Woodstock, VA (June , 2016) – The Shenandoah Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the first Ethel L. Wisman Memorial Scholarship of $1,100 was awarded to Gracie Bailey at Central High School’s Awards Ceremony.
Established by Maxine Pence, this scholarship honors her sister who taught at Central High School for over 30 years.
Ethel Wisman was the one of ten children who overcame many obstacles to get her education so that she could fulfill her dream of becoming a high school English teacher.
“In those days it cost $25 to attend high school in Shenandoah County,” said fund donor Maxine Pence. “Ethel picked huckleberries to raise the money so that she could go.”
After high school, Wisman earned her room and board by working for a Harrisonburg couple so she could attend Madison College which later became James Madison University. During the summer, she worked at a tea room/antique shop to earn tuition.
“In setting up the fund, it was important to Ms. Pence that, like her sister, the recipient should be highly motivated to learn and interested in studying education,” said Foundation Program Coordinator, Jeanne Russell. “Gracie Baily fulfills that aim wonderfully.”
“This scholarship is yet another example of a local resident establishing a fund that will benefit our students for years to come. We are so fortunate to have citizens like Maxine, who care enough to step up and help our students achieve their educational goals.”
“Ms. Wisman taught me when I was at Central,” said Foundation President Jeff Dalke. “She was a dedicated teacher and I’m sure she would be very pleased to be remembered in this way.”
The Wisman Scholarship was one of two funds created this year. The Foundation also presented the Donald and Mary Womble Scholarship which was made possible by educators, Donald and Mary Womble. This $400 scholarship was awarded to Katie Ruckman.
The Shenandoah Community Foundation awarded over 50 Scholarships to Shenandoah County High School students this year alone in amounts totaling over $60,000. The Foundation has scholarships at each of the high schools and several county-wide scholarships as well.