Cape, Milford High School scholars recognized

Every year since 1984, the state has named Secretary of Education Scholars — seniors who show strong work ethic and are dedicated to their studies, while also showing accomplishments outside the classroom.

Students are chosen by their principals for their academic records and community service. While the annual banquet to honor the scholars was canceled, but the Delaware Department of Education developed the 2020 Delaware Secretary of Education Scholars website to recognize the students and share their achievements.

Below, learn a little bit more about the seniors through the nomination statements principals provided and a brief Q&A.

More schools’ seniors will be highlighted in the weeks to come.

Milford High School

•Moses Martinez ranked number two in his class. Moses is very involved in school and the surrounding community. He is president of varsity club and National Honor Society. Moses has also participated in Congressional Youth Delegation, student government, cross country, winter track and track.

Moses Martinez

How have you prioritized academics throughout your education at Milford?

Well, it’s always been my goal since the beginning of my freshman year to be number one in my class, and it was a pretty hefty goal and I didn’t complete it, but still having goals that you can try to accomplish can lead you to great things. And, I mean, I didn’t get number one but I got number two.

How do you want to use the momentum from this recognition as you go forward with your education?

Well, when I go to college, definitely I know now that I can persevere through anything and college really shouldn’t be a problem as long as I believe that I can do it. The only limit is my mindset.

•Kally Bennett is ranked number one in her class. Kally has been a member of the National Honor Society, Delaware Fall Leadership Conference, 2018 National Leadership Conference, ambassador for Educators Rising, varsity club, float committee, Powder Puff and homecoming court.

Kally Bennett

What does it mean to be recognized as a scholar?

I’m really thankful for it because I know a lot of kids in a lot of my classes have worked hard all four years and even more than that, since like elementary school we’ve all been together and working really hard. And I’m glad that kids all over the state are getting recognized. Sports kids get a lot of recognition most of the time and it’s nice that kids who work hard in school also are getting that.

How have you prioritized academics throughout your education at Milford?

For example, I was on the soccer team my freshman and sophomore year, but I decided to quit my junior year, because I wanted to spend more time studying for the SATs and the three AP exams that I had to take. … That’s something that my mom has always kind of instilled in me. It’s just something I’ve always done; I don’t really know any other way. I like making lists and getting everything done. It kind of weighs on me if I don’t.

Cape Henlopen High

•Madeline Betts is a dedicated student who embraces every opportunity to challenge herself. A proven leader who is well-respected by peers and staff, Madeline is active in many areas of her life, including the youth philanthropy board, the Youth Leadership Council, Academic Challenge, Mock Trial, and Cape Chorale. Madeline is also a recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and the Governor’s Award.

Madeline Betts

How do you keep motivated?

The way it worked out, luckily for me, I surrounded myself with people who cared about academics the way that I did, so I had a support system there. My family always pushed me to succeed and supported me through high school and all of my academic endeavors. So kind of in general that motivated me as well as my teachers, and the administration at Cape and things like that. As far as over quarantine, motivation has definitely gotten tougher, but at this point, I’m just trying to finish strong. I’ve put in so much work over the last three and a half years, that it wouldn’t feel right to me to go out not living up to that standard that I’ve set for myself.

What does it mean to be recognized as a scholar?

I’ve worked really hard throughout my four years between taking more advanced classes and making sure I’m leaving enough time to do all my homework and study and all that, while still trying to balance all of my academic work with my various extracurricular activities, and my service commitments throughout the community. So being recognized for that on a statewide sort of level was really gratifying.

•Mackenzie Irelan is a model student and an empathetic person. She was named 2019 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Student of the Year Candidate. She is involved in numerous other organizations such as National Honor Society, Ducks Unlimited, and varsity softball.

Mackenzie Irelan

How have you prioritized academics throughout your education at Cape?

I’ve always tried my hardest in school, I’ve always taken the time that I needed to, and I’ve gone above and beyond with academics. I always put school before sports and other extracurricular activities.

How do you want to use the momentum from this recognition as you go forward with your education?

I’m definitely going to use it as motivation to remind myself that I did accomplish this and that I need to continue to keep up my hard work and dedication and I want to continue to succeed.

•Anna Stancofski is a hard-working, outgoing and compassionate young woman. She is ranked top of her class. Her leadership is evident as class president, she has earned countless honors and awards in the classroom and on the athletic field. One of her most rewarding experiences is volunteering with Atlantic Adaptive Lacrosse. She is also a three-sport athlete: field hockey, swim and lacrosse.

Anna Stancofski

With schools having changed recently, has your perspective on schools changed at all through remote learning?

I don’t think it has. If anything, it probably emphasized how important it is because these days it’s a little harder to find motivation, at least for me and I think for most people as well. It’s showing me how important it is to take the time out of each day and try to keep learning, attend my online classes and, even though it’s harder to do, I know it’s just as important.