All-WNY Academic Team

June 7, 2013 Updated Jun 7, 2013 at 8:06 AM EDT

By G. Scott Thomas, Projects Editor- Business First


All-WNY Academic Team

June 7, 2013 Updated Jun 7, 2013 at 8:06 AM EDT

They earned straight A's on their report cards and posted sparkling scores on standardized tests. They zipped through college-level courses, participated in a wide range of school activities and won countless national and state awards.

They're the 100 members of the 2013 All-Western New York Academic Team, the best and brightest high school seniors in the eight-county region.

Business First launched the Academic Team program in 2008 to recognize students with outstanding records of academic excellence, school leadership and community involvement.

One hundred and twenty-one high schools submitted 437 nominees for this year's team. (Schools were limited to four nominations apiece.) The 100 honorees were selected by an eight-member committee of college admissions directors and Business First editors.

The 25 most impressive nominees were named to this year's First Team. The 25 runners-up were placed on the Second Team, and the next 50 were given Special Mention designations.

The members of the 2013 Academic Team have distinguished themselves in several ways:

Class rank: Fifty of this year's 100 winners are valedictorians. The other 50 are ranked in the top 5 percent of their graduating classes.

Courseload: The typical Academic Team member took 8.25 university-level courses during his or her high school career. That includes advanced placement and international baccalaureate classes, as well as courses at local colleges.

Regents tests: Seventy-nine of 93 honorees earned a perfect score on at least one Regents exam. (The other seven students attend schools that are not on the Regents track.) The typical Academic Team member took 10 Regents tests, with an average score of 96.62 per exam.

College admission tests: Forty-four of the 100 winners posted scores of 2,200 or better on the SAT's 2,400-point scale (or the equivalent on the ACT), putting them among the top 1 percent of all U.S. high school seniors. The median for the entire Academic Team was 2,170.

Awards: Twenty honorees, including 14 First Teamers, are among the 15,000 U.S. high school seniors chosen as National Merit Scholarship or National Achievement Scholarship finalists.

Leadership: This year's team includes 17 editors of student publications, 20 class presidents, 31 members of all-state or all-county bands or choruses, 43 heads of student clubs, and 46 captains of sports teams.

The 100 members of the 2013 Academic Team come from 69 high schools. Six schools are represented by three students apiece: Amherst, Canisius, Clarence, Starpoint, Sweet Home and Williamsville East. Nineteen schools have two winners each.

A blind selection process was used for this year's Academic Team, with the names of students and schools being removed from all nomination forms. Committee members reviewed summaries of each nominee's transcript, standardized test scores, awards and school activities before voting.

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