One student from Claremore High School was given the honor of being selected for 2019 Academic All-State. Out of the 536 nominations, Claremore senior Grace Brasfield was selected within the top 100 to receive this prestigious award. This is the 43rd recipient since 1967 in Claremore history.
When Grace began her high school career, Academic All-State was not on her list of goals – she just wanted to focus on graduating at the top of her class and complete the valedictorian requirements. She explained that her decision to strive for valedictorian led her through the academic steps that eventually gave her the opportunity to apply for Academic All-State. The advanced placement and honors classes offered at CHS prepared her for the ACT and developed her writing skills, both essential in receiving this award.
When asked if there were any people who inspired her on her journey, Grace credited several CPS teachers. “I have had many teachers who have had a major impact on my life. The first of these is David Isenbart, Advisor for the Technology Student Association, which I have been a member of for 7 years. His way of pushing me far beyond the limits of my comfort zone has led me to grow in confidence and also in my speaking skills. The amount of encouragement I have received from my high school teachers has been a true motivating factor for my academic career. Mrs. Jan McClaren, Coach Green, Mrs. Andrews, Ms. Farbes, and Mrs. Brace specifically, have continually challenged me to go beyond my limits and achieve more than what I thought would be possible.”
This May, Grace Brasfield will be graduating from Claremore as a valedictorian, with a 4.44 GPA. She has been accepted into five colleges: OU, OSU, ORU TU, and U of A and has recently narrowed her final two choices down to University of Arkansas and Tulsa University where she will pursue a degree in Business.
Grace exhibits the true meaning of the Claremore High School motto, “Excellence for all, excellence from all.” This is proven through her extensive school and civic involvement. While partaking in rigorous courses, she has also enriched her academic achievement by being an active member in a number of clubs, including: National Honor Society, Technology Student Association, FUZE (Freshman Mentoring Program), Christian Club, Student Council, Math Club, and Refresh Student Leadership Team.
With her whole life and all these opportunities ahead of her, she says she strives to live according to the Stonecutters Credo by Jacob Riis. It states, “When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” This quote encourages her to work hard at achieving her goals and reminds her that one day that hard work will pay off. That day will be May 18, 2019, when she will accept this prestigious award at the Academic Awards Banquet
This esteemed award provides each recipient with $1,000 in scholarship money and a medallion. Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Chairman David L. Boren has described the selection of Oklahoma’s Academic All-Staters as, “Oklahoma’s most rigorous academic competition.”
To be considered for this prestigious honor, a student must possess one of the five criteria: composite ACT score of at least 30, combined SAT Evidence-Based Reading & Writing and Math score of at least 1340, National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist, National Achievement Scholarship Program semifinalist, National Hispanic Scholar Awards Program semifinalist. According to the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence’s website, following obtaining at least one of the criteria, “..students will be evaluated on the basis of their leadership abilities, motivation, academic achievement and character as maximized within each student’s learning environment.”