May 22, 2011- Gillespie, Illinois - Twenty-one of the 82 Gillespie High School (GHS) seniors receiving diplomas this year received $500 tuition scholarships from The Partnership for Educational Excellence during commencement ceremonies on Sunday May 22, 2011. The awards were presented by directors Jackie Van Doren and Brian Engelke, treasurer. "Nearly twenty percent of this large graduating class has received tuition support from The Partnership," says Jim Pickett, retiring president. "Thanks to the loyalty and generosity of hundreds of supporters, we can recognize these many excellent students and give them a little help furthering their educations. They perfectly embody our policy of rewarding every ability level for hard work, involvement in school and community activities, and proven ability to set goals. "Our scholarships are not large, because we want to recognize the greatest number of students," says Pickett. "And parents over the years have told us that the $500 tuition payment does help their students during first semester." This year a total of $10,500 was awarded to21 applicants. To date the Partnership has awarded $145,750 in tuition scholarships to 281 graduates of Gillespie High School. In addition, The Partnership again administered two $100 cash awards from the estate of Evaline Boehmke for musicianship in band and chorus. BENLD ROTARY CLUB SCHOLARSHIP by local business and professional members of this international service organization whose motto is "Service above self." Blake Pollard, son of DeAnna Day of Wilsonville, will major in business management at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois. EMIL BORGINI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by an anonymous donor. He taught in Benld, taught and coached at GHS, where he was also principal for 20 years. Borgini retired as CUSD#7 superintendent. Trae Wargo, son of Tim and Julie Wargo of Benld, attend Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois. CARROLL-KEUPPER SCHOLARSHIP established by the late Rosemary Keupper Valle and her sister Lillian Keupper in honor of their families who have been involved in medicine, world health, and banking/finance. Their grandfather Anthony Carroll, a member of the Gillespie school board, initiated strong family support for the local school system and its students. Abigail Ferry, daughter of Bob and Shari Ferry of Benld, will major in pre-medicine at the St. Louis University. ELINOR DAVIES NURSING SCHOLARSHIP by friends and family in honor of Elinor who served many decades as school nurse in CUSD#7. Mackenzie Buckner, daughter of Brad and Carrie Buckner of Gillespie, will major in nursing at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. CAROL ENRICO DE LUCCA MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR TOP GIRL GRADUATES established by family and friends in memory of this Benld native who was a respected educator and counselor. The daughter of Rose Enrico, Carol established a consulting business to help students pursue their goals through higher education. Her daughters Allison and Ashley live in California. Brianna Bednar, daughter of Jackie Brimberry of Gillespie, will major in mathematics education at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Ashley Heyen, daughter of Bill and LouAnn Heyen of rural Gillespie, will major in music and business at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.. JEAN FITE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by friends and family. She taught more than 40 years in every Gillespie school after graduating from the University of Chicago. She concluded her career as GHS librarian, arranging for the receipt of the Tiogo collection of art prints and books. She also worked to establish the GHS track and ball diamond. Kyle Henderson, son of Kim and Mark Henderson of rural Mt. Olive, will major in pre-pharmacy at Blackburn College in Carlinville. JOSEPH LIBBRA MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by family friends. Married 48 years to Eileen, he was a hard working grain and livestock farmer, proud of his Army service in Korea, and dedicated to their four children and grandchildren. Zachary Morris, son of Michael and Tina Morris of Benld, will major in industrial technology at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis. JOHN and MARK MADDEN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by family to lovingly honor this father and son. Both played Miners football, graduated from GHS and St. Louis University Law School. John returned to serve the community he loved in private practice, as a county public defender, and for 43 years as Gillespie City Attorney. He died at age 78 on 10 October 2009. His son Mark lived half as long, dying suddenly at the age of 39 on 11 October 2005. He was a trial attorney with Moser and Marshalak in St. Louis. Brian Caveny, son of Julianne and Matthew Caveny will major in civil engineering at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. HENRY MARCACCI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by friends and family. Hank taught business in CUSD#7 for 33 years and served as county superintendent of schools for 8 years. He and his wife Lucille raised seven children. Hank died at age 101 on January 25, 2011. A granddaughter was a past Partnership scholar. Maura Kluthe, daughter of Steve and Judy Kluthe of Gillespie, will major in business/fashion at Blackburn College in Carlinville. JAMES MASTERSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by The Partnership honors our beloved colleague, steadfast supporter, generous friend, and spark plug of its Citizens' Advisory Committee. Kaila Claro, daughter of John and Dawn Claro of Benld, will major in art therapy at Blackburn College in Carlinville. DENIS McGRADY SR. MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP established in loving memory by family and friends. Denis graduated from the University of Illinois Commerce and Law program, returned to Gillespie to raise nine children, and to practice law for almost 50 years. In addition to valuing education, Denis loved roses and trees, his garden becoming a destination for GHS botany field trips. Austin Peterson, son of Darrin and Jennifer Peterson of Gillespie, will major accounting and finance at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. DICK MENO MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP established in loving memory by family and friends. Known as much for his love of music and participation in the Music Men and many local municipal bands, Dick was a graduate of GHS and St. Louis University Law School. He practiced in Macoupin County with Denby Meno, Bloomer & Denby, imbuing his two children, C.J. and the late Mavi Baarson, with a love of music and education. Derek Heyen, son of Lisa Heyen of Gillespie, will major in communications at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. RICK RICHARDS MEMORIAL AGRICULTURAL SCHOLARSHIP honors this GHS graduate and local farmer known for his kindness and generosity to family and friends. Savanna Bednar, daughter of Barbara Bednar of Gillespie, will major in agriculture education at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. JAMES ROSENTRETER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by his family. "Our dad spent his life helping other people pursue educational and financial goals. It's fitting that once again Dad is sharing his dream of a young person's success." Jacob Feeley, son of Penny Feeley of Gillespie, will major in industrial technology at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis. TRAVIS SEMPLOWSKI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP established in loving memory by family and friends. Travis, a graduate of GHS, was a member of Future Farmers of America. He was working as an automotive specialist at WalMart in Litchfield when he died tragically on 28 July 2009 at the age of 21. Bradley Libbra, son of JenniferValenti and Troy Libbra of Gillespie, will major in dental hygiene at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. TEBBE FAMILY FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP and several classroom mini-grants have been funded by GHS graduate Mark Tebbe, Class of 1979, founder of Lante Corporation, and his parents through their family foundation. Joseph Balzraine, son of Jim and Susan Balzraine of Gillespie, will major in engineering at Illinois College in Jacksonville. MARJORIE and MATTHEW TURCOL MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by family and friends. Matt and Marge's greatest joy was their family. Marge is remembered by all for her generous and caring ways. Matt was mayor of Benld and president of the CUSD#7 school board for many years. Two of his grandsons are past Partnership scholars. Sydney Koniak, daughter of Randy and Tammy Koniak of Gillespie, will major in radiology at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville. MICHAEL VALENTI MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by friends and family is awarded in loving memory of this 1998 GHS graduate who lost his life in 1999 in a tragic accident on the brink of his higher education. Jonathan Griffel, son of David and Mary Griffel of rural Gillespie, will major in history education at the University of Illinois at Springfield. MIKE AND PERINA VERTICCHIO SCHOLARSHIP by family. This award was established to recognize the dedication and years of service to the Gillespie school district by Mike and the late Perina Verticchio. Perina was an elementary teacher for many years and Mike was a teacher, coach, and administrator whose education career began as a literacy specialist during World War II. LeeAnne Bertetto, daughter of Lois Bertetto of Gillespie, will major in pre-medicine at Blackburn College in Carlinville. PETE WYATT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP by family and friends. A familiar and well-liked figure as custodian supervisor in CUSD#7, Pete and his wife Eleanor, were the grandparents of two past Partnership scholars. Blake Raynor, son of Bill and Maleah Raynor of Gillespie, will major in industrial technology at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis. EVALINE BOEHMKE MUSICIANSHIP AWARDS: Evaline (Mrs. Robert) Boehmke, was an ardent supporter of music in CUSD#7. She left a bequest for $100 cash awards for students to be selected by the music faculty of Gillespie High School for outstanding musicianship in GHS band and chorus. The Boehmke winners in 2011 are: BAND AWARD WINNER: Kyle Henderson CHORUS AWARD WINNER: Kyle Henderson The Partnership for Educational Excellence is a not-for-profit educational foundation recognized by the IRS as a 501©)(3) corporation. All donations, which may be sent to The Partnership for Educational Excellence, P.O. Box 125, Gillespie, IL 62033. When addresses are provided, all gifts and memorials are acknowledged by mail.