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5 Hall students chosen as Byrd scholars
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Five Hall County students will take $1,500 with them to college this fall as Byrd scholars.

The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship is a federal grant awarded to an equal number of graduating seniors in each congressional district. Each high school in the state is allowed to nominate one student; students then are ranked, based on SAT score, grade-point average and an essay.

“I wish to congratulate these outstanding students on this accomplishment and to the excellent teachers who helped them develop their academic gifts,” said Sally Krisel, rigor specialist for Hall County Schools.

This year 19 scholarships were awarded in each congressional district. The five Hall County students will be honored at the board of education work session on July 19.

The best part? The students can renew the scholarship for the next three years of college.

The 2010 Hall County winners are Cindy Lin of East Hall High School, Emily Wilson of Flowery Branch High School, Mackenzie Hayes of Johnson High School, Chelsea Clever of North Hall High School and Stede Granger of West Hall High School.

“Each school can only submit one name, so these are tremendously accomplished students,” Krisel said. “With the limited numbers awarded, it’s truly, truly an honor. We’re so proud of them.”

Here’s a look at the students selected:

  • Lin, ranked fourth in the senior class at East Hall with a 4.4 grade point average, will attend the University of Notre Dame. She attributes her maturity and work ethic to the difficulties she and her family have faced together as they have run a family business during a severe recession. She wrote in her application essay that, as difficult as the last few years have been, she “would not change a thing” because “the person I am today is very ready for whatever life chooses to throw at me and ready to turn it into something beneficial.”
  • Wilson, ranked third in the senior class at Flowery Branch with a 4.58 GPA, will attend the University of Georgia. She was president of the Georgia chapter of the National Honor Society, Hall County’s nominee for the 2010 United States Senate Youth Program and a 2009 Hall County finalist for the Governor’s Honors Program.
  • Hayes, ranked eighth at Johnson with a 4.46 GPA, will attend the University of Georgia. An accomplished equestrian competitor, Hayes is working to earn a bronze medal in dressage. She plans to become a dressage judge, trainer and instructor and hopes to earn silver and gold medals after college.
  • Clever, valedictorian at North Hall with a 4.74 GPA, will attend Georgia Tech. She was a member of the 2009 class of Youth Leadership Hall and was selected to represent Hall County in the statewide interviews for GHP 2009 for math.
  • Granger, salutatorian and STAR student at West Hall with a 4.54 GPA, will attend the University of Georgia. He is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate and an accomplished photographer.
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