Nicholas Owens, a senior at VHS and son of Lorie and Sam Owens of Vidalia, is one of a total of 151 graduating seniors from schools across Georgia to be recognized as a 2016 Georgia Scholar, the Georgia Department of Education announced today. Through the Georgia Scholar program, the Department identifies and honors high school seniors who have achieved excellence in school and community life. The program is coordinated by the Department’s Excellence Recognition Office and through local coordinators in each public school system and in private schools throughout the state. Each Georgia Scholar receives a seal for his or her diploma. “I offer my sincere congratulations to each of our 2016 Georgia Scholars,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods. “These students have worked extremely hard and have engaged with all aspects of the educational process, with the result that they are truly ready to learn, ready to live, and ready to lead. They have exemplary academic performance but they’ve also gained soft skills by taking on leadership roles within their schools and communities. I am confident we will hear great things about their accomplishments in the near future.” Students eligible for Georgia Scholar recognition are high school seniors who exhibit excellence in all phases of school life, in community activities, and in the home. Georgia Scholars are students who have carried exemplary course loads during the four years of high school; who performed excellently in all courses; who successfully participated in interscholastic events at their schools and in their communities; and who have assumed active roles in extracurricular activities sponsored by their schools.