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Local scholarships honor Seahawk seniors

On the eve of their graduation, the 54 members of the Franklin County High School Class of 2022 gathered with their parents as the community honored those whose classwork and characters have stood out among their classmates.

The list of scholarships was longer than it had been a year or two ago, when COVID 19 put a damper on everything from education to the economy.

The roughly three dozen families and community organizations that bestowed awards included several new memorials, one from a family that lost their daughter, Emma Crum, a member of the Class of 2022 who had graduated a year early.

Others were to honor recent deaths from the coronavirus or other natural causes. Weems Memorial Hospital named their annual award in honor of Doug Creamer, the former chairman of the hospital board, 

The Emerald Federal Credit Union scholarship was given in memory of Teresa Lynn Taylor and the St. George Island Civics Club in dedication of the work of Eric Rogers.

The Franklin County School Nutrition Association renamed theirs Servants Heart, and was in memory of Tawana Robinson, Tammy Nichols and Rachel Shiver. 

The Apalachicola Riverkeeper bestowed its scholarship as a memorial to Katie Herzog, an intrepid adventurer.

The St. George Island book club again presented its arts scholarship in memory of Susan McClendon, and the Orean Ash, Willie Speed and Wynn families again bestowed scholarship money in memory of their namesakes.

The award from Trinity Church was given in  honor of CT Ponder, who passed away in April, after retiring from decades of service as a teacher, coach and superintendent of the district.

Nearly $162,000 in grants, awards and scholarships was earned by the Class of 2022, sponsor Leigh Smith said. 

In addition to awards from the various classes, the night saluted the members of the National Honor Society and Beta Club, and conducted the traditional cnadlighting of the new officers for the Class of 2023.

Recognized were all the graduates who had attended classes since Kindergarten on that campus were Ariel Andrews, Sage Brannan, Brianna Cooper, Blakely Curry, Bryce Gilbert, Michael Melton, Marina O’Neal, Brendon Polous, Annie Smith, Alecia Wheetley, Alexis Wheetley, Maddison Whitten and Larry Winchester.

Receiving scholarships, their presenter and the amount, were:

Apalachicola Bay Charter School (Melanie Copeland) two $300 awards to Meredith Alford and Myia Maxwell

Apalachicola Bay Rotary Club (Steve Lanier) $1,000 award to Myia Maxwell

Apalachicola Masonic Lodge #76 (Brent Mabrey and James Hicks) two $500 awards to Sage Brannan and Hunter Duval

Centennial Bank (Melanie Copeland) two $500 awards to Sage Brannan and Myia Maxwell

Curfew Masonic Lodge #73 (Carl Whaley) $500 award to Marina O’Neal

Delta Kappa Gamma of Franklin County (Missy Cumbie) $500 award to Shasta Whitnauer

Doug Creamer Health Care (David Walker) three $1,000 awards to Meredith Alford, Sage Brannan and Marina O’Neal

Emerald Federal Credit Union Teresa Lynn Taylor Memorial (Melanie Copeland) $500 award to Annie Smith

Emma Jae Crum Memorial (Jamie and Mimi Crum) four $500 awards to Marlee Tucker, Annie Smith, Jocelyn Webb and Shasta Whitnauer

Eric Rogers Memorial (Bill Mills) $1,000 award to Sage Brannan

Florida Petroleum Marketers Association (Melanie Copeland) $6,000 award to Sage Brannan

Florida Seafood Festival (Carl Whaley) $1,000 award to Myia Maxwell

Franklin County Florida Prepaid (Melanie Copeland) $15,000 award to Sage Brannan

Franklin County School Board (Stacy Kirvin) five $1,000 awards to Meredith Alford, Sage Brannan, Myia Maxwell, Cameron Nash and Annie Smith

Servants Heart – Franklin County School Nutrition Association in memory of Tawana Robinson, Tammy Nichols and Rachel Shiver (Natasha Creamer) three $500 awards to Darius Johnson, John Sanders and Annie Smith

Franklin County School Trust – Gulf Coast State College (Melanie Copeland) two $1,400 awards to Alondra Jimenez and Shasta Whitnauer

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (Cliff Carroll) $500 award to Marina O’Neal

Franklin/Gulf Retired Educators Association (Amanda Faircloth) $500 award to Maddison Whitten

Friends of the Franklin County Public Library in memory of Annie Ball (Kathleen Oman) two $1,500 awards to Annie Smith and Shasta Whitnauer

H’COLA (Tami-Ray Hutchinson) two $300 awards to Darius Johnson and Saunti Turrell

Jacobie O’Neal Memorial (Jazmyn Stephens) $500 award to Darius Johnson 

Katie Herzog Memorial – Apalachicola Riverkeeper (Tom Herzog and Georgia Ackerman) three $2,000 scholarships to Sage Brannan, Myia Maxwell and Annie Smith

Loretta Taylor Memorial (Cliff Carroll) $1,000 award to Maddison Whitten

Love Center Arts and Technology (Dolores Croom) two $500 scholarships to Jamal Robinson and Jerymiah Stephens

Orean Ash Memorial (Brenda Ash) $500 award to Jamal Robinson

Perry and Young Foundation (Kelly Robinson) two $500 scholarships to Kaitlin Robbins and Wil Varnes

Philaco Woman’s Club (Liz Sisung) $1,000 award to Sage Brannan

Redemption Point Church of God (Emerald Larkin) $1,000 award to Myia Maxwell

Seahawk Diamond Booster Club (Kevin Cox) $500 award to Garrison Cook

Susan McClendon Memorial Art Scholarship (Ellen Ashdown) $500 award to Alondra Jimenez

Swivel Sister Women’s Fishing Club (Melanie Copeland) $4,000 award to Hunter Duval

Take Stock in Children (Callie Nichols) three two-year $19,000 scholarships to Sevryn Everritt, Alondra Jimenez and Raymiona West

Trinity Outreach Award in memory of C.T. Ponder (Martha Harris, Penny Marler and Myrtis Wynn) new laptop computers to Sage Brannan, Darius Johnson, Alondra Jimenez  and Annie Smith

Willie B. Speed Higher Education (Myrtis Wynn) $250 award to Darius Johnson

Wynn Family Scholarship (Myrtis Wynn) $1,000 award to Sage Brannan

Hawaii Pacific University $15,500 award to Marina O’Neal and Toccoa Falls College $4,000 award to Jordan Waldron

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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