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Jones Named 2020 Academic All-State Award Recipient

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

Shawnee High School Senior Shelby Jones has been named a recipient of the prestigious 2020 Academic All-State Award, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence announced recently.

Jones is one of 100 top public high school seniors, selected from 495 nominations statewide. The Academic All-State recipients hail from 75 schools in 69 Oklahoma school districts.

Jones is the daughter of Chris Jones and Angela Underwood. She is an Academic Letter Jacket recipient and a member of the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society. She was part of the pre-engineering program at Gordon Cooper Technology Center where she also participated on the robotics team. Jones works part time at TJ Maxx in Shawnee and is enrolled in several concurrent courses at Seminole State College. She is an active member of Immanuel Baptist Church where she participates in the youth group as well as works with the creative media production team. She plans to study creative media production at the University of Oklahoma in the fall.

The 2020 Academic All-State class is the 34th to be selected by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. Since the award program's inception in 1987, some 3,400 high school seniors from 326 school districts have been named Academic All-State scholars.

Jones and the rest of this year's All-Staters will receive a $1,000 merit-based scholarship and a medallion. The All-Staters will be recognized at the foundation's 34th annual Academic Awards Banquet on Saturday, May 16, at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Norman.

Cathryn Render, president of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, describes the selection of these scholars as "Oklahoma's most rigorous academic competition." To be nominated for Academic All-State, students must meet one of the following criteria: an ACT composite score of at least 30; a combined SAT evidence-based reading & writing and math score of at least 1370; or be selected as a semi-finalist for a National Merit, National Achievement or National Hispanic Scholarship.

This year's All-Staters scored an average of 33.9 on the ACT, with 15 recipients scoring a perfect 36. The students' average GPA was 4.20. In addition, 40 of this year's All-Staters are National Merit semifinalists, and two are National Hispanic Scholar semifinalists.

Academic All-Staters are selected based on academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community involvement, as well as letters of recommendation and an essay submitted by each nominee. The selection committee, which is chaired by retired Tulsa attorney Teresa B. Adwan, works independently of all other foundation activities. The committee members are a diverse group of business, education and civic leaders, as well as past Academic Awards Program honorees.

The Academic Awards Banquet is open to the public, with admission priced at $50. The awards ceremony will later be televised by OETA. For more information, call the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence office at (405) 236-0006 or visit its website at

Founded in 1985, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing and encouraging academic excellence in Oklahoma's public schools. Through its Academic Awards Program, the foundation has provided more than $4.8 million in merit-based scholarships and awards to honor outstanding graduating seniors as Academic All-Staters and exceptional educators as Medal for Excellence winners.