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July 19, 2005
Melanie Mowry Etters
Outstanding Student Meets Governor
Tallahassee Governor Jeb Bush today met a fourth grader from rural north-central Florida who scored in the top five percent of all Florida fourth graders on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. According to her parents, Keysha Horn from Branford Elementary School, scored a 6 on FCAT writing, a 5 on FCAT reading, and a 5 on FCAT math distinguishing herself as the highest achieving student at her elementary school.
"I'm very proud of Keysha and all our students and teachers who are working hard at school," Governor Bush said. "Keysha is an excellent student, an avid reader, and a great person. With the help of countless parents, teachers and administrators we are making it possible for all students to not only dream the biggest possible dreams but also achieve them, like Keysha did."
After learning of her high scores, Keysha's parents offered to take her to Disney World or meet the Governor to celebrate her hard work and great achievement. Keysha chose to meet Governor Bush.
On hearing of Keysha's strong academic performance Education Commissioner John Winn said, "Many times our highest performing students do not receive the accolades they deserve for all their hard work. Scoring well on the FCAT is no accidentit shows determination and focus on academics. Keysha is to be congratulated for a job well done."
Suwannee School Superintendent Walter Boatright said, "Keysha Horn is truly a model student who exemplifies all the characteristics of a student who desires to learn. She has a thirst for knowledge and her family is to be commended for instilling in her the importance of an education. Keysha's teachers admire and support her desire to learn. Keysha's reward for her academic success came in the form of realizing a wish that she expressed to meet and spend time with Governor Jeb Bush. The reward for Suwannee District Schools is to proclaim Keysha as one of our own students."
According to Branford Elementary Principal Carol Risk, "Keysha has attended Branford Elementary since it opened in December of 1999. In addition to being an outstanding student academically, Keysha is a very involved student. She serves on the Branford Elementary Student Council and has been a student representative for the last two years."
Keysha is an avid reader. This year she was rewarded for her love of reading with an end of the year trip to Lake City for lunch via limousine. Piano and twirling are two talents at which Keysha excels. She has performed in front of the elementary school and during parent night as part of the annual Student Council Talent Show. Keysha also is the Varsity Mascot for the Branford High School cheerleading squad.
Keysha's superior grades have earned her a job as a Peer Counselor for a first grade class. She visits the class and helps the teacher present lessons to the students. She tutors and works one-on-one with the children in the classroom. "Branford Elementary is very fortunate to have a student of Keysha's caliber and we hope that she will serve as an example for the rest of the student body," stated Principal Carol Risk upon learning of Keysha's visit to the Capitol. Next year, Keysha and other outstanding students will be honored throughout the year by Branford's Stars and Superstars Program. Each month students who accomplished a certain score on the fourth grade test are recognized during lunch with a small reward. Risk said, "We hope that Keysha's success will help our student body realize that hard work and diligence are their own reward."