Starling, Warrick win Colley awards

Published 6:27 am Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Josh Starling and Allison Warrick were named the 21st Annual J.O. “Tip” Colley Award winners on Monday.

Starling, of Pike Liberal Arts School, and Warrick, of Goshen High School, were among 17 students nominated for the honor. As winners, they each received a $1,500 scholarship. Runners-up Joe Bradley and Melissa Kennedy, both of Charles Henderson High School, each received a $500 scholarship.

Named for Troy surgeon and citizen J.O. Colley, the signature award recognizes one female and one male student from Pike County based on academic, athletic and community achievement as well as spiritual involvement. The Troy Exchange Club sponsors the award.

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“It’s a huge honor,” Warrick said. “I’ve always looked up to past winners of this award, so it definitely means a lot. It’s definitely going to keep me inspired and dedicated going forward and remind me to always keep going straight ahead.”

The awards dinner featured a keynote speech from Troy University chaplain and former minister Lonnie Cochran, who touched on topics such as faith, focus, hard work and preparation for the future.

Cochran drew applause from the crowd as his speech concluded, congratulating the winners of the award and noting that it was a “wonderful thing to be recognized for excellence, it means you’ve done things right.”

In addition to the scholarships, the winners received a plaque and their names were inscribed on the Colley Award trophies, which will reside at their high schools for the next year.

Dennis Griffith, president of the Troy exchange club, expressed pride in the nominees for 2012 and noted what a difficult task the decision was for the selection committee. “I was very impressed with the nominees this year,” he said. “I sat in with the selection committee and observed them work … the credentials of these kids are awesome and everyone that was nominated deserves this award. It was not an easy choice.”

All 17 of the students nominated have made the decision to attend college after graduation, with several planning on attending nearby Troy University to continue their education and the winners honored to have been selected.

“It is really important to me to have won this award,” Starling said. “I’ve heard about it for years and to win it just makes me feel honored. I want to thank everyone who helped me especially my family. Without them I wouldn’t be here.”