Top students get meals and medals at Academic Honors Banquet

May 4—Pershing Elementary fifth-grader Ai'Zaiah Swanson has already set goals for high school.

"I want to be the best student I can be," he said.

And he is taking steps toward that goal by making top grades in his class.

Ai'Zaiah was among 125 top Muskogee Public Schools students honored Thursday at the Superintendent's Academic Honors Banquet. The banquet honored students who made at least a 4.0 grade point average over the past school year.

Muskogee High School senior Bryce Thornton, a nine-year academic honoree, told students they earned the medals they were to receive.

"Whether this is your ninth year or your first year, you're here for a reason," Thornton said. "An invitation to this banquet is no small achievement. It shows that you have proven yourself academically, and you should be proud of yourself as an individual."

Ai'Zaiah said he seeks to improve on areas where he's weak, and learn how to be more capable.

"It's good for people to look at you and say 'he's doing great in life, I want to be like him,'" he said, adding that he studied hard for three years.

"Longer than that," said his mother, Alicia Swanson. "He's good at what he does."

Sophomore Jacie Cumbey had double reason to be proud. She participates in the MPS Early College High School program, which allows MHS students to earn an associate's degree from Connors State College as well as a high school diploma.

"It's amazing to get a college degree before I graduate from high school," Jacie said, adding that keeping a 4.0 grade average was a little bit of a challenge.

Carter Collins, a top student at the 8th and 9th Grade Center, said he has made good grades, "mainly by just obeying the rules and following directions and trying my best."

However he said he sometimes struggles over following the directions.

"I just look overlook them or miss them," he said. "But it's not hard as long as you try."

Sixth-grader Charles DeArmond is good about studying and following his teacher's instructions, said his mother Staci Hughes.

"He focuses a lot at school and takes to heart what his teachers instruct him," Hughes said.

6th and 7th Grade Academy teacher Natasha Franklin said she loves teaching such students.

"It's amazing for me to pour information into them and it's just wonderful to see them flourish," Franklin said.