Rex Riley Scholarship winners from 2013

Written by David Green.

Four Rex Riley Scholarships were awarded to Morenci seniors in 2003. Following is a brief look at their lives since leaving high school.

CORI BRENNAN—Cori earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Lourdes College in Sylvania, Ohio, but she stated working part-time at the Toledo Zoo long before she finished college. She had a goal of becoming a zookeeper and she wanted to "get her foot in the door" for a future job possibility.

"In early 2008, I became a part-time temporary zookeeper in the education collection, caring for the program animals that go out to schools and perform in shows at the zoo," Cori said.

A year later she was hired as the full-time programmatic zookeeper in the education department.

She's married to Morenci graduate John MacGregor and their first child, Evelyn, was born last February.

"I feel that I have been very successful in meeting my goals so far and I am doing what I love and have wanted to do since I was in seventh grade."

BRADLEY MORAN—Brad used his Rex Riley scholarship to attend Siena Heights University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He's had a job with the Sun Pharmaceuticals office in Bryan, Ohio, for four years where he's classified as a Biologist II.

"I am a quality control microbiologist," he said. "I test drug products for the presence if microorganisms and then identify what I find. I am currently the supervisor in training of the department."

Brad and his wife, Jessica (Weatherford), live in Morenci with their four-year-old son, Blake.

For Brad and Jessica, winter is the long wait until the Detroit Tigers are back in action.

RYAN McDOWELL—Ryan headed for Central Michigan University for an eclectic college career that included courses ranging from journalism, accounting, logistics—even some history of film.

Now he’s seeing an eclectic array of faces every day while working as a table games dealer at the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt. Pleasant.

“The casino industry is one that has always interested me,” he said. “I've met interesting people and seen some very interesting things.”

Ryan hasn’t started his own family but he’s become an uncle three times over and soon to be four.

“In the past decade I've learned how little I knew a decade ago,” he said.

“And now I will attack the next decade with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind,” he quipped.

AUBREY STOVER—Aubrey attended Central Michigan University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training in 2008. She first worked as a trainer at Madison High School and began studying at Kent State University's Ashtabula branch to become certified as a physical therapy assistant. With that degree in hand, she was hired to work at the Gary Gray Physical Therapy office in Clinton.

She lives in Blissfield with her husband, Nathan McMunn, and continues affiliation with Thirty-One Gifts as an independent senior consultant.

She'll decide in the future whether she wants to go to graduate school to earn a doctorate in physical therapy, but for now she's content with her role as a PT assistant.

• To help furnish additional scholarships for Morenci graduates, attend the annual Kiwanis Rex Riley Soup and Pie Supper Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Morenci Eagles.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
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  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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