Right Person Needed To Fill Academic Scholars Position In Payson


Richard Meyer is certain that the vacated position of Payson High School’s coordinator for Arizona Academic Scholars will fill.

“It’s just a matter of getting the right person,” he said.

The program’s mission of encouraging all students toward excellence also happens to epitomize why the recently elected school board member ran for the job.

Meyer, who also holds the title of district-wide Arizona Scholars coordinator, will work with Payson High School students aimed at becoming scholars until a new coordinator fills the position. Rita Schoeneman, who was the high school’s point person, has resigned from her teaching job.

“It will basically fall back to whatever I can arrange to do, but it’s difficult not being at the high school,” Meyer said. “You really need someone within the system to talk to teachers (and) try to arrange for a recognition day,” he added. “It’s an active, inside job.”

Students who earn at least a “C” while taking the number of credits that Arizona Academic Scholars requires, which is more rigorous than basic high school requirements, receive certification upon graduation.

For instance, instead of the two high school math credits required for graduation in Arizona, the scholars program requires three.

The idea, Meyer said, is to encourage average, “C” students to take harder classes instead of taking an easier class to achieve a higher grade.

Meyer said that when he graduated from high school, “all of the courses that the Arizona Scholars program now promotes were core courses.”

He added, “Our students are no longer going to be competitive in the global marketplace. We need to go back to good, solid core courses.”

Payson is one of nine communities statewide who have implemented the initiative. Others include Flagstaff, Mesa and Chandler.

Campus coordinators promote the program, work to engage teachers and arrange student recognition, which Meyer says is an important component.

The following are Payson High School’s Arizona Academic Scholars for the current school year.

10th Grade

Michael Armstrong

Shelby Baker

Cami Barnett

Gunner Bauer

Collin Bellah

Madison Berg

Lena Bishop

Clayton Black

Zachery Blazer

Ian Bloomfield

Cody Bossert

Amber Bucanek

Christian Buskirk

Tanner Calwson

Nika Carranza

Cheyenne Cherry

Jacob Cluff

Daniel Conley

William Conlin

William Cunningham

Rachel D’Addabbo

Gwen Davis

Maxwell Davis

Ian Dillon

Kimberley Donaldson

Alyssia Duffy

Clayton Duhamell

Keaton Duran

Trinity England

Michael Essaff

Edwin Estrada

Sean Ford

Scott Franum

Manuel Garcia

Westin Gibson

Jacob Gonzalez

Taylor Goss

Victoria Graham

Peria Guereque

Rylee Halenar

Scout Harper

Caleb Harrison

Michael Hefner

Claudia Hernandez

Chrissy Heron

Shawn Hilgendorf

Russell Hintze

Ashley Hoffman

Jessica James

Rebecca Knauer

Allysin Leonard

David Linkey

Marina Madra

Cherie Mallon

Victoria McDaniel

John Miles

Dania Morales


Chancee Morris

Natasha Nielsen

Lauren Nossek

Jacquelyn Oesterblad

Jered Perez

Kyle Randall

Jamie Riggs

Elizabeth Romberger

Erich Romberger

Todd Runyan

Merissa Rushlow

Eraleanah Schnepp

Savannah Schultz

Paula Scott

Jake Sleeper

Melissa Smith

Kia Soderberg

Aurora Sturlin

Randall Taylor

Chelsea York

Jenna Wold

Dailyann Thomason

Tiffany Truong

Alyssa Ulibarri

Melissa Valenzuela

Jed Ward

Kelsey Waugh

Deedra Wayland

Rachel Weatherly

Jamie Wells

Zane Wiles

Alex Williams

Kayla Wilson

11th Grade

Kalie Anderson

Jordan Ashby

James Behrens

Audrie Bott

Rebecca Branstetter

Desirae Burris

Ana Carranza

Amber Clark

Michelle Daniels

Sean Dougherty

Trae Dunman

Miranda Dunnington

Chamberlain Fitch

Reghan Flake

Kayla Francis

Joshua Frewin

Logan Garner

Clinton Hacker

Mary Hagen

Bailey Hakari

Andrew Hoffman

Maxwell Johnson

Jordan Klabbatz

Alex Korth

Kayla Kral

Joshua LeFoy

Kyndel Lann

Amanda Lloyd

Elizabeth Luna

Wyatt MacRae

Claudia Mares

Dakota Marshall

Aaron Meidinger

Samantha Nixon

Madelyn Nossek

Kori Phylow

Joshua Porter

Benjamin Rogers

Clara Romance

Kyl Sanders

Ben Sandoval

Lucy Schouten

Hayley Scott

Nicole Scott

Seth Scott

Aman Sharma

Joseph Spear

Chandler Sylvester

Stephanie Wells

Holly West

Derek Williams

12th Grade

Ryan Ammann

Shane Crisp

Jeffrey Day

Cydney Figueroa

Nicole Goebel

Ryan Hintze

Shane Keith

Brannan Killen

Brooke Larned

Baylie MacRae

Skye McNeeley

Kevin Murray

Kimberly Nyhus

Sumit Patel

Athena Porter

Alicia Raecke

Carmen Rivero

Jenna Robertson

Meha Sharma

Danielle Westrom

Jessica Wilembrecht


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