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Two Green River students honored at All-Washington Academic Team ceremony

Governor Jay Inslee
Governor Jay Inslee spoke to the scholars at the cermony

Green River students Lauren Samsel and John Spencer were recognized as members of the 2013 All-Washington Academic Team at a ceremony in Olympia on Thursday, March 21.

Each year, Washington's top two-year college students are formally recognized for their scholastic achievement and service in their community and technical colleges. This year, the All-Washington Academic Team acknowledged 65 students from 34 colleges.

At the ceremony, the scholars were honored by Governor Jay Inslee and ceremoniously given medals from Green River Community College President Eileen Ely. Green River Board Chair Tom Campbell also attended the event to support two of Green River's best scholars.

"This is one of the highlights of the year," Campbell said, "to attend an event recognizing the successes of our students."

Samsel attends Green River as a business management major. She enlisted in the army when she was 18, and traveled the world serving as a medic. Now working toward earning her MBA, she hopes to eventually work for an international nonprofit.

Scholars with medals
Green River's All-Washington Avademic Team scholars with their medals. From left to right: President Eileen Ely, Lauren Samsel, John Spencer, and Green River Board Chair Tom Campbell.

"I've been to so many other colleges," Samsel said, "but I have never before felt the kind of support that I get here at Green River. People really saw the potential in me."

Spencer, a Running Start student and physics major, plans to earn his doctorate to become a theoretical physicist. "It's a real honor to be here in a room with all these academics," Spencer said. "It's a reminder that there are no limits, and if you push yourself, you can do anything."

Each of the 2012 All-Washington Academic Team members will receive a $250 scholarship from the Washington State Employees Credit Union, a $500 scholarship from KeyBank, and the opportunity for transfer scholarships to many distinguished four-year institutions.