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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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