Tyler Consolidated High School senior Tara Weese is this year's recipient of the Adam R. Kelly Memorial Scholarship Award.
The announcement was made by TCHS Principal Kent Yoho during the Class of 2012 commencement exercises held Sunday, May 20.
Weese, the daughter of Ron and Marsha Weese of Middlebourne, was selected by the scholarship committee to receive the $500 cash award. Weese plans to attend West Virginia University to study psychology, political science and pre-law with the goal of attaining a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. She is a Bucklew Scholar at WVU.
The scholarship is given annually to a graduating senior from TCHS in honor of the late "Country Editor" columnist. It was established in June 1990 in memory of Kelly, who died three months earlier at the age of 65.
Kelly moved to Sistersville in 1954 and remained there until the time of his death, serving as editor and publisher of the Tyler Star News until 1979. He then began writing "The Country Editor" column, which appeared in the Wheeling Intelligencer and News-Register, and several other West Virginia publications. Kelly won numerous state and national awards for his pieces.
From 1990 to 1993, two scholarships were given each year to Tyler County graduating seniors.
he scholarship committee considered candidates from both Sistersville and Tyler County high schools, selecting one recipient each year from each school.
When the two county high schools were consolidated in September 1993, the scholarship committee opted to award one scholarship to a Tyler Consolidated senior.
Applicants must submit a resume along with an essay titled "In Defense of Freedom."
They are also interviewed by members of the Kelly family who serve on the scholarship committee. The students' applications, essays, academic achievements, extracurricular activities, college plans and financial need are assessed by the committee members during the selection process.
Weese graduated as valedictorian of her class at Tyler Consolidated, earning a 4.2 grade point average. She was a National Merit Scholar, attended Rhododendron Girls State and the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership program, and was a participant in the West Virginia Regional Math Field Day.
As a student at TCHS, Weese earned the Community Service Award for completing more than 20 hours of community service in a year. Weese had the highest chemistry and biology GPA in her class and was honored at the First Federal Top 15 Percent Award ceremonies. She earned LKC honorable mention as a varsity soccer player; was a member of the TCHS Winter Formal Court; and 2012 runner-up for Miss Knight.
Her extracurricular activities include theatre, yearbook staff, SALT Club chaplain, photography club, RAZE, Hi-Y, TSA and varsity soccer. She also was her sophomore class president and the National Honor Society vice president. This summer she will be an Energy Express mentor.
Other past recipients of the Adam R. Kelly Memorial Scholarship Award are: 1990, Shelly Dawn Craven and Ryan Joseph Morgan; 1991, Betsy J. Snyder and Charles "Chip" Hendricks II; 1992, Daniel J. Hanood and Ken Ferrell; 1993, Amanda Diane Myers and Joshua Gurtler; 1994, Jodi Livingston; 1995, Brandice Cherilynne Smith; 1996, Nancy Carolyn Myers; 1997, Luke N. Peters; 1998, Karen Folger; 1999, Catherine E. Peters; 2000, Leann M. Kucharski; 2001, Erin Wilt; 2002, Michael A. Smith; 2003, Brian F. Rohrig; 2004, J. Lance McKeever; 2005, Thomas Andrew "Drew" Carson; 2006, Jessica B. Kisner; 2007, Adam Scott Knowlton; Linda Bassett, 2008; Zach Perkey, 2009; Emily D. Thomas, 2010; and Blaise Rice, 2011.
The scholarship fund was endowed through contributions from area businesses, friends, and newspaper journalists from throughout the state. Additionally, an Adam R. Kelly Memorial Golf Tournament was held for three years at the Sistersville Country Club, where Kelly was a member.