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WISD Education Foundation awards more than $25,000 in scholarships to Class of 2020 graduates

Much like everything else, the Waco ISD Education Foundation's annual scholarship presentations adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The usual presentations at high school graduation rehearsals pivoted to surprise announcements at the campus or students' homes throughout the summer. The Waco ISD Education Foundation awarded 11 students with scholarships totaling $25,250.

The presentations included scholarships managed by the Waco ISD Education Foundation -- the prestigious Dorothy Crippen Hurd Scholarship, Kenneth B. Esterak Memorial Scholarships, Louise DuPuy Memorial Scholarship, Kenneth A. Love Memorial Scholarship, 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.

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 Scholarships are awarded to Waco High graduates who will be attending Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin.

Waco ISD Trustee Cary DuPuy was in attendance to present the $2,000 scholarship given by the DuPuy family in honor of the late Louise DuPuy, a longtime WISD educator 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 ISD Athletic Director Ed Love and his wife, Dortheia. 

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 fifth 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 $5,000 in student scholarships. 

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 including Bill's involvement, the H-E-B Celebrity Cookoff 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 participated in the surpise announcement at the recipient's store, H-E-B Waco 1.

This year’s scholarship recipients will be attending McLennan Community College, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Houston, Tarleton State University, University of Missouri, Washington University in St. Louis, Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin.

Class of 2020 Scholarships:

Coach Echols Scholarship - $250
Daniel Benavides – University High

Louise DuPuy Memorial Scholarship - $2,000
Paris Hookham – Waco High

Kenneth A. Love Memorial Scholarship - $1,000
Restylyn Atalisay – Waco High

Bill Davenport Scholarship (sponsored by H-E-B) - $1,000
Restylyn Atalisay – Waco High

Roman The Realtor Scholarships - $1,000 each
Daniel Benavides – University High
Laura Diaz – University High
David Juarez – University High
Jolyssa Lewis – University High
Melanie Orona – University High

Kenneth B. Esterak Memorial Scholarship - Texas A&M University - $2,500
Christian Ramos – Waco High

Kenneth B. Esterak Memorial Scholarship - The University of Texas at Austin - $2,500
Claire Newman – Waco High

Dorothy Crippen Hurd Scholarship - $10,000
Harper Hoover – Waco High

Waco Public Schools Alumni Association Scholarships - $500 each
Brigitte Eichenberg – Waco High
Laura Diaz – University High

PHOTOS - Class of 2020 WISDEF Scholarships