Meeker High grads detail scholarships, future plans

MEEKER I Meeker High School counselor Trina Kennedy Smith introduced the 2016 graduates at this year’s commencement exercises, presented the scholarship awards they received and revealed their plans for the future.

Smith thanked scholarship donors, saying, “Each and every year, we are humbled and honored by the outpouring of financial support from our community organizations, businesses and families. Even in tough economic times, you all continue to support our students. Each and every bit of the scholarship monies is greatly appreciated.”
“Some of our scholarships are given in the memory of a loved one,” Smith continued. “Some of our scholarships are given by charitable organizations. But none of this money was free, someone had to work for it. The people who worked to give you all scholarship money are in the audience and in our community. It says so much for our community that so many people are willing to work so hard because they believe in you and want to invest in your future.”
Several organizations award scholarships to numerous students. The Meeker Lions Club, White River Electric Association, and Freeman Fairfield Trust are prime examples. The Fairfield Trust is the largest. Their recipients are selected based on GPA, ACT scores, extra-curricular participation, community service, leadership activities, the neatness and completeness of their application and how they present and conduct themselves during an interview with the trust’s selection committee. Each award is for $800 per year, renewable for up to four years. This year, there were 13 recipients. This totals $41,600 from the trust.
“The total amount of scholarship money that our small community has awarded to the Meeker High School graduating class of 2016 is $97,200,” Smith reported.
Colleges and universities, as well as several statewide and national organizations awarded scholarships to this year’s graduating class totaling $306,768. When added to the local awards, this graduating class of 2016 is eligible to receive at least $404,000 during their time in college.
Through Meeker School District’s ongoing partnership with Colorado Northwestern Community College, many graduates have earned college credits while in high school. Seniors in this class earned up to 65 concurrent enrollment college credits. The Class of 2016 earned 781 total credits, saving the families of Meeker seniors well more than $117,000.
Faith Patterson, valedictorian, will attend Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., to major in biochemistry and molecular biology. She has received the Monsignor Horrigan Scholarship from Bellarmine for $14,000 renewable, Colorado State Patrol Foundation Scholarship for $1,500 renewable, Pioneers Medical Foundation Scholarship for $1,500, Meeker Sportsman’s Club Scholarship for $800, White River Electric Association Scholarship for $500 renewable, Fred and Annie Burke Memorial Scholarship for $500, Meeker Lions Club Scholarship for $500, Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable and PEO highest math/science GPA award for $200.
Madison Shults, salutatorian, will attend South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, where she will study animal science, agricultural business and compete on the South Plains College Livestock Judging team. She received $16,220 from South Plains College plus the Chuck Urano Memorial Scholarship for $,2000, John & Amy Rakestraw Scholarship from the National FFA Foundation for $1,000, RBC 4-H Scholarship for $400, RBC 4-H Foundation Scholarship for $500, WREA Scholarship for $500 renewable, Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable, Lacey Oldland Memorial Scholarship for $500, Lions Club Scholarship for $500, RBC Farm Bureau Scholarship for $1,000, RBC Stockgrower’s Association Scholarship for $750, RBC Woolgrower’s Scholarship for $500, and PEO Highest Language Arts GPA award for $200.
Kash Atwood will attend Western State Colorado University, Gunnison, to major in wildlife biology with his goal becoming a Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer. Kash has received a Western Merit Scholarship from Western State of $2000 renewable and the WREA Cowboy Shootout Scholarship for $150.
Amanda Begaye will attend Metro State University in Denver, majoring in fine arts. She received the Colorado Grand (Colorado Lions Club) Scholarship for $7,500, Colorado PEO Scholarship for $5,000, Tri-State Generation and Transmission and WREA Scholarship for $500, Meeker Masons for $600, Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable, and Johnny Wix Memorial Scholarship for $500.
Bradi Bland’s diploma was accepted in his behalf by his brother, Kyler Bland.
Austin Bradford plans to enter the workforce in technology or culinary arts.
Nick Burri will attend Missouri Valley College, located in Marshall, Mo., where he will study conservation biology and play collegiate golf. He has received $13,000 from Missouri Valley College in academic and athletic scholarships plus the Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable, the Coach Bob Tucker Scholarship for $1,000, and Tri-State G&T – WREA Scholarship for $500.
Leah Bykerk-Pool will be attending CNCC in Craig, where she plans to pursue an associate’s degree in business management.
Marshal Bykerk-Pool will pursue an associate’s of applied science degree in aviation maintenance at CNCC. Marshal received the Meeker Mason’s $1,000 Scholarship and Coca-Cola Scholarship for $250.
Matthew Devore will study computer science at Colorado Mesa University. He received a Colorado County Officials and Employees Retirement Association Scholarship for $500 renewable, WREA Scholarship for $500, Meeker Band Parents Association Scholarship for $500, and Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable.
Ty Dunham will attend South Plains College at Levelland, Texas, where he will study pre-veterinary medicine and compete with the South Plains College Livestock Judging Team. Ty was awarded $9,040 by South Plains College as a result of his livestock judging expertise. He has also received the WREA Scholarship for $500 and the Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable.
Dillon Frantz will attend Western State Colorado University, where he will major in wildlife biology.
Taylor Frantz will attend the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley to study criminal justice. She was awarded a student merit scholarship from UNC, as well as an $800 renewable scholarship from the Freeman Fairfield Foundation and $600 from Meeker Masons.
