Bixby Graduates Named All-Staters
By EMILY RAMSEY
(Left)STATEWIDE DISTINCTION: Bonnie Henke, an American Bank & Trust Co. representative, congratulates Katherine Kramer, an academic all-stater and 2015 Bixby High School graduate, during the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence’s Academic Awards Banquet, held in May. Kramer is among 100 outstanding seniors from Oklahoma public schools who were named Academic All-Staters. Kramer received a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by American Bank & Trust Co.(Right)ATHLETE AND SCHOLAR: Bryan Lee, a 2015 academic all-stater from Bixby High School, is congratulated by Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Chairman David L. Boren, right, and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Hackett Fischer. Lee is a 2015 Bixby High School graduate and is one of 100 seniors from Oklahoma public schools honored as Academic All-Staters. He received a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Mabrey Bank.
Bixby High School 2015 graduates Katherine Kramer and Bryan Lee have been named Academic All-State Scholars by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a nonprofit statewide organization. The 2015 Academic All-State Class is made up of 100 top public high school seniors, who come from 74 schools and were selected from 558 students throughout Oklahoma. David L. Boren, chairman and founder of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, describes the selection of the scholars as “Oklahoma’s most rigorous academic competition.”
This is the 29th group to be selected by the foundation since the award program’s beginnings in 1987.
Kramer and Lee, both valedictorians, received $1,000 merit-based scholarships at the foundation’s 29th annual Academic Awards Banquet on May 16, at the Renaissance Tulsa Convention Center.
This year’s all-staters scored an average of 33 on the , with 10 recipients scoring a perfect 36. In addition, 31 of this year’s all-staters are National Merit semifinalists, while two are National Hispanic Scholars.
Academic all-staters are nominated by their school principals or superintendents and are selected on the basis of academic achievement, extracurricular activities, community involvement and the quality of an essay submitted by each nominee.
Kramer has spent all of her school years at Bixby and plans to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall, majoring in biomedical engineering.
She is an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction (a title granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and receive scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams) and a recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award. Kramer has served as National Honor Society president for both her junior and senior years and as vice president of the Junior Optimist Octagon International Club.
Last year, Kramer was chosen by one of her teachers to be an American Legion Auxiliary Girls State delegate. The one-week leadership workshop teaches girls about their state’s history and politics. That experience pushed Kramer, who already had an interest in politics, to become more interested in the subject, and she went on, in March, to serve as a page at the State Capitol for state Representative Chuck Strohm.
“I loved it,” says Kramer of her experience. “I got to hear about bills that came on the floor, I got to sit in on committee meetings, I got to talk to the politicians. I even talked to some of them about helping them in their future campaigns.”
Kramer also played a role in welcoming the Oklahoma Association of Student Councils when Bixby hosted its state convention in 2013. She was the chair of the arts and decorations committee.
Regarding her reason for all of her activities, particularly her community-focused ones, Kramer references her induction ceremony into National Honor Society during her sophomore year. “I remember at the ceremony, the speaker talking about the organization’s four pillars: scholarship, service, character and leadership, and it really hit home for me the importance of service to my community and my school,” she says.
Bryan Lee came to Bixby Public Schools in fifth grade. By that age, he had already been swimming competitively for about five years.
Lee is a two-time Swimming Scholastic All-American, a two-time individual state champion in the backstroke and butterfly, and a member of the state championship swim team. He is a representative of the Oklahoma Swimming House of Delegates and co-captain of the varsity swim team.
Lee’s parents encouraged him early in life to become involved in a sport, so, after trying a few sports, he settled on golf and swimming.
After a few years, Lee was forced to choose one sport to focus all of his energy; he chose swimming. “I just love to stay fit and be physically active,” he says. “I also really like the feel of the water; some of the best moments in my life have happened in the water.”
Lee will join the swim team at Washington University in St. Louis in the fall.
“I’ve heard that swimming in college is different from high school so I’m excited to experience that,” he says.
“Plus I want to remain in shape,” he laughs. However, he is quick to add that his main focus will remain on academics. He plans to major in business.
Lee completed four Advanced Placement courses his senior year, and, as a creative outlet, helped to produce, direct and report with the Spartan Post News Broadcast Club.
He spent his junior and senior years in Interact Club, a community service club. As Chief Information Officer of the Interact Club, he attended Bixby Rotary Club meetings and learned about citywide community service activities that he would then share with his classmates. He has also been involved in volunteer activities with the Bixby Community Outreach Center and Food Bank, Catholic Charities of Tulsa, and the youth group at his church, St. Clement.