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Highlands Rotary awards record number of scholarships

HIGHLANDS– Each year the Highlands Rotary Club awards college scholarships ranging from $1000 up to worthy students in the local high schools.
This year, under the direction of Rotarian Dr. Larry Smith, a committee of ten Rotarians screened 36 applications, and made the difficult decision as to recipients.
These scholarships are one of the major benefits of money the club raises from its annual Chili Feast. Due to a strong community response, the club gave a record number of 16 scholarships, totaling $20,000 to the candidates.
The scholarships were presented last Monday night, at a dinner held at the San Jacinto Community Center in Highlands. The keynote speaker was the retiring superintendent of Crosby schools, who recounted in his talk about his days growing up in Highlands, and later Deer Park.
He thoroughly entertained the crowd, with his tales of local anticks in his childhood. But the message of his talk revolved around a paper he wrote years ago, entitled “A person who made a difference”. It recalls the little league coach Hendrix had, Hap Marshal, who chose his team with fairness over politics, and the impression this made on the young Hendrix. His message to the scholars, “Each of you is a potential Hap Marshal, and you can make a difference in someone’s life.”

After the presentations, and a short talk by each recipient, chairman White opened the floor for informal comments. He also told the history of the scholarship program, starting in the 70’s with only one scholarship that the club could afford, and growing to what it is today. He invited the community to join the club and it’s efforts to give back to the town.
Scholarship recipients were as follows, with their high school, college, and major noted:
Lauren Adams, Sterling, Baylor, Speech Pathology
Cassie Edwards, Sterling, Lee College, Pharmacy
Jenna Fontenot, Sterling, Rice Univ., English/Political Science
Ryan Gregory, Sterling, Baylor, Neuroscience
Stephen Guillory, Sterling, Air Force Academy, Civil Eng.
Jessica Ivy, Sterling, San Jacinto Central, Cosmetology, Marines
Kari Whatley, Sterling, Baylor, Biology, PreMed
Jessica Collins, Crosby, UT Austin, Political Science
Blair Foster, Crosby, Baylor, Architecture
Holly Kallies, Crosby, Texas A&M, Marketing
Jenna Petitt, Crosby, Baylor, Marketing
Whitney Bell, Sam Houston State Univ, Interior Design
Jonathon Rosenkranz, Culbreath Award, presented by Charlie Ward, Valedictorian Crosby, Texas A&M, Aerospace Engineering
Griselda Gallardo, JE Bird Award, presented by Marie Stasney, Chinquapin, St. Edwards Univ., Social Work
Daniel Grunden, Pat McPhee Award, presented by Barbara McPhee and Robert Woodall, Crosby, Baylor, Medical Research
Jake Brewer, Dr. Herndon Award, presented by his daughter Patricia Scott, Sterling, UT Austin, Geosciences.
Emcee for the evening was club president Johnny Gaeke, who also introduced the club’s exchange student from Germany, Goran Peterson.