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Mustang senior named academic all-stater

A Mustang High School senior is one five Canadian County students who have been selected as an Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic All-Stater.

Heidi Askeland joins Yukon’s Dawson Simeroth, Okarche’s Katie Bomhoff and Piedmont’s Blake Cope and Brian Montgomery for the honor, which was announced earlier this week.

Only 100 students across Oklahoma were selected for the prestigious honor. Officials said 535 students  were nominated.

The winners represent 83 schools in 75 school districts.

“I actually had to read it twice,” Askeland said of the letter announcing that she had been awarded academic all-state status.

Heidi Askeland

Her dad, Christian Askeland, explained it to her.

Then, she said, she got excited.

“I am really honored to be in the top 100 in the state. I think it is really cool that there are organizations that sponsor this and are excited to push people to achieve,” she said.

Askeland, who scored a 1440 on her SAT, said she has applied to Georgia Tech and the University of Oklahoma.

She plans to study engineering, and Georgia Tech’s program is considered one of the best in the nation.

Askeland moved to Mustang before the start of her sophomore year. She is the daughter of Christian and Stephanie Askeland.

Stephanie Askeland, who is a children’s programming specialist at the Mabel C. Fry Public Library in Yukon, said she and her husband are proud of their daughter’s achievement.

“It is quite an acknowledgement of her hard work. We were very pleasantly surprised,” Stephanie Askeland said.

Askeland is the second Mustang student in the past three years to be honored as an academic all-stater.

Mustang High School principal Teresa Wilkerson said the district is proud of Askeland’s accomplishments.

“We are moist excited for all of our students who do well academically,” she said.

For Askeland, it is a matter of having balance.

Not only does she excel academically, Wilkerson said, but also is involved in a variety of extracurricular activities.

Askeland said she also is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the school’s cross country and track teams, where she is a pole vaulter and an alternate for several relay teams.

Wilkerson said it is ironic that Askeland scored a 1440 on her SAT because that also is the number of minutes in a day.

The high school has a philosophy that encourages students to use every minute wisely.

“We are excited for her,” Wilkerson said.

The 100 all-staters were selected from 535 nominations statewide. They represent 83 schools in 75 Oklahoma districts.

The 2019 Academic All-State Class is the 33rd to be selected by the Foundation for Excellence.

Since the award program’s inception in 1987, about 3,300 high school seniors from 325 school districts have been named all-state scholars.

Each 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 33rd annual Academic Awards Banquet on May 18 at the Renaissance Tulsa Convention Center.

David L. Boren, chairman and founder of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, describes the selection of the scholars as “Oklahoma’s most rigorous academic competition.”

To be nominated for Academic All-State, students must meet one of the following criteria: an American College Test (ACT) composite score of at least 30; a combined SAT evidence-based reading and 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 33.6 on the ACT, with six recipients scoring a perfect 36. The students’ average GPA was 4.28. In addition, 33 of this year’s all-staters are National Merit semifinalists, and two are National Hispanic Scholars.

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