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19 in county vying for scholarships

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 02:34 PM

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TAMPA -

Hillsborough County has the highest number of National Achievement Scholar semifinalists in Florida, according to statistics released Wednesday.

Nineteen African-American students received the honor, which is five more than last year.

"We're thrilled about it," said Stephen Hegarty, spokesman for Hillsborough County schools. "It's something that distinguishes the district."

Strawberry Crest High School, in just its fourth year of existence in the Dover area, led the way with four semifinalists.

"That was one of our goals when we opened the school, to be known for academics," said Principal Dave Brown. "That's the bread-and-butter. That's why students come to school."

Wharton, Robinson and King high schools each had three, while Bloomingdale had two. Plant, Newsome, Jefferson and Tampa Bay Tech had one apiece.

More than 1,600 African-American seniors were recognized nationwide for their performance on the Preliminary SAT. They will compete for about 800 scholarships worth more than $2.5 million next spring.

Strawberry High semifinalists are Mazeed Aro-Lambo, Savannah Bradley, Jordan Brown and Ayomikun Loye.

Wharton's are Christina Malcolm, Jafari Roberts and Alexandra Sullivan. Students from King are Tatiana Henry, Amber Johnson and Desirae Vaughn. And those from Robinson are Evyn Brown, Shaneece Lane and Justin Williams.

Other students honored include Christian Allen and Ashley Montgomery from Bloomingdale, Kirby Brennan from Newsome, Clarque Brown from Plant, Jah'Nell Sampson from Tampa Bay Tech and U'Kera Gadsden from Jefferson.

Pasco and Pinellas counties had four semifinalists each.

The Hillsborough school district also learned recently that it has 62 National Merit semifinalists this year, up from 43 a year ago.


rshaw@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7999

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