Students in the Class of 2017 are preparing to graduate from Roanoke County Schools on June 9. The next few weeks will be marked with many celebrations and with several awards assemblies recognizing the accomplishments of those seniors.
The Roanoke County Public Schools Education Foundation held its 26th annual Scholarship and Donor Recognition Reception for them on April 24 at Cave Spring High School. Ninety-five scholarships were awarded to students from the five Roanoke County high schools and the Burton Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT). Those scholarships amounted to $78,000 in funding. Twenty-four of the recipients were William Byrd High School students.
WSLS-TV personality John Carlin emceed the awards presentations. He shared some of the history of the non-profit Roanoke County Public Schools Education Foundation, which was created in 1991 “to help young people in the county schools to meet some of their educational and personal goals through the development and application of donated financial resources.”
The Foundation provides student scholarships to graduating seniors and classroom grants for innovative teaching ideas; it assists with student travel expenses to state and national competitions; provides resources for international education, and assists students in remedial education and substance abuse programs.
Since 1991 the Foundation has provided over $1 million in scholarships to 1,600 graduating seniors, over $275,000 in classroom grants to more than 1,500 teachers, and over $300,000 for travel and educational programs, totaling over $1.5 million.
“All of this would not have been possible without the generosity of our community,” said Carlin. “There have been many generous corporate benefactors throughout the years, but almost 70 percent of all donations come from individual contributions.”
Fundraising activities for the Foundation include a golf tournament, student phone-a-thons, and the annual Backpack 5K run.
Former Roanoke County School Superintendent Bayes Wilson, who was in charge of the school system when the Foundation was established, congratulated the students for their accomplishments. He recalled when he and Steve Musselwhite of Vinton, the first Foundation president, convinced Rockydale Quarries to make the first donation– $10,000.
William Byrd students receiving scholarships from the Foundation this year were:
- Madison Elizabeth Moses, winner of the Bayes E. Wilson Scholarship. Madison is a member of Student Council and the Beta Club. She is also captain of the soccer team.
- Kayla Marie Altice, the Gordon C. Willis-Rockydale Quarries Scholarship. Kayla is Senior Class treasurer, a member of the Reindeer Club, a math tutor, and a RELATE facilitator.
- Derrick Russell Chocklett, the J.D. Sisson Golf Scholarship. Derrick is a member of the golf, baseball, and basketball teams, and DECA. He was named All-State and All-Timesland in golf.
- Charles Grant Watson, the Thompson H. Hall Memorial Scholarship. Charles is a member of DECA, the Beta Club, and the golf team, where he was named to the All-Conference team. He volunteers for Relay for Life.
- Meagan Rose Webb, the Pancham Patolia Scholarship. Meagan is a member of the Scholastic Bowl team, the Forensics and Debate team, and the Drama Club. She volunteers with the Reindeer Club, the Leo Club, and the Science Museum. She is a National Merit Finalist and attends the Governor’s School.
- Grace Noelle Carroll, the Carilion Clinic Pre-med Scholarship. Grace is president of the FBLA, captain of the soccer team, and Senior Class vice president. She was named All-Conference in soccer. She is a math tutor and has numerous hours of job shadowing at Carilion Clinic.
- Kasi Leigh Abell, the Jerry L. Canada William Byrd Scholarship. Kasi is a squad leader in marching band and an associate member of the Vinton Rescue Squad.
- Geri Brielle Davis, the Tina Cook Woods Memorial Scholarship. Geri is a member of the Beta and Leo Clubs and the FCA. She volunteers at the Rescue Mission and as a tutor.
- Anna Lynn Haught, the Quincy Development Company Scholarship. Anna is a member of the soccer team, Leo Club, and Beta Club. She is a National Merit Commended Scholar and placed third in the regional science fair. She volunteers as a tutor.
- Keira Danielle Naff, the Robert A. Patterson Scholarship. Keira is a member of the color guard and of the Leo and Beta Clubs. She also participates in symphonic band.
- Abigail Hope Griffin, the Hildegarde & Cecil G. Smith Memorial Scholarship. Abigail is editor of the yearbook, Senior Class president, and a Beta Club member. She also volunteers at her church.
- Bryce Chandler McGeorge, the Hildegarde & Cecil G. Smith Memorial Scholarship. Bryce also attends BCAT and is a leader of SkillsUSA. He participates in theatre performances and volunteers at his church.
- Emma Catherine Stevens, the Adam Wickham Memorial Scholarship. Emma is a member of DECA and the Leo Club. She plays varsity soccer. She earned her cosmetology license through the BCAT program and participates in her church youth group.
- Ryan Judith Stanley, the Jenna Sobolewski Memorial Scholarship. Ryan is captain of the softball team and a member of the Leo Club and DECA. She volunteers for Ronald McDonald House. She received the Unsung Hero Award.
- Mason Walker Powell, the Vinton McDonald’s Scholarship. Mason is a member of the football and wrestling teams and the Leo Club. He has performed over 200 hours of service to the community.
- Westin Paul Recktenwald, the LaCole Board Memorial Scholarship. Westin is team captain of the cross country and track teams. He is a Beta Club member and volunteers as a tutor.
- Peyton Scott Wilmer, the Wendy Basham Memorial Scholarship. Peyton is Drum Major for the marching band, a member of the Leo Club, and volunteers as a mentor.
- Adrienne Claire Band, the General Foundation Scholarship. Adrienne is a Beta Club member and served as producer of the Byrd Broadcast and Senior Video. She volunteers as a tutor. She also attends BCAT.
- Brian Patrick McGrath, the General Foundation Scholarship. Brian is a member of the Chess and German clubs and captain of the tennis team. He also attends BCAT. He volunteers with the Key Club. He is an Eagle Scout and state champion in the Real World Design Challenge.
- Madison Noel Bailey, the First Team Auto Scholarship. Madison is president of the Prevention Club, and a member of the Beta Club and DECA. She attends BCAT. She volunteers for Ronald McDonald House.
- Noah Alexander Heptinstall, the Kroger Scholarship. Noah is a member of the WBHS baseball and basketball teams and received the coach’s award in baseball. He volunteers with the Vinton Fire Department.
- Stephen James Olsen, the Lifetouch Scholarship. Stephen is a member of the basketball and soccer teams and the Leo Club. He is a facilitator for the RELATE program. He was named as William Byrd’s first Top Terrier. He also attends the Governor’s School.
- Alexis Renee Shail, the Rockydale Quarries Scholarship. Alexis serves as captain of the volleyball and lacrosse teams. She is a member of the Dogwood Court, and was also on the Homecoming Court. She volunteers as a math tutor.
- David Alexander Zaragoza, the Stop-In Food Stores Scholarship. David is a member of the Prevention and Reindeer Clubs and DECA.
Photographs of the scholarship recipients can be found on The Vinton Messenger Facebook page.