LR Central Principal Nancy Rousseau sends word that both of the state of Arkansas's winners in the annual Siemens Foundation scholarship competition are Central seniors. A male and female student from each state receives a $2,000 scholarship for outstanding scores on Advanced Placement math and science tests. Arkansas winners are Yi Wu and Helio Liu. As luck would have it, I spoke to Helio last week. He's a member of this year's Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Team, which will be featured in our April 29 issue. He's a future engineer hoping to study at MIT. He has a gaudy academic resume (and a sense of humor).
I was thinking about these students yesterday as I drove past the new public charter high school under construction downtown. What need is it, exactly, that is unmet in existing public high schools in Pulaski County? (Middle schools are another matter in many ways, I'd be the first to admit, though there are pockets of excellence there, too.) Helio's praise of his teachers was heartfelt. He, too, said he didn't understand the negative feelings that he'd encountered toward local public schools since moving to Little Rock six years ago.