Boettcher Scholars are named

Routt County students Block, Toy receive prestigious designation

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Two of Routt County's own are recipients of one of the state's most prestigious scholarships.

Greg Block, a senior at Soroco High School in Oak Creek, and Amanda Toy, a senior at Steamboat Springs High School, were informed Wednesday that they have been selected as 2005 Boettcher Scholars.

"It's pretty exciting," Block said Thursday, hours after coming out of surgery on his knee. "I'm not sure it's really sunk in yet."

The merit-based Boettcher Scholarship is awarded annually to 40 Colorado high school seniors. The scholarship covers four years of full tuition costs, student fees, a book allowance and annual living stipends. Boettcher Scholars must attend an accredited, four-year Colorado university or college.

Block and Toy were selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must rank in the top 5 percent of their graduating class, score at least 27 on the ACT or 1200 on the SAT, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and reside in Colorado for their junior and senior years of high school. In recent years, Boettcher Scholars averaged being in the top 2 percent of their classes and scoring an average of 32 on the ACT and 1420 on the SAT.

Block, 18, has a 4.0 grade point average, is president of Soroco High School's National Honor Society chapter, Elevens Club, El Pomar Youth in Community Service chapter and book club. He is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, vice chairman of the school system's District Accountability Committee and a volunteer with Partners in Routt County.

He also is an accomplished piano and trombone player, artist, skier and mountain climber.

"We're very proud of him," Soroco High School Principal James Chamberlin said. "He's a very deserving student."

Block, who has applied to Stanford and at least one Ivy League school, tentatively plans to accept the scholarship and attend Colorado College, to which he has been accepted. He is interested in studying architecture or biology. He's also the first Soroco student to be named a Boettcher Scholar since Mark Ritkouski in 1989.

"It feels so good," Block said. "It's been a long process."

Toy, 18, maintains a near-perfect grade point average, is a National Merit Society Commended Scholar, a National Forensics League Academic All-American and co-founded the high school's Periscope newspaper, for which she serves as editor-in-chief. She excels on the school's speech and debate team and is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, the National Honor Society and Model United Nations.

Toy is a past winner of the Women's Foundation of Colorado's Dottie Lamm Award, a four-year member of the school tennis team and vice president of her senior class. She also helped develop the school's honor code, volunteers with LIFT-UP and is a member of the school's El Pomar Youth in Community Service chapter.

"She just does so much around here," Steamboat Springs High School Principal Dave Schmid said. "She's outstanding in every way."

Recent Steamboat Springs High School Boettcher Scholarship recipients include Brad Williams, Bryn Weaver and Roddy Beall.

In addition to the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Denver, Toy has applied to several Ivy League schools, Stanford and Northwestern University. She said she probably will wait until April to decide where she'll go to school and whether to accept the Boettcher Scholarship.

"It's just such an honor," she said. "Just being a Boettcher Scholar is amazing. It's like a family."

After being named two of 72 semifinalists, Block and Toy traveled to Denver last week to interview with a selection committee. They were sent letters indicating their selection as Boettcher Scholars earlier this week.

The Boettcher Scholarship was established in 1952 by Charles and Claude Boettcher to recognize and develop outstanding high school seniors who have the potential to make useful contributions to the people of Colorado. It has awarded $35 million in undergraduate scholarships since its inception.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com

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