Chase Cleveland, FWBHS, Named Okaloosa County Sunshine State Scholar

Chase Cleveland, Fort Walton Beach High School, was named the Okaloosa County Sunshine State Scholar for this school year. 

Organized in 1997, the Sunshine State Scholars program is designed to recognize students, teachers and schools that achieved excellence in mathematics and science.  The winner comes from Okaloosa County School District’s 11th grade students in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to be honored as a 2016 Sunshine State Scholar.  The Okaloosa County scholar along with his/her parents and a teacher who has served as a significant influence for the scholar, will travel to Orlando on May 19-20, 2016, for an extraordinary two-day program.  They also have opportunities to meet with representatives from Florida's colleges and universities, learn about STEM-related programs of study and internships, and experience why Florida is the best place to learn and pursue an exciting career.

The nomination criteria include:

  • A weighted grade point average of 3.9 or higher
  • Active participation in STEM-related competitions such as the Regional, State and/or International Science and Engineering Fair; Mu Alpha Theta or other math competitions; FIRST/BEST Robotics; IDEAS
  • Other suggested criteria: the student has a combined score of 1300 or higher on the SAT (based upon the Critical Reading and Math sections only); has a composite score of 30 or higher on the ACT (excluding the writing section); has a score of 3.0 or higher on one or more Advanced Placement Tests; strong Science FCAT results; and/or strong State Biology, Algebra 1, and Geometry EOC assessment results
  • Students must also submit a statement/essay (500 words or less) that describes their plans to pursue a STEM related field.

“Chase is a great example of the outstanding students we have at FWBHS,” said FWBHS Principal John Spolski.  “His academic record at FWBHS – AP courses, Dual enrollment, and taking our 4 year Biomedical engineering program, has prepared him well for the next step in his education.  This marks the 3rd year in a row, and 4 out of the County’s 6, Sunshine State Scholar recipients is from FWBHS.  Like our previous winners who have gone on to outstanding universities such as MIT and the University of Florida, we look forward to great things for Chase in the near future.”

Chase is currently a 3 sport Varsity Athlete (Wrestling, Cheer, and Football) at FWBHS and is at the top of his class academically.  He plans to attend Georgia Tech, Stanford or MIT and major in chemical engineering. 

"I have always been interested in science but it wasn’t until I began doing individual research that my love for science really flourished. My studies in the effectiveness and cost efficiency of electroplating and human stress keys in middle school, as well as, methods of purifying contaminated water in high school all made me want to commit my work to improving the lives of people through innovation in science. I want to make the world a better place by applying what I study to global issues in the attempt to solve a problem, specifically the world’s water crisis," said Chase in his essay.  Click here to read the rest of his essay.

Click here to see a copy of Chase's Resume.

Congratulations Chase!