Pratt High School seniors received over $28,000 in scholarships last week, including $13,000 from the Pratt Class of 1969, to help further their education.
Tradition plays an important part of high school life with sports, music programs, homecoming, prom, graduation and scholarships.
On May 8, at Pratt High School, a number of scholarships, along with a variety of awards and recognitions were made honoring students in a wide variety of activities.
Among the most prestigious were the 50 year scholarship awards made annually by the graduating class from 50 years ago along with the Dorotha Giannangelo Scholarship.
Receiving a Dorotha Giannangelo $5,000 Scholarship is Zach Shanline. Receiving $2,500 Giannangelo scholarships are Mallary Nelson and Abigail Lloyd.
Receiving the Class of 1969 $5,000 Scholarship is Allisan McGowan. Receiving the Class of 1969 $1,000 scholarships are David Mathis, Travis Theis, Wyatt Scharg, Nate Kolm, Madalynn Wilson, Logan Martin, Trinity McDonald and Hailey Hewatt.
Doug Meyer, class of 1969 announced the recipients of the scholarships and said the class decided to give a single $5,000 scholarship and divide the rest of the $13,000 among eight other students to help them as well. Meyer said they had more funds come in and would be able to help out one more student to be named later.
Meyer passed along some words of wisdom from the class of 1969 to the class of 2019. He said 50 years goes by fast and challenged the students to keep learning because the more they learn, they more they will discover they don’t know. He encouraged them to have faith and have love.
The 50-year class scholarship tradition began in 1990 when the PHS Class of 1940 challenged all future 50 year classes to donate at least one $5,000 scholarship to a graduating senior. The Pratt High School Alumni Association oversees and coordinates the administration of these scholarships.
Doug Meyer, Class of 1969, said their class raised $13,000 to present to students.
Starting 2014, the PHS Alumni Association voted to use the investment from those uncommitted funds to establish a Dorotha Giannangelo Scholarship. Giannangelo was in the class of 1940 and was instrumental in getting the 50 year scholarship tradition started. A sub-committee is in charge of selecting a graduating senior worthy of this scholarship.
Other scholarships were also presented during the assembly, including a $4,000 Skyland Grain scholarship that went to Wyatt Schrag, with a total scholarship amount over $28,000.
Another scholarship tradition at PHS is the Mary Beth Cunningham Music Scholarship for seniors that will continue studying music in college. This years $500 scholarships went to Katelyn Strobel and David Mathes. The scholarships were presented May 8 at the annual PHS Pops Concert. Cunningham’s widower, Glen Cunningham, was on hand for the presentation.
The scholarships were started in honor of Cunningham who passed away on June 6, 2015. She was a vocal music and band teacher, directed musicals, concerts, contests, judged music contests for Kansas State High School Activities Association, gave private vocal and piano lessons and was Pratt Presbyterian Church Choir director.