By Steve Robinson | September 4, 2017 - 10:07 pm
Posted in Category: Heyworth Buzz

Steve RobinsonNoah Wiseman, from what I’ve learned about him over the past couple of years in talking with his folks, Clay and Sue Wiseman, was a high school student who enjoyed playing football on his high school team, hanging out with friends, and making every effort to live a principled life.

That’s what made losing him so difficult for his family and friends in June 2014 at age 16.That’s what made one of the parents of one of those friends, Julie Day, eager to receive the Wiseman family’s consent to establish a scholarship for Heyworth High School students in Noah’s honor, to keep his memory alive.

After receiving the approval of the local school board, fundraising for the scholarship began. Because Noah was a member of the Heyworth High School Hornets football team, a dual position player – running back and linebacker – the Wisemans decided to open the scholarship opportunity to just members of the football team. The Wisemans, their other son Kyle and his wife, Jill, would tap an independent group of judges to decide winners of two $5,000 scholarships which would be used to help defray college costs. Last year, it became necessary to ask an independent panel to judge the entries because of the family’s ties to the Hornets football team. This year, the Wisemans, their son and Jill will serve as the panel judging the entries.

When the “Win For Wiseman” scholarship award was introduced in 2015, it was opened only to HHS football players – the buddies Noah played and stood on the sidelines with. Because the Wiseman family still had a connection to the Hornets’ football team at that time, and knowing many of those players as a result, the Wisemans left the selection of the winners of the first scholarship to an independent team of judges to determine the winners of two $5,000 scholarships.

To the Wiseman’s surprise at raising so much money in their first try that two awards could be given on the first try was the joy that two of Noah’s friends he was close to – Jacob Day and Cole Sinn – received the scholarships in its first year.

Last year, in preparation for the second set of scholarships to be given in 2017, the Wisemans opened the eligibility for the scholarships up to all members of the high school’s senior class. For the 2017 edition of the scholarship, with no direct connection to the school, the Wisemans, Noah’s older brother, Kyle, and his wife, Jill, served as judges for this year. This year’s contest was opened to members of HHS’ Class of 2017.

The essay question the kids were asked to expound upon was, “If you had the authority to change your school in a positive way, what specific change would you make and why?” The winners of the 2017 scholarships were Saegan Snow, 18, daughter of Scott and Rebecca Snow; and Jackson Bradshaw, son of Brian Bradshaw and Michelle Dugan.

“We chose the question hoping the kids would talk about curriculum and how the high school can better prepare them for college,” Clay Wiseman said. He credited “intense research and how HHS prepared them for college, and what they wrote about what they would like to see in the future to prepare students.” All essays were independently coded by the school guidance office so that the Wisemans wouldn’t know whose essays were being read by the panel, Sue Wiseman added.

“I wrote about changing our math program because we are one of the schools that has the lowest scores when it comes to ACT and SAT math test scores,” explained Snow. “I really like math, so I thought that would be a very good subject to write on.”

Snow said her essay recommended the junior high school consider starting a Math Club at that level to get kids’ interest started so it would carry through to high school. She said her interest in math kicked in during her junior high days and continued through to now.

Bradshaw’s essay had within it a suggestion to introduce a kind of senior thesis project based on the course of study students were interested in pursuing once in college. He said this project could take the place of one of a student’s courses. Participation in such a program, Bradshaw believes, would give a student a leg up on whatever vocation they wanted to pursue after college graduation.

“This senior thesis program would give seniors an option to pick what they want, and also teach them to be independent and work on a project of their own,” Bradshaw explained.

Such a program would have additional benefits, Bradshaw added, such as learning how to handle deadlines, and time management.

Snow is starting her college career at Heartland Community College to get an associate’s degree in Art before transferring to Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. She’s still considering what she’ll major in there. She said she would love to operate her own interior design business.

Bradshaw is attending Southeast Missouri University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., where he will major in Theatre.

Sue Wiseman gave “Kudos” to Jeff and Julie Day for their efforts in overseeing the scholarship’s finances and fiscal operation. Raising money is the phase the scholarship organization is in right now in preparation for giving away scholarships in 2018. The question students will need to write about to win a scholarship will be announced in January.

Persons wanting more information or wishing to make a donation may contact Day either by phone at 309-531-0387 or by e-mail at

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