Dyson awarded PRAISE scholarship

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 19, 2001

News Editor

Virginia P. Dyson, a senior at Charles Henderson High School, was awarded the PRAISE scholarship at the annual Pike County Chamber of Commerce PRAISE banquet Tuesday night at Troy Elementary School.

Dyson was awarded the $1,000 scholarship for having the highest ACT score in Pike County. Also recognized for having high ACT scores were Ashley Maulden, a senior at Pike County High School, and Will Williams, a Pike Liberal Arts School senior.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Students nominated for the PRAISE scholarship recognized and honored teachers who had an impact on their lives and education.

Dyson recognized Pam Merkel, the Spanish teacher at CHHS.

"Mrs. Merkle gives students a cultural experience," Dyson said. "She encourages students to enjoy life the way she has. The impact she has had on us is immeasurable."

Maulden recognized L.A. Robinson, the agriscience teacher and Future Farmers of America advisor at PCHS. Robinson has been an educator in Pike County for 39 years.

"Mr. Robinson is the best teacher I have ever had," Maulden said. "He has no disciple problems in his classroom because the students respect his authority."

Williams recognized Delaney Kervin, headmaster at PLAS.

"Mr. Kervin has taught me that education involves more than just academics," Williams said. "He has shown me by example and taught me the importance of actions."

Kervin, who will retire from his position of headmaster this year, was also recognized and presented with a plaque by the Pike County Chamber of Commerce for his dedication to education, PLAS and his students.

"Delaney has been at Pike Liberal Arts for 31 years," said Dr. John Key, a member of the Education Committee and superintendent of the Pike County School System. "He is a modest man and the students respect and admire him. He always has the best interest of the child at heart."

Kervin earned one of the top honors last year when he was inducted into the AISA Hall of fame.

Kayla Boutwell and Leigh Anne Henderson were awarded the Lunsford/Ferguson Healthcare scholarship. The $1,000 Health Care Scholarship is awarded to a student who is pursuing technical education or professional education at the associate, baccalaureate or higher level.

Col. John Schmidt was the speaker at the banquet and "praised student for their intellect."

Schmidt encouraged the students to continue their academic career by having faith in God, their parents, themselves and in one another.

With a compass as his teaching tool, he urged students to use a "moral compass" to direct their paths.

"Your moral compass will be your faith in God and it will show you how to guide your own life," he said. "It will be your conscience. Your conscience hurts when everything else feels good. It is the quiet voice when you are alone."

Schmidt told the students that besides God only their family could provide guidance.

"Teenage years are a hard time," he said. I have raised three boys through their teenage years and those years haven’t changed much since I was a teenager."

He reminded the student that parents only want what is best for their children. Using a quote from Mark Twain, Schmidt illustrated what people learn as they grow – "At 30 I realized how much wiser my dad had become."

Schmidt told students to have faith in themselves.

"Celebrate your academic achievements and learn to strengthen the areas where you are weak," he said. "Get into the arena and compete. If you fail at least you will have tried."

Finally, Schmidt told the students to have faith in others and they will build lasting friendships.

"You must make a commitment to have faith in God, faith in your parents, retain confidence in your ability and keep faith in each other," Schmidt said.