East Ascension’s student of year a finalist for state honor

DeRonTalley @DeRonTalley
Parker Vige (right) is shown here at an earlier Ascension School System recognition event with Superintendent Patrice Pujol (left).

East Ascension High School’s 2014-15 student of the year Parker Vige is named among one of eighteen finalists in the Louisiana Department of Education Student of the Year competition after being named Regional Student of the Year.

Vige is the son of Brian and Denise Vige and a resident of Gonzales and has attended East Ascension High School for the last four years.

"In truth, this recognition belongs to the teachers, mentors, and peers who have constantly invested in my education, aspirations, as well as my pursuit of serving others,” Vige said, in an interview with the Weekly Citizen.

Vige said he engages himself in countless hours of service, work, and study because “I have grown up surrounded by a community displaying incredible diligence in these things.”

“My family and community are who I credit my success to; these are the people who have shown me how to be intentional everyday with a kind word, hard work, and a friendly smile,” Vige said.

The 18 students selected include one 5th, 8th, and 12th grader from each of the state's six regions and represent public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools across Louisiana.

The finalists will convene at the Louisiana State Museum in Baton Rouge on April 22, 2015, for an awards ceremony and the announcement of the state Students of the Year winners from each grade.

"We are thrilled to hear of Parker's advancing as a Finalist in the state competition. His outstanding academic record is one of great pride to East Ascension, Ascension Parish School, and his family and fellow students," said Superintendent Patrice Pujol. "We applaud Parker, his teachers, and his family on this honor."

Prior to selecting the three state winners, the state selection committee will conduct interviews and review a writing sample from each of the finalists.

Vige was honored based on numerous factors: academic achievement, leadership, character, service and a student-made portfolio of accomplishments. He will also present writing samples and be interviewed to assess communication and critical thinking skills.

Vige has a 4.7067 grade point average with an excellent record on End of Course exams, including Geometry, English II, English III, Biology and American History. LEAP and iLEAP scores show Vige in the "Mastery" and "Advanced" categories. In high school, he scored a 31 composite on the ACT. He serves as president of the Fellowship of Christian Students, Parliamentarian of the Future Business Leaders club and numerous leadership roles at the Fellowship Church youth organization. He was also Senior Mentor of the high school freshman academy. He has served as an Oncology volunteer at the Baton Rouge General Hospital, completed foreign mission work in Puerto Rico, served as a leader on the In&OUT Box project, collecting 1000 resources, and served with SPIN, a homeless ministry. He has also participated in Toys for Tots and Jeans for Teens. He is a member of the National Honor Society, FBLA, and tutors freshmen in math. He participates in TAG for the academically gifted, DECA, the Debate Team and the quiz team bowl.

Vige will be honored along with:

• Vijay Letchuman, Caddo Magnet High School, Caddo Parish

• Jeffrey Sanders, West Monroe High School, Ouachita Parish

• Karim Khattab, Lafayette High School, Lafayette Parish

• Victor Rushing, Live Oak High School, Livingston Parish

• Benjamin Maxey, Loyola College Prep, Diocese of Shreveport

"I applaud these 18 students. To be selected as regional finalists and recognized as some of the top students in the entire state is a tremendous achievement," said State Superintendent John White. "These students exemplify excellence in education and are truly an example for all students to follow."

All public schools, including charter schools, as well as approved non-public schools, were asked to submit one candidate from their student body. The winners compete on the parish level and the regional level, advancing to state and then to national competition.