Five outstanding West Virginia high school seniors with a love of music in common were named today (May 10) as West Virginia University Foundation Scholars.
Winners of WVU ’s top academic award, valued at more than $42,000 over a four-year period, receive all educational and living expenses, plus a stipend for study abroad, internships or other enriching educational experiences.
The members of the 2000-01 Class of WVU Foundation Scholars are: Jeffrey Burch of Huntington; Crystal Canterbury of South Charleston; Kathryn Clay of Keyser; Kenneth Marn of Sistersville; and Adrian Slider of Paden City.
The new scholars were introduced this morning by Gov. Cecil H. Underwood, WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and WVU Foundation President Duke Perry at a special ceremony in the Governor’s Reception Room at the State Capitol.
“WVU is proud to welcome five of the states best and brightest high school students as members of our Class of 2004,”Hardesty said.”I am certain WVU will benefit greatly from their exceptional academic and leadership skills, as their communities and high schools already have. We are honored that they highly value our flagship university and our state. We appreciate the opportunity to play a role in advancing their lifelong education and career paths.”
At the ceremony, Underwood commended the students for their accomplishments as high school students and wished them similar success in college and their chosen careers.
“Among this class of Foundation Scholars, we have a future doctor, an astronaut, a computer scientist and an engineer,”he said.”With these students combined talent and ambition, there is no doubt that they can achieve any dream they set their sights on especially with a solid WVU education as a foundation. And given that all five scholars have solid musical backgrounds, it sounds like WVUs music programs may be getting some new talent.”
Seventy state high school students have received WVU ’s most selective scholarship since the program began in 1987.
The Foundation Scholar award, the keystone of the WVU Scholars Program, is restricted to West Virginia high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance and exhibited unique leadership skills. Twelve students were awarded the Neil S. Bucklew Scholarship several weeks ago (another four-year award valued at more than $17,000) and interviewed on the Morgantown campus in April. From those 12, these five were awarded the Foundation Scholarship.
Here are brief glimpses of activities and achievements of WVU ’s newest award recipients:
- Jeffrey David Burch is the son of David and Kathleen Burch of Huntington, Cabell County. He is the first Huntington High School student to be named a Foundation Scholar.
Burch plans to major in general engineering at WVU .
“Ive heard good things about the engineering department at WVU ,”he said.”Last year, I had the opportunity to spend three weeks on the WVU campus for the West Virginia Governors Honors Academy. I was very impressed.”
After earning his bachelors degree, Burch is considering three options: pursuing a graduate degree, entering the job market or joining a service organization such as the Peace Corps.
Huntington High lead counselor Carol Brown calls Burch her”Doogie Houser.”“I remember him when I enrolled the rising ninth graders and he looked exactly like the character in the TV program,”said Brown,”and I am positive that Jeff is just as bright as Doogie.”
Burch has come a long way since entering Huntington High. He was elected National Honor Society secretary and is a member of Mu Alpha Theta math honorary, French honorary, Tri-M music honorary and the science club. In recognition of his academic success, Burch was invited last summer to both Mountaineer Boys State and the Governors Honors Academy.
An accomplished musician, Burch has performed in the marching, jazz and concert bands since his freshman year. He participates in all-county band and was a member of the jazz band that won a superior rating at a recent competition in Virginia Beach, Va. His musical endeavors also included working on the technical crew for Huntington High musicals and playing in the”Illusions”show choir band, the Greater Huntington Symphonic Band and his churchs brass choir.
“The amount of time and effort you have to put into a musical performance requires a lot of discipline, but I enjoy it immensely,”he said.
Outside the classroom, Burch was a Boy Scouts Patrol Leader. In his spare time he has worked in several part-time computer-related jobs, including his current job as a computer repair technician for PC Doctor.
- Crystal Rachelle Canterbury is the daughter of Louella Canterbury of South Charleston, Kanawha County, and the late Rufus Canterbury. She is the second George Washington High School student to receive the award.
Canterbury considers her calling in life to be a career in the medical field. With that in mind, she plans to major in biology at WVU as a prelude to going into medicine.
“Since the age of four, I have been adamant in my decision to go into the medical field,”she said.
Canterbury is also interested in continuing her musical pursuits. An accomplished musician, Canterbury has studied piano since the age of four and displays her talent in a variety of musical endeavors. Besides playing in the marching and concert bands, she participates in the Kanawha Valley Community Band. She has received All-County and All-State Band honors numerous times and was a member of the WVU Honor Band in 1999 and West Virginia Honor Band in 1998.
“What I like about WVU is the combination of strong science and music programs,”she said.”I really like the balance because of my interest in both medicine and music.”
A National Merit Scholarship finalist, Canterbury has earned numerous accolades during her high school years, including the Gary King Award for leadership and community service, two Outstanding Musician awards and a Presidents Educational Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. She is a member of Beta Club and a former member of National Junior Honor Society. She also competes in forensics.
