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Ascension Parish Schools announces Student of the Year district winners

Staff Report

Ascension Parish Public Schools announced the 2022-23 Students of the Year district winners for fifth, eighth, and twelfth grades: Sorrento Primary's Barrett Petite, Dutchtown Middle's Shrey Shah, and St. Amant High's Ephraim Craddock.

“Congratulations to all of our student of the year honorees. This is not about one moment in time; this is a body of work. This is you doing your best over time,” said Ascension Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander. “I know you have experienced challenges, and you have overcome that. Just remember that it takes hard work and sometimes a little disappointment to get where you want to go. Enjoy your achievements, but as you start to achieve more and more success, just remember your talents are best used when you make a difference. Seek ways to help others and make things around you better.”

Ascension Public Schools' 2022-23 Students of the Year district winners for fifth, eighth, and twelfth grades are Sorrento Primary's Barrett Petite, Dutchtown Middle's Shrey Shah, and St. Amant High's Ephraim Craddock.

FIFTH GRADE STUDENT OF THE YEARThe Ascension Parish Fifth Grade Student of the Year is Barrett Pitite from Sorrent Primary School.

Barrett is the son of Desiree and Blaine Petite. He is an active member of the 4H club, the Mudbug News Crew, and the BETA club. He plays baseball and football and is an active participant in his church community.

Barrett was nominated to attend the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. where he will join other future leaders in public speaking, teamwork, and leadership development. He enjoys working with his family on their farm and raising animals. He is also an exceptional scholar. He is in the district's talented and gifted program and has maintained honor roll status since the first grade.

EIGHTH GRADE STUDENT OF THE YEARThe Ascension Parish Eighth Grade Student of the Year is Shrey Shah from Dutchtown Middle School.

Shrey is the son of Neelesh and Nairuta Shah. His list of activities and accomplishments both in school and out is impressive including the BETA Club, PBIS student committee, and student council. Shrey also founded the Dutchtown Middle School Rubik’s Cube Club. He has helped raise money for local animal shelters, food pantries, and participated in fundraisers to benefit his school. He is a member of the science club, track and field team, and soccer team.

Outside of school, Shrey participates in multiple organizations including Ascension Flight soccer club, Rubik’s cube club, Jambalaya Park Swim Dolphins. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and tutors younger students in math and reading. An interesting fact about Shrey is that his parents are immigrants from India and he embraces his culture, loves to celebrate its various festivals, and shares his culture with those around him. He speaks three different languages: Hindi, Gujarati, and English.

TWELFTH GRADE STUDENT OF THE YEARThe Ascension Parish Twelfth Grade Student of the Year is Ephraim Craddock from St. Amant High School.

Ephraim is the son of Christian and Jacquelyn Craddock. His list of activities and accomplishments is extensive and quite outstanding. He has served and is currently serving as Vice President for Student Council, is the wrestling team captain, is chapter secretary for the National Honors Society, and is chapter president of DECA. He serves as District III Student Council Treasurer and as a group leader for leadership workshops. He was also chosen to represent St. Amant High School at Louisiana Boys State this past summer.

A four-year member of Mu Alpha Theta, Ephraim has been in the BETA Club, is a member of the marching and symphonic bands, and has participated in football and track. He founded a new club on campus called “Greater Gators,” a club that focuses on exploring techniques and strategies for self-improvement and sharing this information with the community. In addition, he started a tutoring service through which he teaches effective study habits in addition to academic subject content. He states that it has been especially rewarding to work with middle school students with learning disabilities.

Ephraim has dedicated his time volunteering and assisting within the community with countless endeavors, but several of his standout achievements are tied to his work in the Boy Scouts of America. He is Troop Chaplain and has been Patrol Leader for several years for Troop 76 in which he earned many awards, including the rank of Eagle Scout.

This young man’s academic records and accomplishments are remarkable. His current grade point average is 4.6, and he passed four advanced placement tests. He is a national merit semifinalist, and he earned a composite score of 35 on the ACT and perfect scores of 36 on the math and science subtests.

Ephraim plans to attend the University of Chicago to study molecular engineering.

These district winners will be entered into the regional competition, which will occur in February. Winners from the state's regional competition will be named in March.

To see each school's student of the year, visit AscensionSchools.org/SOY. For more information about Ascension Public Schools, visit AscensionSchools.org.