Three area students finalists for Park Scholarship

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Three students from Rowan and Cabarrus counties are among 106 finalists for the prestigious Park Scholarship.

These awards are valued at about $59,000 for North Carolina residents and $107,000 for out-of-state students. The Park Foundation has committed $3.6 million to be awarded to 50 of these outstanding students by March 1.

The remaining finalists will receive the Provost’s Academic Award, a $10,000 scholarship.

Two finalists from Rowan are:

* Madison Blair Burke, daughter of Alan and Lori Burke and Jennifer Taylor Burke, of Salisbury.

At Salisbury High School, Madison is treasurer of the senior class and Art Club and a member of the National Honor Society. She is a student business manager of an emerging nonprofit organization, Students in Training; an active member in her church’s youth group, attending four mission trips; and a volunteer for Waterworks Visual Arts Center. Madison plans to major in graphic design.

* Samantha Gretl Smith, daughter of David Smith and Ruby Cutshaw, of Salisbury.

At North Rowan High School, Samantha is co-president of the Students Against Destructive Decisions Club, treasurer of the Skills USA Club and senior class vice president. She was voted “Best All Around” and volunteers with her school athletic department and church, while participating in year-round sports. Samantha plans to major in chemistry.

The Cabarrus finalist is Jessie Elizabeth Jordan, daughter of Dave Jordan, of Concord.

At Concord High School, Jessie is president of the Student Council, managing editor of the Spiderweb yearbook and a member of the National Honor Society. She is also vice president of Keystone, a community service club; a mentor at a local elementary school; a member of Young Life. Jessie plans to major in middle grades education.

Finalists from other nearby counties are:

* Davidson County:

— Aaren Marie Hunt, daughter of Craig and Denise Hunt, of Lexington. At North Davidson High School, Aaren is student body president and treasurer of the National Honor Society. She was chosen Miss Davidson County 2006, participated in overseas mission work in Scotland and played varsity soccer for three years.

— Meagan Camille McGee, daughter of Wayne and Teresa McGee, of Winston-Salem.

At Ledford High School, Meagan is president of Health Occupations Students of America at her school and on the state and regional levels. She established and chairs the Flowers for Smiles and Adopt-a-Grandparent programs. She also attended Governor’s School of North Carolina for social science and plans to major in biology.

* Stanly County:

— David Andrew Boyuka II, son of David and Tina Boyuka, of Locust. Home schooled, Drew was captain of the first-place team at the Panthers Numbers Crunch Math Contest, captain of the first-place Charlotte Math Club’s computer team at the College of Charleston and a member of the 2006 national first-place North Carolina’s American Regions Math League team. He worked as a teacher’s assistant at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte for graduate level discrete mathematics courses the past two summers and has also developed software published by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He also volunteered computer services to the Appalachian Mountains and Mustard Seeds mission. Drew plans to major in electrical engineering and computer science.

— Jacob Vernon Furr, son of Bruce and Beckie Furr, of Albemarle.

At West Stanly High School, Jacob is vice president of the West Stanly FFA, vice president of the 4-H Livestock Club and a member of the National Honor Society. He is also president of the N.C. State 4-H Council, a member of the N.C. Extension State Advisory Council and a member of Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church. Jacob plans to major in agricultural education.

* Iredell County:

— John Hardin Sprinkle, son of Dean and Janie Hardin Sprinkle, of Statesville.

At North Iredell High School, Sprinkle is president of the National Honor Society and has competed in track and field and a community fencing team. He has served as a summer school math tutor and plans to major in computer science.

— Andrea Grace Watson, daughter of Greg and Kathy Watson, of Statesville.

At Statesville High School, Andrea is president of the Interact Club, led the Junior Engineering Technical Society Team to the state championship and was Superintendent’s Choice for the Governor’s School of North Carolina. She has completed her Girl Scout Gold Award project, volunteers with the Iredell County Humane Society and sings with her church choir. Andrea plans to major in animal science.

The complete list of Park Scholarship finalists is available online at www.ncsu .edu/park_scholarships/news.

The Park Scholarships program is among America’s most prestigious undergraduate merit scholarship programs. The scholarships pay expenses for four years of study at N.C. State and include a computer stipend and funds for academic activities.