Awards Night

May
26

It was senior awards night at the high school this week. The girlfriend came with us, of course.

The event was sometimes exciting, sometimes boring, sometimes a little sad. And long. (Very long.) It was a preview, in some ways, of graduation. Tomorrow is the last day of school for seniors. (School goes on another week for everyone else.) Graduation is next Friday. The valedictorian is yet to be determined, though the principal read off the names of the girls in the running. It’s always girls. At least here it’s always girls. And yes, that’s right, Weston is not in the running. All the girls in the running have GPAs in excess of 4.0. This is possible through taking courses designed for college credit during high school. I asked Weston why he didn’t take more of those–he only took one–he said, with a big why-don’t-you-know-this-MOTHER sigh, “They have to take those classes after school. I was playing football.” Anyway, an interesting factoid that came to light during the evening was that a high SAT score is worth more scholarship money than a high GPA. (Not sure that’s fair, but it seems true.)


The saddest part of the evening were the scholarships given out by individuals or families in honor of a loved one who had passed away, in some cases a recently graduated student from the high school. (Most often, in a car crash.) These were small scholarships, usually $500, but big on emotion.

The reason the evening went on so long was because representatives were there from all the colleges and universities in the state to present the scholarships students were receiving from those institutions. (In those cases, the students already knew about the scholarships, of course. It was just an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the students with their scholarship in front of the school.)

The evening started with the principal making a speech about the Promise scholarship–this is the West Virginia scholarship that pays the tuition and fees for any student who graduates with a 3.0 or above to any in-state college (all tuition and fees for a public college, up to a certain amount for a private college). I was a little shocked, and sad, that the principal was excited about the “huge” number of students who had qualified for the Promise scholarship from this year’s graduating class. The graduating class numbers 149. (This is an all-county high school.) The Promise scholarship is an amazing deal that cuts the cost of college in half. The “huge” number out of 149 who qualified for the Promise this year here?

24.

Believe me, this is a county where the families need this kind of help to pay their children’s way to college, and where many if not most of them would qualify for grants to cover the rest in combination with the Promise to pay tuition and fees, sending their kids to college for free, and yet…..

24.

However, I appreciate that the principal made a big deal out of every student who qualified, calling every one of them up to the stage individually and shaking their hand. There were only a couple of football players in that number, Weston being one of them.

The principal also made a special big deal out of Weston being a National Merit Scholar, making a little speech that Weston found incredibly embarrassing, but which was quite nice. I’m not sure when they last had a National Merit Scholar here, but they don’t have them around every corner.

Principal shaking Weston’s hand after announcing him as a National Merit Scholar.

There is a very nice little foundation here that arranges a number of scholarships through local donations, and those were presented at the end of the (by then, very long) evening. I think Weston, along with everyone else, was almost in a coma when the foundation representative came to the last, and as he stated, “best” scholarship they were giving out. And then he said Weston’s name. I poked him from his coma and he got up. When he came back, he said, “What was that?” (Yes, he really was in a coma!) They gave him an $8000 scholarship.

We have been very, very fortunate. And I’m very, very proud of him. Next week, he goes to orientation at West Virginia University. He is, almost, a college student!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 26, 2011  

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Comments

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  1. 5-26
    8:13
    am

    Congratulations to Weston! I wish him great success in everything he moves on to do. You have done a great job raising some fine children.

  2. 5-26
    8:18
    am

    Oh, Suzanne, this is wonderful! Congrats again to Weston and it’s so nice to see a good student honored with assistance to further their education. They earn it!

    dede

  3. 5-26
    8:33
    am

    What wonderful news and you must be so proud . . . of ALL your children!
    Congratulations!

  4. 5-26
    8:35
    am

    Congratulations to Weston and to you Suzanne for raising such wonderful and SMART kids! :woof:

  5. 5-26
    8:42
    am

    That is wonderful! I am very excited for the both of you! Congratulations Weston!!

  6. 5-26
    9:11
    am

    Congratulations to Weston, and to you for raising him. He will be a credit to his family. You are fortunate to have such great children.

  7. 5-26
    9:27
    am

    Congratulations to Weston and to you, too, Suzanne. What a wonderful family to be proud of. Good luck to Weston as he begins his college days.

  8. 5-26
    9:42
    am

    CONGRATULATIONS to Weston – and to you, too, Mom! The entire family must be very proud – and rightly so.

  9. 5-26
    9:42
    am

    Congrats to Weston!
    But 125 got less than a 3.0? Wow. That’s sad.

  10. 5-26
    10:23
    am

    Suzanne and Weston CONGRATULATIONS.

  11. 5-26
    10:30
    am

    Congratulations Weston and to your family. Just goes to show what hard work will achieve. Follow your dreams and enjoy all your new upcoming college adventures.

  12. 5-26
    10:57
    am

    On the Promise Scholarship, the students ALSO have to make at least a 22 in EACH SECTION of the ACT or (above a certain score on each half of the SAT). There are more than 24 students that have a 3.0 GPA or higher. However, they don’t have the test scores to qualify. Many good students have trouble with this because they have high test anxiety or have ONE bad section on the ACT even though their composite score is pretty good.

