EATEL 2015 Top Scholars Recognized

Eatel Report
Pictured: Left to right, standing: Ryan Hoffman, Jacob McCon, and Jason Williams. Left to right, seated: Madison Knott, Parker Vige, and Alexis Ferguson.

EATEL recently partnered with the Ascension and Livingston Parish School systems to recognize the 2015 Top Scholar’s in our community. The ninth annual event recognized the academic success of six high school students on the EATEL Community Connection TV show. EATEL also presented each student with a $250 gift card to use towards future academic supplies. The 2015 EATEL Top Scholars of Ascension Parish are listed below.

Ryan Hoffman of Dutchtown High School, maintained a cumulative 4.767 GPA (on a 5-point grading scale) and received the prestigious “Student of the Year Award” from 2014-2015. He also received the John Philip Sousa Band Award. Not only did Hoffman participate in band, but he also participated in Beta Club, National Honor Society, Allied Health, Louisiana Boys State, BASF Science Academy, AHEC of a Summer, and St. John’s Youth Group. His leadership accomplishments include section leader, band manager, band president, and drum major. In addition to these numerous activities, Hoffman received various awards, such as, Gallant Griffin, six times; AP Scholar with Honors; Letterman Awards, three times; and first place in District Rally in Biology I and Biology II. He was also voted “Most Intelligent”, “Most Improved Freshman” in DTHS Symphonic Winds, and “Student of the Week”. Hoffman says his favorite teacher thus far has been Mark Ebarb of Dutchtown High School because Hoffman says that even though Ebarb’s class was the toughest, he always made it fun and interesting.

Hoffman plans to attend Louisiana State University Honors College where he will major in biological science. His intentions are to attend medical school and become a surgeon, possibly in the field of pediatrics.

“It takes a lot of hard work, but anything is possible. Keep adjusting your goals and never settle,” said Hoffman.

Madison Knott of St. Amant High School held a 4.75 cumulative GPA (on a 5-point grading scale). During her tenure at St. Amant High, Knott was named the 2014-2015 Student of the Year, was a 4-year District Literary Rally participant, and was recognized as an AP Scholar by the College Board. She was a 4-year member of St. Amant's Student Athletic Trainer program and was a member of the following clubs: Interact, National Honor Society (Reporter and Vice-President), and Gator Rally. Madison was also St. Amant's representative for the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference, the Louisiana Youth Seminar, and Louisiana Girls' State. She also won the American Citizenship Award and the Knights of Columbus Patriotic Award. Knott named her favorite teacher thus far as Gisela Gautreax of St. Amant High School. Gautreax taught Knott Spanish for three semesters and inspired her to actually pursue a career involving the foreign language. Knott was accepted into Tulane University's Altman Program where she will double major in international business and Spanish.

“It’s not just ‘smarts’ that get you to success; you’ve got to truly put in the hard work and dedication,” said Knott.

Parker Vige of East Ascension High School, who held a 4.66 cumulative GPA (on a 5-point grading scale), began the Fellowship of Christian Students club at East Ascension High School. Parker was named a Dawn Shivers Scholarship recipient by the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office. He also received scholarships from the Louisiana State Fair Association, the Gonzales Lions Club Parker, and the Free Masons Society.

Vige recognized his favorite teacher as his teacher-coach, Shannon Hattier, at East Ascension High School who he saw working hard all year long and who helped students make the most of scholarships and post-secondary education available to them. Vige was selected as one of eight incoming freshmen for a Gap Year Program offered by the University of North Carolina’s Social Justice Department where he will travel the world for a year doing charitable work with global nonprofits. Following his year of service, he plans to major in international business at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill so that he can one day establish his career abroad in the nonprofit sector, possibly even starting his own nonprofit someday.

“As you pursue your own level of success, and it’s different for everyone, remember to look around you and enjoy the journey. Be purposeful with everything you do and remember to say ‘thank you’ along the way and give a friendly smile as often as you can,” said Vige.

Jason Williams of Donaldsonville High School, with a 4.4047 cumulative GPA on a 5-point grading scale, began playing the trumpet in the marching band when he was just in the 7th grade and continued throughout high school. He also served in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps for all four years of high school. He was the president of the National Senior Beta Club and was a co-creator of a mentorship program called “Tiger to Tiger” where high school seniors and juniors were paired up to high school freshmen and sophomores. Williams kept up his position on the school’s Honor Roll and he was named a member of the Ascension Parish “30+ Club” because he made a 34 on his ACT, breaking a school record. Williams honored his favorite teacher thus far, Laia Scott, his English teacher for English 3 and English 4 at Donaldsonville High School because Williams says that Scott’s classes were the most rigorous he had in high school and he enjoyed the challenges and exceeding expectations. He plans to attend Southern University and A&M College and major in chemistry and aspires to one day be a biochemist.

“Always keep God first. Pray hard, study hard, and work hard and you will be a success,” said Williams.

“We’re proud to be able to honor these outstanding students. These top scholars have found more than just success in their studies,” stated Scott Thompson, President of EATEL. “These young adults we’ve honored are civic-minded and have found unique ways to give back to their communities.”