By Steve Robinson | June 7, 2019 - 10:50 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

The young people graduating from Heyworth High School who have received the “Win For Wiseman” Scholarships these last few years have had varying interests and ventured off to different colleges to start their adult lives. Some have stayed in state. I can think of at least one who went out of state to start their young life as a college student. The two young women who were named recipients of this year’s two $5,000 prizes appear to be no different.

Kara Monteggia and Kara Martens, from HHS’ Class of 2019, each received a $5,000 “Win For Wiseman” scholarship based on how they answered the essay question put before them and their other Class of ’19 members by the committee. This year’s question was: “What have you done or tried to do to make Heyworth High School a better place for future students?”

Kara Monteggia: For Kara Monteggia, 18, daughter of Jim and Kendra Monteggia, said she sought to make a change at HHS. That change she sought applied to dual credit classes HHS took through Heartland Community College. The problem she saw was the grading for the two institutions don’t match. At HCC, the grading scale had getting 90 and above on tests and projects to get an A, 80 and above for a B, and so on.

Heyworth High graded slightly higher, she said, with a score of 92 being where getting an A started. She said she felt both institutions she adhere to the same grading scale so both the high school and HCC agreed on the grade the student should receive. She said HHS’ grading scale would have an effect on students when grade point averages get looked at as they started looking at colleges – and colleges started looking at them.

The district school board changed the grading scale to match HCC’s prior to this recently-completed school year started. She said not all the students agreed, however, for varying reasons, with the change, while others appreciated her efforts. Kara is off to the University of Missouri to major in nursing. After college, she said, getting a job in the nursing field is tops on her list, but she quickly adds, “To be able to do something fulfilling for someone other than yourself” is what interested her about working in that field.

Claire Martens: For Claire Martens, 17, daughter of Clint and Judy Martens, looks forward to having a future which she believes her desired major of Criminal Justice will help be successful in. She will start her college career, first, by attending HCC and will transfer to Bradley University in Peoria. She spent time learning about Criminal Justice as part of a group of kids from HHS who attended classes at Bloomington Area Career Center. Martens wrote in her essay about belonging to HHS’ Key Club, among its organizations which she belonged, and how being part of such groups she believed helped her help the school.

Eventually, Martens wants to use her skills from college to go into social work to help others, she said. She said being part of BACC helped her to meet new people.

Winners Talked About What They Were Involved In: Monteggia and Martens were among 17 students who submitted essays for the scholarship, Clay Wiseman said. Each student submitting their essay, turned it into the School Counseling Office. That office tagged each essay with a number so that the writers would remain unidentified to the selection committee, which consisted of the Wisemans, their son, Kyle, and his wife, Jill, and Jeff and Julie Day.

“It was a very difficult decision choosing the winners,” Clay Wiseman said. “The two winners were very articulate in their papers. They read very well because they were precise, straight to the point, the subject matter was dead on, and their conclusions were outstanding.”

“They talked about what they were involved in, not only in the school, but also in the community, and they brought up things to the school board and the school and made some outstanding presentations to the school board to get some things changed.” Clay is speaking specifically about the matter concerning grade point average.

Previous “Wiseman” Winners: Monteggia and Martens join 2016 recipients Jacob Day and Cole Sinn; 2017 recipients Saegan Snow and Jackson Bradshaw; and 2018 recipients Riley Ryburn and Amber Tomlin. In their own individual way, they answered the question frankly and tried to put forth an idea for change that could be used at HHS. Gives you the feeling that once they enter the workforce they could possibly continue doing that, doesn’t it?

How “Win For Wiseman” Scholarship Began: Noah Wiseman, a 16-year-old student at Heyworth High School, who lost his life in June 2014. Wiseman family friend Julie Day, approached Noah’s parents, Clay and Sue Wiseman, with the idea for a scholarship to honor Noah.

The Wisemans, wanting to keep their son’s memory alive while wanting to do something for someone else agreed. The campaign to raise funds for the scholarship became known as the “Win For Wiseman” Scholarship.

After receiving the approval of the local school board, fundraising for the scholarship began.

When they conceived of the scholarship, the Wiseman family’s goal was to raise enough money to give out one $5,000 scholarship. But the outpouring of support that first year allowed there to be two scholarships totaling $5,000 each to be awarded.

When the Wisemans agreed to establish the scholarship, Sue Wiseman explained, she and her husband had a few conditions before setting about honoring their son in this manner, one of which was that the contest be closed to senior members of HHS’ football team in its first year, 2015, because Noah was a football team member at the time of his passing. Since then, it has been awarded to any member of the school’s senior class.

Day, later joined by her husband, Jeff, stepped up to help make good to the Wiseman’s request regarding cash handling.

The Wisemans helped establish the committee that first year in 2015 but did not judge the essays which were turned into HHS’ counseling office and renumbered so as to keep the writer’s identity a secret until it was time to select a winner. Wiseman family members did not serve as judges that first year because of their familiarity with the boys on the team. An independent panel judged the essays. The Wisemans, their son and daughter-in law served as judges starting with essays submitted for 2016.

When they began raising funds for the scholarship, the Wisemans thought $5,000 from friends, neighbors, and strangers would be a nice start for the first year. To their delight, they raised $10,000 – enough for two scholarships. Heyworth’s school board approved the scholarship, and HHS’ guidance office collects the essays and assigns a number to each essay to protect the writer’s anonymity so the judges have no idea which students have written them.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 7th, 2019 at 10:50 pm and is filed under The Normalite. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Comments are closed.