On August 23rd, Andrew Powell moved into Bingham Hall on the Old Campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He was one of 1,360 Freshman for the class of 2017 out of 29,610 applicants. Andrew was greeted on the sidewalk with cheers by a group of ‘hoonies who are part of the Calhoun Residential College at Yale. His Freshman Counselor greeted him by name as the ‘hoonies moved all of his belongings into his new room.
Andrew was accepted to Yale based on a nearly flawless academic record at Heber Springs High School. He completed his high school career with the highest GPA possible with the current curriculum at HSHS. He made straight A’s and completed every AP advanced course the school offers. After taking the SAT test, he was recognized as a National Merit Scholar and received a monetary scholarship given to only 8,000 Seniors each year. The highlight of his academic life was his ACT score where he scored a perfect 36. Less than 800 students achieve this mark each year in the United States.
Although Andrew received several offers from colleges and universities, he selected Yale University. He had a list of characteristics of the school he wanted to attend and on top of the list was having a Navy ROTC program. His dream is to be a leader of men in the United States Marine Corps and one of the ways of accomplishing this goal is the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program. The Navy awarded Andrew a full-tuition and fees scholarship worth approximately $169,000 and Yale University awarded him a grant which covered his other expenses.
Andrew’s academic abilities were highlighted each year on the school’s highly regarded Quiz Bowl team. Through the years he was usually the high point person on the team and often the high point person in each tournament. In a Quiz Bowl tournament, a person is selected for the All-Star team if they correctly answer an average of 5 or more questions per match. During his Senior year, Andrew always correctly answered 10 or more questions per match with a high of 19 in one match.
“Andrew Powell was our Quiz Bowl captain last year. He was a great leader in and out of the game. One fun thing to watch was that Andrew could keep score in his head and played strategically for us, which many times confused the opposing team! With his quick mind and lightning quick thumb, he often buzzed in before his opponents, and it led to him being named to the All-Region and All-State Quiz Bowl teams. Andrew was a joy to work with and fun to be around.” states Gaye Rawls, Quiz Bowl Coach.
Page 2 of 3 - Andrew was not just an academic wizard at Heber High, he was also an accomplished athlete. He was recognized as an All-State Cross Country runner for three years. He was also an important part of the distance events for both Indoor and Outdoor track seasons as a 3200 meter run specialist. Andrew was part of both the 2011 and the 2013 Triple Crown teams. Andrew was also recognized as an Academic All-Star for two years by the Arkansas Track and Field Hall of Fame. Coach Cresswell said, “Andrew showed promise when he was a young thin lad and he became a good leader and teammate for all the runners in 7th grade through Sr. High and even some teammates that already left for College. The thing is He was a leader by example.”
Coach Goldman has this to say about Andrew. “Andrew Powell was instrumental to the Cross Country/Track & Field program at Heber Springs High School early on as a Heber Springs Elementary Panther Cub. I first got acquainted with him at meets in which his siblings were competing. In sports you have givers and takers. Andrew came from a family of givers and learned this quality well. As a child he was never content just being at a meet to watch. He wanted to be helping. That trait never left him and I doubt it ever will. It is sort of like his intelligence, a few steps above most of us. Andrew was a great inspiration for the young athlete. Success in athletics did not come as easy for him as it did in academics. He had to work from the ground up every day. Many times he would work hard to take two steps forward, only to have to take a step back. Many times there were disappointments, but his faith and fortitude kept him going. Andrew’s success academically and athletically proved that each challenge was worth the fight. Sometimes you hear folks say that adults influenced them when they were in school. With Andrew, I think we adults would have to say he influenced us. Andrew Powell was a positive influence in our sport, in our FCA, in our classes, in our school, and foremost in our hearts. We wish him Godspeed.”
“One of the things I am most proud of as Andrew’s father is his relationships with many, many friends. I have often had other teenagers comment about how friendly and encouraging Andrew is.” states his father, Dennis Powell. Andrew often took the time to help other students who needed extra tutoring in their classes. His parents are often asked by students how Andrew became so smart. “Andrew reads everything he gets his hands on. I think he has done so well academically because he reads so much and sincerely loves to learn.” commented his mother, Pamela Powell.
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"Andrew Powell is more than just an outstanding student academically. He is a well-rounded young man who is extremely well liked by the faculty and students. His career here at Heber Springs High School was remarkable, and I expect that we will see the same sort of career for him at Yale," said high school counselor Dana Patton.