mecklenburg; Beth MacDonald, Olympic; Nancy Miller, Independence; Barbara Owens, Charlotte Catholic; Lucy Peterson, East Mecklenburg; Vernon C. Smith Jr., North Mecklenburg; Robert Stetler, Garinger; Anne Walker, Myers Park; Jonny Young, West Charlotte.

1973 Doug Rader of Myers Park became Senior of the Year among 13 finalists and 52 Scholars.
Other Seniors: Barry Winfred Baucom, Independence; Thomas Marshall Bostian, West Mecklenburg; Donna M. Brewer, Charlotte Christian; Douglas Carr Huitt, Harding; Richard Tobias Inman, West Charlotte; Donald Joseph Karl, Charlotte Catholic; Michael Barry Kastan, East Mecklenburg; Grover Clarence Ritchie III, Garinger; Donald Weldon Shrum, Olympic; Shields J. Sloan, Country Day; Suzanne Wasiolek, South Mecklenburg; John Winkler, North Mecklenburg.

1974 (14; 57) Michael Knight of South Mecklenburg won.
Other finalists: Elizabeth Benjamin, West Mecklenburg; Teresa Bowers, Country Day; Robin Bradford, North Mecklenburg; Robert Dellinger Jr., Independence; Davison Douglas, Myers Park; Judy Lebold, Olympic; Cynthia Maag, Garinger; Mary Lou McMullen, Charlotte Catholic; John Nanney, East Mecklenburg; Julia Rece, West Charlotte; Lavonda Sellars, Harding; George Sheppard, Charlotte Christian; Karen Young, Charlotte Latin.

1975 (17; 37) North Mecklenburg’s Jim Holshouser was the winner, and runners-up were named for the first time: Wendell Butler, Garinger; Jon Michael, Charlotte Latin; Jenny Burns, Country Day; Susan Bishop, East Mecklenburg.

1976 (18; 58) Anne Elizabeth Cobey of East Mecklenburg prevailed; runners-up: Mary Louise McMaster, Myers Park; Stephen Harris, South Mecklenburg; Ann Saravalli, Charlotte Catholica.

1977 (17; 59) Providence’s Janice Rea won; runners-up: Elizabeth Schofield, Charlotte Latin; David Fahey, Myers Park, Jane Sattler, South Mecklenburg; Michael Riley, West Charlotte.

1978 (19; 59) Ken Caldwell of Independence was named Senior of the Year; runners-up: Jennifer Watson, East Mecklenburg; Craig White, North Mecklenburg; Margaret Petrea, Providence Day; John Siman, South Mecklenburg.

1979 (19; 62) No runners-up are mentioned in the story from this year, when Jeffery Huff of West Mecklenburg won, in the largest class of Scholars to that date.

1980 (20; 59) The prize rose to $500 and Carol Jolly of Independence became the first black woman to win, says the News’ story.
Runners-up: Douglas Horner, West Charlotte; K. Monroe Bridges III, Country Day.

1981 (19; 58) Lynn Crowder of West Charlotte won.
First runner-up was Lucia Halpern, Myers Park; second runner-up Susan Culp, Charlotte Latin.

1982 (20; 60) Jennifer Smith of Country Day won an increased prize of $1,000 this year. Runners-up: Morris Arthur, West Charlotte; Susan Kuhn, East Mecklenburg.

1983 (19; 56) Independence’s Michele Killough won; runners-up: Karla Hauersperger, East Mecklenburg; Monica Reid, North Mecklenburg.

1984 (17; 54) This year’s money rose again, to $1,500 for Sarah Stroud of West Charlotte. Runners-up were Angie Raynor, Harding; Garry Barber, North Mecklenburg.

1985 (19; 55) Suresh De Silva of Garinger won.
First runner-up: Ellen Wilkinson, Country Day; second runner-up Anne Bryson, Charlotte Latin.

1986 (17; 51) Senior of the year was Rupal Manu Naik, Providence Day; runners-up: Michael Hinshaw Jr., Charlotte Latin; Eva LaDawn Dawkins, Myers Park; Mary Louise Dagenhart,
Country Day.

1987 (numbers not available) Sara Wyche "Sally" Higgins of Myers Park topped the field.
First runner-up: Joey Peterson, South Mecklenburg; second runner-up: Jeff Johns, East Mecklenburg

1988 (16; 54)
Tiffini Lyn Snellings of North Mecklenburg won $2,000. 
First runner-up was Matthew Heyd, Providence Day; two second runners-up: Natasha Long, Olympic, and Andy Baxter, West Charlotte (Father Matt Heyd, right, is rector at Church of the Heavenly Rest in Manhattan.)

