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WHS Junior J. Daniel Sullivan III Named Sunshine State Scholar

June 5, 2017


Wakulla High School upcoming senior J. Daniel Sullivan III was honored as Wakulla School District’s 2017 Sunshine State Scholar at a conference in Orlando on May 19 and 20. 


Every year, each Florida school district names one high achieving eleventh grade science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) student to join this prestigious group of peers.


Sullivan was chosen because of his outstanding academic record and his interest in math and science. Currently, he plans on earning a college degree in Theoretical Physics and continuing on with advanced degrees in the area of physics.


The purpose of the Sunshine State Scholars event is to show these top performing STEM students what Florida has to offer them in terms of in-state STEM college programs and STEM careers.  At the two-day event, over 50 Florida colleges and universities set up booths to show what they have to offer and to recruit these talented students. 


Representatives from businesses also attend the event to give the Sunshine State Scholars insights into what career opportunities await those who pursue STEM fields in Florida.


Lockheed Martin is one of the biggest sponsors of the program. Notes Frank St. John, Vice President of Orlando Operations, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, “At Lockheed Martin, we are privileged to have some of the best and brightest minds on our company team. We recognize that our future success depends on trained, capable technical talent. We also see that STEM education is vital to our national security and our country's economic strength, which is why we support the efforts of the Florida Education Foundation's Sunshine State Scholars program.” 


Sullivan, who showed an early affinity for math and science, started taking high school courses while in middle school. He just completed Advanced Placement Calculus 1 his junior year in high school and is scheduled to take AP Calculus 2 his senior year. Excelling in Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment math, science, English and other courses, he will graduate in 2018 already having earned many college credits.


WHS Principal Mike Barwick, who was also Sullivan’s principal at Wakulla Middle School, says, “Daniel is a well-rounded student who has excelled in all his academic subjects, plus finds time to be on the Academic Team and is a vital member of the WHS Band, earning the leadership role of Drum Major for 2017-2018. To be good in so many areas takes a lot of self-discipline.”


WHS science teacher and Academic Team coach Brian Jacobs nominated Sullivan for the award.


Adds Superintendent Bobby Pearce, “As one of our own who attended Wakulla Pre-K, Crawfordville Elementary, Wakulla Middle School, and now Wakulla High School, we are so proud of all that Daniel has accomplished and look forward to following his continuous contributions to improving our world.”


Sullivan is the son of Dan and Sue Sullivan.