2020 North Adams Senior Awards

The 2020 North Adams Senior Scholarship Awards Program was announced on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 by a You Tube video. Over 150 scholarships were awarded to North Adams Graduating Seniors.
Senior Scholarship Awards
« Class of 2020 « 

Please click here to view the Class of 2020 North Adams Scholarship Recipients 

ACCF/American Legion, Post #43 Scholarship 

Starting in 2006, the leaders of the American Legion and our community participate each year in a unique fundraiser recognizing local military personnel by placing an ornament on the Tree of Valor. This giving opportunity is available each year in November for Veterans Day and ornaments can be purchased in varying amounts. The money collected through this event was used to establish an endowed fund in the Foundation and to provide funding for this award. The scholar selected for this award must provide proof of military association and a family membership to the American Legion, Post #43. 


 ACCF/Craig and Sue Anderson Scholarship

Sixty collaborative years of experience, the Andersons have certainly touched many, many lives. They retired in 2008, but they did not give up their effort to encourage and educate. They established a fund in the Adams County Community Foundation to insure a student going into education will be recognized each year with a Craig and Sue Anderson Scholarship award.   Priority for this award is given to a student who attended Bellmont Middle school. 



ACCF/Andy & Bernadine “Bessie” Appelman Scholarship
Life long Decatur residents, Bessie and Andy Appelman were very active in the Decatur and the surrounding area. Since 1926, Andy’s parents owned the Appelman’s Grocery Store located near the railroad tracks on Monroe Street and a restaurant near the depot. For over 40 years until 1973, Andy Appelman owned and operated the West End Restaurant. Andy was the ‘face’ of the restaurant with the customers while Bessie took care of the kitchen.   
ACCF/Dixie (Harvey) Arven Scholarship

In 2000, Dean Arven from Logansport, contacted the Foundation to have a scholarship established to honor the memory of his wife to whom he was married 59 years. As Mrs. Arven became more and more ill, her wish was that a fund was set up to provide assistance to a deserving student from her home county.The prevailing eligibility requirement for this scholarship is that the student shows proof of association with a military member. 

 ACCF/Barkley-Pettibone Memorial Scholarship

The Barkley/ Pettibone Scholarship is awarded in honor of Carol's grandfather, Mr. Barkley who was a long time educator, and the Pettibone families: Lorena Pettibone who taught in a one room school house, LC Pettibone who served as the superintendent of the Decatur City Power Plant, and their brother Dan. From a long line of athletes, Dan was a varsity running back for Decatur High School and the first running back for the Bellmont Braves. In 1969, Dan received All-State Honorable Mention and was awarded the Gilbert Award. Each year a Barkley-Pettibone scholarship is awarded to an AC senior and a Bellmont senior. The eligibility requirements for this scholarship are that the student is a notable athlete. 


 ACCF/David and Penny Bressler Scholarship        

This scholarship was established in memory of Penny and Eleanor Bressler. Ellie was a pre-school student at St. Joseph Catholic School with her siblings, Anna and Chance, when she passed suddenly in an automobile accident in September 2006.  Ellie’s mother, Penny, was a ball of energy that brightened any room she entered. After an extended illness and a gallant battle with cancer, Penny joined Ellie in November 2016. This scholarship is to recognize the joy that Ellie and Penny provided in their short time with us. 

ACCF/Brune Engineering Scholarship

The Brune Family fund was established by the Charlie and Jean (Porter) Brune Family who have dedicated a major portion of their lives to youth and community service.  To encourage academic excellence and to honor their three sons, who were all valedictorians at Bellmont High School (Jason-2003, Ryan-2007, Nathan-2011) and earned their engineering degrees from Ohio Northern University, the Brunes have established the Brune Engineering Scholarship. This award is presented to the Bellmont senior with the highest GPA who will major in engineering at a 4-year college program.  

ACCF/Jim Daniels Memorial Scholarship
ACCF/Decatur Dental Services Scholarship

Established in 2006, the doctors of the Decatur Dental Services opted to endow a fund in the Foundation so that a student who plans to go into the field of dentistry is shown the overwhelming support of these dentists: Drs. Roger Thompson, Terry Baker, Matt Baker, Kelly Ulman, Pam Johnson, Michael Johnson, and Adrianne Ranly. 


ACCF/Decatur Volunteer Fire Department Scholarship

In 2005, the Decatur Volunteer Fire Department Scholarship was established in the Foundation so that a scholarship was awarded to a student who shows an involvement in community service and has association with an employee of a community service-related occupation. Some examples are: Fire Department, Police Department, Emergency & EMS Department.   This scholar is required to show proof of this association. If there are two equally qualified students the tie breaker is the student’s attendance. 


