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WISD seniors awarded scholarships

Wednesday’s graduation rehearsals for the 2019 graduates of Waco High School and University High School included additional good news for 15 students who were surprised with scholarships totaling $25,100.

The presentation included scholarships managed by the Waco ISD Education Foundation -- the prestigious Dorothy Crippen Hurd Scholarship, Kenneth B. Esterak Memorial Scholarship, Louise DuPuy Memorial Scholarship, Kenneth A. Love Memorial Scholarships, Coach Echols Scholarship, Roman The Realtor Scholarships and the Bill Davenport Scholarship. The Waco Public Schools Alumni Association also awarded scholarships to students from both schools during the ceremonies.

The Dorothy Crippen Hurd Scholarship awards $10,000 over a four-year period to a Waco High graduate ranked in the top 5% of his or her class with proven leadership and community volunteerism.

The Kenneth B. Esterak Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a Waco High graduate who will be attending Texas A&M University.

Virginia DuPuy and Cary DuPuy were in attendance at Waco High’s graduation rehearsal to present the $1,100 scholarship given by their families in honor of the late Louise DuPuy. Louise, a longtime WISD educator, was the mother of Virginia’s late husband, Leslie DuPuy, and grandmother to Cary.

A memorial scholarship was established with the Waco ISD Education Foundation in 2016 in memory of Kenneth A. Love, the late son of Waco High principal Ed Love and his wife, Dorothea. Two recipients were selected in this, its third year.

Ed Echols, a retired educator and coach, sponsors a scholarship for University High graduates each year as a continuation of his investment in the students of Waco ISD.

The Roman The Realtor Scholarships for University High graduates are now in their fourth year. Roman Novian, a local Realtor, 2007 graduate of University High, and member of the Waco ISD Education Foundation’s board of directors, began funding the scholarships as a way to give back to his alma mater and support fellow alumni as they prepare for their college careers. This year, Novian awarded $7,000 in student scholarships. He also surprised six University High School teachers Thursday with an award of $500 each based on student nominations and recommendations.

“Growing up in South Waco and graduating from University are big parts of who I am,” Novian said. “I am blessed to be able to help make our community a better place to live and to give back to the students and teachers of University. Teachers are our unsung heroes and being able to support them, as well as the graduating seniors, is something I’m extremely proud to do.”

Before his retirement in 2017, Bill Davenport served in a leadership role with H-E-B for 29 years, with 17 years in Waco alone. In 2006, Bill, along with the Waco ISD Education Foundation, helped to found the H-E-B Celebrity Cookoff, an annual event that raises funds for innovative grants in Waco ISD classrooms. Bill continued to participate in the planning of the event and served as a celebrity chef each year. Over its 13 years, the H-E-B Celebrity Cookoff has cumulatively raised more than one million dollars for the Waco ISD Education Foundation.

H-E-B chose to celebrate Davenport and his years of service by funding a scholarship named in his honor for Waco ISD seniors who are also partners at H-E-B and demonstrated academic success, involvement in school activities and programs, and an active role in community service. The scholarship will be awarded through 2022. Bill Davenport was there to present the scholarship, along with representatives of H-E-B.

"Making college a viable option for every student takes a commitment from both the schools and our community,” Dr. Hazel Rowe, interim superintendent, said. “It was so thrilling to see our seniors be given a jumpstart to their college careers with these scholarship announcements. Each of the scholarship sponsors stepped up for our students, and we’re excited to be able to reward and celebrate the hard work and academic success of those seniors.”

This year’s scholarship recipients will be attending McLennan Community College, Baylor University, Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin.

Scholarships Awarded May 29, 2019:

Coach Echols Scholarship - $500
Gabriella Vidana – University High

Waco Public Schools Alumni Association - $500 each
Rachael Stephens – Waco High
Savanna Vidana – University High
Louise DuPuy Memorial Scholarship - $1,100
Thomas “Boots” Felton – Waco High

Kenneth A. Love Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 each
Gloria Conatser – Waco High
Yulissa Suarez – Waco High

Bill Davenport Scholarship - $1,000
Desirae Coronado – Waco High

Roman The Realtor Scholarships - $1,000 each
Jose Arreola – University High
Nayeli Guerrero – University High
Marisol Palacios – University High
Daniel Rangel – University High
Ximena Reynoso – University High
Alexandria Thomas – University High
Savannah Vidana – University High

Kenneth B. Esterak Memorial Scholarship - Texas A&M - $2,500
Elizabeth “Libby” Grant – Waco High

Louise DuPuy Memorial Scholarship - $1,100 
Thomas "Boots" Felton – Waco High

Dorothy Crippen Hurd Scholarship - $10,000
Olivia Henderson – Waco High

Teacher Awards Given May 30, 2019:

Roman The Realtor Teacher Awards - $500 each
Jennifer Bonn – University High
Andrew Chapman – University High
Carolina Gutierrez – University High
Sa’Lisa Harrell – University High
Tyler Massey – University High
Clark Nelson – University High