Mullings – “TCCHS Alumni Association Recognizes 2020 TCCHS Seniors with $17,500 in Locally Generated Scholarships”
$17,500 out of $83,900! That is indeed quite an admirable amount of scholarship funds for any high school! As we all so fully realize, the TCCHS Class of 2020, one that endured the 2020 pandemic, has withstood a year that will probably remain one of the most ‘remembered’ graduating classes in the soon-to-be 60-year existence of TCCHS. Thankfully, to ease the heartbreak of so many negatives that occurred this past school year, a very reassuring memory that will also hopefully become a treasured one is the awarding of $17,500 in locally generated scholarships, a new high funding total for the TCCHS Alumni Association. Highlighting it is so uplifting a class that has missed out on so many traditions during their senior year can still have positive memories, Linda Stokes Fritz, vice-president of the association, shared, “The TCCHS Alumni Association is so very pleased we have been able to continue our funding for scholarships, recognizing seniors who excel both academically and in leadership qualities.” She also expressed gratitude to the sponsors, those both locally and from out-of-state, who have so generously supplied monies for each of the 19 scholarships awarded this year. She also added, “The figure of $17,500 represents an increase slightly past doubled from the $7500 first provided to five seniors of the TCCHS Class of 2014.”
As most of us are sure to admit, we would be ecstatic to receive a check in the amount of $500, $750, $1000, or $2000, and the 13 students who received 19 scholarships at graduation were provided with scholarships in those dollar amounts. Sadly, as well as true of past years, several students who applied for the scholarships did not have all information required, and those seniors were not eligible for the scholarships because of missing essays, required GPA’s, missing letters of recommendation, and/or missing signatures. Since no one received the TCCHS Business and/or Accounting Scholarship in the amount of $1000.00 last year and since several students applied for that scholarship this year, the anonymous sponsors of that scholarship provided two $1000 scholarships this year, stating they will revert back next year to the one scholarship in the amount of $1000. The winners of the two business and/or accounting scholarships this year are Lindsey Nichols and Austin Rager, two seniors who will pursue degrees in accounting at the college level.
Two new scholarships were also offered this year, each one in the amount of $500. The Bruce and Linda Marklin Academic or Technical Scholarship was established by Bruce and Linda Marklin. As most are aware, Ms. Linda is the owner of Marklin Insurance in both Elkton and Adairville, and her husband Bruce, a veteran as well as a retired police chief and recipient of a recent kidney transplant, reached out to the association last year and offered to establish a scholarship geared for either the academic or technical areas. The first winner of this Marklin scholarship is Sarah Glover. In similar fashion, the TCCHS Class of 1999 held their 30-year reunion this past summer, and instead of ‘keeping extra monies’ left over from their reunion, they reached out to the alumni association and requested establishing The TCCHS Class of 1999 Academic or Technical Scholarship for this past school year, also in the amount of $500. The first winner of this award, one recognizing excellence in education as well, is Jeri Ann Lear.
Two other students who received scholarships this past Friday at graduation include Willem Azzinnaro and Margaret Gillum, two new alumni who received the Tom and Rowena Everett Memorial Academic and Technical Scholarships in the amount of $2000 each. The Everetts, both well-known educators and a former preacher with Todd County ties, believed strongly in education and provided to the alumni association prior to Mrs. Rowena Everett’s death the monies necessary to fund these two scholarships for several years. As many recall, the Everetts, with a campus building named in their honor, were instrumental in the success of Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky.
Sarah Glover and Elyse Wood are recognized as the recipients of the TCCHS Alumni Association Scholarships in the amount of $750 each. These two scholarships, which are made possible through the on-going fundraising efforts of the association, require the directors and other supporters to ‘make the money’ for these two scholarships. “Making the money” entails the officers and directors ‘peddle’ their wares including the sale of the TCCHS and the former Todd County/Elkton High School prints, school mugs and cards from the feeder schools that consolidated into TCCHS, bricks from the former Todd County Middle School and Todd County/Elkton High School, silicone bands, and alumni association memberships, both those for yearly memberships of $10 along with lifetime memberships of $200. New items added this year are silicone phone wallets with these items being donated by an officer of the association. The association’s fundraising efforts have seen members at several public events and at TCCHS ballgames since its formation in May 2013; obviously their efforts this year have been curtailed like so many other events. Monthly reminders in the past also have been emailed to those who have yearly memberships with some who join yearly ‘chipping in’ additional monies for the scholarship effort.
Sponsored by the family and friends of the late Jeffery Wayne Farmer, the Jeffery Wayne Farmer Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $500 has been awarded to Sarah Glover. In talking with Carolyn Farmer, Jeff’s mother and a beloved Todd Countian, Carolyn emphasized her family and Jeff’s many friends are so pleased to be able to assist a new graduate as he or she heads off to pursue other educational goals. This year Jeff’s son, Dalton Avery Farmer, also graduated from his high school in Missouri; however, the Farmers insisted they wanted to continue the tradition of the scholarship to honor Jeff and also to honor their grandson. Since 2014, the family of the late Gary Strader, a young man killed shortly after graduation in a farming accident, has provided the Gary Strader Memorial Agriculture Scholarship in the amount of $500. The past two years, however, Gary’s wife, Sandy Carver, and her husband Bob Carver have provided the scholarship in memory of Sandy’s late husband. This year the recipient of Gary’s memorial scholarship is Leah Gill. The daughter, also a retired educator, of the late Alton Greenfield, Mrs. Ruth Greenfield Elliott of Hopkinsville has provided for the past three years the Alton Greenfield Memorial Academic Scholarship in the amount of $500. This year’s recipient of that award, one honoring a well-known and well-respected educator in Todd County, is Whitney Higgins.
