Kent student earns prestigious science scholarship | School briefs

Jeremy Tran, a Kent-Meridian graduate and double major at the University of Washington, received the Barry Goldwater Scholarship.   - Courtesy photo
Jeremy Tran, a Kent-Meridian graduate and double major at the University of Washington, received the Barry Goldwater Scholarship.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

For the Reporter

Kent's Jeremy Tran, a chemistry and biochemistry double major at the University of Washington, is a Barry Goldwater Scholar.

Tran recently was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater scholarship, a prestigious national scholarship offered to high-achieving science majors.

The scholarship – through the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education – is highly selective and merit-based and is awarded to students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields that have a potential for a career in research in those fields.

Tran supports a 3.98 GPA and will graduate in spring 2015. He graduated from Kent-Meridian High School in 2012 as valedictorian and earned his associates degree from Green River Community College through Running Start.

Tran is the son of Dat and Felessa Tran.

School district earns grants

Kent School District was awarded $492,525 in Race to the Top grants this year to support teacher training in STEM. The district is partnering with the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy's Problem-Based Learning Network (IMSA-PBLN) to provide professional development to 128 teachers.

The grant also supports teachers to develop a district "library" of exemplary Problem-Based Learning units that have been field tested and revised by trained teachers.

The Kent district is providing students at Kent-Meridian High School and Mill Creek Middle School with a taste of future technology careers through its Kent Technology Academy. The program integrates STEM education for grades six through 12, often supported by partnerships with Microsoft, Boeing and other technology companies.

Students in the academy learn desktop publishing, digital imaging, video production, animation and digital music.

"It gives students an opportunity to see the convergence around the changing workforce," Kent Superintendent Lee Vargas said. "It's a confluence of forces that's making STEM more and more of a highlight in terms of the direction we're heading, particularly in the Puget Sound region, where we have advanced manufacturing, aerospace – and we're the home of Microsoft. That's all you hear up here."

Work done by academy students is put on display at the district's annual technology exposition, which is held at the ShoWare Center. Students exhibit work in areas ranging from biotechnology to 3D printing, and around the perimeter of the hall, high-tech companies exhibit their latest innovations--and give the students a sense of what skills they will need to become successful later in life.

More than 6,000 people attended the event in January, Vargas said, which vendors and others in the education field have told district personnel makes it the largest such event put together by a school district nationwide.

Event planner Stanley "Stosh" Morency said the expo takes 18 months to plan, relies on about $20,000 to $30,000 annually in sponsorships, and involves everyone from students to teachers to the superintendent.


In support of education in Western Washington, BECU has awarded community grants to 46 local schools. This year marks the 13th year that BECU has awarded over $100,000 in community grants to support education projects that help promote student excellence. Of this money, $10,798 went to Kent schools.

BECU school grants are given out each year to local schools to help fund educational materials, programs and events, environmental learning trips, and technology tools such as calculators, microscopes, electronic dictionaries and more. Grants are awarded in three categories: Financial Literacy, Environmental Sustainability, and Technology Tools. Each grant is awarded based on specific need up to a maximum of $2,500. ...

The following students from the Kent area were recently listed on the fall semester dean's list at University of Portland: James Cutler; senior, civil engineering; Rachel Schmidt, senior, nursing; Sara Bindl, sophomore, business administration; Scotty Hearron, freshman, secondary education; Yasmin Abubakar, junior, elementary education. ...

The following students from Kent made the Seattle Pacific University autumn quarter dean's list: Isaac Aaberg; Kelly Becker; Cierra Cooper; Rachel Douglass; Sarah Grace; Syba Mathew; Alexis SiuLun Ng; Jeanette Parvu; Bethany Peter; Rebecca Peter; Andy Phan; and Jonathan Van Schenck. ...

Kent's Sophia Wagner, an Auburn Mountainview senior, has been named one of more than 3,000 candidates for the U.S. Presidential program. Candidates were elected from nearly 3.4 million students who are expected to graduate from U.S. high schools this spring. Inclusion in the program is a high honor, recognizing the student's academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, character and involvement in community and school activities. Wagner, daughter of Daniel and Brigitte Wagner, scored 2380 on her SAT. In addition to her academic success, Wagner earned first-team All-South Puget Sound League, The News Tribune and Seattle Times' All-Area team honors for her play in soccer. Wagner attended Pine Tree Elementary and Mill Creek Middle School in Kent before transferring to Auburn Mountainview. ...

Kent's Christopher Rumble (junior, digital media arts major) made the dean's list at Canisius College (Buffalo, N.Y.) for fall semester. ...

The following students from Kent made fall semester dean's list at Saint Martin's University: Matthew S. Cruz (freshman, computer science); Cody B. Gilomen (senior, mechanical engineering); Madison V.Hibbard (sophomore, business administration); Kyle Howlett (sophomore, mechanical engineering); Elizabeth C. Mills (sophomore, biology); John J. Perko (senior, mechanical engineering).

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