The official opening of the renovated Blaine County School District auditorium in Hailey was last Wednesday.
But patrons enjoyed a sneak preview the previous night, April 24, when Wood River High School conducted its 2011-12 Scholarship Awards Assembly in the brand-new digs.
High School principal Peter Jurovich, tipping his hat to the unique occasion, said in his introduction, "It is fitting that generous donors and worthy scholars share in this once-in-a-lifetime experience."
At the end, Jurovich said, "Over $200,000 was given by my calculations. The outpouring of support and generosity of the community are phenomenal."
A highlight was the presentation of Works of Grace Foundation scholarships that local philanthropists Theresa Castellano-Wood and Benjamin Wood have developed for the children of Blaine County teachers.
Since its inception in 2002, Works of Grace Foundation has given 83 grants worth over $819,000 to children of local teachers, presenter Vicki Browne said. In the case of three of the students receiving grants this year, both of their parents are educators, she said.
This year's graduates earning the grants are James Petzke ($10,000), Kaitana Martinez ($10,000), Cheyenne Swanson ($4,200), Joseph Stellers ($1,000) and Taylor Lecrone ($1,000). A former WRHS graduate, Jordan Scanlon, received $3,100.
Over 30 organizations, memorial funds and individuals announced scholarships to WRHS students who are active in academics, community affairs and leadership.
A special award was presented to senior Greg Lindbloom. U.S. Army Sgt. Quinton Flegel based in Twin Falls gave Lindbloom a check representing the $53,028 from the U.S. government's Montgomery GI Bill that will go to Lindbloom's college expenses once he completes his service in the Army.
The Lewis Legacy Scholarship given in the name of Dr. Jim Lewis, retired Blaine County School District superintendent, was presented to Quincy Rainey.
A first-time grant, also presented by Blaine County Education Foundation executive director Mike Burchmore, was the Jean Todhunter Scholarship that attracted 51 applicants. The new scholarship went to Sara Garcia.
Rosa Vidal Martinez accepted a $500 scholarship given for the first time by the Ketchum PEO Chapter.
In addition to collecting $500 for being a local nominee, Kaitana Martinez was announced as recipient of a national PEO Star Scholarship worth $2,500. Martinez also became the second recipient of the Carol Harlig Guardian Angel Scholarship
Sara Garcia received the $1,000 Idaho Mountain Express Scholarship. This is the 25th year the Express has given grants to Blaine County students in three different schools. Over $92,000 has been given to students since Express scholarships began in 1988. There were 48 applicants this year.
Also leading the way was the Hailey Rotary, which has awarded scholarships at the high school since 1967. Hailey Rotary president Cynthia Unger announced 24 scholarships totaling $24,000 including several $1,000 memorial grants.
The Hailey Rotary's Roberta McKercher Scholarship went to Julia Broderick. The Lawrence Heagle Scholarship was given to Sean Sutton. Accepting the Joe Fuld Scholarship was Anne Heiner. The Dick Jones Scholarship went to Quincy Rainey.
Other Hailey Rotary grants at WRHS went to Hannah Baybutt, Elizabeth Fry, Kaili Smith, Zachery Dolenar, Sara Garcia, Desiree Midby, Tori Emerick, Andres Morales Lopez, Dylan Carey, Riley Heneghan, Jose Ruiz, Nathan Moses, Braxton Parish, Nathaniel Kniffen, Lucy Paisley and James Landes.
Ketchum/Sun Valley Rotary gave four $1,000 scholarships and two $500 grants. Presenter Will Duke gave $1,000 scholarships to Kaitana Martinez, Tehina Santiago De La Rosa, Allison Siegel and Jonnie Pedersen. The $500 grants went to Andres Morales Lopez and Lauren Bryant.
The three recipients of Sun Valley Board of Realtors $1,000 scholarships were Tehina Santiago De La Rosa, Kaitana Martinez and Braxton Parish.
Another highlight of the one-hour and 30-minute assembly were "Dollars for Scholars" scholarships in the amounts of $1,000 going to 21 WRHS students—and to 30 in all from the four Blaine County high schools. Presenter Audrey Bashaw said the local program, founded in 1995, has awarded over $350,000 in scholarship money to Blaine County high school students.
"Dollars for Scholars" recipients from Wood River were Hannah Baybutt, Conner Bennett, Conor Clark, Emmalie Dion, Kiana Ehrmantraut, Elizabeth Fry, Anne Heiner, Nathaniel Kniffen, Katlyn Matthews, Desiree Midby, Lucy Paisley, Braxton Parish, Emily Parker, Jonnie Pedersen, Patricia Orozco Regalado, Joseph Richardson, Jannette Romo, Jose Ruiz, Tehina Santiago De La Rosa, Sloan Storey and Sara Garcia.
Awarded for the 19th year were Leon Friedman Memorial Scholarships.
This year's 16 Friedman recipients at Wood River were Dylan Carey, Emmalie Dion, Tori Emerick, Sara Garcia, Karola Huaire, Kaitana Martinez, Katlyn Matthews, Desiree Midby, Nathan Moses, Lucy Paisley, Braxton Parish, Jannette Romo, Courtney Skeahan, Maricielo Soriano Gonzales, Haillie Taylor and Joseph Wiederrick.
