WEST DES MOINES, IOWA — Valley Southwoods freshman Sam Throm was among the 490 students from Iowa and throughout the nation who were recently invited to be honored at The University of Iowa Belin-Blank Center’s Recognition Ceremony Oct. 7. Additionally, recognized students were given the opportunity to honor a teacher they credited for having a profound influence on their lives. Throm selected Nancy Foley, his teacher at Westridge Elementary, for this honor.
Also honored at this year’s ceremony were the Iowa schools that were ranked among the Top 25 of the Iowa AP Index. The index rating was calculated by dividing the number of AP exams taken by the number of students in the school’s graduating class. Valley High School, ranked ninth, was among the Top 10 of the Iowa AP Index for the fourth consecutive year.
Throm was recognized for his exceptional performance in the Belin-Blank Center student talent search. He was selected as a student at Indian Hills Junior High to take the ACT test and his test score qualified him for this honor. Other students were recognized for receiving scholarships for Belin-Blank Center summer residential gifted programs, for being meritorious awardees at the 2012 Invent Iowa State Invention Convention, student research presenters at the 2012 Iowa Junior Science and Humanities Symposium or participants in the 2012 Secondary Science Training Program.
Addressing the students, teachers and guests were President Sally Mason, Belin-Blank Advisory Board member Sarvjeev Sidhu and a video from Governor Terry Branstad. UI Head of Department of Ophthamology and Visual Sciences Keith Carter delivered the keynote address to teachers and Anna Zoerner, a former Belin-Blank Center student and current UI senior, delivered the keynote address to the students.
The Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development is an international full-service gifted education center at the University of Iowa’s College of Education.