Mullings – “TCCHS Alumni Association Recognizes 2021 TCCHS Seniors
Mullings – “TCCHS Alumni Association Recognizes 2021 TCCHS Seniors with $20,250 in Locally Generated Scholarships”$20,250 out of $104,500!
That is indeed quite an admirable amount of scholarship monies! As we all so fully realize, the TCCHS Class of 2021, one enduring both the 2020 and 2021 school-year pandemic, has withstood two years that will probably remain as two of the most demanding years of their lives. Obviously, they will also certainly remain as possibly one of the two most ‘remembered’ graduating classes in the “soon-to-be” 60-year existence of TCCHS. Thankfully, to ease the heartbreak of so many negatives occurring the past two school years, a very reassuring memory that will also hopefully become a treasured one is the awarding of $20,250 in mostly locally generated scholarships, a new high scholarship total for the TCCHS Alumni Association. Highlighting it is so uplifting a class that has missed out on so many traditions during their junior and senior years can still have positive memories, Linda Stokes Fritz, vice-president of the association, messaged, “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 21 scholarships awarded this year. She also added, “The figure of $20,250 represents an increase slightly less than tripled 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 18 students who received 21 scholarships at the Senior Academic Awards Event held on Friday evening, May 7, 2021, were provided with scholarships in those dollar amounts. The recipient of the TCCHS Business and/or Accounting Scholarship, one provided by anonymous sponsors in the amount of $1000, is Elizabeth M. Hopper, a senior who will pursue college with a business major. Two other students who received scholarships this past Friday at the event include Emily Oliver and Eliza Simons, two soon-to-be 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.
Lacy Ellis and Madison Gilliland 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 ‘peddling’ their wares including the sale of the TCCHS and the former Todd County/Elkton High School prints, school mugs from the feeder schools that consolidated into TCCHS, school blank cards from the feeder schools as well as current schools in the system, bricks from the former Todd County Middle School and Todd County/Elkton High School, silicone bands, phone wallets, and alumni association memberships, both those for yearly memberships of $10 along with lifetime memberships of $200. New items added this year are commemorative TCCHS coins with these coins being donated by an officer of the association. In the past the association’s fundraising efforts have seen members at several public events and at TCCHS ballgames since its formation in May 2013; obviously the association’s efforts this year and last year have been curtailed; hopefully, too, those efforts can soon resume.
Sponsored by the family and friends of the late Jeffery Wayne Farmer, the Jeffery Wayne Farmer Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $750 has been awarded to Brelyn Foster. 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 she heads off to pursue other educational goals. In the amount of $500, the Gary Strader Memorial Agriculture Scholarship honors the late Gary Strader, a young TCCHS graduate who lost his life in a farming accident in 1985 shortly after his graduation. Gary’s wife, Sandy Carver, and her husband Bob Carver provide this scholarship in memory of Sandy’s late husband. This year the recipient of Gary’s memorial scholarship is Lindy Taylor. Mrs. Ruth Greenfield Elliott of Hopkinsville, a retired educator, has provided for several years the Alton and Bessie Greenfield Memorial Academic Scholarship to honor her late parents. This year the recipient of this $500 scholarship, one honoring a well-known and well-respected educator and his wife, is Madelyn Williams.
Linda Stokes Fritz, a sister to the late Howard (Howie) Ray Stokes and a retired educator, and Dolly Stokes Rawlins, mother of the late Howard Ray Stokes, provide 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 Skyler McKinney. 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 recipient of this scholarship for 2021 in the amount of $2000 is Collin S. Lyon. The Bruce and Linda Marklin Academic or Technical Scholarship was established by Bruce and Linda Marklin in the amount of $500. 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 and offered to establish a scholarship geared for either the academic or technical areas. The recipient of the 2021 Marklin scholarship is Haleigh M. Gann.
The Sharon Patterson Shemwell Memorial Scholarship, in the memory of the late Sharon Shemwell and in the amount of $500, is awarded to Alexandria D. Sears. The Shemwell scholarship is one funded by Darlene Groves of “Something Special” through donations and the sale of the “Sharon’s Sweet Tea” candle and several other local specialty candles. As everyone recalls, Sharon, a member of the TCCHS Class of 1968, was beloved by all who knew her. 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 again 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 N. Hadden. Mrs. Valentine, whose third novel “Sufficient Sacrifice” will debut later this year, expressed her love for supporting writing and education, adding at the age of 11, she had made a promise to herself to write a novel. The 2021 winner of the Carolyn Wells Writing Scholarship is Jennifer S. Flores.
The Carolyn L. Wells Academic and Leadership Scholarships, created and sponsored by a 34-year veteran of the English Department at TCCHS, 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 in the amount of $1000 are Yoni Dela-Cruz Cajija and Madelyn Williams, 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 Guthrie Partners for Main 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 Elizabeth Hopper.
As true of past years, several have reached out to the alumni association to sponsor scholarships, and for 2021 the association has provided five additional scholarships, each one in the amount of $1000. The first of this group is the Todd County Chamber of Commerce, an organization founded in 2018. The recipient of the first Todd County Chamber of Commerce Academic or Technical Scholarship is Clara Cardwell, a young lady with plans to become an elementary educator. Three other benefactors, two who live in Pennsylvania and one in Clarksville, approached the association wanting to honor the late Andrew “Cheston” Miller, a 2008 TCCHS graduate who died as a result of a traffic accident in Nashville. Those individuals, Mr. and Mrs. Dean Farnsworth of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and Clifton Martin of Clarksville, established the Andrew “Cheston” Miller Memorial Academic or Technical Scholarship to honor a young man who touched their lives through their friendship begun through the game of chess. Clifton, who knew Cheston in high school, also treasured the impact Cheston had made on the lives of others. The recipient of this 2021 memorial scholarship is Gracie L. Gates.
Randall and Nancy Powell, whose careers centered on healthcare, either in administration or as a nurse practitioner, reached out to the association several months ago with the request to fund three $1000 scholarships to assist graduates pursuing healthcare. The Randall and Nancy Powell Healthcare Scholarship recipients for 2021 are McKenzie C. Pool, Summer R. Lancaster, and Jennifer S. Flores. These three students all have indicated plans to become nurses or an EMT. 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 $20,250 in scholarships to TC graduates. The association realizes education is an expensive endeavor, and we are so very 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 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 following CDC guidelines. 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 11, 2021