When she is not studying or playing music, Canterbury is practicing martial arts. She holds a second degree black belt in both karate and tae kwon do. She earned gold medals in karate as a Junior Olympian and twice tied for the All-American title. In addition to her many other martial arts activities, she has a first degree black belt in aikido and was the youngest woman to earn the first dan degree in the United States.
- Kathryn Anne Clay is the daughter of Scott and Anna Clay of Keyser, Mineral County. She is the fourth Keyser High School student to receive this honor.
As Keyser Highs co-valedictorian, Clays scholastic honors range from winning the Voice of Democracy Patriotic Speech Contest to receiving National Merit Commended Scholar accolades.
Perhaps even more impressive is her involvement in so many facets of Keyser Highs student life. She edits the Hi-Times school newspaper, serves as student life editor of the yearbook ,* plays in the marching, concert and jazz bands and percussion ensemble, and holds leadership positions in numerous clubs and honoraries.
Clay also finds time to serve the Keyser community in various capacities. A member of the Pocahontas 4-H Club since second grade, she has participated in the”Stop the Smoke”program and has volunteered as a junior counselor at the Mineral County Younger 4-H Camp for the past three summers *. She uses her musical talents to serve others by acting as a substitute pianist for her church, Keyser Church of the Brethren, and other local churches. In addition, she has served as a counselor at the Camp Galilee Primary Church Camp for the past three summers and has joined in various community service projects, such as Toys for Tots, Trick-or-Can and Heartland Nursing Home visitation.”Community service has been an integral part of my life,”Clay said.”I enjoy helping others while contributing to my community, witnessing the benefits of my labors.”
In recognition of her academic success and community service, Clay was chosen for the West Virginia Governors Honors Academy and was named the Elks National Foundation”Most Valuable Student”local and west district winner.
She is undecided about her major.”I want to explore different fields.”
Clay said the Foundation Scholarship means a lot to her because she wants to attend WVU .
“I really liked the campus and students I met this summer at the Governors Honors Academy,”she said.
- Kenneth Michael”Kenny”Marn is the son of Barbara S. Spurlock of Birmingham, Ala., and Michael Marn of Harrisburg, Pa. He lives with an aunt and uncle, Ron and Donna George, in Sistersville, Tyler County. He is the third Foundation Scholar from Tyler Consolidated High School.
Marn has a career goal some would call out of this world: He wants to be an astronaut. With that in mind, he plans to major in aerospace engineering at WVU .
“I really do not know what the chances are of me going to space, but I plan to find out,”he said. Marn has excelled as a musician at Tyler Consolidated. He plays trombone in the school’s marching, jazz and concert bands. He has won several honors, including Outstanding Improvisational Jazz Band Soloist in 1998 and Outstanding Jazz Musician in 1999. He said his involvement in the band has provided him with invaluable leadership experience. For the past two years, he has been first chair in the trombone section and is the trombone section leader this year. He also plays lead trombone in the jazz band.
“My leadership qualities are required both on and off the stage,”Marn said.”On the stage, I am expected to be able to play all of the parts and lead the section. Off the stage, I am responsible for keeping up the discipline of the members of the section, making sure that no one does anything to hurt the band’s good name.”
Marn credits his schools band director, Wayne Smith, with keeping him in the band.”I like it, but he makes it more fun.”
He is a member of the school’s National Honor Society and served on Student Council from 1998-99.
Marn said he looks forward to attending WVU .”Its close to home, and its a big school in a small-town atmosphere, which I like a lot.”
- Adrian Brady Slider is the son of Walter V. (Van) and Barbara G. Slider of Paden City, Wetzel County. He is the first student from Paden City High School to be named a Foundation Scholar. Slider plans to major in computer science at WVU , but is leaving his career options open.
“I love to create things, and my goal is to earn a living doing that,”he said.”Im leaving it open as to what Im creating. It could be computer programs, art or music.”One of Sliders creative outlets is music. He is a member of the marching, concert and jazz bands at Paden City High and performed with the WVU Honor Band in 1998 and 1999. He has won several music honors, including West Virginia Jazz Festival Outstanding Soloist in 1998 and 1999. In addition to being an accomplished musician, he is also a composer, specializing in jazz. He has also written songs for his high schools jazz and marching bands. He has excelled academically during his four years at Paden City High. He was a National Merit Scholarship finalist and is a member of his school’s National Honor Society, serving as vice president. He attended the Governor’s School for the Arts in 1998 and the Governor’s Honors Academy in 1999. For the past three years, Slider has been president of his church youth group, a position he said has taught him a lot about leadership. He was also his school’s student body vice president in 1999.
Slider said he has wanted to attend WVU since visiting the campus to attend the Governors Honors Academy and perform in various band concerts.
“I like the campus,”he said.”From everything I know, its a solid school academically. I know some of the faculty members, and I like them.”