Local pair selected for All-Academic team

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 8, 2005

Rachael Austin, a Morgan Academy senior, and Edgar Brown III, a Selma High School senior, have been selected as regional finalists for the Birmingham Post-Herald’s 2005 All-State Academic Team.

“I think it is a really big honor, something that many colleges and universities in Alabama recognize,” said Austin.

Austin, the daughter of Benny and Vickie Austin, is the president of the National Honor Society, vice-president of the Interact Club, vice-president of the senior class, secretary of the varsity cheerleading squad, and a member of the Beta Club, Science Club, and French Club.

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The piano player volunteers at the public library, and was a member of the Selma-Dallas County Youth Leadership Program.

She has a 4.0 G.P.A., scored a 32 on the ACT, and is ranked 3rd in her senior class. After graduating from high school, she plans to attend the University of Alabama, where she has received a Presidential Scholarship, and major in Accounting and pre-law.

“We’re just thrilled that we have a girl of that academic status here at Morgan Academy,” said Dr. Christopher de Buzna, Morgan Academy Headmaster. “She’s a low-keyed girl who does an excellent job.”

The son of Edgar and Veronica Brown, Brown is the president of the senior class, vice-president of the SGA, and a member of

Engineers Troop (a drafting club), Mu Alpha Theta (a mathematical honor society), SECME (a science, math, and engineering club), the Boy Scouts, and is point guard for the school’s basketball team.

“It’s an honor. I feel like it is a good opportunity for me to get experience and learn things that maybe I didn’t know,” said Brown.

In addition to school related activities, Brown, who is an usher and the Sunday School Superintendent at New Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, has volunteered with the city to paint homes, and has volunteered with the Martin Luther King Civil Rights Tour, and with Mayor Perkins’ campaign efforts.

Brown has a 4.23 G.P.A., is ranked 1st in his senior class, scored a 28 on the ACT, and is a semi-finalist in the Toyota Community Scholars program. After graduation, he will attend the University of Alabama, where he has received several academic scholarships, and major in Engineering.

“This is fantastic! We are honored to have a representative from our school,” said Dale Bryant, Selma High School Senior Class Counselor. “He has achieved much in his four years here. Edgar is very quiet-spoken and directed, and he understands the meaning of hard work. He’s visible in the community because of his community service activities, and almost devotes as much time to volunteering, as he does to academics. I’m real proud of him, I really am.”

Every high school in Alabama was asked to nominate one of its top seniors for recognition. The 263 schools that participated were divided into seven regions that correspond with the seven congressional districts. The top ten students from each region were selected by panels of judges representing the Alabama Association of School Administrators, the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals, the Alabama Education Association, the Alabama Association of School Boards, the Alabama Parent and Teacher Association, the Alabama School Counselor Association, and the Alabama Independent School Association.

Judging was based primarily on academics, leadership qualities and extracurricular activities.

Later this month, a state judging panel will meet to select the top ten students from the 70 regional finalists. These students will make up the 2005 Alabama All-State Academic Team. Winners will be announced in the Birmingham Post-Herald on April 29 in a tribute that will include photographs of the winners and finalists, profiles of the top ten students, and the names of every student nominated. The ten member all-state team and the 60 regional finalists will also be honored at a luncheon at The Club in Birmingham. During the luncheon, a top student will be named for each region from the 60 remaining finalists. These regional winners will be announced in the Post-Herald on May 2.

Eighteen Alabama colleges and universities have agreed to offer scholarships to students selected for the academic team.

“This is good for Selma High School, and also good for Congressional District 7 to have representatives from Selma,” said Bryant.

“That’s pretty good – two kids from Selma, Alabama (being selected as regional finalists),” said de Buzna. “We were competing against kids in Birmingham and other large cities. It’s a tribute to the kids and their teachers.”