Newton grads offered $3.3M in scholarships

COVINGTON - Newton High School's Class of 2008 has already been offered more than $3.3 million in scholarships, and the amount could increase.

As of last week, 43 of 398 seniors had been offered 93 scholarships from several colleges and universities across the nation, totaling $3,386,353, according to a press release from the school.

The students were honored May 5 during the school's annual Honors Night program.

To date, the school's seniors have accepted 41 percent of the total, or $1,385,633.

Scholarship offers include academic, sports, military, music and band and merit-based types, but it does not include the HOPE Scholarship. The offers also include 44 local scholarships totaling $154,633 from 32 organizations in Newton County.

Last year, students at the school were offered more than $4.6 million dollars in scholarships, but the senior class is smaller in number this year, said Shelley Lawyer, college admissions and financial aid advisor for the school.

She said scholarship offers can be received through the summer months, so the total amount could increase.

So far, 16 Newton High School seniors were offered three or more scholarships: Gregory Armstead, Rebecca Armstrong, Valedictorian Joey Barrick, Desiree Crews, Erin Lewis-Faupel, Semeion Griffin, Shaywona Marks, Jelissa Mooyin, Brittany Peterson, Clayron Robertson, Sheila Serrano, Tara Shiver, Morgan Smith, Beli't Wilson and Brandy Wilson.

Presently, Marks, who plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall, has the highest scholarship offers total with $515,000. Her awards include ones from Georgia State University, Western Kentucky University, Georgia Southern University and others offering her full track scholarships.

Top 10 student Rhiannon Long came in second with $263,000, and Beli't Wilson placed third with $212,000.

"This has been an outstanding class since they were in the ninth grade," school Principal Joe Gheesling said. "I am very proud of the many scholarships they have earned this year and feel that it is a clear reflection of their hard work, dedication and achievement. They represent what Newton High School is all about."

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