Final class takes advantage of GEARUP scholarship

KINGMAN – Kingman High School graduated its Class of 2006 on Thursday night, and 122 of the new graduates are eligible to attend Northern Arizona University, thanks to $2,154,000 in scholarships obtained through participation in the GEARUP program.

Gaining Early Awareness and Recognition for Undergraduate Programs was a six-year program started in 2000 through federal grants issued by the U.S. Department of Education.

Nine districts in Arizona received grant money with more than $5 million going to the Kingman Elementary School District, which later merged with the Mohave Union High School District to form the Kingman Unified School District. Students in seventh grade in 2000 entered GEARUP with Joe DeBaca serving as program coordinator.

“The funding went to provide students with college campus tours, after-school tutoring, financial aid workshops and testing help,” DeBaca said.

There were 528 students that began in GEARUP and more than 400 completed its six-year run. Some students moved away and others dropped out, he said.

The program comes to an end in September when funding expires.

But 122 students applied for scholarships to NAU and all received awards totaling $18,000 ($4,500 annually) over four years.

Graduates not going to NAU will attend such institutions as Ohio State and Vanderbilt, DeBaca said.

“When GEARUP began it was our hope to get as many kids into post-secondary education as possible and we fulfilled that goal to a certain degree,” DeBaca said.

“The program met our expectations and the kids gained a lot.

“Transitioning from the junior high to south campus (for ninth grade) to north campus (for grades 10-12) was difficult with the changes in location and staff for the kids.

“A collaborative effort from guidance, high school administrators and teachers made the program active, with leadership bringing everything into place and allowing us to do it,” Debaca said.

Here are the names of all KHS graduates receiving NAU scholarship awards from their participation in GEARUP:

NAU tuition scholarship offers – Ryan Abella, Krystal Adams, Jessica Bathauer, Kayla Campbell, Katie Casson, Cindy Clark, Russel Colson, Jason Cronin, Denise Crum, Jessica Dademasch, James Fauling, Tara Findley, Ryan Gifford, Labrae Gramm-Rohm, Nathaniel Gramm-Rohm, Charles Hammond, Shana Hammons, Floyd Hastings, Ryon Jones, Frederick Kanthack, Dustin Klein, Skye Lewis (Schenck), Justin Lorimer, Brent Mason, Samantha McLeish, Steven Meyer, Margo Nelson, Seth Norman;

Nicholas Parrine, Alexandra Petro, Jennifer Petro, Tory Philley, Amanda Pinkstaff, Amanda Pollard, Shayla Rider, Briana Robbins, Michelle Robles, Sarah Shilling, Rachel Talley, Cody Thompson, Peter Tuftee, Randy Virden, Chelsea Ward, Lauren Whitaker, Cory Wiegersma, Christopher Windle, Danielle Wiyninger, Joel Wolsey, Bryan Woolsey.

Award letters – Michele Ballard, Ashley Bellel, Leslie Bishop, Christopher Black, Rachael Bracy, Carlaina Buckley, Kassandra Chavez, Travis Clevinger, Ryan Closson, Michael Clouse, Brandin Collier, Jessica Crilly, Jordan Cummins, Megan Dorner, Summer Engels, Frank Espinosa;

Rhiannon Garton, Seth Gibelyou, Hannah Grasser, Karly Gruener, Danielle Hale, Cody Hall, Tamara Handel, Amberly Haynes, John Hicks, Danielle Hill, Rachel Hirst, Tristan Howes-Phillips, Amber Jack, Kandra Kelly, Tiffany Kiser, Janae Kuc, Justin Lawson, Rachel Maier, Philip Manzano, Sarah Mayo, Natasha Mains, Amanda Montgomery, Elizabeth Morphis;

Callin Mote, Roxann Natoli, Lois Nave, Daniel Noonan, Aaron Park, Taylor Peyton, Rachael Rogers, Jesse Ross, Justin Roundy, Charlynn Saavedra, David Scofield, Richelle Scott, Chelsea Siler, Joshua Silva, Monica Simental, Meghan Sims, Charles Smith, Tiphani Smith, Erin Stephenson, Nathan Soto, Nicole Sutton, Naomi Swope;

Melissa Thomas, Alysha Tribbett, Curtis Valdez, Jessica Vidergar, Thomas Wilfong, Jason Williams, Travis Wilson, Krista Wise, Nathaniel Wissinger, Allie Wood, Celene Yocum, Nick Young.