DOWNEY - More than 250 Downey Unified School District middle school students received a Stauffer Scholar award from Dr. Mary R. Stauffer for earning straight A's on their report cards for both semesters as fifth or sixth graders during the 2011-12 school year.A total of 290 students qualified and 258 applied for this award. Out of the 258 applicants, 233 attended the awards ceremonies. Two hundred twenty-one of the students received checks for $100 and 12 received the honor of becoming Stauffer Scholar of the Year 2011-12. The 12 identified Stauffer Scholars of the Year attended the ceremonies and received a check for $500. The Stauffer Scholars of the Year will also have their names engraved on their school's perpetual plaque and the plaque will hang at the respective school site. East and Sussman students attended their ceremony on Nov. 7 at Downey High School, where Principal Tom Houts spoke on the importance of a college education. On Nov. 14, Griffiths and West middle school students attended their ceremony at Warren High School, where Principal John Harris also spoke about the importance of saving for their college education. The Stauffer Scholars Program is one of the many ways in which Dr. Stauffer continues to support the Downey Unified School District and the students. Dr. Stauffer presented checks to these high-achieving students totaling $28,100 to enable them to start or to add to their ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan. These two evenings were full of excitement and pride, both for the District and for the students with their parents. Stauffer Scholars of the Year for 2011-12 included: Sophia Correa - East Middle School, Ryan De La Mora - Griffiths Middle School, Miranda Padilla - Sussman Middle School, Danielle Mc Gonigle - West Middle School, Jennifer Camacho - Carpenter Elementary, Aldo Ruiz - Gallatin Elementary, Samantha Avila - Gauldin Elementary, Roxanne Victoria - Lewis Elementary, Lauren Martinez - Old River Elementary, Laura Terrazas - Price Elementary, Fausto Rojas - Rio Hondo Elementary, Nicole De La Fuente Arceo - Rio San Gabriel Elementary, and Salma Lucio - Unsworth Elementary. Linda Kennedy, a former Downey Unified School District administrator (retired Director of Curriculum and Instruction), and presently a board member on the Mary R. Stauffer Foundation, attended both award ceremonies. Kennedy discussed the benefits of starting a college savings plan early so that children/families are financially ready to start college when the time comes. She also explained the application procedure for the 529 ScholarShare College Savings Plan. Stauffer continued to affirm to the attentive students that, "Education is the best investment that you could ever make."
********** Published: November 29, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 33