At the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year, on May 30, 2014, the TCCHS Alumni Association honored five Class of 2014 seniors with the first TCCHS Alumni Association Scholarships totaling $7500.00. At the conclusion of the next school year, on May 29, 2015, the TCCHS Alumni Association presented $8300.00 in scholarships to eight members of the Class of 2015. At the conclusion of last year’s school year, on May 11, 2016, members of the TCCHS Alumni Association awarded $9350.00, an increase of 25% from the 2014 monies, to nine students of the Class of 2016. At the Awards Ceremony on Thursday evening, May 11, 2017, representatives of the association awarded to 12 members of the Class of 2017 $11,350.00 in scholarship monies, an increase of 50% from the 2014 scholarship totals. The efforts of the first four years of the TCCHS Alumni Association have garnered a total of $36,500.00 in monies awarded to worthy students exiting the doors of TCCHS. That figure, one representing a marked monetary and student increase each year, is the result of the generosity of Todd Countians and TCCHS alumni who are committed to returning financially to their alma mater and its alumni.
Emphasizing no monetary amount is too small or too large and offering to tailor a scholarship to meet any donor’s specifications, Linda Stokes Fritz, vice-president of the TCCHS Alumni Association and chair of the scholarship committee, emailed, “As you are probably aware, the TCCHS Alumni Association offers several types of scholarships to our graduates with scholarships geared toward academics and technology.” She noted as well some scholarships have been set up to honor those who have lost their lives, many of them at a younger age. She added, “We realize students head off to college and/or to a technical school with little money, and we are so pleased we can assist our graduates and ease the financial burden that post-secondary education requires.”
Explaining the number of students applying for the scholarships has also grown, she remarked the selection committee worked diligently to select the best student to represent the scholarships and the requests of those providing the scholarships. Jeremy Long, president of the association, stressed the alumni association directors are so very honored to be given the responsibility of selecting the scholarship winners and allowing those who choose to donate to be able to return to TCCHS in such a powerful way. Aside from monies provided by alumni and friends of TCCHS, monies to finance this year’s scholarships have included the sale of TCCHS prints, polo shirts, 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, LED rings, afghan raffle tickets, silicone bands, and alumni association memberships, both those for yearly memberships along with lifetime memberships. Those fund-raising efforts have seen members of the association at several public events and at TCCHS ballgames since its formation in May 2013.
Presenting this year’s scholarships and scholarship winners were Linda Stokes Fritz and Charlotte Morrow, both active members with the association and members of the scholarship committee. They have also assisted with its membership drives, association meetings and activities, and fund-raising efforts. Fritz, a former teacher and guidance counselor both in Kentucky and Tennessee, and Charlotte Morrow, a former exceptional education and home economics educator, both shared they were reminded of their departure from TCCHS years ago when they graduated and exited the building with their futures ahead of them. In her opening remarks at the Senior Awards Program on May 11, Fritz stated, “We congratulate each one of you, and we wish you continued success as you soon begin your post-secondary educations.”
This year’s winner of the Gary Strader Memorial Agriculture Scholarship in the amount of $500.00 was Jonathan Warren Jones. This scholarship, given by the family of Lawrence and Barbara Strader, is in memory of Gary Strader, a 1985 graduate of TCCHS. Gary died in a farm accident not long after he graduated from Todd Central. The recipient of the Jeffery Wayne Farmer Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $600.00 was Annette Alejandra Rivas. This scholarship, given by Wayne and Carolyn Farmer and friends of their son Jeff, is in memory of Jeff Farmer, a 1990 graduate of TC. Jeff, the only child of the Farmers, was a victim of cancer and was beloved by all those who knew him.
As in the past three years, the TCCHS Alumni Association provided two $750.00 scholarships. These scholarships were made possible through the fund-raising efforts of the alumni association. This year’s winners of the two TCCHS Alumni Association Scholarships were Bryce Edward Penick and Hannah Rice Gill. Carolyn Wells, a 34-year veteran of the English classroom at TCCHS, provided the Carolyn L. Wells Academic and Leadership Scholarship in the amount of $750.00. Carolyn, a 1968 TCCHS graduate now retired from TCCHS, serves as secretary of the alumni association. The winner of this year’s Carolyn L. Wells Academic and Leadership Scholarship was Maci Michaux McCuiston. Last year a graduate of TCCHS contacted us. This graduate and his/her family, who wish to remain anonymous, have asked to sponsor two scholarships, each in the amount of $1000.00, to honor another deceased graduate of TCCHS. These two memorial scholarships, the TCCHS Alumni Association Memorial Academic or Technical Scholarship, were awarded this year to Hannah Jo Ryan Reed and Brett Atticus Voth.
The association is very pleased that it was contacted to offer three new scholarships this year. Those scholarships, two in the amount of $500.00 and one in the amount of $1000.00, honor a former educator in Todd County, a deceased member of the Class of 1973, and a couple who wish to remain anonymous. Those scholarships, the Alton Greenfield Memorial Scholarship, the Howard Ray Stokes Memorial Scholarship, and the TCCHS Alumni Business and Accounting Scholarship, were presented to Veronica Marie Wilson, to Lindsey Nicole Lacy, and to Kyle Austin Harris.
The association’s last two scholarships, the Tom and Rowena Everett Memorial Academic Scholarships, honor the late Tom and Rowena Everett, two educators known for their love of education, Todd County, and excellence. Mr. Everett, also a former minister, has been described as a ‘giant’ in the history of Lindsey Wilson College. The winners of these two scholarships, each in the amount of $2000.00, were Haley Leighann Alexander and Leah Danielle Wiles. Mrs. Linda Fritz, a relative of the Everetts, stated that both T. D. and Rowena Everett valued education, and the two scholarships provided in their memory add to their legacy and reflect the importance they placed on education.
As true of any effort, the association wants to thank the many alumni and friends of TCCHS who have purchased items sold throughout the year and have provided financial support through joining the association, either as a yearly member or as a lifetime member. Adrian Grenier, an American actor, producer, and musician, provided this very appropriate quote – “It’s enough to indulge and to be selfish, but true happiness is really when you start giving back.” It is quite apparent the TCCHS Alumni Association and its many supporters and members clearly share the sentiment of Grenier – giving back to their alma mater is a priority that truly reflects their love for TCCHS and their love for the students of the Class of 2017.
~Carolyn L. Wells
May 24, 2017