The Virginian-Pilot Honors 15 Kempsville Students


Janelle Camba, Editorial Assistant

Each year, The Virginian-Pilot recognizes a group of hardworking model students in high schools across Virginia. They are typically chosen by merit and academic achievement, as well as their presence in community service. This year, the Virginian-Pilot Scholastic Achievement Team for KHS granted the honor to 15 students from sophomores to seniors. 


The group consisted of Karmina Buensuceso, Makayla Harvey, Landon Elforsi, Arjola Mullaj, Rachael Tamakloe, Janelle Camba, Jada Jones, Hallie Monaghan, Sydney Strawbridge, Ava Swirzinski, Sydney Alphin, Laila Guerrier, Caleb Moore, Damien Smith, and Virna Zhang.


Students were selected based on their performance in academics, citizenship, school activities, and community service. The Virginian-Pilot rewarded the students with recognition and the possibility for financial resources.


The application process is highly competitive and seeks out the most involved students. Jada Jones, junior, is a clear example of that due to her participation in National Honor Society, French Honor Society, National Business Honor Society, DECA Honor Society, the Superintendent’s Advisory Council, and the Principal’s School Advisory Council. She is also very active in many other extracurricular activities.


“I am a Varsity Cheerleader [and]… SCA Vice President of Kempsville High School,” said Jones. “I am also involved in… FBLA, DECA, Interact Club, Operation Smile, and the Black Student Union.”


Hallie Monaghan is also heavily involved with the school, as she is a member of Operation Smile, National Honor Society, DECA, Interact Club, Women in Technology, Self- Defense, Junior Class, and SCA.


However, engaging in school activities is not the only criteria. Students are considered for their academic standing, community service, and leadership skills.


“I think I was chosen to be on the scholastic team because of my ability to manage and balance good grades as well as be an active member in my school and community,” said Jones.


Students who want this opportunity must hold a well-rounded high school experience. Monaghan shed some light on what may be looked for.


“I feel like they really look for community involvement,” said Monaghan. “Look for volunteer opportunities around you; they are surprisingly fun!”


Jones advises students to reflect on their interests and talents in their daily life.


“Some advice for students who’d like to be nominated for the team is to get involved in your community and always try to participate and promote change. Also, make your grades a priority,” said Jones. “In addition, I would tell [students] to have fun and enjoy their high school experience. What is for you is for you. I would tell them to know their worth and what they bring to the table.”