Millions in aid offered to seniors
Eastside students recognized during annual Honors Night

Covington - Eastside High School's Class of 2008 is on track to accept more than $2 million in scholarships by the end of the summer.

To date, 39 of 242 seniors have been offered 84 scholarships from 27 different colleges and university in 10 states, totaling $1,969,751, according to a press release from the school Tuesday.

The students were honored May 12 at the school's annual Honors Night program in front of family, friends and educators.

These financial offers include academic, athletic, music, military and merit-based Scholarships, but do not include the HOPE scholarship, which is calculated separately. The offers also include 37 local scholarships worth $260,500 from 25 organizations, including the Newton County Home Builders Association, Newton Medical Center, the Rotary Club of Covington and the Covington Area Employer Committee, among others.

Catherine Crisp, college and financial aid advisor for the school, said scholarship offers can keep coming in throughout the end of the school year, so the total amount of scholarship money is likely to increase.

So far, eight students have been offered three or more scholarships: Marley Cain, Eastside's valedictorian; Amelia Daniel; Katie Marks; Brittany Mayo, this year's salutatorian; Kaela Petty; Taylor Smith; Lindy Steele; and Nancy Tuttle.

Mayo, a top 10 student, has the highest scholarship offers total so far with almost $240,000, including offers from the University of Georgia and the University of North Carolina, which she declined. She accepted the Martin Luther King Scholarship from Oxford College, which will provide her full tuition for two years at Oxford and then two years at Emory University in Atlanta.

Tuttle, who plans to attend Reinhardt College in the fall, has the second highest scholarship total with almost $220,000 in scholarship offers from various colleges, the Covington Kiwanis Club, the Wal-Mart Foundation and Snapping Shoals EMC All Around Student.

"Individually, and collectively, they are a very special class capable of doing great things in the future," EHS Principal Robert Daria said. "I am proud of them for their efforts, willingness to believe in education as a significant factor in generating success and their ability to set goals that will positively impact their families and our community. They, the Class of 2008, are a perfect example of the successes found in public education and specifically our Newton County Schools."

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.