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2019 Mercer County Schools Top Scholars

Mercer County Schools Holds Annual Top Scholars Banquet

PRINCETON, WV, April 22, 2019: Dr. Rhonda Pennington Patt was the guest speaker for the Mercer County Schools Tenth Annual Top Scholars Banquet. Dr. Pennington Patt was the Bluefield High School Valedictorian, Class of 1992. She was also a National Merit Finalist and James E. Casey Scholarship Merit Scholarship Award Recipient. At this time, she is the Regional Medical Director of Pediatrics and practicing Pediatrician for Levine Children's Hospital, and she is a member of the National Pediatric Practice Community on Adverse Childhood Experiences (NPPCACES) which is a non-profit organization working to identify children who have experienced adverse childhood events. Through her practice, she helps children build resilience and reduce the effects of toxic stress.

The annual event honors the top graduates at each of the four high schools. Now in its tenth year, the event allows the choice of keynote speaker to rotate among the four schools. This year, Bluefield High administrators and faculty extended the invitation to Dr. Pennington Patt.

Superintendent Deborah Akers said that banquet speakers in years past have been alumni who have prospered in their careers, building upon the foundation of their public school years. Beginning in 2010, speakers have included Princeton surgeon Gene Duremedes, physician Stephen O'Saile, education policy and research analyst Dr. Sarah Beasley, attorney Greg Prudich, Dr. Andy Sarles - Assistant Professor of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, West Virginia Senator Bill Cole, Concord University professor Dr. David Campbell, Brandon Kirby - a Marshall University graduate researcher, and James “Jimmy” Miller - CEO of the Miller Financial Group and who is also the color analyst for University of Virginia basketball.

"The Top Scholars Banquet is certainly one of the highlights of the school year for students, parents, and administrators. We are very fortunate to be able to host the event annually," Dr. Akers said.

The 2019 Mercer County Schools Top Scholars are as follows: Bluefield High School - Meredith Reese Anderson, Emilee McKenna Beggs, Brianna Dawn Comer, Ashley Nicole Diffenbach, Jordan Brooke Farley, Madison Renee Griffith, Kourtni Anne Manes, Savannah Rose Miller, Jessica Paige Phillips, Sierra Dawn Smith, Autumn Breanne Spangler, Laamaj Jewell Wallace, and Grayson Elisabeth Wornal. Montcalm High School - Savanna Makenzie Bailey, Marissa Dawn Beggs, Taylor Alyssa Dunford, Brittany McKenzie Kendrick, Danielle Nicole Martin, Haley Ambrielle Pennington, Lakeyn Nicole Sabo, and Seth Trey Smith. PikeView High School - Ruby Marie Cole, Reagan Leann Davis, Sydney Paige Delp, Leah Brooke Flanigan, Cecelia Aymslee Graham, Savannah Faith Groom, Hannah Machelle Justice, Trey Anthony Lennox- Kowalewski, Alaura Leigh Mitchem, Kayla Maria Overstreet, Dustin Shane Cole Parsons, Katelyn Nicole Richardson, Kaitlyn Nicole Sisk, and Elizabeth Grace Stevens. Princeton Senior High School - Joseph Daniel Barton, ReĢgan Breanne Cochran, Hannah Jade Cooke, Rigvid Goyal, Andrew Conner Hopkins, Kristin Nicole Kelly, Matthew Jacob Kinzer, Lauren Elizabeth Lafferty, Henry Ace Lipscomb, Kayla McKenzie Midkiff, Bryce Hayden Mutterback, Tanner Blake Myers, Anthony Wayne Orr, Cameron Nicholas Smith, Victoria Paige Terry, and Mary Kate Williams.