Linda Stokes Fritz, a sister to the late Howard Ray Stokes and a retired educator, and Dolly Stokes Rawlins, mother of the late Howard Ray Stokes, provided the Howard Ray Stokes Memorial Academic Scholarship in the amount of $500. This year’s recipient of that scholarship, one honoring a deceased member of the TCCHS Class of 1973, is Laurie Knuckles. Several years ago a resident of Todd County reached out to the alumni association and stated his/her family’s desire to sponsor anonymously the TCCHS Alumni Association Memorial Academic or Technical Scholarships in memory of a deceased graduate of TCCHS. The family reached out again in recent years with their desires to double their previous $1000 scholarships to $2000 each. The recipients of those two scholarships for 2020 in the amount of $2000 each are Ellee Shemwell and Jordan Weathers.
The Sharon Patterson Shemwell Memorial Scholarship, in the memory of the late Sharon Shemwell and in the amount of $500, is awarded to Ellee Shemwell, Sharon’s granddaughter and a young lady who epitomizes the late Sharon Shemwell. In describing the recipient, Mrs. Darlene Groves, sponsor of the scholarship and owner of “Something Special,” added that Ellee is one who embodies all that Sharon is remembered for – her eagerness to work, her academic and leadership excellence, her charisma, and her willingness to go above and beyond anyone’s expectations. The Shemwell scholarship is one funded by the efforts of Darlene through donations and the sale of the “Sharon’s Sweet Tea” candle and several other local specialty candles. Another contributor to the Shemwell scholarship this year also shared that Ellee always greets others with a cheerful smile and a heartfelt welcome, two trademarks of the late Sharon Shemwell, a member of the TCCHS Class of 1968.
Mrs. Lana Kim White Austin, a former Todd Countian and a well-known published author, educator, and the adopted daughter of two former Todd County educators, asked to honor Carolyn Wells, her former honors and AP English teacher, with the establishment of the Carolyn Wells Writing Scholarship. The second sponsor of the scholarship this year, Mrs. Annette Hadden Valentine, is also a published author, a former interior designer and educator, and the granddaughter of a well-known Todd Countian, the late Joseph Newton Hadden. Mrs. Valentine is one who also believes strongly in education. She and Lana Kim both debut novels later this year, and both writers stressed they wanted to give back to a community they both love. Mrs. Valentine, whose second novel “Down to the Potter’s House” will be available November 3 and is already available for preorder on her website, expressed her love for supporting writing, adding that at the age of 11 she had made a promise to herself to write a novel. The third winner of the Carolyn Wells Writing Scholarship is Ellee Shemwell.
The Carolyn L. Wells Academic and Leadership Scholarships, created and sponsored by a 34-year veteran of the English Department at TCCHS, saw changes last year with the scholarship amount increased to $1000 along with two being provided rather than one. These two scholarships, each in the amount of $1000, place emphasis on a senior who displays both academic excellence along with strong leadership skills, two trademark requirements of the retired educator. The recipients of this year’s academic/leadership scholarships are Ellee Shemwell and Austin Rager, two seniors who exemplify those positive qualities. Also returning to the group of scholarships offered to seniors this year is the Oliver Archery Scholarship in the amount of $1000. This scholarship, one honoring Boogie Oliver and sponsored in honor of Boogie’s many contributions to the Guthrie MainStreet Program, is funded by the MainStreet Program and other contributors to acknowledge Boogie’s years of support of Guthrie. The winner of this award, a student who participated faithfully in archery for several years, is Brooke Knight.
Emphasizing the alumni scholarships are geared toward both the technical area as well as the academic area, Jeremy Long, president of the TCCHS Alumni Association and a 1998 graduate of TCCHS, messaged, “The TCCHS Alumni Association is so very honored to be able to provide $17,500 in scholarships to TC graduates. The association realizes education is an expensive endeavor, and we are so thankful we can provide a monetary boost to ease that burden as graduates look to their futures.” Directors of the association also express their gratitude to the Todd County School District and to Rachel Westerman, TCCHS Career Counselor, who have been very supportive of the goals and efforts of the association. Charlotte Morrow, one of the directors of the association, encourages people in the community or former Todd Countians to contact association members if someone has a desire to contribute to our scholarship efforts, wants to establish a scholarship, or desires to assist with the work of the organization. As mentioned, we have to ‘make our money’ yearly, and if you happen to see alumni members and directors at TCCHS ballgames or out in the community, we ask you stop by and chat with us, obviously now observing social distancing. As always, we will work with those who reach out to us so we can further carry out our motto of “celebrating our past, present, and future.”
~ Article by Carolyn L. Wells
May 26, 2020