Sarah Gerloff will continue pursuing her pre-nursing degree at CNCC in Craig and working for The Haven in Hayden, and Sandrock in Craig, long-term care facilities as a certified CNA.
Kadie Hummel will attend the University of Northern Colorado, where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in business management. She received a Meeker Masons Scholarship for $600.
Robert Jensen is currently employed in the energy industry. He plans to continue working in the energy field for the foreseeable future.
Lisa Lombardi is moving to Pennsylvania, where she will become a nanny for two small children.
Maegan McGruder will attend Colorado Mesa University in fall 2017 to study nursing. In the meantime, she is excited about being a stay-at-home mom, caring for her new baby boy, Benjamin.
Jamie Moyer will attend Northeastern Junior College (NJC) in Sterling, where she will double major in agriculture education and agriculture communication with a minor in animal sciences. Jamie received a $200 scholarship from RBC 4-H
Jacob Nielsen will pursue an associate’s of applied science in aviation maintenance at CNCC. He received a Colorado Mason’s Vocational Scholarship grant for $1,000, Craig Calver Memorial Scholarship for $250, CNCC Concurrent Enrollment Scholarship for $500, Charlotte Tucker Scholarship and Guild of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation Scholarship for $4,000, and Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable.
Noah Overton will attend WyoTech of Laramie, where he will study diesel technology and off -road power. He received a $5,000 renewable scholarship from WyoTech and the James Sizemore Memorial Scholarship of $1,000, as well as an $800 renewable scholarship from the Freeman Fairfield Scholarship Trust.
Sammy Palmer plans to take a year off from school but says he will train to become a certified nursing assistant.
Connor Pfister was accepted to CNCC in Craig, but he is planning to move to Denver, where he will work, participate in skate contests and attend college for mechanics, auto body and custom painting.
Tyler Pollock will enter the workforce, where he plans to work hard and save up money for his future.
Devon Pontine plans to attend Western Colorado Community College, a part of Colorado Mesa University, to become an electric lineman.
Cole Purcell will work as a welder’s apprentice.
Giovany Rascon plans to move to Oklahoma City, where he will study aviation.
Trenton J. Shelton will attend the Colorado School of Mines, where he will major in chemical engineering, minor in explosive engineering, and wrestle for the NCAA Oredigger’s. Mines has awarded him $17,842 renewable for up to four years as a result of his athletic and academic excellence. In addition, he has received the W.C. Striegel, Inc., Engineering Scholarship, Caddo Scholarship for $5,000, Meeker Cowboy Football Top Hand Scholarship for $300, Natural Soda / Bill Gunn Scholarship for $5,000, WREA Scholarship for $500 renewable and Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable.
Caitlyn Shepherd will attend Johnson and Wales University in Denver, where she will pursue an associate’s degree in baking and pastry arts. She received $6,500 from Johnson and Wales for her involvement in FCCLA as well as a $3,500 academic scholarship from Johnson and Wales, the Colorado PEO Scholarship for $1,500, Meeker Chapter PEO Vocational Scholarship for $500, Colorado Mason’s Benevolent Fund Vocational Grant for $1,000, Basin Electric and WREA Scholarship for $1,000, Hazelbaker Education Fund Grant for $1,000, ­­James Sizemore Memorial Scholarship for $1,000, Welle Family Scholarship for $500, Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable, and RBC Woolgrowers Association Scholarship for $500.
Kurstin Slaugh will be attending Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs, to study veterinary technology.
Marrissa Slone plans to enter the workforce, first by pursuing employment with the U.S. Forest Service.
Jacob Smith will attend Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, where he will pursue fire science, technology and fire management degrees. He has received the Georgia M. Hellberg Memorial Scholarship from the National FFA Foundation for $5,000, James Sizemore Memorial Scholarship for $1,000, WREA Scholarship for $500 renewable, the Meeker Friends of the FFA Scholarship for $250, Lions Club Scholarship for $500, Richard G. Lyttle Memorial Scholarship for $250, and Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable.
Cody Stickler is entering the workforce as an employee of Texora Land and Cattle Co. in Meeker.
Jenna Walsh will attend Iowa State University in Ames, where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business. She received a Wenstrand/Pride of the Farm Scholarship in agricultural business from ISU for $500, Iowa State’s Academic Recognition Award for $22,000, the Nonresident Initiative to Command Excellence Award for $12,000, the John Wesley and Eda Coles Scholarship in Agriculture from Iowa State for $1,000, and ISU Grant for $5,400. In addition, Jenna has received a Colorado PEO Scholarship for $1,000, Lacey Oldland Memorial Scholarship for $500, Colorado Farm Show Chuck Urano Scholarship for $2,000, WREA Scholarship for $500 renewable, White River Soil Conservation District Scholarship for $500 renewable, WREA Cowboy Shootout Scholarship for $150, RBC 4-H Foundation Scholarship for $500, RBC 4-H Scholarship for $400, White River Swine Club Scholarship for $500, Lion’s Club Scholarship for $500, RBC Abstract Scholarship for $1,000, and Freeman Fairfield Scholarship for $800 renewable.
AJ White will attend the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder. Prior to that, however, he will work with the School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) pursuing training in hotel maintenance with Hyatt Hotels and possibly look for a career in film.