Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance Scholarship

In recognition of the tremendous efforts put forth by the Wisconsin’s rural schools to provide their students with quality education in an ever-changing environment, it is with pleasure that the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) offers an annual scholarship program.

To qualify, participating schools must be current paid members of WiRSA.

The scholarship will be awarded annually to one graduating high school senior from each of the four membership regions of Wisconsin as specified in the organization’s bylaws. An additional at-Large scholarship will be given to the next highest scoring applicant. Each recipient will receive a one-time cash scholarship of $500 to be used by the student to help defray the costs of post-secondary education and related expenses. A written essay is required for the application that expands on the following information:

  • the benefits of attending a rural school
  • your college and career goals
  • the value of growing up in a rural community and what personal values you have gained from your experience
Guidelines
  • To qualify, participating schools must be current paid members of WiRSA.
  • The scholarship will be awarded annually to one graduating high school senior from each of the four membership regions of Wisconsin as specified in the organization’s bylaws. An additional at-Large scholarship will be given to the next highest scoring applicant.
  • There will be no discrimination made as to this scholarship based on race, color, religion, national origin or sex, either by WiRSA or participating member schools.
  • Each recipient will receive a one-time cash scholarship of $500 to be used by the student to help defray the costs of post-secondary education and related expenses.
  • The funds will be distributed directly to the recipient upon submittal of a first semester transcript and second semester class schedule.
  • Each school is responsible for distributing to its students information pertaining to the scholarship application, rules and guidelines.
  • Each school must screen and evaluate its own applicants, based upon criteria set forth on the WiRSA Scholarship Application Form and then choose a single semi-finalist be forwarded to WiRSA for consideration (each school may submit only one entry for consideration).
  • Entries must be emailed or postmarked to the WiRSA Director no later than Feb. 15 of each year in order to be considered.
  • WiRSA will appoint a scholarship committee consisting of members of its board of directors to determine the winners of the scholarship and one alternate for each region.
  • If a student from a WiRSA board member’s school district is a semi-finalist for the scholarship, that board member will be excluded from any and all aspects of the judging process.
  • The superintendents of the school districts attended by each of the regional winners will be notified in writing of the award being made to their students.
  • The scholarship will be announced by April 15 of each year.
  • Whenever possible, a representative from WiRSA will attend the school awards ceremony to award the scholarship to the winner in each region.
  • All application and essays shall be submitted to the executive director of WiRSA.
Teacher Education Scholarship Guidelines

NEW in 2018

Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance Teacher Education Scholarship

In recognition of the tremendous efforts put forth by Wisconsin’s rural schools to provide their students with quality education in an ever-changing environment, it is with pleasure that the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) offers an annual scholarship program. This year a second set of scholarships will be offered to students entering the field of Teacher Education. To qualify, participating schools must be current paid members of WiRSA.

The scholarship will be awarded annually to one graduating high school senior from each of the four membership regions of Wisconsin as specified in the organization’s bylaws. An additional at-Large scholarship will be given to the next highest scoring applicant. Each recipient will receive a one-time cash scholarship of $500 to be used by the student to help defray the costs of post-secondary education and related expenses. A written essay is required for the application that expands on the following information:

  • The benefits of attending a rural school.
  • Why you are choosing the field of Teacher Education.
  • The value of growing up in a rural community and what personal values you have gained from your experience.