1989 (16; 55) Nigel Long of Olympic won.
Runners-up: Heather Heiman, Country Day; Michael Caldwell, West Charlotte; Meredith Rolfe, Myers Park

1990 (17; 50) Valerie Wright of Country Day triumphed.
Runners-up were Douglas McCurry, Providence Day; Angela Williams, Harding

1991 Charlotte Latin’s Alexa Klimas won. 
Runners-up: Frank Ingram, South Mecklenburg; Alex Sansone, East Mecklenburg

1992 The awards’ only co-winners: Jean-Paul Montagnet of South Mecklenburg and Denise Phillips of Myers Park.

1993 Eric Weiner of South Mecklenburg won.Runners-up: Ethan McCutchen, Olympic; Christie Stancil, Independence

1994 This was the first year the award went truly regional, with seven Seniors of the Year chosen to reflect the Observer’s regional publication areas: Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Catawba Valley, Gaston, Iredell, Union and York.
Winners: James O'Neill of Ashbrook; Sarah Autry of Newton-Conover; Matthew Coleman of Forest Hills; Sharon Crutchfield of Mount Pleasant; Chuck Edwards of Charlotte Latin; Susie Han of North Iredell High School; Janci Ketner of Clover

1995 Marie Christina Hermitte, Central Cabarrus; Sam Cho, Newton-Conover; Melina Shabani, Hunter Huss; Erika Jade Moore, Statesville; Elizabeth Bradfield Irons, West Charlotte; Megan E. Owen, Parkwood; Emily Louise Smith, York Comprehensive

1996 Zubin Eapen, Northwest Cabarrus; Laura Hogshead, Sun Valley; Monika Moore, Statesville; Crystal Blake, York Comprehensive; Aleksandra McClain, East Lincoln; Jennifer Fisher, Providence Day; Christine Burleson, N.C. School for the Deaf

1997 Logan Buck, Monroe; Tina Gillespie, East Gaston; David Harris, Mooresville; Connie Jones, Northwestern; Alicia Martin, South Caldwell; Sarah Rapisardo, Myers Park; Kevin Belote, Northwest Cabarrus

1998 Ronnie Crisco Jr., A.L. Brown; Marcie Dewalt, Independence; Jaclyn Elledge, Statesville; Anna Elliott, West Caldwell; Mark Brandon Goddard, Clover; Karen Lynn Helms, East Lincoln; Mary Elizabeth Prouty, Parkwood

1999 Katherine Betzwieser, Hickory; Mindy Deason, Sun Valley; Elaine Lai, Myers Park; Allyson Lippert, Mooresville; Bradley Mauney, South Point; William Shane Perry, Chester; Angela Traurig, Northwest Cabarrus

2000 Lauren Elizabeth Welch, Northwest Cabarrus; Stephanie Shannon Morgan, West Caldwell; Brooke Shepherd, East Gaston; Kristin Marie Karnap, Statesville; Marykate Zukiewicz, North Mecklenburg; Kyle David Mayes, Parkwood; Dewana Donnielle Flynn, Great Falls

2001 Emily Shoemaker, Mount Pleasant; Wesley Joines, West Caldwell; Gabriela Radut, East Lincoln; Susan Somers, North Iredell; Emily Vasquez, Providence Day; Carrie Tapley, Parkwood; Monica Lemmond, Clover

2002 Amee Patel, Harding; Beth-Erin Springer, South Rowan; Catherine LePrevost, Hickory; Gwynne Cashatt, Forestview; Carrie Johnson, North Iredell; Natalia Roldan, Monroe; Blake Clancy, Lancaster

2003 Courtney Tighe, Charlotte Catholic; Wesley Griffin, Kings Mountain; Elizabeth Dover, Cannon; Deborah Tarwasokono, Hibriten; Emily McCrary, West Iredell; Megan Paul, Weddington; Noel Wall, Andrew Jackson

2004 Chaz Michael Beasley, Newton-Conover; Stesha Doku, Myers Park; Tiffany Nicole Everidge, Statesville; Dane Grismer, Parkwood; Erin Elizabeth Lopez, Jay M. Robinson; William Rothwell, Gaston Christian; Jarman Tisdale, Great Falls

2005 Megan Brown, Chester; Tara Scheidt, First Assembly Christian; Molly Eggleton, Alexander Central; Rachael Huston, Forestview; Jamie Bumgarner, North Iredell; Anthony Moore, Harding; Danielle Allen, Monroe