Check the May 9 Local Life for more photos of winners.
Other award recipients
Josh Pollock Memorial scholarship from Power Engineers (presented for the 16th year): Nathaniel Kniffen.
Bob Shay Memorial Scholarship for $1,000 from the David Ketchum American Legion Post (13th year): Haillie Taylor. The Barbara Cimino Memorial Scholarship went to Natacha Morse.
Presented to 11 students were the Student of Hispanic Origin Continuing Scholarships from Jim Cimino. Recipients were Rosa Vidal Martinez, Venessa Torres, Leila Juarez Ibarra, Maricielo Soriano Gonzales, Ana Duran, Tehina Santiago De La Rosa, Marisa Mendez, Karola Huaire, Anna Lopez, Viridiana Hurtado and Pedro Contreras.
Other memorial grants were:
Tyler Shelly Memorial Music Scholarship for $1,000 honoring the memory of the 2002 WRHS graduate (8th year): Emily Parker. Jackeline Loera accepted the $1,000 Wende Lee Thornton Memorial Scholarship from the Thornton family.
Alan and Diane Johnson $1,000 Memorial Scholarship (9th year): Braxton Parish. Jill Palm Memorial Scholarship for $2,500: Hannah Baybutt.
Many organizations and businesses contributed grants.
Building Contractors of the Wood River Valley/Gregg Stowe Scholarships: Katlyn Matthews, Jonnie Pedersen, Karina Zamora and Zach Brown. Wilson/Woodyard Scholarships: Dylan Carey, Annie Heiner and Joseph Wiederrick.
DL Evans Bank Scholarship: Paige Hanni-Rogers. Paula's Girl: Desiree Midby, a Rotary exchange student to the Czech Republic next year who won her Senior Prom dress.
Blaine County Education Association scholarship: Quincy Rainey. Vocational/Technical Scholarship: Maricruz Baltazar, a culinary arts student.
Surfing Heritage Foundation: Victor Farfan. Ruscitto/Latham/Blanton Scholarship for $500 (12th year): Anne Heiner and Tehina Santiago De La Rosa.
Upper Big Wood River Grange Scholarship for $1,000: Haillie Taylor. Ketchum/Hailey Eye Center grant in the field of science: Tori Emerick. Farm Bureau Insurance Scholarship: Braxton Parish.
Smith College Book Award for an outstanding junior: Brooke Lawrence.
United Dairymen of Idaho Distinguished Students of the Week: Elizabeth Fry (KMVT); Kaitana Martinez, Cheyenne Swanson, Michaela Rodriguez and Nathaniel Kniffen (KTVB).
Sun Valley Center awards grants
The Sun Valley Center for the Arts has awarded more than $60,000 in scholarships to local high school and college students and educators. In all, 39 Blaine County residents received scholarships to pursue advanced training in the arts and humanities.
Recipients of the Sun Valley Center grants this year from Wood River included:
Annie Ashfield, Samuel Brown, Caleb Garvin, Catherine Henry, Reyna Kelly, Champe Kotara, Courtney LaRue Ballard, Taylor Lenane, Lauren Malone, Sydni Morales, Jonnie Pedersen, Haylee Pettit, Adam Potts, Kathleen Reyes, Luke Robertson, Claraliz Rodriguez, Andrew Ryason and Mariah Stout.
Other local recipients were Daniel Carnduff, Emmet Fortuin, Valerie Olsen, Sabrina Osenga, Arielle Rawlings and Moyo Tian.
Chase England, a WRHS junior, received the Ezra Pound Award and will use the money to study visual art this summer at Cow House Studio in Ireland.
Sean Dahlman, received a Gay V. Weake Award. This scholarship supports college students majoring in the arts and humanities and is renewable throughout their college career.
Four previous winners—Elizabeth Dion, Amy Ellsworth, Alison Freund and Stephanie Sloan—had their Gay V. Weake scholarships renewed. And four students received one-time Honorary Gay V. Weake scholarships. They were Mariah Davis, Emmalie Dion, Cristian Gonzalez and Morgan Jones.
In addition, five local educators received funds to pursue professional development. They were Anne Aganon, Betty Ervin, Erika Greenberg, Jude Hawkes and Matthew Wells.
Top citizens saluted at WRHS
Hailey's Wood River High School singled out top students during its annual Citizenship and Academic awards program Thursday at the high school.
Citizenship Award winners by grade were:
12th—Kaitana Martinez and Connor Murray. 11th—Nicole Pratt and Tim Boyle. 10th—Mary Petzke and Max Mauldin. 9th—Samantha Sutton and Cole Mauldin.
Top students by subject:
- Arts and Performing Arts—Tadd Saldivia.
- English—Brooke Lawrence.
- Math—Cheyenne Swanson.
- Music/Band/Choir—Emily Parker.
- PE/Health—Tehina Santiago De La Rosa.
- PTE—James Petzke.
- Science—Dave Maxwell.
- Social Studies—Kaitana Martinez.
- World Language/ESL—Chase England.