Six finalists announced for Student of the Year

May 11—One of six students will be announced as the Student of the Year and the winner of a new car.

Patriot Auto Group and the McAlester News-Capital continued a partnership to recognize area high school seniors through a Student of the Year program, culminating with the winner to be announced at a banquet on May 20.

The Top 6 finalists include McAlester's Brooklynn Sumner, Pittsburg's Hensley Kidd, Quinton's Tannah Davison, Kiowa's Mollie Bain and Jaylee Wills, and Wilburton's Laney McAlester.

"These six finalists exemplify the best in our community — they're smart, caring and give back to our community," MN-C Publisher Reina Owens said. "We thank the finalists and all of our young leaders helping to give our community a brighter future. We also appreciate Patriot Auto Group making this project possible."

This year's banquet is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 20 at the McAlester Country Club — where the Student of the Year winner will be announced and given a new car through Patriot Auto Group.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with the banquet set to start at 6 p.m.

High school seniors become eligible for Student of the Year with local school officials nominating them. A selection committee picks the students of the month throughout the year and narrows the field to the finalists and the eventual winner.

Students selected as Students of the Month submit their information and answer short essay questions. Those questions include who inspires them, what their goals are for the future, how a new car would help them, and more.

A slideshow at the banquet will recognize all of the Students of the Month from this year.

The finalists will be featured in video essays played during the banquet.

The Student of the Year will win a new car and be featured in the upcoming edition of McAlester Living magazine.

Tatton Manning, Patriot Auto principal dealer, said he started the program in 2015 with the first vehicle given to the Student of the Year in 2016 at the Bartlesville dealership — with Patriot Auto Group giving students more than a dozen vehicles through the program since then.

Patriot Auto partnered with the McAlester News-Capital in 2019 for a program highlighting students in McAlester and the surrounding areas.

Crowder's Kiley Watkins became the first McAlester- area Student of the Year in 2019. McAlester's Zoie Newman won the award in 2020, the event had to be canceled in 2021, McAlester's Carsyn Gragg won the award in 2022 with Calvin's Nariah Bump winning the award in 2023.