ST. MARYS — St. Marys students will take $124,000 with them to college after Monday night’s Academic Banquet, showcasing local generosity and the desire for community members to be remembered through bequests that continue to support Memorial’s talent.
Principal Dave Lewis called the large awards “a tribute to the kind of students we have in St. Marys.”
Mike Makley, while distributing the WSLC and WOEF scholarships, pointed out how college costs have changed.
In 1965, he said, the foundation gave its first full-tuition scholarship for less than $600 for all four years.
Since then, 2,400 scholarships have supported students at the Wright State University Lake Campus, and he distributed 15 scholarships to this year’s seniors.
Friends of the Library, represented by Linda Lunz, presented book scholarships. The St. Marys Fire Department, represented by Matt Schrolucke, awarded a scholarship for those pursuing education in the health care field.
One of the bigger awards was a $20,000 scholarship from Midmark Corporation for a future engineering student, with the offer of an internship each summer, and a job offer for the first three years post graduation.
“This one student stood out among the rest,” said Midmark representative Dana Wilker of recipient Nick Durkee.
Another full tuition and expenses offer was extended to Jason Freewalt from an Ohio State University land grant that chooses only one student per county as a recipient.
Awards recognized volunteerism, the roots of students in certain primary schools or elementary students, athleticism, math expertise, community involvement, kindness, courage, and specialty fields of study like religion, nursing, medicine or accounting.
The Rotary Club sponsored the academic “M” awards, with letters for jackets, chevron pins for second year students, and plaques for third year students.
The Kiwanis awarded students for perfect attendance.
Latin teacher Linda Schloemer awarded the cum laude (“with praise”), magna cum laude (“with great praise,”) and summa cum laude (“with greatest praise”) awards.
Many awards were presented on behalf of deceased locals. Nan Huckeriede presented scholarships in honor of Sharon Dieler and Helen Stahr.
Stahr taught more than 40 years. She was an active member of the St. Marys Education Association.
Dieler, Huckeriede said, taught home economics at the high school for 27 years.
“She believed in her students,” Huckeriede said.
Leslie Solomon presented an award in memory of Lindsay Zimmerman who died young of leukemia.
The Virginia Weadock Demora Scholarship was presented by Demora’s son, Bill Demora.
Assistant Principal Brian Best said the Geiger Family Scholarship was given in honor of Edith and Marguerite Geiger who “worked hard for St. Marys,” while the Ralph Guarnieri Scholarship was in honor of “Big Ralph,” also known as the voice of the Roughriders.
A scholarship from Robert Hirschfeld and family was presented to a medical student in honor of Hirschfeld, who was a World War II veteran, served as a deacon and elder, built houses with Habitat for Humanity and worked with countless community organizations before his 2007 death.
Robin Boggs presented the Cattarin Family Scholarship for her relative, known around town as “Dr. Cheer,” or “Dr. Sunshine.”
After scholarships were awarded, other distinctions and certificates for academic achievement were given.