June 21, 2007

Ceremony to honor top African-American students

by Larry A. Davis


CARBONDALE, Ill. — The top legal counsel for Southern Illinois University will be the keynote speaker at this year's Academic Excellence Program on Friday, June 22, in the Old Main Dining Room and Lounge in SIUC's Student Center.

Jerry D. Blakemore, SIU's general counsel since 2004, will address the top African-American students from the Carbondale elementary schools and Carbondale Community High School. The awards program, which also will recognize students with perfect attendance, will begin at 7 p.m. Longtime CCHS mathematics teacher Judy Major will receive a special award.

Blakemore, a former member and chairman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, has had a long career in both the public and private sectors. He is a former CEO of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, which owns and operates U.S. Cellular Field (formerly Comiskey Park), home of the Chicago White Sox. He was a deputy governor and legal counsel for Gov. James R. Thompson, a member of the Illinois Commerce Commission, and an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Labor. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science at Princeton University and his law degree at John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

The awards program, now in its sixth year, is co-sponsored by Concerned Citizens of Carbondale and the Southern Illinois Regional Career Program. 710 Book Store and Silkworm provide additional support for the awards program.

Seymour Bryson, director of the Career Preparation Program, said the awards program is intended to motivate Career Prep students and to encourage all students to excel. Program coordinator Anna Jackson said the entire community is welcome to attend the program and share in the accomplishments of the students being honored. Media representatives are welcome to attend. Those with questions can call the Center for Academic Success at 618/536-6646 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The award recipients are:

Parrish School

• Perfect attendance: Kolbi Caffey, Shandon Scott-Rivers

Thomas School

• Perfect attendance: Brynn Rogers, Mayah James, Daneshia Hawkins, Cameron Caffey, Trevion Farmer, Adrienne Shannon, Ashayla Mathis, Tinotendaishe Makiriyado

Lewis School

• Perfect attendance: Chinecwa Hatchett, Anton Love, Zipporah Tolbert, Kennadi Caffey, Dominique Johnson, El Lexus Madkins, Jazmyne James, Denzel McCauley, Amiyah Allen, Diamond Dyson, Chauncey Jones, Paris Wallace

• Academic achievement: Fourth grade female – Tyler Sims; fourth grade male – Allen Billinger and Denzel McCauley; fifth grade female – Amiyah Allen; fifth grade male – Anthony Day and Mykel Gary

Carbondale Middle School

• Perfect attendance: Edwin Harris, Railene Scott

• Academic achievement: Sixth grade female – Shaneice Bufford; sixth grade male – Everett "Sean" Morris; seventh grade female – Jessica Robinson; seventh grade male – DaTrell Neal; eighth grade female – Rahkel Martin; eighth grade male – Christopher Harrington

Carbondale Community High School

• Perfect attendence: Kamauria Acree, Akinyemi "Yemi" Akintoye, Godfrey Mthetwa Kawewe, Malaikah Love, Marvin Ng'oma, Edikan "Eddie" Umana, Celeste Brown, Kenechukwu "Kenny" Nsofor, Terrence Williams

• Academic achievement: Freshman female – Brandi Lenox; freshman male – Edikan "Eddie" Umana; sophomore female – Keshia Edwards; sophomore male – Kenechukwu "Kenny" Nsofor; junior female – Alana Ross; junior male – Quentin White-Westerfield; senior female – Jolecia Flournory; senior male – Eric McCurry.

• Top senior academic athletes: Female – Amber Mills; male – Sean Barnett