May 22, 2016 - Thanks to the generosity of past and present “partners”, The Partnership for Educational Excellence was able to increase its academic tuition scholarships to $1,000 this year.
The 14 Gillespie High School (GHS) seniors receiving the awards this year were given $500 each from named memorial scholarships; The Partnership matched those gifts with $500 from general funds. The awards were presented by Partnership president John Fassero, Jr., and director and first president Nanci Grandone during commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 22, 2016.
“Thanks to the loyalty and generosity of hundreds of supporters, we can recognize these 14 excellent students and give them a little extra help furthering their educations,” says Fassero. “This year’s life essays, some outstanding, show thoughtful assessments of their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as their career goals. Their letters of recommendation reveal born leaders who have earned the respect of the adults in their lives. They embody our policy of rewarding every ability level for hard work, involvement in school and community activities, and proven ability to set goals. We are proud of the small role we may play in their future successes” says Fassero, a founding director as well as current president.
“Our scholarships are not large, because we want to recognize the greatest number of students,” says Fassero. “And parents over the years have told us that the $500 tuition payment does help their students during first semester." The funds are paid directly to the colleges.
This year a total of $14,000 was awarded. To date the Partnership has awarded $192,500 in tuition scholarships to 370 graduates of Gillespie High School.
In addition, The Partnership again administered two $100 cash awards from the estate of Evaline Boehmke for musicianship in band and chorus.
This year’s awards include:
THE DR. D. ROSS AND MRS. ROSEMARY BILLITER SCHOLARSHIP. Awarded for the first time, this scholarship was instituted by the Billiters to thank the many area residents who supported Dr. Billiter’s practice as general surgeon at St. Francis Hospital for many years. The award goes to:
Madison Buckner, daughter of Carrie and Brad Buckner of Gillespie, who will attend Lewis and Clark Community College to study dental hygiene.
CARROLL-KEUPPER SCHOLARSHIP established by the late Rosemary Keupper Valle and her sister Lillian Keupper in honor of their families who have been involved in medicine, world health, and banking/finance. Their grandfather Anthony Carroll, a member of the Gillespie school board, initiated strong family support for the local school system and its students.
Blake Hayes, son of Mike and Heather Hayes of Gillespie, will attend Southern IllinoisUniversity at Edwardsville, to study pre-medicine.
CAROL ENRICO DE LUCCA MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR TOP GIRL GRADUATES established by family and friends in memory of this Benld native who was a respected educator and counselor. The daughter of Rose Enrico, Carol established a consulting business to help students pursue their goals through higher education. Her daughters Allison and Ashley live in California.
Regan Goldasich, daughter of Mark and Amy Goldasich of Gillespie, will attend Lewis and Clark Community College to study accounting.
ANDREW EASTON, SR. MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by friends and a family filled with teachers. A life- long educator and football coach, he was a devoted mentor to scores of youngsters. "He’d have loved helping the young get their educations," say wife Florence and children.
Lynsey Gibson, daughter of Tina and Jeff Gibson of Gillespie, will attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to study accounting and business.
JOSEPH and EILEEN LIBBRA MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by family and friends. Married for 48 years, they were hard working grain and livestock farmers and dedicated to their four children, Mary, Joe, Trish, and Carol, and their nine grandchildren.
Evan Price, son of Amy and Chuck Price of Gillespie, will attend Illinois College in Jacksonville to major in physical therapy.
JOHN and MARK MADDEN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by family to lovingly honor this father and son. Both played Miners football, graduated from GHS and St. Louis University Law School. John returned to serve the community he loved in private practice, as a county public defender, and for 43 years as Gillespie City Attorney. He died at age 78 on 10 October 2009. His son Mark lived half as long, dying suddenly at the age of 39 on 11 October 2005. He was a trial attorney with Moser and Marshalak in St. Louis.
Colin Tieman, son of Joe and Marti Tieman of Gillespie, will attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana to study business and pre-law.
ROBERT M. PREVEDELL MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by family and friends. Robert lived 94 years as a farmer near Eagarville. Beloved by all for his dignity, good nature, integrity, and generosity of spirit, he was a prolific woodworker; veteran house mover; self-taught musician; talented gardener; and a charming storyteller with a razor sharp memory. He was proud of and devoted to his late wife Catherine, his four children (Bob, Toni, Pat, and Pam), seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Stephen DeMartini, son of Patricia DeMartini and Jon Tesio, will attend Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, to major in pre-medicine.
RICK RICHARDS MEMORIAL AG SCHOLARSHIP by family. This GHS graduate and local farmer is remembered fondly for his kindness and generosity to his family – wife Barb and daughter Lisa – and many fond friends.
Emily Harszy, daughter of Joseph and Diana Harszy of Gillespie, will attend the University of Central Florida in Orlando to major in archaeology and horticulture.
TAMMY ROSENTRETER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by family and friends. A U.S. Air Force veteran, she was active in her church and a dedicated teacher. She did it all through her valiant battle against cancer, inspiring Team Tammy fund raisers while maintaining her top priority: her family - husband Jerry and children Josh, Tateum and Tess.
Elijah Fox, son of Dan and Michelle Fox of Gillespie, will attend Illinois College in Jacksonville to major in education.
TEBBE FAMILY FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP for students of computer science and engineering plus many classroom mini-grants have been funded by GHS graduate Mark Tebbe, Class of 1979, founder of Lante Corporation, and his parents Ralph and Rose Marie Tebbe through their family foundation. Rose is Partnership director.
Andrew Cline, son of Teresa and Joe Cline of Gillespie, will attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to major in computer engineering.
MARJORIE & MATT TURCOL MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by family and friends. Matt and Marge’s great joy was their family. Marge is remembered by all for her generous and caring ways. Matt was mayor of Benld and president of the CUSD7 school board. Their daughter Susan is a frequent mini- grant recipient and their grandsons are Partnership scholars.
Abby Eccles, daughter of Joe Eccles of Gillespie, will attend Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri, to major in pediatric physical therapy.
UMWA Local 1613 SCHOLARSHIP represents coal miners, health care workers, truck drivers, manufacturing employees and public employees in our communities. The union fights for safe workplaces, good wages and benefits, and fair representation in workplaces.
Bailey Jarman, daughter of Troy and Stacy Jarman of Benld, will attend Lewis and Clark Community College to study dental hygiene.
MICHAEL VALENTI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by friends and family is awarded in loving memory of this 1994 GHS graduate who lost his life in 1999 in a tragic accident. Michael had completed an associate’s degree at Lewis and Clark Community College and was continuing his education at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Kirsten Sherman, daughter of Todd and Leslie Sherman of Gillespie, will attend Western Illinois University in Macomb to study marketing.
VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS AUXILIARY 4547 SCHOLARSHIP.
Rachael Emmenderfer, daughter of Ray and Rosie Emmenderfer of Eagarville, will attend Lewis and Clark Community College to study occupational therapy.
EVALINE BOEHMKE MUSICIANSHIP AWARDS: Evaline (Mrs. Robert) Boehmke, was an ardent supporter of music in CUSD7. She left a bequest for $100 cash awards for students to be selected by the music faculty of Gillespie High School for outstanding musicianship in GHS band and chorus. This year the Band winner is Olivia Friese and the Chorus winner is Kobe Willis.