2006 Faraaz Kahn, South Mecklenburg; Tim Campbell, South Rowan; Della Cuthbertson, Forest Hills; Chris Long, Ashbrook; James Lee, Mooresville; Felicia Boulware, Lewisville; Candice Castaneira, Northside Christian Academy; Eric Dravland, Hibriten

2007 Edie Wellman, Providence Day; Laura Benshoff, Concord; Joseph "Joey" Black, Rock Hill; Sarah Cade, Hopewell; Carey Carpenter, Myers Park; Miranda Harper, East Burke; Tyler Mills, Piedmont; Sean Mattio, Vance; Ernest Simons, Forestview

2008 Jessie Robbins, Cannon; Nailah Robinson, West Caldwell; Charlie Modlin, Gaston Day; Taylor Evans Williams, Country Day; Jessica Nash, North Iredell; Clarissa Gutierrez, Providence; James Hopson, Forest Hills; John Blackmar, Vance; Jeremy Feaster, Harding; Zachary Beaver, Northwestern

2009: Emily Bone, Monroe; Addy Adelekun, Forestview; Kristin Ates, Mallard Creek; Xiaoyang Zhuang, Providence; Marissa Diloreto, First Assembly Christian; Jorge Garcia, Garinger; Lauren Miller, West Iredell; Rachel Myrick, Myers Park; Jackclyn Ngo, Renaissance School at Olympic; Mattson Smith, Fort Mill (Rachel Myrick, left, is using her Rhodes Scholarship toward a Master of Philosophy in International Relations at Oxford University.)

2010 Lauren Caddick, Forestview; Simone Dixon, Northwest Cabarrus; Katie Driest, North Mecklenburg; Michael Greshko, Providence Day; Matthew Hamilton, Sun Valley; Manal Hossain, South Pointe; Max Tyler Nagle, Ardrey Kell; Cassady Schulte, Independence; Rachel "Mattie" Williams, South Iredell; Hron Enuol, West Mecklenburg

2011 Matthew Harvey, Nations Ford; Monique Kreisman, Highland School of Technology; Savjeet Brar, Charlotte Country Day; Nicholle Romero, Cuthbertson; Emily Cathey, North Mecklenburg; Kristen Carpenter, Mooresville; Ryan Dahrouge, Harding; Kyla Risko, South Mecklenburg; Tanner Fadero, Butler; Darren Kataja, Jay M. Robinson

2012 Daniel Austin Abel, South Pointe; Nanami Liberty Miyazaki, St. Stephens; Amanda Hu, Providence; Megan Elycia Luke, Hickory Grove Christian; Neha Kukreja, Providence Day; Sammy Said, Vance; Hannah Love, A. L. Brown; Kelechukwu "KC" Emezie, Marvin Ridge; Shruti Patel, Olympic Biotechnology School; Anna Paschall, Highland School of Technology

2013 Justin Elliott, North Mecklenburg; Kaycee Gass, Lincoln Charter; Hannah Kessenich, Marvin Ridge; Yeonsoo Sara Lee, Myers Park; Maria Mazariegos, International Business and Communication Studies at Olympic; Shiva Mohan, Fort Mill; Andrew Paluszak, East Gaston; Katy Thompson, Hickory Ridge; Mary Thurman, Hickory Grove Christian; Constance Zhou, Charlotte Latin

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sign-ups available for 'Students Saving Summer Scholarship' blood drive program

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is recruiting students for its sixth annual "Students Saving Summer Scholarship" program.

High school and college students who organize and host a successful blood drive with the organization, between June 1 and Sept. 30, will have the chance to earn scholarship money. The students with the top five-producing blood drives will each receive a $1,000 scholarship toward college.

Students make up 20 percent of CBCC's donors, said Martin Grable, the organization's president and CEO. " 'Students Saving Summer' is an opportunity to keep students engaged and to help us get an 'arm' up on our blood supply in the summer when supplies tend to drop," he said in a release.

Participating students must choose a location, recruit donors and collect a minimum of 25 units of blood. Each student will get paired with a CBCC representative to help with planning the blood drive.

For more information or to register, contact Kim Jones at 704-972-4727 or

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Meet Ella McElroy, local 8-year-old artist

Meet Ella McElroy

Ella, 8, is from Waxhaw and is a third-grader at Charlotte Latin School. And she loves to paint.

She has been painting at an easel since she was 2, and took her first art class at 3. Her favorite media are pastels and acrylics.

Her latest painting, "Ella's Hawk," was recently chosen as one of the 10 best in her age division in a contest sponsored by, said family friend Andrea Cooper. It also won first place in an all-school fine art competition at Charlotte Latin.

