Conway High School seniors Meleah Bowles and Seth Gilleran were recently honored for outstanding academic achievement and community involvement as a part of the Real Proud of Real Wampus Cats student recognition program. Coordinated by the Conway Public Schools Foundation and the Conway branch of Bank of Little Rock Mortgage, the program will honor more than 20 students in the Conway School District this school year.
Bowles and Gilleran were among 12 Conway students recognized for achieving National Merit Semifinalist status at an on-field award ceremony before Conway’s regular-season football victory against Van Buren.
Actively involved in school activities throughout her high school career, Meleah Bowles divides time between band, Model UN, Beta Club, History Day group and the National Honor Society in addition to community activities like 4-H and the United Methodist Youth DCYM.
Earning a 3.9 GPA, Bowles has completed 5 Advanced Placement courses and has a concurrent enrollment in Basic Oral Communications at UCA.
"Meleah is driven to produce nothing but the best," University of Central Arkansas oral communications professor Di Baldwin said. "She is quite the diligent student who will excel in her pursuit of a degree and career."
Bowles has also demonstrated her compassion for the community and those in need by logging more than 100 hours of community service since joining the Beta Club, where she serves as Community Service Co-Chair. She is a member of the school band’s flag line and has earned the title of Head Delegate for the Model UN.
"Meleah is mature, witty, creative and sees the connections within disciplines," English teacher Chad Terrell said, "She is intrinsically motivated and visually inclined."
A member of the school’s History Day group, Bowles has competed successfully at the regional, state and national levels in group and individual competitions. She placed third in the THEA Visual Arts Competition.
Bowles has participated in 4-H for the past three years with her aunt and is very involved in her church’s youth program, United Methodist DCYM.
Bowles’ college plans are still undecided but she knows she wants to major in Sociology.
She is the daughter of Todd and Laura Bowles.
Seth Gilleran is not afraid of hard work and has a 4.02 GPA to prove it. An award winning foreign language student, Gilleran seems to effortlessly excel in the visual and language arts in addition to his other studies and extracurricular activities.
He’s a member of the school band, choir, Spanish Club, Honorary Spanish Society, French Club, Beta Club, FBLA, Swing Dancing Club, Step Club and Botany Club. Gilleran serves as president of the school’s Spanish and Beta Club and is the current Beta Club Historian.
An All-Region band selection, Gilleran has earned multiple foreign language festival awards including the Langenscheidt Award and was selected for the University of Rochester Award for Leadership.
"Seth came to AP Biology without the benefit of a prior life science course and excelled throughout the year," said Molly Walchuk, AP Biology teacher, " He earned the highest score possible on the national exam."
Gilleran was also selected to participate in the Keystone Youth Policy Summit. As a part of the Summit, Gilleran helped write and present a Green Energy research paper to the Congressional Board of Energy in Washington D.C
"That was the first time I actually got to voice the opinion of my generation to a body that really makes things happen," Gilleran said. "Knowing that my group did well and got the chance to show it was a great feeling."
In addition to his school and extracurricular activities, Gilleran spends his free time volunteering as a tutor and office assistant at the Arkansas School for Math and Science and for telethons for AETN.
With his college choices narrowed to four, Gilleran is deciding between New York University, Pomona College, Columbia and the University of Chicago.
He is the son of Shawn Gilleran and Kerry Turner.
The Conway office of Bank of Little Rock Mortgage will be contributing $100 to the Conway Public Schools Foundation in the name of each "Real Proud of Real Wampus Cats" award winner, helping provide more than $2,000 for needed school resources.
Conway seniors Kacey Hight, Nicholas Frederickson, Taylor West, Lindsey Rasmussen, Tyler Sullivan, Sam Codemo, Zachay Lachowsky and Luke Oxner have been featured as a part of the program already while stories focused on Conway’s other National Merit Semifinalists will be published in future editions of the Conway Log Cabin Democrat.