Craig County High graduates receive numerous awards and scholarships

Local businesses and groups within Craig County placed a congratulations sign as well as balloons at the storefronts and sidewalks.

Pam Dudding Contributing writer

Graduating from high school gives teenagers the opportunity to compete for numerous awards and scholarships. Craig’s graduates were recently honored for their hard work, dedication, and the start of the next chapters of their lives.

Principal Melissa Whiting, like every other school employee, expressed how proud she was to the graduates.

“These students have maintained the academic and citizenship standards required to participate in their chosen athletic clubs,” she said. “Many had their senior seasons cut short, yet we celebrate their many accomplishments throughout the years.”

Student athletes recognized were: Makala All (basketball, one year) and (cheerleading, four years), Hannah Altizer  (soccer, one year) Layton Bell (baseball one year) Tori Blevins  (volleyball and soccer, two years), Jenna Bostic (basketball, three years), Hunter Brizendine ( football, two years of which one he was All-District;  basketball, three years and baseball, one year), Kaleigh Bryant (volleyball, two years and softball, one year), Matthew Charles (soccer, two years), Lauren Craddock  (soccer, two years where she was an All-District participant), Mekayla Freese (cheerleading, four years), Dakota Henderson (football, four years All-District; baseball, four years All-District and All-Region), Jaden Hibbitts (volleyball, two years), Kayla Hudson (cheerleading and softball four years), Chase Huffman (football, four years All-District), Kyle Huffman (soccer, two years), Dustin Hurley (football, four years All-District), Justin Hurley (football, four years All-District), Hunter Jones (baseball, four years), Sabrina Markin (cheerleader, one year), Josh Menezes (soccer, two years All-District; basketball, three years),  Jaci McAlwee (volleyball, four years All-District; basketball, three years and will continue playing at Ferrum College), Nathaniel Nichols (basketball, four years) Maddie Oliver (basketball, four years All-District; softball, four years All-District), Garrett Paitsel (basketball, three years and football one year) Jessica Reed (cheerleading, three years), Kyle Sloss (football, four years All-District; baseball, four years All-District), Haleigh Smith (volleyball, four years All-District and All-Region and will be playing for Roanoke College this fall), Jordan Staton (cheerleader, three years), Hannah Taylor (volleyball, three years All-District; softball, four years All-District, Pioneer District Pitcher of the Year and All-Region.)

Whiting also announced The B’nia B’rith Athletic Achievement Award which was first presented in 1951.

“It was intended to recognize Roanoke Valley area male high school students who excelled in athletics, scholarships and citizenship,” she said. “Female students were added in 1976 as they became more involved in sports. Our nominees are Joshua Menezes and Hannah Taylor.”

CCHS School Counselor Evelyn Steege noted the many other scholarships went to the senior class.

“It is my pleasure and privilege to announce the recipients of scholarships for the Class of 2020. They have worked hard, and their efforts are paying off, both literally and figuratively,” she said with an emotional voice. “I am proud of all 51 graduates and wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

Over 200 cars filled up the Craig County Fairgrounds to experience the Class of 2020 graduate. While they weren’t able to see the event, locals showed up to support the students who have persevered through this difficult year.

The recipients were:

  • Jenna Bostic – The Paul Thomas Moore Memorial Scholarship sponsored by Masonic Mountain Lodge No.140 recognizes a senior who has managed both good grades and extracurricular activities and who will be attending a two or four-year college or vocational school.
  • Lauren Craddock – The Dr. Walton Mitchell Memorial Scholarship recognizes a student who excels in scholarship, character, leadership, and citizenship in the school and community. It is named for Dr. Mitchell who was a well-known physician in New Castle for many years.
  • Hunter Jones – Adam’s Construction Company in Roanoke annually recognizes a student who excels academically, especially in mathematics, and in citizenship. He will also receive their John C Lanford scholarship too.
  • Kayla Hudson – The Craig County Bicentennial Commission sponsors an annual scholarship to the senior who has exhibited the best traits of patriotism, good citizenship, and love of country.
  • Jenna Bostic – Chestnut Grove awards a scholarship annually to a senior who excels academically and participates actively in community service.
  • Lauren Craddock – The VMDAEC Education Scholarship Foundation awards the CD Hypes Memorial Scholarship to one senior from Craig-Botetourt Electric Cooperative service territory that has achieved academic excellence and plans to further their education.
  • Hunter Jones – The VMDAEC Education Scholarship Foundation awards Worth M Hudson Memorial scholarships each year to deserving seniors around Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware based on excellent academic achievement.
  • Jenna Bostic – Mountain Castle Soil and Conservation recognizes one senior from each local district who plans to major in a field related to natural resource conservation and /or environmental studies.
  • Madelyn Oliver – The Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership award goes to a deserving senior who exemplifies great leadership.
  • Jenna Bostic – The Farm Bureau Board of Directors awards a student who plans to enter a field related to agriculture who has also maintained good grades.
  • Lauren Craddock – The Maywood Garden Club sponsors The Ruth Hale Reynolds Higher Education Scholarship. This award goes to a student who plans to further their education, excelled in the classroom, participated in extracurricular activities, and volunteered.
  • Joshua Menezes, Lauren Craddock, Hunter Jones, and Kayla Hudson – New Castle Farmers & Merchants Bank annually awards a scholarship to the valedictorian and salutatorian of Craig County High school for their academic excellence.
  • Lauren Craddock – Radford College’s Highlander Distinction Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship that is awarded to first time freshmen who meet the academic criteria based on academic achievement. This scholarship is renewable for up to eight consecutive semesters.
  • Jaci McAlwee – The Red Cross recognizes a student who plans to further their education and has been an active participant and organizer in the high school’s blood drives.
  • Jenna Bostic – The John F Cox Memorial Scholarship sponsored by Gravel Hill Christian Church goes to a senior who has exhibited both academic excellence and community service and has plans to further their education.
  • Lauren Craddock – The Craig County Education Association recognizes a senior who must have plans to enter education or another service-related field and have a sincere desire to further their education.
  • Haleigh Smith – Monroe Health presented a Craig County Health Center scholarship to a senior who plans to further their education and is committed to serving the community.
  • Jenna Bostic and Lauren Craddock – The Bobby Scruggs Charitable Foundation is offering scholarships to two students who will be attending college in the fall
  • Jenna Bostic – The State Fair of Virginia awards scholarships to students who earn them through competitions held during the State Fair of Virginia.
  • Jenna Bostic, Anna Looney, Garrett Paitsel, Victoria Blevins, Chase Huffman, Autumn Sarver, Hunter Brizendine, Matthew Charles and Andrew Wolfe – The Community College Access Program referred to as CCAP is a public tuition funding program offered and administered by Virginia Western Community College Education Foundation, Inc. CCAP allows current high school graduates who meet program guidelines to receive a combination of federal/state financial aid and donor funding up to the cost of tuition. This scholarship is renewable for up to six consecutive semesters.

After each scholarship and name was announced, many toots, shouts and even a few gobbler sounds were heard. The students were honored.

“Congratulations to all of these students on their many accomplishments and to the Class of 2020 for your perseverance and dedication,” Steege said.

Superintendent Jeanette Warwick decorated her vehicle with a graduation cap and tassel.

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