Ua Honors Payson High School For Preparing Best Freshmen

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The University of Arizona's 2007 President's Cup Award will be awarded to the staff of Payson High School at a ceremony in the Spring of 2008.

The President's Cup was established in 1919 and is awarded annually to the Arizona high school with three or more of its graduates earning the highest cumulative grade point average during their freshman year at the UA. Payson's five graduates from the class of 2006 were: Christopher John Bott, Alicia Lynn Durnin, Beryl Jones, Rebekah Lynn Sandoval, Chelsea Rae and Patricia Schmidt. The five had a cumulative grade point average of 3.73.

"I was really surprised because Payson High School really isn't on the map as far as academics and I am pleased with the achievement because only five of us from our graduating class attend UA," Rebekah Sandoval said.

Sandoval is studying English and education. Her goal is to become a high school English teacher.

"Mrs. McGinnes, who I had in middle school and twice in high school, she was really helpful and encouraging. She motivated me. Mr. Pauly was very challenging and encouraged me in my writing," Sandoval said of her former teachers.

The other students could not be reached for comment.

"This award honors the high school and students for their college readiness and their academic achievements. The UA is honored to present these annual awards to deserving students and Arizona high schools," said Ryan Burton-Romero, Assistant Director of the UA Office of Admissions.

This award, in essence, shows the high school's success in preparing students entering college as freshman.

In addition to the trophy and the recognition for its former students' efforts, Payson High School will receive a one time $2,000 scholarship to be given to a Payson grad entering the UA in fall 2008. The winner of this scholarship will be announced later.

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