    That said, my son’s class at the same high school had 140 graduates. There were only 13 in his class that qualified for the PROMISE program.

    Congratulations to Weston! We are so proud of him. We look forward to following his college career and see what life holds in store for him.

    :woof:

  13. 5-26
    11:54
    am

    Congratulations on a job well done by Weston (and Mom). I went to WVU (in the Dark Ages) so I wish him great success at that institution.

  14. 5-26
    12:43
    pm

    That’s awesome (except the very long part :? )!! Congratulations all around. Look out college, here he comes!

  15. 5-26
    12:50
    pm

    We are all so proud of Weston! I feel as if he were my nephew, er, perhaps great-nephew! You must be jumping out of your skin with joy!

    BTW, I know what you mean about exceedingly long presenttions. When my daughter graduated from college, my Dad actually dozed off, and I think other parents and/or grandparents did as well!!!

  16. 5-26
    12:54
    pm

    Weston, congratulations on all your achievements!! You’ve worked hard for them and deserve every one!! Good luck as you enter WVU in the fall.

    Susanne, so glad for you. You must be so proud.

  17. 5-26
    1:29
    pm

    That is great news! Happy for you. :sheepjump:

  18. 5-26
    2:35
    pm

    Well Done, Weston….and Suzanne, you’ve raised another fine son!

  19. 5-26
    3:28
    pm

    Great jobs all around, both to Weston and his mama. My daughter is already trying to figure out how to divert herself during her brother’s graduation next month. The last one I went to was our niece’s. That went on forever and it was a smaller school than our son’s. But, they are worth it.

  20. 5-26
    6:07
    pm

    Living in a small town has its benefits. It’s easy to be a big fish in a small pond. I bet Weston got more in scholarships where you live than he would have in an large urban area. Same amount of moneys divided among a larger group.

    Congratulations Weston, have fun in college!

  21. 5-26
    6:23
    pm

    Congratulations! sometimes it’s worth setting through a long night!
    When YOU receive the high honor!
    ~~HUGS~~

  22. 5-26
    6:42
    pm

    Congratulations, Weston!

  23. 5-27
    12:20
    am

    Ok, it’s late. But I found him accepting a scholarship and then coming back and asking you “What is this for?” hysterical! :yes:

    Congrats Weston for completing your high school year as well as completing it with HONOR and a lot of scholarship money.

    I live in a rural area too. We also only have one high school (and one middle school). I can’t believe the number of students whom drop out. A young friend, a troubled kid from a bad situation was given the opportunity to live with some who tutored her, getting her up to speed on a number of subjects, worked with the school to get her ready so she COULD graduate and gave her a free room. The young woman has SSI and food stamps. She was asked to clean the litter boxes and water dish for 5 cats – 2 of whom were hers. She was asked once a week to dust, run the vac and change the sheets on her bed and the lady’s bed. (the lady is handicapped.) It was too much trouble so she left the lady’s house. Has spent the last month mooching off of other people and not treating them any better. Last Monday, with 5 days left of school, she hopped a bus to Arkansas. Senior year – gone. Diploma – gone. Future – gone. It’s so sad.

    My oldest daughter AND my son, at their DAD’S urging did much the same thing. Each dropped out in their senior years (as he did). Son had 25 more days of school left. All he has to do to get his GED is WRITE AN ESSAY. And he REFUSES to do it.

    So to me, Weston finishing is a BIG, HUGE DEAL.

  24. 5-27
    12:51
    am

    Congratulations to Weston. He is very fortunate to have an encouraging home in which to flourish. I am sure he will do well in school. I know you are very proud and so you should be. :)

  25. 5-27
    8:08
    am

    Congratulations to Weston and to you as well. How exciting to receive such a gift. Of course ya’ll worked hard for it but wow..that is great. It was worth sitting through all the long speeches and everything. Congrats!!!!! :woof:

  26. 5-27
    8:09
    am

    Congratulations!

  27. 5-27
    8:47
    am

    Yay for Weston! And congrats to you, Mom, for tirelessly doing a great job that shows in the lives of your kids…You rock! :happyflower:

  28. 5-27
    10:38
    am

    Congrats! What a great program for students to go to school. Sad that only 24 decided to do this! Best of luck to Weston collage years! Hugs!

  29. 5-27
    5:52
    pm

    Congratulations Suzanne for providing an environment that allowed Weston to thrive and excel. Congrats, too, to Weston for all his hard work…here’s hoping he’ll hit his stride early on in college,

  30. 1-12
    10:42
    am

    It’s true RCHS doesn’t have many National Merit Scholars. Great that Ross increased that number! Nationwide, many National Merit Semifinalists don’t become Scholars, because they choose to attend a college that doesn’t even offer National Merit Scholarships, don’t qualify for, for instance, company scholarships for employee children, and don’t earn one of the few allotted to each state that can be used at any college. 2002 valedictorian Stephanie Bostic was a National Merit Scholar, because she got the last kind of Scholarship. According to the newspaper guy, she was the first girl at RCHS to make National Merit Semifinalist. Ansel Payne was a semifinalist in 1999, but I don’t remember his being a Scholar. He went to Harvard, which doesn’t offer National Merit Scholarships.

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