Tyler Consolidated High School senior Amanda Dawson is this year's recipient of the Adam R. Kelly Memorial Scholarship Award.
The announcement was made by Principal Kent Yoho during the Class of 2014 commencement exercises held Thursday, May 22.
Dawson is the daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. Bill and Dawson of Sistersville. She was selected by the scholarship committee to receive the $500 cash award. Dawson plans to attend Fairmont State University with a double major in exercise science and Spanish.
The scholarship is given annually to a graduating senior from Tyler Consolidated 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 Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, as well as several other West Virginia publications. Kelly won numerous state and national awards for his pieces.
Applicants must submit a resume along with an essay titled "In Defense of Freedom," and undergo an interview 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.
While a student at Tyler Consolidated, Dawson was a top 10 finalist in the West Virginia Scholar Scholarship competition during her junior year and a People's Bank Top 15 Percent Award recipient for four years.
She earned 4.0 Honor Roll accolades each year, and was recognized for faithful attendance. She was a four-time Tyler County Young Writers winner, Tyler Consolidated Student of the Month, and Tyler Consolidated Academic Letter Award winner.
She is proficient in Spanish and is a student of piano. She performed as a pianist for Miss Knight, Senior Awards Day, and baccalaureate services.
She is an active member of Sistersville First United Methodist Church and has completed 80 hours of mission work for the Upshur County Parish House. Dawson also has volunteered at the Sistersville Genesis Healthcare Center and at the Sistersville General Health Clinic.
As a volunteer, she has helped at the Tyler Consolidated Boosters concession stand, vacation bible school and the Energy Express summer reading program. She also was a peer tutor in 2010.
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.