Plum Creek awards scholarships to 7 Alachua County students


Bank of America Manager Jon Gardner presents Susan Weaver with the keys to her new Habitat for Humanity home.

Submitted photo
Published: Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 8:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 8:07 p.m.

Seven Alachua County high school graduates each received $1,000 Plum Creek scholarships in recognition of excellence in academics, school and community activities, and overall achievement.

They are:

Grace Benmhend, a graduate of St. Francis Catholic High School, who will attend the University of Florida. Grace was president of the Mu Alpha Theta Math Club and a member of the National Honor Society. Her parents are Julie McGinley and Hamid Benmhend.

Jordan Dailey, a graduate of St. Francis Catholic High School, who will attend the New College of Florida in Sarasota. She was the editor of the school yearbook and received first honors for her grades all four years of high school. Her parents are Patrick and Marian Dailey.

Lucia Murphy, a graduate of Gainesville High School, was a member of the Cambridge Program, GHS band and Mu Alpha Theta for four years. Her parents are Tim and Theresa Murphy.

Hope Pan, a graduate of Eastside High School and a National Merit Award student, who will attend Vanderbilt University. She was president of her school's French Team, which placed first in a state competition. Her parents are David and Cindy Pan.

Farah Rajaee, a graduate of St. Francis Catholic High School, who will attend Santa Fe College. She was a four-term class president and valedictorian of her senior class. Her parents are Mohammad and Teresa Rajaee.

Alexandra Sourako, a graduate of Eastside High School, who will attend the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. She was a member of the first-place team at the NASA Astronaut Challenge and a National Merit Award recipient. Her parents are Andrei Sourakov and Alexandra Shapiro.

Erin Sweeney, a graduate of St. Francis Catholic High School, who will attend the University of Florida. She was student body president and served on U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho's Student Advisory Committee. Her parents are Charles and Susan Sweeney.

This year, Plum Creek, one of the largest landowners in the country, awarded 121 scholarships totaling $149,000 to high school seniors throughout the country.

In Florida, 12 students were awarded scholarships, totaling $12,000.

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Shelby Rae Ptacek, a P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School alumnus, graduated cum laude from Flagler College during commencement ceremonies highlighted by a keynote address from former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young at the St. Augustine Amphitheater. Ptacek was honored with a special recognition from the School of Business Administration and was co-recipient of the College President's Leadership Award in recognition of her contributions to the Flagler Enactus program, which won the national championship in Kansas City and represented the United States at the World Cup competition in Mexico.

Ptacek, who is the daughter of Gainesville residents Lisa and Bob Rohan, has accepted a position in Atlanta with the Home Decorators Collection, an exclusive brand of The Home Depot.

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David Jones, son of Debra and Jeffrey Jones of Gainesville, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana.

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The Gainesville Area Wellesley College Alumnae presented their annual Wellesley Book Award to junior girls who have made outstanding contributions to their schools in terms of leadership, citizenship and scholastic achievement.

They are:

Brianna Fletcher, a student at Eastside High School. She is the daughter of Lucia Notterpek.

Megan Kirsten Booth, a student at Gainesville High School. She is the daughter of Pauline Schneider and Matthew Booth.

Soomin Cho, Buchholz High School. She is the daughter of Hangshin and Soonyoung Cho.

Gylianna Tyndall, a P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School student. She is the daughter of Johanne Tingue.

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Susan Weaver's house marks the fourth Habitat for Humanity home built inside the Charles R. Perry Construction Institute at Santa Fe College in collaboration with Santa Fe College students, Builders Association of North Central Florida apprentices and the Student Builders Association, and Alachua Habitat for Humanity volunteers.

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