Tyler Consolidated High School senior Martina Marie Parrish 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 2013 commencement exercises held May 24.
Parrish, the daughter of Beverly and Martin Parrish of Sistersville, was selected by the scholarship committee to receive the $500 cash award. Parrish plans to attend Fairmont State University to earn a degree in English. An avid reader, she aspires to become a book editor.
Martina Marie Parrish
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.
The 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 Kelly's widow, Shannon, and a member of the scholarship committee. The students' applications, essays, academic achievements, extracurricular activities, college plans, and financial need are assessed by the committee during the selection process.
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.
Parrish graduated eighth in her class of 110 students with a 4.0 grade point average. During her four years at Tyler Consolidated, Parrish enrolled in college preparatory courses, as well as Honors and Advanced Placement classes.
In 2011, Parrish won first place in the state for her entry in the Daughters of the American Revolution Poetry Contest, then earned second in a seven-state regional competition.
She lettered in softball and band all four years at TCHS, and was a four-year member of the All OVAC Academic Team. She also was a member of the National Honor Society and was an Elks Teen of the Month for 2012-13.
Parrish is a member of the Friendly Lions Club, is active in the Tyler and Wetzel County Relay for Life teams, and was in the chess and photography clubs at TCHS. She also is active in the youth group at Sistersville Presbyterian Church.
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; 2008, Linda Bassett; 2009, Zach Perkey; 2010, Emily D. Thomas; 2011, Blaise Rice; and 2012, Tara Weese.