Virginia Tech's Educational Talent Search (ETS) recognized 27 of the region's young scholars when it honored its Talent Search Students of the Year at a banquet in Hillcrest Hall on the Virginia Tech campus on Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m.

The guest speaker for the event was Bethany Flora, special projects coordinator for the Virginia Tech provost’s office.

The awards program honors the Talent Search Students of the Year chosen from among the middle and high schools the program serves. Virginia Tech counselors Joe Lyle, Sarah Wells, and Henrietta Marshall, as well as program’s Director Tom Wilson presented the awards.

Each Educational Talent Search counselor chose outstanding students from schools where he or she works with pupils to help them improve their grades, cultivate academic interests, and plan for a college education. Selection is based on academic performance (including grade point average, strength of classes taken, and/or overall improvement); participation in program activities such as monthly meetings at school, Saturday sessions at Virginia Tech, and visits to colleges; and commitment to the goals of the Educational Talent Search program.

Educational Talent Search is a federally funded educational opportunity program designed to encourage low-income and/or potential first-generation college students to graduate from high school and to attend college. Virginia Tech administers the talent search for the region along with Upward Bound, a program specifically for high school students. Both are federally funded TRIO programs.

The Virginia Tech Talent Serach students of the year are

  • Chelsea Willard, Auburn High School;
  • Josh Simpkins, Auburn Middle School;
  • Lauren Martin, Bassett High School;
  • Lashania Booker, Blacksburg High School;
  • Shikyra Crosier, Blacksburg Middle School;
  • Shameka Moore, Christiansburg High School;
  • Johnathan Ryckman, Christiansburg Middle School;
  • Chelsea Riddle, Dublin Middle School;
  • Brittany Wells, Eastern Montgomery High School;
  • Kishana Davis, E.C. Glass High School;
  • Rachelle Sisk, Fort Chiswell High School;
  • Shaundra Cook, Franklin County High School;
  • Leisa Sutphin, Galax High School;
  • Imari Dawkins, George Wythe High School;
  • Brittney Lucas, Giles High School;
  • Amber Roten, Graham High School;
  • Devanie Hampton, Grayson County High School;
  • Corey Dabney, Linkhorne Middle School;
  • Leon Hudson, Magna Vista High School;
  • Shaina Conley, Narrows High School;
  • Chasity Hanchey, Patrick County High School (tie);
  • Dustin Whorley, Patrick County High School (tie);
  • Miles Hagy, Pocahontas High School;
  • Charlie Morrison, Pulaski County High School;
  • Halona Duncan, Pulaski Middle School;
  • Alicia Umberto, Shawsville Middle School; and
  • Chelsea Beavers, Tazewell High School.