Rex Riley Scholarship winners from 10 years ago 02.02.2011

Written by David Green.

The Morenci Kiwanis Club’s annual Soup and Pie Supper is scheduled next Wednesday as club members serve the public to earn money for college scholarships.

A week before the event, the Observer takes a look at winners of the Rex Riley Scholarship from 10 years ago to see what they’ve experienced since leaving Morenci Area High School.

KRISTY McCARBERY—Kristy used her scholarship to help pay for tuition at Central Michigan University, where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in education.

She lives in St. Johns, Mich., where she works as a high school special education teacher.

There’s not much in the way of free time in her life because she’s also working on a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction through Marygrove College in Detroit. She expects to complete her studies in May 2012.

ROSEANN (VANBRANDT) MILLER: Roseann also attended Central Michigan, along with taking classes at Jackson Community College. She graduated from Siena Heights University, magna cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in social work.

She married Scott Miller in 2003 and their first child, Isaac Brandt, was born in 2007. After Scott completed military training, the Miller’s second child, Baylie Sue Lynn, arrived in 2010.

Roseann has worked at Do’chas II Counseling since her graduation in 2005.

“It is my passion to work with teens and families in crisis and aid in achieving their life goals,” she said.

BEN GREEN—Ben completed Michigan State University’s five-year landscape architecture program in 2006 and took a job with the Miami, Fla., firm of Curtis+Rogers Design Studio.

“I continue to work there as a designer and project manager on a wide range of projects including civic, commercial, parks, education and transportation in south Florida,” he said.

One of his recent jobs is known as the largest public works projects in the country—expanding the I-595 corridor connecting Ft. Lauderdale to the Alligator Alley section of I-75. He’s also working on the new Broward County FBI headquarters.

Ben passed the exam for licensing in  Florida and he awaits word on the final exam to become a registered landscape architect.

He lives in Coconut Grove with his wife, Sarah, who works as a preschool teacher.

ERIN (OLSON) EKINS—Erin graduated magna cum laude from Adrian College with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. She was chosen Student of the Year in her department.

She married Jake Ekins and they are the parents of Van, 3, and Colbie, 2. A third child is due in May. They live in Canandaigua.

Erin is currently a stay-at-home mother and when her children are older she intends to return to school for a master’s degree.

Before her first child arrived, Erin served as a personal trainer, taught exercise classes and managed a fitness center. She’s undecided between a career in physical therapy or nursing.

BETHANY (WHEELER) BESS—Bethany earned a teaching certificate at Spring Arbor College, and she also met her future husband, Brian, there. They were married in 2006 and moved to his home town, Chardon, Ohio.

She’s worked as a substitute teacher and has taught classes at Agape Christian Academy. She also teaches horseback riding at Beracah Valley Farm.

Their son, William, was born a year ago.

“Of all the life experiences I’ve lived so far,” Bethany said, “having a child has taught me the most.”

DESIREE (BURROW) HOLCOMB—Desirée attended Western Michigan University for a year and then took nursing classes at Jackson Community College. She finally realized that wasn’t what she was looking for and eventually developed an interest in business.

Desirée lives in Rossford, Ohio, with her husband, Shane, and their two children, Quinton, 2, and Audrey, 1.

She serves as a general manager for Marco’s Pizza and also as corporate training manager for Marco’s.

“I plan to go back to college and get my degree in business management,” she said, “and hopefully someday own my own pizza place.”

JACOB BACH—Jacob followed his childhood dream of studying archeology and earned dual degrees in comparative religion and archeology. That was followed by graduate studies in archeology.

He and his wife, Katie, accepted a forest service job with the U.S.D.A. in Pennsylvania and later, along with their son, Forrest, joined the Americorps VISTA program and worked at an organic herb farm that served as an educational facility for visiting school children. Farming was also something he was interested in.

They returned to Michigan and worked at a farm near Bangor that practiced Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in which subscribers buy shares of food grown by the farm.

Jacob later started a CSA on rented land near Katie’s home area, Grand Blanc, and they bought a 20-acre farm near Mayville in December that came with a log house.

Jacob is busy preparing for the 2011 growing season and signing up customers for his new CSA.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • 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.

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