The event honors the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and celebrates African-American students who have attained high academic averages at local high schools. The breakfast is hosted by Colonial Williamsburg each year.
The guest speaker is the Rev. Dr. Vernon J. Hurte, pastor of New Light Baptist Church in Richmond, and senior student affairs administrator of the College of William and Mary.
Hurte earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bowie State University, a Master of Divinity degree (magna cum laude) from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Most recently, he was selected as one of Princeton Theological Seminary’s 2014 Joe R. Engle Fellows.
A published author, Hurte has had articles featured in both educational and religious journals, including Diverse Issues in Higher Education, the Journal of Cognitive Education, and the Journal of College and Character.
He is an active member of several professional and civic organizations, including Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Incorporated (Life Member), the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Richmond and Vicinity, and Richmonders Involved to Strengthen Our Communities (RISC), an ecumenical, cross-racial justice organization.
Hurte is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being named in 2010 as one of InSpire Magazines’ “Top 40 Inspirers in America.” Hurte is married to his wife of 13 years, Regenea A. Hurte, assistant commonwealth’s attorney for Newport News. They are the proud parents of two children: a daughter, Myéva, and a son, Vernon II.
Students represent the ninth through 12th grades at eight local high schools. Honored students are:
Bruton High — Tristan Andrews, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Oronde Andrews; Jaela Watkins, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sherick Watkins; Jessica Robinson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tyrone Robinson; Shai-Quana Branch, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Branch IV.
Jamestown High — Lehman Montgomery III, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lehman Montgomery; Jordan Willis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Willis; Janét Cole, daughter of Mr. Terrance Strong and Ms. Judy Cole; Amarra Daniels, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Daniels.
Lafayette High — Brandon Taylor, son of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Taylor; Heaven Heatherly, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Slabicki; Breanna Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gerry Miller; Christyn Edwards, daughter of Ms. Michele Edwards.
Tabb High — Erin Rodgers, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rickey Rodgers; Tryston Raecke, son of Ms. Cassandra Koch; Myles Ross, son of Mr. Isaac and Mrs. Ross; Geline Preudhomme, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Preudhomme.
Warhill High — Cynthia Cook, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Milton Cook; Cori Clifton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Clifton; Kevin Giles, son of Mr. Kevin Giles and Ms. Rhonda Gibbs; Markisha Jones, daughter of Ms. Pamela Smith.
Williamsburg Christian Academy — Shelbi Jordan, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Jordan; Imani Bryant, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Perkins; Isaac Davis, son of the Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Reginal Davis; Xavier Green, son of Ms. Jonelle Richburg; Kimberly Whitehead, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie Whitehead.
Grafton High — Joelle Miller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Miller; Jalen Banks (not pictured), son of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Banks; Olivia Darko, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Darko; Alexa Hodge, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eric McGowan.
York High — Kayla Schiltz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kirk Schiltz; Ciara Gillis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Gillis; Trinity Choice, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Warren Choice; Selena Moore, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Melville Moore; Dominique Rainey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Rainey.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation sponsors the Martin Luther King Jr., NAACP/ ACT-SO Breakfast to help provide funds for local winning medal students to compete at the National ACT-SO competition. This year’s competition will be held from July 9–12 in Philadelphia.