As the school year winds down, attention in the district and at Fairview High School turns to celebrating students, especially the Class of 2022. On Wednesday, May 11, parents, students, faculty, and community members gathered in the Frank W. Barr auditorium for precisely that.
The Fairview High School Scholars’ Reception is an annual celebration of seniors who receive scholarships to continue their education either at college or another institution. This year, 44 scholarships were awarded to 31 students, totaling $86,100.
The scholarships come from various sources, including alumni, former teachers, administrators, local businesses and organizations. The Fairview Park Education Foundation organized and awarded 25 scholarships this year, totaling $27,500.
“These scholarships, because they are done the way they are, could hit any student in the class of 2022 or the class of 2023,” Denise Devine, president of the Board of Trustees for the Fairview Park Education Foundation, explained. “We bring them on stage, make them feel good about themselves and what they are deciding to go into.”
Throughout the winter and spring, seniors apply for these scholarships. After each organization reviews the scholarships, students are selected based on each scholarship’s criteria. Many scholarships are sponsored by families who wish to memorialize an individual who made an impact in the schools or community.
“Fairview is a small community, but it has a rich history as a community,” Chris Vicha, principal of Fairview High School and Mayer Middle School, expressed. “If you start looking at the scholarships that are given out, they were people who worked with the schools, lived in the community, or were connected to the schools somehow. It’s inspired them to stay connected and provide a scholarship to our kids.”
“The family providing scholarships think that education is important,” Devine explained. “They believe in the public school system and students. They want to help them in some little or big way that they can.”
Students are invited to the Scholars’ Reception but are unaware of what scholarships or the amount they will receive. Then, one at a time, students are called up on stage and recognized by the organization or family that awarded them the scholarship.
“The most important part and the thing that makes me the happiest is seeing the kids come up and receive the scholarship,” Devine added. “You’re proud of them and you’re happy for them. It’s the same excitement every year for me, and I believe it is for the scholarship committee…They really enjoy reading the applications and trying to figure out which students will fit the criteria of all of our scholarships.”
“It’s nice to see the surprise on their face when they get called up to the podium to receive their scholarship,” Vicha added. “Our kids are great, and they’re grateful for the $500 scholarship or something that’s thousands of dollars.”
“We’re grateful for the generous support we receive from families and community groups who donate to scholarships,” Keith Ahearn, Fairview Park City School District superintendent, explained. “This money helps defray the costs to students and families for post-secondary education. I was so impressed by the commitment the community of Fairview Park has to promote our young people's future success.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Students are recognized with scholarships at the 2022 Scholars' Reception on May 11, 2022.