In addition to the many departmental honors and awards handed out,
several scholarships were also presented making the evening even
Mount Pulaski High School Principal Mr. Terry Morgan and Honors
Night Coordinator Melanie Hinson kept the events of the evening
running smoothly and quickly. Each teacher was introduced and
allowed time for a short speech and presentation.
Several area community and business leaders were also in attendance
to present scholarships. It is worth noting a few of the highlights
from the two-hour event. Members of the community who have dedicated
their time and money by investing in the community’s youth gave
speeches honoring scholarship recipients. In fact, the kindness and
generosity of those folks who strongly support the future education
of these students appeared to be quite overwhelming.
Perhaps the most overwhelming was the Iva Mae Blaum Trust
Scholarship that was awarded to Kamryn Aylesworth by Gail Nunnery of
the State Bank of Lincoln. Aylesworth is the first recipient of the
scholarship that was open to any graduating senior in Logan County
who wishes to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Nursing or Agriculture.
Other highlights of the evening included a speech by Mr. Bo Girn of
the local G-Mart. Girn spoke of his parents, who immigrated to this
country from India and who had very little education. He said that
his parents were very disciplined people and because of their
encouragement, he was a big believer in education himself. Girn
presented Lauren Anderson with the G-Mart Scholarship for Business.
Mrs. Barbara Maske also took the podium to award scholarships on
behalf of the Zonta Club of Lincoln and another scholarship in
memory of JoEllen Maske.
Kamryn Aylesworth and Elizabeth Siebert were each awarded a Zonta
Women’s Career Scholarship.
Maske, a teacher in the Mount Pulaski School District, mentioned
that “the committee, past and present, is always impressed with our
Mount Pulaski students.”
Maske also gave a very nice speech about her late mother-in-law,
JoEllen, who was a beloved English teacher in the Mount Pulaski
Elizabeth Siebert, who plans to pursue a degree in education, was
awarded the first JoEllen Maske Education Scholarship.
It was nice to see so many new scholarships among the list. Even
Hinson commented that as she had looked at some old honors programs,
the number of community scholarships has doubled in recent years.
It’s worth repeating that the kindness and generosity of those folks
who strongly support the future education of these students is
overwhelming. Many of these students who were rewarded for their
hard work and dedication to academics were also simply shocked and
surprised to hear their names called.
As you scroll through the list of students recognized Tuesday night,
you will see that several names appear on the list multiple times.
Therefore, the announcement of Brian Batchelder as Senior of the
Year was not a complete shock, as that young man made trip after
trip to the podium. Overheard following the ceremony was “he nearly
swept every senior category.” Batchelder plans to attend Southern
Illinois University in Edwardsville.
[to top of second column]
Finally, a light-hearted moment of the evening
came when Mrs. Mary Hamilton took to the podium to present the
Mount Pulaski Women in Business Scholarship. Hamilton, a
long-time bus driver in the school district, mentioned that she
had attended events in the gymnasium for over 30 years and
looking in the crowd for Superintendent Todd Hamm, she said “I
see the air-conditioning is still not fixed.” That drew laughter
from the crowd and then applause, as once again a familiar name
was called and Kamryn Aylesworth was presented with that award.
Congratulations to all of the winners!
As Gail Nunnery gave a speech about the Iva Mae Blaum Trust
Scholarship I was intrigued. First, I knew Iva Mae as the little
lady who drove a convertible and lived in Mayfair. In fact, I
delivered many catalogs to her mail slot throughout the years.
Secondly, I had no idea of Iva Mae’s past but I was about to learn.
She was a native of Middletown who married a farmer named Arthur
As I searched her obituary from last August, I learned she was a
nurse at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital for 46 years and was even
the Director of Nursing at ALMH upon her retirement in 1985.
Blaum passed away in 2015 at the age of 95 but what a legacy she
Kamryn Aylesworth is the first recipient of this scholarship and I
cannot help but think that Iva Mae is smiling down from Heaven at
this perfect choice. I also cannot help but think how this generous
gift will change the life of this young woman and give her an
opportunity that I know she is more than ready to meet with
dedication and hard work. Just like I picture Iva Mae’s life.
The following was received from Gail Nunnery via email:
The Iva Mae Blaum Trust is a testamentary trust. The trust arose
upon Iva Mae’s death and is specified in her Last Will and
Iva Mae was a graduate of Deaconess Hospital of Lincoln and retired
from Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in 1985 after 46 years of
service. She was the supervisor of medical surgery on the first
floor of the Deaconess Hospital and the 4th floor of Abraham Lincoln
Memorial Hospital. Iva Mae was also the Director of Nursing at
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital from 1958 to 1985. Her husband,
Arthur, was a Logan County farmer.
The Iva Mae Blaum Trust scholarship is given in memory of Arthur B.
Blaum and Iva Mae Blaum and for the benefit of Logan County
residents who are graduating high school seniors who declare and
pursue bachelor degrees in agriculture or nursing.
The scholarship award is to be available for each year up to four
years total if the recipient continues to pursue a bachelors degree
in agriculture or nursing and carries a total cumulative ‘B’ average
or better at the end of each academic year. The yearly “award
amount” is equivalent to the cost of tuition for the upcoming school
year for a full academic load at the University of Illinois,
Champaign campus, but it will be adjusted if it will be more than
the recipient will require for the cost of tuition, books, fees and
room and board at the school the recipient will attend and
considering other scholarships and awards the recipient receives.
This is the first year the scholarship has been awarded, and as you
know the first recipient is Kamryn Aylesworth.
Ironically, the scholarship was awarded on what would have been Iva
Mae’s 96th birthday, and today would have been Arthur’s 100th