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Waco ISD Seniors Surprised with $36,500 in Scholarships

WACO, Texas – Wednesday’s graduation rehearsals for the 2018 graduates of Waco High and University High included an extra bit of good news as 15 students were surprised with scholarships totaling $36,500.

The presentation 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 new Bill Davenport Scholarships. 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. This year’s committee deemed two applicants worthy of receiving the scholarship.

The Kenneth B. Esterak Memorial Scholarships are awarded each year to two Waco High graduates – one who will be attending the University of Texas and one 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 $500 scholarship given by their family 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. Last year, a memorial scholarship was established with the Waco ISD Education Foundation in memory of Kenneth A. Love, the late son of Waco High principal Ed Love and wife, Dorothea, with two recipients selected for its second year.

Retired educator and coach, Ed Echols, 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 third year. Roman Novian, a local real estate agent, 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 University graduates as they prepare for their college careers. This year, Novian awarded $5,000 in student scholarships. He also surprised four University High School teachers Thursday – Caitlyn Layman, Jeffrey Cunningham, Lori Romero and Glenn Price -- with an award of $500 each based on student nominations and recommendations.

“I believe every student should have the ability to attend college, no matter what their financial status is,” Novian said. “Education is the foundation to a better society, and 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 High.”

The Bill Davenport Scholarships are the newest addition to the list. Before his retirement earlier this spring, 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 the classrooms of Waco ISD. Bill continued to participate in the planning of the event and served as a celebrity chef each year. Over its twelve years, the H-E-B Celebrity Cookoff raised a cumulative one million dollars for the Waco ISD Education Foundation.

The Waco ISD Education Foundation and H-E-B both chose to celebrate Davenport and his years of service by naming scholarships in his honor for Waco ISD seniors who were also partners at H-E-B and demonstrated academic success, involvement in school activities and programs, and an active role in community service. Bill Davenport was there to present the scholarships, along with Kassie Mercer and Tamra Jones, both of H-E-B.

"We are committed to creating a college-going culture in Waco ISD, but making college a viable option for every student also takes a commitment from the community,” Superintendent Dr. Marcus Nelson said. “By awarding more than $36,000 in scholarships to the Class of 2018, the Waco ISD Education Foundation is stepping up for our students. These scholarships celebrate the hard work, leadership and academic success of some incredible students.”                

This year’s scholarship recipients will be attending McLennan Community College, the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, the University of North Texas, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin and Rice University, among others.

Scholarships Awarded May 30, 2018:

Coach Echols Scholarship - $500

Vanesa Manriquez – University High

Waco Public Schools Alumni Association - $500 each

Alexis Cervantez – University High

Samayim Davis – Waco High

Louise DuPuy Memorial Scholarship - $500

Enrique Perez – Waco High

Kenneth A. Love Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 each

Julie Benitez-Ibarra – Waco High

Andrea Watkins – Waco High 

Bill Davenport Scholarship, sponsored by H-E-B - $1,000

Jose Vallejo – Waco High 

Bill Davenport Scholarship, sponsored by the Waco ISD Education Foundation - $1,500

Melisa Montelongo – Waco High

Kenneth B. Esterak Memorial Scholarship - Texas A&M - $2,500

Enrique Perez – Waco High

Kenneth B. Esterak Memorial Scholarship - University of Texas - $2,500

Tansy Ackermann – Waco High

Dorothy Crippen Hurd Scholarship - $10,000 each

Dylan Rivera – Waco High

Sarah Sriram – Waco High

Roman The Realtor Scholarships - $1,000 each

Ana Balderas – University High

Alexis Cervantez – University High

Dylan Chapman – University High

Eddie Ramos – University High

David Roper – University High


Teacher Awards Given May 31, 2018:

Roman The Realtor Teacher Awards - $500 each

Jeffrey Cunningham – University High

Caitlyn Layman – University High

Glenn Price – University High

Lori Romero – University High