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Woodland Public Schools announces the 50-for-20 Annual Scholarship Fund, awards ten $2,500 scholarships to 2017 graduates

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Woodland Public Schools proudly announces the introduction of the 50-for-20 Scholarship Awards, an annual scholarship program providing $2,500 scholarships to 20 graduating seniors seeking further education after graduation including universities, community colleges, vocational schools, and trade schools, a total gift of $50,000 annually.

Woodland Public Schools kicked off the 50-for-20 Scholarship Awards by awarding ten $2,500 scholarships to Class of 2017 graduates.
Woodland Public Schools kicked off the 50-for-20 Scholarship Awards by awarding ten $2,500 scholarships to Class of 2017 graduates. 

This year’s applicants believe they applied for $250 awards from the Woodland High School Scholarship Trust Fund, the same amount as prior years, however each recipient will instead receive a $2,500 scholarship presented by Steve Madsen, Woodland Public Schools Board Director for District 5, during the annual Student Recognition Night held on Tuesday, June 6 at Woodland High School. Don Fluke, a former Woodland Public Schools superintendent, established the Woodland High School Scholarship Trust Fund in 1986 to provide students not receiving substantial scholarships from other sources with an avenue to receive assistance to further their education. “We’re building on Don Fluke's initial idea to make it something bigger,” said Masden. “We want to support amazing kids seeking to achieve something great for their futures.”

Board Director Steve Madsen introduced the school district's new 50-for-20 Scholarship Awards at the Annual Student Recognition Night.
Board Director Steve Madsen introduced the school district's new 50-for-20 Scholarship Awards at the Annual Student Recognition Night. 

Driven by the support of the entire Woodland Public Schools Board of Directors who approved the plan to change the scholarship program, the WHS Trust Fund Committee decided to increase the fund’s annual scholarship amount by ten times to $2,500. “A $250 gift simply doesn’t provide as much assistance in today’s economy as it did when the trust was established more than 30 years ago,” explained Madsen. “However, a $2,500 gift can pay for two full-time quarters of tuition at a community college or substantially reduce the cost of a vocational program, truly providing recipients with the opportunity to pursue higher education following high school.”

The Scholarship Committee prioritized making the 50-for-20 Scholarship Awards available to all students interested in pursuing additional education, not only students pursuing traditional university or college education after high school. In addition to traditional higher education, scholarship recipients can use the funds for vocational schools, trade schools, and other programs. “We want to encourage kids who wouldn’t normally think they could continue their education to at least give it a try,” explained John Shoup, Principal of Woodland High School and head of the Woodland High School Scholarship Trust Fund. “As the need for skilled tradespeople continues to rise throughout the United States each year, we want to encourage all students interested in furthering their education for any vocation to apply for consideration.”

Interested graduating seniors submit an application followed by a panel interview if the committee selects the application to move forward in the process. The interview panel features a wide range of community members including citizen volunteers and Woodland Public Schools staff members. “The Woodland community consistently demonstrates incredible support for their schools,” said Shoup. “We make a concerted effort to involve interested citizens whenever possible by inviting them to participate on panels such as these.”

The 50-for-20 Scholarship Awards are offered to any graduating senior interested in pursuing higher education including both traditional four-year colleges and community colleges as well as vocational programs and trade schools.
The 50-for-20 Scholarship Awards are offered to any graduating senior interested in pursuing higher education including both traditional four-year colleges and community colleges as well as vocational programs and trade schools. 

To continue providing the Annual 50-for-20 Scholarship Awards, the Woodland High School Trust Fund Committee announced an ongoing fundraising campaign to encourage staff members, community members, and local businesses to contribute to the worthy cause. This year, American Paper Converting, Inc., a local Woodland business, provided a substantial gift of $10,000 to the scholarship fund. “We are incredibly grateful to American Paper Converting for their remarkably generous contribution this year,” said Shoup. “Donations from businesses and local community members will be key for the ongoing goals of the 50-for-20 Scholarship Fund, helping train a future workforce of Woodland alumni to return with valuable skills to work for local businesses and enhance our community.”

The Woodland High School Scholarship Trust Fund established four giving levels for donors to contribute funds of any amount:

  1. PATRON LEVEL (up to $100) – This category is reserved primarily for individual and family contributions to the Fund.
  2. SERVICE LEVEL ($500) – This category is reserved primarily for service groups and non-profit organizations wishing to support the Fund.
  3. BUSINESS LEVEL ($1,000) – This category is reserved primarily for local business who wish to make a substantial contribution to the Fund.
  4. LEGACY LEVEL ($2,500+) – This category is reserved for large-amount donors whose one-time or ongoing cumulative gifts exceed $2,500.

Donors at the Service Level and above have the option of having their donations included in the 50-for-20 Annual Scholarship Campaign or awarding their gifts as a Community Scholarship based on specific eligibility criteria with a selection process established by the donor. In addition, donors will have the opportunity to personally present their awards to the recipients at the annual rewards assembly, if they desire. The balance of donations will fund the Annual 50-for-20 Scholarship Awards. Donors are recognized for their gifts throughout the year on the Woodland High School Scholarship Trust Fund website as well as in the Woodland High School Commencement Program materials and other school publications.

The Trust Fund Committee emphasizes the return on investment that stems from providing opportunities for graduating seniors to seek additional education. “Contributing to furthering our graduates’ education leads to a highly-skilled workforce for Woodland, helping to improve every aspect of the town where we live,” said Shoup. “We believe benefactors seeking the greatest impact for their gifts will see the incredible value of helping local graduates learn new skills, trades, and earn higher degrees which they may bring back and use to enrich Woodland.”

Community members and businesses interested in donating funds to the Woodland High School Scholarship Trust Fund can do so online by visiting the following webpage on the school district site: https://www.woodlandschools.org/50-for-20. Alternatively, contributors can donate funds directly by visiting the high school office located at 1500 Dike Access Road, Woodland, WA 98674 during school hours.

Community members who would like to participate in future scholarship interview panels can contact John Shoup via email at shoupj@woodlandschools.org or via phone at (360) 841-2800.