Central High senior named semifinalist for Coca-Cola Scholars

This article originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader on January 13, 2015

Central High School senior Teylse Masaoay has been named a semifinalist in the nationwide Coca-Cola Scholars Program
Central High School senior Teylse Masaoay has been named a semifinalist in the nationwide Coca-Cola Scholars Program. (Photo: News-Leader file photo)

A Central High School senior has been named a semifinalist for the Coca-Cola Scholars Program.

Teylse Masaoay was chosen to be one of nearly 2,200 semifinalists from a pool of more than 102,000 applicants from across the country for her leadership, academic achievements and dedication to community service, according to a news release.

If selected as one of 250 regional finalists, she will qualify to be one of 150 Coca-Cola Scholars, who receive a $20,000 scholarship.

Nixa High debate students advance to “Top 32” round

Students from Nixa High School have advanced to the “Top 32” round of an international debate competition, according to a news release.

The Bickel & Brewer/New York University International Public Policy Forum, or IPPF, is known as the only competition that gives high school students around the world the opportunity to engage in written and oral debates on issues of public policy.

By advancing, the students remain eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to the IPPF Finals in New York City in May.

“We are very proud of Nixa High School and all of the teams that advanced in this very competitive global debate challenge,” says William A. Brewer III, partner at the law firm of Bickel & Brewer and a founder of the IPPF, in a news release. “These students have distinguished themselves as among the best in this unique test of research, writing and advocacy.”

This year, 243 teams — representing schools in 32 U.S. states and 21 countries — submitted qualifying round essays on either side of this topic: “Mass surveillance is not a justified method of governmental intelligence gathering.” Those essays were reviewed by a committee, which determined the top 64 teams based on the overall quality of each 2,800-word essay.

In November, the “Round of 64” teams began a single-elimination, written debate competition. Each team was assigned a position (affirmative or negative) and then volleyed papers back and forth with another team via email. A panel of judges reviewed the essays and selected the winning teams. In that round, Nixa High School defeated Trinity High School from Washington, Pennsylvania.

The “Top 32” round begins immediately. Nixa High School will compete against Clayton High School from Clayton, Mo. The top 32 teams represent schools from 17 U.S. states and five countries, including the United States, Czech Republic, and Singapore.

The prevailing teams will be announced on February 12, and will compete in the “Sweet 16” round. On March 19, the “Elite 8” teams will be announced. Those teams will travel to New York City on an all-expenses-paid trip to the finals.

Nixa and Clayton are the only two Missouri teams in the “Top 32.”

Nixa students prepare, present personal business plans

At Nixa High School, the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management class created their personal business plans and recently pitched them to a “Shark Tank” style panel, according to a news release.

The students included detailed operation, marketing and financial plans for their proposed businesses.

Some of the business ideas include: Mexican food truck, drive-thru grocery store, cultural cuisine cafe, human/dog cafe, pottery store, lawn care, grocery delivery, outdoor Christmas light hanging and removal, lawn care, sporting goods, online yo-yo sales, elderly day care, local trendy men’s clothing store, and many more for a total of 27 new business plans for our Nixa area and surrounding communities.

To submit the academic, extracurricular or community achievement of a youth, email education reporter Claudette Riley at criley@news-leader.com.