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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane students earn scholarship honors

Heather Rogers of Gonzaga Prep walks up to receive the $4,000 first place 2015 Spokane Scholars Foundation Award in social studies Monday night at the Spokane Convention Center. (Colin Mulvany)
Heather Rogers of Gonzaga Prep walks up to receive the $4,000 first place 2015 Spokane Scholars Foundation Award in social studies Monday night at the Spokane Convention Center. (Colin Mulvany)
Staff Reports

Two dozen of the region’s brightest and most promising high school seniors will share $60,000 awarded by the Spokane Scholars Foundation.

The annual affair is among the most prestigious and competitive scholarship events for students from across the area.

There were 143 students nominated by their high school principals, counselors or teachers. Each received a medal of academic achievement Monday evening, along with a certificate and a congratulatory letter from U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

“We couldn’t be more proud of these exceptional students,” said JoAnn Tripp, a foundation board member and Shadle Park High School math teacher. “For many of these kids, this may be the only money they get for college despite their academic achievements.”

Fourteen universities from across the Northwest will sweeten the award by matching the scholarship amount if a winning student enrolls.

Among the winners is Tim Ngo, an East Valley High School senior described by his physics teacher as the “most accomplished student that has attended during our school’s AP era.”

Three different school departments wanted to nominate Ngo for a scholarship, but he chose science.

Heather Rogers of Gonzaga Prep collected $4,000 as the winner of the social studies category. She is a top-notch debater, her counselor wrote, and she “possesses a superior aptitude and the discipline and tenacity to succeed.”

This year’s awards banquet included a special remembrance of Robert Dirks, a brilliant math student and 1996 scholarship winner from Lewis and Clark High School who died in February when the commuter train he was riding in collided with an SUV in New York. He worked at D.E. Shaw Research in Manhattan and rode the train to and from his home in Chappaqua, New York, every day.

The scholarship awards are based on blind applications. The following are the four scholarship winners in each of the six academic areas:

Awarded in English: Pingbo Zhou, Ferris High School, $4,000; Elizabeth McKee, Mead High School, $3,000; Laurel Stickney, Saint George’s School, $2,000; and Jenna Vasquez, Central Valley High School, $1,000.

Awarded in Fine Arts: Grant Cook, Lewis and Clark High School, $4,000; Micah Vogel, Ferris, $3,000; Natalya Ferch, The Oaks Christian Academy, $2,000; and Philip Thompson, Gonzaga Preparatory School, $1,000.

Awarded in Mathematics: Alexander Plagman, Central Valley, $4,000; Kenneth Day, Saint George’s, $3,000; Michael Brutocao, Gonzaga Prep, $2,000; and Moriah Longhurst, Freeman High School, $1,000.

Awarded in Science: Tim Ngo, East Valley High School, $4,000; Trevor Brown, Central Valley, $3,000; Jeremy Ratcliff, Lewis and Clark, $2,000; and Kacie Salmon, West Valley High School, $1,000.

Awarded in Social Studies: Heather Rogers, Gonzaga Prep, $4,000; Sidney Orr, Central Valley, $3,000; Rachel Loe, East Valley, $2,000; and Cody Mekus, Saint George’s, $1,000.

Awarded in World Languages: Rachel Fricke, Gonzaga Prep, $4,000; Eunkyo Yang, Saint George’s, $3,000; Erwen Zhu, Ferris, $2,000; and Emily Sior, East Valley, $1,000.

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