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AHS seniors earn scholarships

ARLINGTON A pair of Arlington High School seniors have been singled out for statewide attention in their respective fields.

Shelby Sherrill was one of three vocational students in the 39th legislative district to earn the 2008 Washington Award for Vocational Excellence scholarship, while Colleen McElroy was one of three students in the same district to be named a winner of the 2008 Washington Scholars program.

Sherrill will receive six quarters of undergraduate tuition at an accredited public or private college or university, or licensed vocational school, while McElroy will receive state grants for 12 quarters of undergraduate tuition at any public or independent college or university in Washington.

Sherrill is involved in the Future Business Leaders of America, DECA and the Spanish Club. She is also taking Advanced Placement Spanish classes and working in the accounting department of the Arlington School District this year. All of these tie into her career goals.

"I want to go into business," said Sherrill, who's planning to attend Western Washington University in the fall. "Math makes sense to me, and I'm fluent in Spanish. I'd like to go into international business accounting. I like the culture of Mexico, and as our country grows more Hispanic, speaking the language becomes more of an asset."

McElroy confessed surprise at being named one of the top students in the district. While she agrees with Sherrill that "math is more concrete," as of press time, McElroy was leaning toward attending the University of Oregon for more artistic reasons.

"I'm thinking I'll go into their school of music," said McElroy, who's also considering careers as an actuary and an engineer. "My mom was a piano teacher, and I've been training in music since I was three. I have no idea what I want to do for sure yet."

A committee of business, labor, education, legislature and citizen representatives select students for WAVE scholarships, based on outstanding achievements in vocational and technical education. The Washington Scholars program asks in-state high school principals to nominate 1 percent of their graduating senior class, based on test scores and GPAs, leadership, community service, honors and awards, and overall excellence.

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