Bighorn news: Spelling bees, scholarships, and mini-sessions

From left: Ezra Acomb, Sophie Bake and Preslee Merritt.

From left: Ezra Acomb, Sophie Bake and Preslee Merritt.

Seniors receive weekly scholarship application assistance

Starting Wednesday graduating Oasis Academy seniors began receiving weekly help from Oasis Counselor Andy Lenon on scholarship applications.

During senior weekly meetings Mr. Lenon and students review scholarships students are eligible for, check progress on applications, and receive assistance in writing scholarship essays and personal statements.

Last year the Oasis Senior Graduating class was awarded over $1.5 million in scholarships from national, state and local levels.

“Our generous local donors are so vital for our students continuing their higher education,” Lenon said. “I enjoy educating and helping our students and parents navigate scholarships because there is so much money out there for students to receive. The goal for our seniors is to leave here with a plan and scholarship money.”

The Swan family knows first-hand the value of the commitment both the students and Mr. Lenon put into the applications.

“We are eternally grateful for all the time and support Mr. Lenon, OACP Counselor, assisted Maiya Swan while applying for scholarships last year,” Lisa Swan said. “The cost to attend the University of Arizona is $54,800 and as parents we paid $0. Maiya actually received a refund of $3,688.32 from an overage of scholarship funds to apply towards additional expenses.”

Mini Session Classes 

Oasis Seniors were back in the classroom on Jan.3 to start their Personal Finance Class through Western Nevada College. The critical skill, three-week class is being taught by Mrs. Julia Steverson and introduces students to personal financial planning, budgeting, obtaining credit, making sound buying decisions for a home or auto, and also covers investment decisions and retirement planning.

Along with practical real-world information, the class gives the students the opportunity to gain credit in a condensed period of time, to help ease their academic loads during the regular semesters. It also ensures they are on the correct path toward receiving an associate’s degree from Western Nevada College when they graduate.

Juniors also started the semester early with an ACT Prep three-week class. Students will complete practice tests and sections to become familiar with the types and phrasing of ACT questions as well as proven strategies that help them improve their standardized test understanding and performance. All juniors will be taking the ACT test on March 7.

“One of the school improvement goals this year is for the school’s average to meet the national average on the ACT test, a target which is well above and beyond Nevada’s benchmark,” said Oasis CEO Melissa Mackedon. “This class is one of the action steps that will help us realize this goal.”

Spelling bee competitors move to regional competition

On Jan.10, the third annual Oasis Academy Spelling Bee was held for fifth through eighth grade students. The competition had 42 students participating.

This year’s winner was eighth grader, Sophie Bake; second-place was seventh grader, Preslee Merritt; and sixth-grader, Ezra Acomb finished in third.

All students who finished in the top four for each grade level, sixth through eighth grade, will move on to the Regional Spelling Bee at Churchill County Middle School on Jan. 26 in the Old High School Building.

 “It was another great spelling competition here at Oasis, where students showed off their academic skills,” said Lauren Kelly, the Spelling Bee adviser.

“I am proud of all the participants who were willing to have the courage to try something hard. I look forward to seeing the twelve Oasis students represent the school at the upcoming Regional Spelling Bee.”


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