These weren't Ella's first accolades: One or her paintings was displayed at the Mint Museum when she was six, Cooper said, and it was later in an exhibit, "Celebration of Young Artists," in Italy.

Ella finds inspiration in animals, and she hopes to raise awareness and funds for wildlife conservation by painting endangered animals. She also loves horseback riding and competes as a member of the South Charlotte Equine Circuit.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Farewell from Young Achievers reporter

It's bittersweet to say today (Wednesday) is my last day at the Charlotte Observer.

I'll be getting married in a few weeks and subsequently moving to the Delaware/Philadelphia area. I have so enjoyed meeting and telling the stories of our area's young achievers. They have curious minds, care about others and the planet, and are bursting with brilliant ideas. Our young people have so much to offer and they've given me hope for a brighter future.

You'll see a few more of my stories in the paper for the next few weeks, and you'll see a couple more blog posts as well. If you want to send Young Achievers news to the Observer, contact Helen Schwab at

p.s. In honor of Lindsay's work here at the Observer, here's a video from Nash Grier, the subject of several of stories this year.

Charlotte Junior Girl Scouts earn Bronze Award with bat boxes

Girl Scout Troop 10 recently completed the Bronze Award, the highest honor for the Junior Scouts age level, said troop leader Joanne Shea.

To earn the award, the scouts built bat boxes for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Park and Recreation department. The boxes have been installed by a bridge at Freedom Park and by the Park Road Montessori playground on the Greenway, Shea said.

The four-chamber bat boxes can house as many as 200 bats. The girls chose to make the boxes because bat habitats in Charlotte are shrinking, and they eat mosquitoes and insects that kill plants and crops, they wrote in a report. Also, they wrote, bat droppings make good fertilizer and help pollinate seeds.

(Photos courtesy Joanne Shea)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Inspire the Fire kids do flashmob dance uptown to 'Happy'

The kids in Inspire the Fire are feeling happy.

At the end of March, a large group of Inspire the Fire members -- preteens and teens -- surprised people uptown by breaking into a choreographed dance (for about 4 minutes) to Pharrell Williams' song, "Happy."

Inspire the Fire is a local nonprofit that works with young people and the arts. Here's a video of the event -- looked fun!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Join the school band, local mom says

Class registration is looming, and a local mom, Lisa Kunkleman, wants to tell kids that there's much to be gained from being in the school band and that's it's not as stereotypically nerdy as people used to think.

Kunkleman, a former high school guidance counselor, calls high school band a "home away from home" for students. Here's what she has to say:

Ready or not, high school class registration for next year is about to begin. Elective courses range from automotive services to yoga to oodles of other classes to consider-- including marching band. 

This isn’t yesteryear’s stereotype of geeky kids playing the school fight song. Band today is a melting pot of kids with a myriad of interests. It’s camaraderie, friendship and a place to fit in. 

Marching band, a combination of athleticism, dance moves, and musical ability, is a huge commitment but well worth it. Stamina, fitness, memorization, organization and, yes, socialization skills are honed.

The Providence High School kids highlighted below have participated in one or more of the following activities: Track and field, JROTC, Chorus, Firefighter Safety, Jazz Band, and Theater Orchestra Pit. They also play multiple instruments in multiple ensembles at Providence and maintain excellent GPAs.

Emily Lucero, senior and four year band student, said, “When I run track it’s all about competition, where in band it’s all about working together. We’re only as good as our weakest link. We try to build each other up and make each other feel good about ourselves.” Emily plans to major in biology at Appalachian State University and looks forward to playing clarinet as a Marching Mountaineer in the fall. “I’ll already have a connection with band people.”

Brothers, Joe and Sam Kunkleman, are juniors at Providence. They have been in marching band for three years, and plan to make it four. 

Joe said, “Imagine carrying a sleeping St. Bernard on your left shoulder, while doing math homework in your head, while dashing through a maze. That’s what it’s like to play tuba in a marching band.” 

He does it because of the friends. “Starting my freshman year with a group of people to sit with at lunch made my transition to high school a lot easier. The band room is like a second home.” 

Sam agreed and said, “Band camp and rehearsals require a lot of work but it’s worth it in the end to be part of a great production and entertain.” 

Eric Belongea, a junior and third year band student said, “Band provides you with a good group of friends that guide you in the right direction through high school. It’s just all around goodness.”

Marching band is certainly a class worth considering at registration time. 

What’s better than making friends, getting exercise, and having mental challenges?