WHS Senior Receives National Recognition

WHS Senior Receives National Recognition
Posted on 08/31/2023

Samantha McKenney was attending a class at the Northern Neck Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School when her name was announced as a 2023 College Board National Recognition Awardee.  When she returned to Westmoreland High School later that morning, congratulations were coming from her friends and teachers.  Samantha had been named a National Rural and Small Town awardee.

In August, 2023, College Board awarded thousands of students from across the country with academic honors through their National Recognition Programs, available to students on BigFuture. According to College Board, “the programs celebrate underrepresented students who excel academically on College Board assessments, including PSAT, PSAT 10, and AP exams.  Students can include this academic honor on their college applications, and many colleges intentionally recruit awardees through the College Board’s Student Search Service.”

Samantha is a worthy recipient of this award. An all A student, she attends the Governor’s School and is president of the Westmoreland High School chapter of the National Honor Society and was president of the Junior Class. Since February, she also is employed at Ingleside Winery, where she is learning about marketing and sales, while doing a myriad of other duties. In her spare time, she loves to cook and bake. Last year for a Governor’s School project, Samantha utilized her cooking skills to create macarons for a science exhibit. She also was selected to attend Girl’s State at Longwood University where she was elected to the office of City Clerk.

Samantha has her career plan in place. She hopes to become a speech pathologist and eventually open her own practice. Samantha has job shadowed a pediatric speech pathologists during her summer breaks and volunteered at a special education center in the pre-school classrooms for the past several years, which is where she developed “a love for the intricacy of the work.”   One of the colleges she is currently reviewing is James Madison University, which offers a variety of health career choices, including Speech Pathology.

She has now begun to search for scholarships for college and “hopes to find a lot.” So far, Samantha is “proud of the progress I have made in school.”  “I have a wonderful support system at home.”  She is the daughter of Eric and Heidi McKenney of Colonial Beach and the older sister of an 8th grader and a 2nd grader. She is a stellar student and remains in the top tier of her class.

High achieving students from all 50 states and U.S. territories were eligible to apply to the four programs; National African American Recognition Program; National Hispanic Recognition Program, National Indigenous Recognition Program, and National Rural/Small Town Recognition Program. Out of all these students, 72,000 were selected to earn academic honors from the College Board’s National Recognition Programs.

Westmoreland County Public Schools congratulate Samantha McKenney for being selected for this national honor.