Guidelines

  • To qualify, participating schools must be current paid members of WiRSA.
  • The scholarship will be awarded annually to one graduating high school senior from each of the four membership regions of Wisconsin as specified in the organization’s bylaws. An additional at-Large scholarship will be given to the next highest scoring applicant.
  • There will be no discrimination made as to this scholarship based on race, color, religion, national origin or sex, either by WiRSA or participating member schools.
  • Each recipient will receive a one-time cash scholarship of $500 to be used by the student to help defray the costs of post-secondary education and related expenses.
  • The funds will be distributed directly to the recipient upon submittal of a first semester transcript and second semester class schedule.
  • Each school is responsible for distributing to its students information pertaining to the scholarship application, rules and guidelines.
  • Each school must screen and evaluate its own applicants based upon criteria set forth by the WiRSA Scholarship Application Form and then choose a single semi-finalist to be forwarded to WiRSA for consideration. (Each school may submit only one entry for consideration).
  • Entries must be emailed or postmarked to the WiRSA Director no later than February 15 of each year to be considered.
  • WiRSA will appoint a scholarship committee consisting of members of its Board of Directors to determine the winners of the scholarship and one alternate for each region.
  • If a student from a WiRSA Board Member’s school district is a semi-finalist for the scholarship, that board member will be excluded from any and all aspects of the judging process.
  • The superintendents of the school districts attended by each of the regional winners will be notified in writing of the award being made to their students.
  • The scholarship will be announced by April 15 of each year.
  • Whenever possible, a representative from WiRSA will attend the school awards ceremony to award the scholarship to the winner in each region.
  • All applications and essays shall be submitted to the Executive Director of WiRSA.

2017-2018 WiRSA Scholarship Winners

Region 1: Sydney Herman | Mishicot High School

My name is Sydney Herman and I currently attend Mishicot High School.  I look forward to attending St. Norbert College where I plan to major in biology with future career interests leaning toward research, biochemistry or environmental science. During my high school years, I was a member of National Honor Society, FFA, Forensics, Student Government, FBLA and Power of Positive Students Mentoring Program and held several leadership roles.  I participated in multiple band groups and in sports such as volleyball, basketball and track and field.  Reading, outdoor activities, spending time with family, friends and pets are activities I enjoy in my free time. Growing up in a rural community has provided me with ideals I highly value, such as service, compassion and responsibility. Volunteer service and giving to my community are important aspects of my life and while at Mishicot, I completed several hundred hours of community service.  It is my belief that no matter how small a contribution, one person can truly make a difference by giving their time and talent to those in need or who cannot advocate for themselves.

Region 2: Hailey Stefanik | Albany High School

My name is Hailey Stefanik and I am currently a senior at Albany High School. I will be attending UW-Stevens Point in the fall of 2018. I plan to study Health Promotion and Wellness with the hopes of pursuing a career in the health and fitness industry. I have always been an active person but recently I have really dived into the idea of health and wellness. I believe that this kind of career will suit me because the health field has an abundance of opportunities and will allow me to be creative and help other people reach their goals.

 

Region 3: Hiemstra | Turtle Lake High School

My name is Athena Hiemstra. I am the Salutatorian for the graduating class of 2018. During my time at Turtle Lake High School I have held many leadership positions. I was chosen by teammates and coaches to be a team captain in both Volleyball and Basketball and I am an attentive member in Student Council and National Honor Society. Also, I am a teacher’s assistant for the Pre-Kindergarten Class. These experiences have led me to pursue a career in Pediatrics. I will further my education at UW-Madison this fall, majoring in Nursing. After I earn my Nursing degree, I plan to attend medical school to become a Pediatrician.

 

Region 4: Stephanie Peitersen | Oconto Falls High School

Hi! My name is Stephanie Peitersen and I am a senior at Oconto Falls High School. I have strived throughout high school to engage myself in many leadership opportunities to help shape myself into a well-rounded student for my future endeavors. These leadership positions include being the President of the Oconto Falls Future Business Leaders of America chapter, Vice President of National Honor Society, Student School Board Representative for Student Council, Secretary for Student Council, and Promotion Chair for FBLA. I was also a 2017 American Legion Auxiliary Badger Girl State Delegate. These leadership positions have opened a countless amount of opportunities for me, and I was even able to create a partnership with the local senior center in Oconto Falls.  Throughout this partnership, students at the high school bonded with senior citizens to create relationships and shrink the age gap in my community.  I have donated over 350 hours of community service to building this partnership.  One of my passions is to give back to my community and to make a difference, and I have done exactly this through over 650 hours of community service. For other extracurricular activities, I have played volleyball and softball all four years of high school and was the varsity captain for both teams this year. Alongside my extracurricular activities, I am a High Honor Student with a GPA of 3.9 and will be attending the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse next fall. I will be pursuing a career in the medical field to become a Physician’s Assistant while also majoring in psychology. My goal for the future is to specifically work with students who are diagnosed with ADHD and OCD because I personally understand the struggle with having to deal with these, myself, from a very young age.

