Six Newport High School seniors have been named 2016 Arkansas Scholars.  The Arkansas Scholars program is sponsored by the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce and is used to motivate high school students. 

This program was developed in Texas and has been in Arkansas since 1994.  It encourages academic achievement by high school students (grades 9-12) and begins with in-class presentations by local business leaders to second semester eighth graders.  Through a PowerPoint presentation and discussion, these students are told what businesses look for in employees, the salaries of various jobs and the importance of doing well in school.  Students are asked to reach the following four goals while in high school:

To make semester grades of "C" or above in all academic courses;

To achieve a 95% or better attendance;

Complete the recommended courses to prepare for post-secondary education;

To complete high school in eight consecutive semesters. 

Graduating seniors who have achieved all of these specific goals are designated as Arkansas Scholars.  This year's Scholars are Zach Altom, Sara Baker, Sam Bowen, Diana Huynh, Madeline Lewis and Anna Mears. 

Scholars received a certificate at the high school's awards event, and an Arkansas Scholars seal will be placed on their high school transcripts.  Several in-state colleges offer incentives to Arkansas Scholars such as free books or tuition.  The Scholars, their parents and school administrators were treated to a cookout on May 12 at the Legion Hut.  Cookout sponsors included Merchants & Planters Bank, ASU-Newport, Cash Saver, Unity Health - Harris Medical Center and several local businesses that donated items for goody bags.

During the cookout, students learned that they have each been awarded a $300 scholarship from ASU-Newport in recognition of their success in the Arkansas Scholars program.   

In addition to the cookout, the Arkansas Scholars committee of the Chamber of Commerce offered job shadowing opportunities at area businesses for eligible juniors and a cake dessert for eligible sophomores who are still on track to become Arkansas Scholars when they graduate.  Presentations were made last week to all eighth graders about the Arkansas Scholars program.