9-23-14: Elizabeth Wesley merit winners recognized for achievement
9-23-14: Elizabeth Wesley merit winners recognized for achievement
Posted on 09/22/2014

High schools are celebrating the success this fall of 74 Puyallup School District students named Elizabeth Wesley Youth Merit Incentive Award recipients.


The Puyallup students make up more than a third of the 201student scholars throughout Pierce County

recognized for the honor by the Tacoma Urban League during a September 20 award ceremony in Lakewood.


Jada Calhoun, a senior this year at Emerald Ridge High School, addressed the crowd of more than 500 guests as this year’s student speaker.


The Tacoma Urban League — the organization that sponsors the annual merit awards — also announced during the ceremony that the Puyallup School District is this year’s recipient of the 2014 Drum Major Award.


This is the fourth time in seven years that the district or one of its employees has received the Drum Major Award, which is given to those who support and facilitate the implementation of the Elizabeth Wesley Award Program in a school or district.


This year’s plaque states the district was honored for its “Journey to Achieving Academic Success — To the Puyallup School District for their tradition of excellence and their continuous progress in increasing the on-time graduation rate of African American students.”


The league also presented the Drum Major Award in 2007 to Emerald Ridge High counselor Mariano Leon-Guerrero and in 2009 to Stan and Carol Silvernail, retired district counselors who spent several years mentoring students with the award application process.


 In 2010, the Tacoma Urban League presented the award to school district administration.


The league also presented a special Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 to former Puyallup School District Superintendent Tony Apostle.


  The Elizabeth Wesley Youth Merit Incentive Award program was created in 1996 to recognize and honor   

  African American youth in grades nine through 11 for academic excellence, community involvement, 

  and good citizenship.   


  The award program is named for Elizabeth Wesley, a civic leader active in the founding of the Tacoma

  Urban League.


  The league awards each of the student winners $350, and the Puyallup School District award winners have  

  their photos displayed in the South Hill Mall.


  Puyallup School District leadership employees raise money for the program each year during a

  summer administrative conference. This year leadership staff raised more than $15,000, which was combined with a $5,000 donation from the Kiwanis Club of Puyallup.


In addition to the ceremony honoring the 201 Pierce County award recipients, Puyallup School District winners are being honored this fall at recognition events held at each of the three comprehensive high schools.


Below are the names of this year’s 74 Elizabeth Wesley Youth Merit Incentive Award Program recipients:


Emerald Ridge High School

Andrew Boston

Jeannine Brown              

Dylan Burnley

Adriel Calangan

Jada Calhoun    

Mya Celestine

Audasia Davis   

Audrey Fernandez         

Chloe Ghent     

Jeremy Gradel Brewer 

Jasmine Hardy

Lauryn Hunter  

Taylor Jack         

DeShawn Johnson

Tyahna Legette

Tevin McClain   

Porcha Muhammad       

Evanni Roberson             

Aaliyah Robinson            

Jordan Taylor    

Mohagani Townsend

Marcellus Watkins          

Matthew Wells

Shaidaja Wilson


Puyallup High School

Crystal Barkley 

Evan Byrd

Gabrielle Gill

Savannah Jarrett             

Imani Lloyd        

Danielle Locken

Wakeyo Logerfo

Lauryn Mitchell

Sarina Sharpe   

Taylor Sutherland

Honore' Thomas

Geneva Thompson        

Dominique Walker         

Cedella Wangige             

Ryley Whittaker

Kendra Windham


Rogers High School

Aaron Allen       

Aleah Appling

Aneyceia Brim  

Jasmine Catchings          

Caitlin Chacon

Nathan Conley 

Kiss'Swanna Curtis

Kiss’Shonna Curtis          

Hannah Davis    

Risako Dey         

Carlos Dixon      

Mariya Gaither

Jelani Heath      

Gabriellah Howell           

Brooke Jackson

Gabriella Jackson

Briana James     

Justin Jones       

Tammy Kayongo             

Tiffany Kayongo              

Keanu Maples

Maya McCloud 

Warsame Mead               

Daniel Miles      

Marquise Nelson            

Nikolas Nuqui   

Kimberly Nwankolo       

Sharice Sanders

Janet Turner     

Corney Urps Jr.

Kaylen Vine



Angela Applin

Miles Owens     

Zaujanae Ponton


Photo captions:


(Top) Tammy Kayongo, a senior this year at Rogers High School, is congratulated by Chief Equity and Achievement Officer Gerald Denman during a school celebration on September 19 to honor this year’s Elizabeth Wesley Youth Merit Incentive Award recipients. Emerald Ridge and Puyallup high school students who received the award this year will be recognized during celebrations at their schools in October.


(Bottom) Elizabeth Wesley Youth Merit Incentive Award recipients share their post-high school education plans during a recognition event held on September 19 at Rogers High School. Behind the award scholars (from left) are Puyallup School Board Director Pat Jenkins, Rogers High Assistant Principal Brian Fosnick, and Chief Academic Officer of Regional Learning Community #2 Deka Smith.