Education Foundation Awards More Than $35,000 in Scholarships
The Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation awarded more than $35,000 in scholarships to 30 graduating Rock Island High School seniors at the Academic Achievement Awards and Scholarship Night at Rock Island High School on Wednesday, May 9.
Scholarships awarded were as follows:
- Charles O. Austin, Jr. Leadership Scholarship: Established in 1984 by Mr. Austin in appreciation for his years of work in Rock Island as Principal of Rock Island High School from 1951-1965 and as Superintendent of Rock Island-Milan Public Schools from 1966-197. The $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Zavier Clark.
- Class of 1965 Scholarship: The Rock Island High School graduating class of 1965 chose to work together to endow a scholarship for a graduating senior. The $500 scholarship was awarded to Celeste Arteaga.
- Stanley H. Coin Business Scholarship: Established by American Bank & Trust to honor Stan Coin, a Rock Island High School Graduate, for his years of dedication as a leader in the community and philanthropy. The $1,000 Business Scholarship was awarded to Alexandrea Hawotte.
- Rick Gilliland Memorial Scholarship: Rick Gilliland was a long-time teacher in the Rock Island-Milan Schools who touched the lives of thousands of children during his career. His family established a scholarship in his memory. The $500 scholarship was awarded to Kayla Hawotte.
- Hass Family Scholarship: Established and funded by the Hass family (many of whom are RIHS graduates) in honor of their parents, Art and Mary Hass. The $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Bradley Steger.
- Amy Helpenstell Liberal Arts Scholarship: Amy Helpenstell was a graduate of the Class of 1988 at Rock Island High School. After her passing in 2003, her family set up a scholarship for RIHS students in her memory. The $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Jillian Jespersen.
- Jumer’s Casino and Hotel Scholarship: Funded by Jumer’s to honor and support an outstanding Rock Island High School graduate who has demonstrated academic and social achievement. The $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Alexandra Sweeney.
- Judith A. Katz Memorial Scholarship: Judith Katz was valedictorian of her graduating class at Rock Island High School and was active in fine arts. After her death, her family endowed a scholarship in her memory. The $4,000 scholarship was awarded to Benjamin Payne.
- R. Decker Magee Memorial Scholarship: Decker Magee was a Rock Island High School alumnus who died tragically a few years after his graduation. His family endowed a scholarship fund in his memory. The $500 scholarship was awarded to Caitlin Hagerty.
- Marler Clark Science Scholarship: Established after a class action lawsuit, it is intended for students who wish to pursue a college degree in a field of science. The $2,000 scholarship was awarded to Simone Collins.
- Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation Scholarships: The RIMEF sponsors three scholarships: one for a student attending a vocational/technical school, one for a student attending a junior college, and one for a student attending a four-year college.
- The $1,000 RIMEF Vocational/Technical winner was Selicia Applegate.
- The $1,000 Junior College winner was Bryanne Trice.
- The $1,000 Four-Year College winner was Samantha Knittle.
- Women’s Computer Science, Math & I.T. Scholarship: Funded by a Rock Island citizen to encourage women to pursue a degree in computer science, technology, or math. The $500 scholarship was awarded to Emily Sharp.
Criteria for the awards included academic achievement, participation in extracurricular activities, financial need, teachers’ recommendations, an application letter, and essay.
Top Ten Awards
The top ten students of each class (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) were recognized with a certificate for their achievement. Monetary scholarships were awarded to the top students in the academic areas of Business, English, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Career Education, with the first place winner receiving a $1,200 scholarship and the second place winner receiving a $1,000 scholarship. Department leaders at Rock Island High School selected the students for the scholarship awards.
Academic Department Awards:
Business: Brandy Lawrence (first place), Reese Argo (second place)
Career Education: Quinton Wilson (first place), Nathaniel Mueller (second place)
English: Jessica Israel (first place), Mia Kavensky (second place)
Fine Arts: Jillian Jespersen (first place), Alexa Penn (second place)
Foreign Language: Simone Collins (first place), Connor Corbett (second place)
Mathematics: Devin Radloff (first place), Joseph Johnson (second place)
Science: Kaitlin Boyd (first place), Morgan Brown (second place)
Social Studies: Benjamin Payne (first place), Caitlin Hagerty (second place)
Additionally, the top ten senior students who did not receive a department or Education Foundation award received a $500 scholarship. These scholarships are made possible through funds raised from the community by the Academic Achievement Awards Committee and the Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation. This year’s winners were Michaela Garrison, Jalea Jackson, and Taylor Stone.
The Rock Island-Milan Education Foundation was formed in 1986 to enhance academic opportunities for student success in the Rock Island-Milan School District. The Foundation manages scholarships for students, distributes grants to teachers in the district for classroom needs, and works to fund programs throughout the District to aid students’ academic success. For more information, call Cosette Thoms at 793-5900 x230 or visit www.rockislandeducationfoundation.org.