 

At Large: Emma Lawrence | Benton High School

Growing up in the small rural community of Benton, Wisconsin has allowed me to become extremely involved in various activities. Giving back to my community is my favorite thing to do.  I am a three-sport athlete, which has allowed me to gain valuable life lessons that I will carry with me in the future. I plan to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to major in biology with a concentration in biomedical sciences while also minoring in Spanish.  At UWL, I plan to play volleyball and run track!

 

Region 1: Teacher Education: Emily Omerink | Amherst High School

My name is Emily Omernik. I live in Polonia, Wisconsin with my parents and three younger siblings. I am thankful for the values of faith and family that I have grown up with, and I treasure the memories that I have been able to build with my family. I attend Amherst High School in the rural town of Amherst, Wisconsin where I have been given some incredible opportunities to learn and pursue my interests. During high school, I participated in FBLA, Honor Society, art club, Student Council, band, and Color Guard. Because I have always loved dance, I especially enjoyed the opportunities I was given to choreograph Rifle Line and Color Guard routines, as well as dance routines for the school musical and Chamber Show Choir. I have been accepted to the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater where I plan to major in art education and English education with a minor in dance. I am very excited about pursuing my dream to provide students with an encouraging, positive environment and diverse learning opportunities like those that filled me with confidence and ignited my passion in the arts.

Region 2: Teacher Education: Marissa Gerstner | Fort Atkinson High School

I am a senior at Fort Atkinson High School. I plan on attending Carroll University in Waukesha, WI and majoring in Elementary Education with a dual licensure in Special Education. Some things that I am looking forward to in college would be meeting new people and having a chance to study abroad.

Region 3: Teacher Education: Alycia Zickert | Neilsville High School

I plan on attending the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, for a degree in Special education. Right now, I spend a great amount of my school day teaching in the elementary special ed classroom, and I have learned an extraordinary amount of knowledge as to what the teaching field will consist of. I cannot wait to expand my knowledge for teaching and to enter the education field.

Region 4: Teacher Education: Casie McAllister |  Merrill High School

My name is Casie McAllister and I attend Merrill High School. I was born in raised in Merrill and have learned many things living in a rural community. In September, I will be attending UW River Falls majoring in Elementary Education. I have always loved helping people and being a teacher will allow me to do this. I chose to pursue a career in education because I want to make learning fun for children. I want to help them find their passion to inspire them to inspire others. In High School I was involved in Octagon Club, Earth Club, Tennis, Dance, Student Council, Youth group, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, playing tennis, watching sports, and volunteering. I’m ready to take the next step in my future and am excited to make my dream a reality.

At Large: Weston Morley | Cuba City High School

I am currently a senior at Cuba City High School. During the course my four-year career at CCHS, I have accomplished many things. I have run varsity cross country and track all four years, being recognize as my cross country team’s MVP both Junior and Senior year. Along with my accomplishments in athletics, I have also been very active in community service. As part of my high school’s Leo Club and NHS, I have volunteered at many community events. I also have been heavily involved in my school’s art, theatre, and music departments. I have participated in forensics for the past three years, qualifying in state each year. Along with forensics, I have also been very involved in my school’s music department. In my school’s music department, I participate in jazz band, pep band, vocal jazz, contemporary a cappella, band, and choir. Along with these ensembles, I also have participated in Solo and Ensemble, qualifying for State in numerous events over the past three years. I have also been a part of CCHS’s drama department for the past three years, being nominated for the Overture Center Tommy Award for Outstanding Lead Performance this year for my work in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. When I am not participating in school functions, I assist in teaching religious education in my town, as well as taking piano lessons. This coming fall, I plan to pursue a degree in Music Education at UW-Eau Claire. After I obtain my degree, I plan to teach band at either the middle school, or high school level. I would like to thank WiRSA for selecting me as a recipient for the Teacher Education Scholarship.