DOWNEY - Nearly 250 Downey Unified School District middle school students received a Stauffer Scholar award from the Dr. Mary Stauffer Foundation for earning straight A's on their report cards for both semesters as fifth or sixth graders during the 2012-13 school year.A total of 313 students qualified and 278 applied for the award. Of the 278 applicants, 246 attended the award ceremonies. Stauffer presented $100 checks to 232 students. Fourteen students were named Stauffer Scholars of the Year and received checks for $500. Stauffer Scholars of the Year also will have their names engraved on their school's perpetual plaque, which hangs at each school site. Doty and Sussman students attended their ceremony on Nov. 6 at Downey High School, where principal Tom Houts spoke on the importance of a college education. On Nov. 13, Griffiths and West middle school students attended their ceremony at Warren High, where principal Laura Rivas also spoke about the importance of saving for their college education. In all, the Stauffer Foundation presented checks totaling $30,200, which students use to start or 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 respective parents," DUSD officials said in a statement. Linda Kennedy, a former DUSD administrator (retired director of curriculum and instruction), and presently a board member on the Mary R. Stauffer Foundation, attended both ceremonies. She discussed the benefits of starting a college savings plan early so that children are financially ready to start college when the time comes. Stauffer Scholars of the Year include Tristan Yepez, Doty Middle School; Diego Casillas, Griffiths; Roxanne Victoria, Sussman; Kayla Terrazas, West; Danna Gonzales, Carpenter; Briana Garcia, Gallatin; Anthony Ramirez, Gauldin; Kayla Catacuta, Lewis; Andrea Perdomo, Old River; Cecilia Allen, Price; Jasen Nicolas, Rio Hondo; Nicollette Agagrostore and Nektaria Agagrostore, Rio San Gabriel; and Andrew Saldana, Unsworth.
********** Published: Nov. 28, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 33