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Middleton Drum Major Wins Candy Olson Ambassador for Public Education $10K Scholarship

Hillsborough County Public Schools

Candy Olson, Abraham Tejeda, Owen Young, Doretha W. Edgecomb

Abraham Tejeda, a Middleton High School senior and head drum major for the Tigers' marching band, was surprised this afternoon when School Board Chair Candy Olson presented him with a $10,000 college scholarship.

Ms. Olson was joined by Board Member Doretha Edgecomb and Principal Owen Young as they entered the band practice room to make the announcement before his classmates. Abraham was recommended by Principal Young and his guidance counselor, and as part of his application wrote an essay explaining how public education helped him reach his goals (attached).

Abraham is Middleton's salutatorian and hopes to study music education at Miles College in Birmingham, Ala. He will be the first in his family to attend college. He credits band director Leon Carson for developing his interest in music education and teaching him to succeed. In addition to marching band, Abraham plays in a jazz band and orchestra, and transposes trombone parts at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. He also teaches beginning musicians at Revealing Truth Ministries.

Candy Olson won the Richard R. Green Award, the nation's highest honor for urban education leadership, last October at the Council of the Great City Schools' 55th Annual Fall Conference in Boston. As the recipient of the award, Ms. Olson received a $10,000 college scholarship to present to a high school senior of her choice, either in Hillsborough County Public Schools or from her high school alma mater.

Forty-four students were selected by their principals and guidance counselors to complete applications. Ms. Olson and district staff members reviewed the applications and had to make the difficult decision to choose only one.