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Spring Valley's O'Keefe named Kohl Scholar

SPRING VALLEY--Spring Valley senior Tyler O’Keefe has been named a 2014 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholar. He will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Excellence Scholarship recipients have demonstrated excellence in the academic arena and high motivation to achieve, have displayed a broad range of activity and leadership outside the academic setting, and have shown strong promise for succeeding in college and beyond.

O’Keefe is graduating as Spring Valley’s co-valedictorian with a perfect 4.0 grade point average; he is a strong leader who is active in co-curricular activities including Student Council, National Ocean Science Bowl, football, track and band.

Spring Valley Principal Gretchen Cipriano said, “Tyler is a well-rounded individual who contributes a great deal to our school. He is ambitious and hard-working. I look forward to seeing the contributions that he makes to the world in the future.”

O’Keefe will attend Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., majoring in biology. In addition, he intends to participate in both football and track while at Carleton.

“This is a very prestigious award in our state, and it is a big honor to receive it,” O’Keefe said of his selection.

Excellence Scholarship recipients are selected by a statewide committee composed of civic leaders, and representatives of education-related associates and the program’s co-sponsors: The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools (WCRIS), and regional Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESA). Just 187 Excellence Scholarships will be awarded this year.

The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and Fellowship program was established by Retired U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl in 1990. To date, the foundation has awarded $8.6 million to Wisconsin educators, students and schools.

“Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation. I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students and teachers, and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future,” Kohl said.

O’Keefe was recognized at a regional recognition luncheon on March 23 in Eau Claire. Kohl is attending all regional luncheons to present awards to recipients.