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Adam R. Kelly Memorial Scholarship Award Recipient Announced

By Staff | Jun 5, 2019

Tyler Consolidated High School senior Emily Lancaster is this year’s recipient of the Adam R. Kelly Memorial Scholarship Award.

The announcement was made during the Class of 2019 commencement exercises held Thursday, May 23.

Lancaster is the daughter of Chandra and Jeff Lancaster of Middlebourne. She plans to attend West Liberty University in the fall to pursue a degree in criminal justice. She plans to join the Marine Reserves her sophomore year and hopes to work in law enforcement after earning her degree.

The $500 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 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.

As a student at Tyler Consolidated, Lancaster was president of the Future Business Leaders of America; vice president of Students Against Drunk Driving; and during her senior year, she was selected by the faculty as the ELKS Student of the Month.

She was a member of the National Honor Society and an active participant in the Spanish Club. Involved in school theater, Lancaster served on the executive committee of the Silver Knight Players and is a member of the International Thespian Society Troupe #8668.

While a student in U.S. Studies, she participated in the James Madison Legacy Project in which she studied the We the People: The Citizen & The Constitution curriculum.

As a member of the track team, she holds the TCHS record in pole vault and was a four-year member of the Tyler Consolidated volleyball team that played in the West Virginia state tournament each year.

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, Blaine Rice; 2012, Tara Weese; 2013, Martina M. Parrish; 2014, Amanda Dawson; 2015, Sydney Elizabeth Yoho; 2016, Katlyn O. Seckman; 2017, Courtney Hoder; and 2018, Isabella Camerlin.

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.