Meeker student Connor Benn drives home new Jeep after being named Student of the Year

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
An excited Connor Benn, of Meeker, talks on the phone after learning he was chosen as this year's Student of the Year. His prize was a  Jeep Renegade from Patriot Auto Group.

Just as storm clouds were rolling in, Connor Benn, of Meeker, wrapped up a banquet Monday night by driving home in a brand new Jeep Renegade from Patriot Auto Group — his prize for winning the News-Star/Patriot Auto Group Best of Tri-County Area Preps Student of the Year award.

Finalists await the big announcement of who would become this year's Best of Tri-County Area Preps Student of the Year Monday night.

One of 16 finalists, Benn was chosen based on his academic achievements and service to the community.

Also, scholarships in the amount of $500 each are being awarded to four of Benn's fellow student finalists: Noah Drew, of Bethel; Daniel King, of Shawnee; Cale Richardson, of Dale, and MacKenzie Steele, of Shawnee.

Connor Benn of Meeker, the 2021 Student of the Year, gets the keys for his new Jeep Renegade from Patriot Auto Group's Tatton Manning and Seth Knighton. The News-Star/Patriot Auto Group Student of the Year is selected from a pool of 16 Student of the Month finalists. Watch for more in a special section May 22-23.

The remaining 11 finalists won $250 scholarships.

They are:

• Jaryn Adamek, of Bethel

• Kaycee Babek, of Meeker

• Kayla Casteel, of Shawnee

• Kylee Greenwalt, of Dale

• Haley Kidney, of Bethel

• Isaac Mohr, of Bethel

• Callie Roberts, of Prague

• Paisley Sturgill, of Bethel

• Hannah VanDenBrand, of Chandler

• Chandler Wilson, of Bethel

• Kulson Yates, of Tecumseh

Watch for an updated story with more details in The Shawnee News-Star about Benn's reaction to winning the award.

Also, be sure to watch for the News-Star's special section coming in the May 22-23 Weekender edition that will highlight all the winners from Monday's big event, including Players of the Year in various sports, Coach of the Year, Male and Female Athletes of the Year and more. Also watch for photo galleries and videos online.

Meeker senior Conner Benn, center, poses with members of the News-Star/Patriot Auto Group Student of the Year selection committee, from left, Rodney Deatherage, TDK, Linda Capps, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Charlene Norvell, TDK, and Josh Trimble, Reaching Souls International. The Jeep prize was sponsored by Patriot Auto Group of Chandler.
Patriot Auto Group presented a brand new Jeep Renegade to this year's Student of the Year, Connor Benn, of Meeker.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at