By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Fifteen years ago, the administrators and faculty at Lincoln High School launched an effort to remember members of the staff who had passed away during the year. The program has since continued.
Mary Matheny, a member of the Memorial Committee, spoke on behalf of the group saying, “Our staff discussed all kinds of ways to remember those who were once a part of our team here at Lincoln High School when this program was initiated. We talked about compiling a book of memories, planting a tree in their memory, and many other tributes. It was finally decided that perhaps the best way to honor their memory was to give scholarships to our students; we thought they would be most pleased with that.”
This tradition has continued since 2002. At first, the committee gave just one $500 scholarship, but as they began to host fundraisers and accumulate more funding, it afforded them the opportunity to give multiple scholarships. This year four scholarships (in the amount of $500 each) were awarded.
The 2017 Memorial Service was held on May 31st, honoring three individuals who had been associated with Lincoln High School in some fashion. Former Assistant Principal John Marchio gave a tribute to Goldie Viola Burrough, an LHS cook; teacher Dickie Miller gave a tribute honoring former Industrial Arts teacher at LHS James “Jimmy” Heldreth; and former LHS principal Jerry Toth memorialized Betty Jane Wade, a librarian who served at both Shinnston High School and Lincoln High School for many years.
The school’s Sadie Hawkins dance raises funding for the scholarship program. The Committee has also held spaghetti dinner fundraisers and for a long time sales of pepperoni rolls and bottled water every Wednesday also contributed to the scholarship funding.
“We also had a private donor make a contribution, and that money was invested in a CD. Some who attend the service are so touched by it that they, too, have made donations. We have reached the point now that we will have to come up with some new ideas for fundraising in the near future,” Mrs. Matheny added.
Memorial plaques listing the names of deceased staff members are on wall inside Lincoln High School.
This year’s Memorial Scholarship recipients were: Darian Darway, Kendal DeMarco, Mackenzie Hawkins, and Anthony Tate.
Mrs. Matheny concluded, “When you consider the rising cost of a college education today, $500 isn’t much, but every dollar helps – even if it only goes toward the purchase of a couple of books. Students applying for the scholarships write an essay telling in their own words what they feel the meaning of the scholarship symbolizes, and we felt each of this year’s winners were deserving. They were all outstanding students and all had a very close relationship and were active at Lincoln High School.”
Committee members who organized this year’s Memorial Service were: Roberta Greaver, Jackie Boyles, Jessica Freeman and Mary Matheny.