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Upchurch & Jowers celebrates 2013’s top seniors

Posted: April 18, 2013 4:43 p.m.
Updated: April 19, 2013 5:00 a.m.
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The top 30 students in Kershaw County’s 2013 senior class were honored for their hard work and dedication to academics Monday evening at the 18th annual Upchurch & Jowers All-County Academic Team banquet.

Each year, the top 10 students from each of Kershaw County’s three public high schools are recognized by their parents, the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees, Kershaw County School District (KCSD) and Upchurch & Jowers personnel. They are given a chance to recognize those family members and teachers that have had the most influence on them throughout their high school years.

Upchurch & Jowers, a home, auto and business insurance agency, named after its founders Joe Upchurch and Victor Jowers, has served Kershaw County since 1961. Their partnership with KCSD began when the agency began looking for a way to honor students who excelled academically, similar to the way all-county football players were highlighted, Upchurch & Jowers’ Vicki Bowers said. The first Upchurch & Jowers All County Academic Team banquet was held in 1996 in honor of 20 KCSD students, according to the agency’s website.  Since then, Upchurch & Jowers has honored just 495 students of the nearly 9,000 district seniors in the last 18 years.

During the banquet, each principal introduced their top students and gave them a chance to reflect on their last several years of school. Lugoff-Elgin High School Principal Tommy Gladden said his 10 students had a grade point average of 4.87. Camden High School Principal Dan Matthews read off little known facts about his students before they recognized their influences. North Central High School Principal Worth Thomasson said two of his seniors were not present because they were already college students.

Seniors who rank in the top 10 of their class are honored each year; the student with the highest ACT/SAT score is also honored if the student is not in the top 10 of the one of the schools.

Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan acknowledged that students will experience a flood of emotions during the next several weeks as school winds down and graduation draws near. The expectations that their families have set, the encouragement, love and support are always there for them no matter where they go from here, Morgan said.

Many students planned on attending Clemson University and the University of South Carolina; others will attend Winthrop, the College of Charleston and various out of state schools. Some of the majors students will pursue include engineering, architecture, animal and veterinary sciences, psychology, exercise science, teaching and finance.   

Despite the array of colleges and post-grad plans, all of the students said that without the support of their parents, their favorite teachers they would not have qualified for the Upchurch & Jowers All-County Academic Team.

The 2013 Upchurch & Jowers All-County Academic Team members are:

Camden High School -- Samuel Peter Buckelew, Cody Gable Davis, Caroline Elizabeth Godbold, Anna Elizabeth Guild, Salvador Rivera Lopez, Hunter Mayes Rankin, Anna Katherine Tiller, Roderick Murchinson Todd, Maggie Rebecca Ward, Haley Danielle Willis.

Lugoff-Elgin High School -- Robert Aaron Adolphson, Bradley Fleming Brazell, Kayla Alease Cook, Anne Kathryn Herlong, Cameron Ann Hinson, Megan Annette Kirkland, Carrie Leigh Lynch, Ashley Caroline Martin, Danielle Nicole Walker and Tyler Dakota Wiseman.

North Central High School -- Brittany Nicole Armentrout, Brandon Michael Baucom, Sidney Brian Cauthen, Alexandra Michelle Hildreth, Russell Parker Jones, Veta Lunn Humphries, Eric Brandon Lee, Laquecia Deondra Smith, Murshay Kaleigha Stover and Daniel Paul Witmore.

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