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Edmonds CC students recognized as top Washington state scholars


Naol Debele

Naol Debele

Edmonds Community College students Naol Debele and Jessica Howard will be recognized for their scholastic achievement and community service at a ceremony on Thursday, March 22 at South Puget Sound Community College, in Olympia. Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman will be the keynote speaker.

Representing Edmonds CC, Debele and Howard are among 78 of the state’s top scholars who will represent the state’s 34 community and technical colleges as members of the All-Washington Academic Team. Each two-year college in the state may nominate up to four students for the honor.

Members of the team will be honored by Gov. Jay Inslee and receive a medallion from their respective college president at the March 22 ceremony.

Jessica Howard

Jessica Howard

About our scholars:

Naol Debele is Edmonds CC’s fifth student trustee to the college’s Board of Trustees. He is pursuing an Associate in Arts transfer degree with an interest in physics. He would like to transfer to the University of Washington to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physics.

“By selecting me for the All-Washington Academic Team, I am reminded of the generous individuals and organizations who support students such as myself,” Debele said. “I am humbled and inspired to complete my education.”

Outside of Edmonds CC, Debele is studying for his Private Pilot License at Snohomish Flying Services and also serves as a Sno-Isle Libraries Board of Trustees member. 

Jessica Howard is the president of Edmonds CC’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society and a writing tutor in the college’s Learning Support Center. She is pursuing an Associate in Arts transfer degree with a focus on cognitive linguistics and political science.

“I am honored and humbled by this nomination to the All-Washington Academic Team,” Howard said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to represent Edmonds CC and PTK on a statewide and national scale.”

Howard is fascinated by language and understanding the effects of rhetoric in communication. She presented her findings on “Political Rhetoric Involving Climate Change” at the college’s 2017 Showcase of Student Learning. Howard plans to transfer to the University of Washington to earn a bachelor’s degree and has her eye on Ivy League universities for a master’s. 

A place on the All-Washington Academic Team comes with a $250 scholarship from KeyBank of Washington. The top ranked member of the All-Washington Academic Team will be named the state’s New Century Scholar, receive a $2,000 scholarship from Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU), and additional honors and scholarships as part of the All-USA Academic Team for community, technical, and junior colleges.

WSECU will also award the second- through sixth-ranked scholars with $1,000 scholarships. The Washington State Association of College Trustees will also award $1,000 scholarships to the second-ranked, third-ranked, and fourth-ranked members of the team. In addition, most of the state’s public four-year colleges and universities and most of the state’s independent colleges offer additional scholarships for academic team members who transfer to their schools. Learn more about the All-Washington Academic Team at www.spscc.edu/allwa.

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Laura Daniali