Half-million handed out in scholarships | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Half-million handed out in scholarships

Jack Barnwell
Bijou Elementary student co-president Kendall Wilson (right) presents Emily Aminan (center) and Alyssa Slater with scholarships for Bijou alumni during a scholarship ceremony at South Tahoe High School on Wednesday.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Some of South Tahoe High School’s best and brightest received kudos Wednesday night for their hard work, and with it money for a continued education.

Principal Chad Houck opened the ceremony with light-hearted enthusiasm, noting it was his first year as principal residing over the scholarships.

“This year’s senior class is an astounding class,” Houck said. “I’m very proud of them. This class has shown leadership, athleticism and academic achievement.”

Student Beth Ann Jaggard was named salutatorian and Lauren Tang was named valedictorian.

Approximately 67 categories scholarships and awards were given out to numerous students, ranging from school-sponsored wards to ones tailored students who will continue on in performing arts or in a trade.

Some of the largest came from the United States Army to two students for $120,000 each over four years to a California State University in return for military service.

The Honoring Excellence and Rewarding Optimism (HERO) Award was presented to six students who overcame obstacles in their lives to continue education. Now in its 17th year, seven scholarships totaling $27,500 were given from anonymous donors. Four will attend a four-year university and three will head for community college.

“Each student receiving this award this evening has persevered through some of life’s most difficult circumstances at a very young age, and have done so with positive attitudes and optimism for their future,” said South Tahoe High Guidance Director Michelle Reilly. “These seldom-recognized young adults are most deserving of tonight’s recognition, and some financial assistance to help them reach their goals.”

The HERO recipients included Maria Herrera, Trinity Marino Latella, Alyssa Slater, Abigael Slater, Emily Aminan, Jade Child, and Haley Crowson.

According to Houck, more than 80 students on stage received nearly $500,000 in scholarships, grants and awards from various organizations.

“That’s a good sign, especially for a community that depends on winter for its economy,” Houck said following the ceremony.

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