Selma High student is county’s only National Scholarship Achievement Program semifinalist

Published 2:54 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Keep an eye out for Selma Early College High School student Chelsie Martinear.

The 17-year-old senior is a National Scholarship Achievement Program semifinalist — the only Dallas County native to garner such distinction this year.

“She’s a model scholar,” said Sean Lett, an agriscience and horticulture teacher at Wallace Community College-Selma. “She’s deserving of (the award). If she keeps her head level, she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.”

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Martinear has a 4.28 GPA and is on track to fulfill requirements for a high school diploma and associate’s degree simultaneously. She made a 24 on the ACT test in ninth grade, and will retake it prior to graduation.

“I’m very, very proud of myself,” said Martinear. “I’ve worked hard to get this far.”

According to her mother, Carol Lambert, Matinear showed promise early. She displayed an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and achieved so much so quickly, her pre-kindergarten teacher said “I can’t teach her anything else.”

Lett shares the same view of Martinear’s ability to grasp material.

“There are times you ask, ‘why are you still studying,’” he said. “Her thirst for knowledge is unquenchable.”

Nothing seems to stand in the young woman’s way.

“She wanted to know everything. She grasped everything,” said Lambert. “I’m very, very proud of her. She’s been very determined.”

Martinear plans to attend a four-year university and major in mechanical engineering. She also plans to minor in electrical engineering.

She has applied to the University of California –Davis, Sacramento State University and Stanford.

“She is always reading and analyzing,” said Monica Kirkman, Martinear’s honors physics teacher at Selma Early College. “She can break (the material) down to others, but she doesn’t put herself above anyone else.”

Martinear is the daughter of Lambert and her husband, Kenneth Lambert. Kenneth Lambert earned masters degrees in human behavioral science and business from the University of San Francisco. Carol Lambert finished at the top of her class in the Wallace Community College nursing program.

To become a National Scholarship Achievement Program finalist, Martinear’s principal, Concetta Burton, must submit an application and provide her recommendation of the student — a task Burton says she will do gladly.

“She maintains a serious demeanor and is extremely focused,” said Burton. “She really is the epitome of a gifted student.”