ACCF/Fern Dierkes Memorial Nursing Scholarship
In 1929, Fern was a high school graduate. She knew she wanted to be a nurse, but in a family with six children in the depression era, she certainly did not have the financial ability to attend college. A family friend paid the tuition for Fern to attend college. For this reason – she wanted to return this very generous gesture. The Fern Dierkes Memorial Nursing scholarship is awarded each year to a Bellmont student who intends to become a nurse. Mrs. Dierkes died in 2006. This student  should feel an obligation to pay back to other students as did Mrs. Dierkes neighbor and now Mrs. Dierkes.
ACCF/Robert Ehrman Vocational Scholarship 

Karl Robert Ehrman was a lifelong resident of Adams County with family ties in Wells County. A humble, quiet man, he was a retired farmer and an accomplished musician. He played a French horn, coronet, organ, and an accordion. Through his generosity and commitment to both counties, he established an endowment fund with the Wells County Foundation. As a part of the terms of the fund, a percentage of the annual distribution is for vocational grants to each of the six high schools in Adams and Wells Counties. Recipients are selected for having demonstrated an interest in a particular vocational area with plans to enter an accredited postsecondary vocational training program. 

ACCF/First Merchants Scholarship
ACCF/James 'Butch' Gilbert Scholarship

Butch Gilbert, 69, married Linda (Wolfe) Gilbert in 1970. They have four children: Beverly, Vernon, Julie, and Jeremy, 10 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Butch and Linda were married for 48 years.He worked for Baker & Schultz, Rolling Rock, then Crosby Excavating and retired in 2014. For Decatur, he was a Volunteer Firefighter (20 years), a Reserve police officer (5 years), a bail bondsman (25 years), and he was always supportive of the police department. When Decatur got their first K9, he bought the police-dog its lifesaving vest. Butch had a big heart and was quite the handy man. It was typical for him to mentor young boys, teaching them life skills such as carpentry, car-repair, electrical repair, and all matters of general household restoration. It is because of these many attributes, this scholarship will be awarded to a promising student that will emulate these skills.  

ACCF/Rick Girod Memorial Scholarship
The son of Ed and Sandy Girod, Rick was a Bellmont High School graduate and student at IPFW when, in July 2006 near his 20th birthday, he was involved in a fatal car accident. He died the next day, but Rick’s impact on the lives around him did not stop with his death. Rick made an almost instantaneous impact in many lives of strangers who will never know him nor get to share their immense gratitude. As an organ donor, Rick’s contributions offered hopes and dreams to these people and their families…each and every day. In addition to hopes and dreams, he provided hearing, sight, and life. To be eligible for this scholarship, the student must be a Bellmont graduating senior who has done community service to help others. 


ACCF/Mary Jo Hoffman Memorial Scholarship

This is the second year for this annual award. Mary Jo Hoffman was a school teacher for 34 years teaching mainly the 2nd grade at Lincoln School, Monmouth Elementary, and Northwest Elementary. Mary Jo wanted to make sure her love of educating the youth in our community did not stop when she retired. As a dedicated teacher, she established this scholarship so a student would be given support both financially and in spirit. She knew it takes more than financial support to be a successful candidate and this award is to recognize those who have shown the ability to be resilient and hardworking. Mrs. Hoffman passed away in 2013 and set up a very generous scholarship fund to recognize deserving students. 


ACCF/Adams County Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship

Established in 1998, the Adams County Memorial Hospital Fund was transferred into the Community Foundation when there was a very lucrative $1. for $1 match sponsored by Lilly Endowment. This fund was initially established so that one scholarship would be awarded to a student from each school in Adams County on a rotation. With the Foundation’s prudent investments and the growth of this fund, there are multiple scholarships awarded to students from each of the three schools every year. 

ACCF/Knights of Columbus Scholarship 
In service to one. In service to all. The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men's fraternal benefit society that was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, and public relief work.  
ACCF/Ruth Koos Memorial Scholarship 
Ruth was a member of Union Chapel Methodist Church in Decatur, Union Chapel United Methodist Women's Circle, and General Electric Retirees Quarter Century Club. Ruth retired from Decatur General Electric Corporation in 1977, with 34 years of service. Ruth remembered her community in a bequest to the Adams County Community Foundation where the ACCF Board of Directors opted to establish both scholarships for promising students and grants for nonprofit organizations serving Adams County residents.  
ACCF / Lilly Finalist Scholarship

This year the ACCF invited five students to participate in the ACCF / Lilly Endowment Scholarship interview process. There were 2 students from AC, 1 student from NA, and 2 students from SA. The students were interviewed with one scholarship awarded to an SA student. The students that impressively represented their family, school, and themselves are featured as finalists and are recognized with ACCF scholarships. 

ACCF/Kenneth & Geraldine McConnell Scholarship

This scholarship has been created by many of their seven children to honor the respect and compassion they had for others. Both Ken and Gerry were encouraged by their parents and family to continue their education: Ken in business and Gerry in nursing. This scholarship, in their memory, will help local youth who choose to pursue a degree in either of these areas of interest. 

ACCF/Meshberger Brothers / LICA Scholarship

Established in 1998, the Meshberger Brothers Scholarship was established in the Foundation when there was a match program sponsored by Lilly Endowment. This fund was initially established so that one scholarship was awarded to a student from each school in Adams County. With the Foundation’s investments, the growth of this fund, and the generous additional contributions made by the Meshberger Corporation, the fund had grown large enough to award multiple impressive scholarships to seniors in each school district. This scholar must show proof of association with an employee of the Meshberger / LICA company or the student plans to majoring in engineering. 


ACCF/Bryan Miller Memorial Scholarship

Time gets away from us. Not so long ago, Bryan was finishing his drivers training classes in happy anticipation of getting his driver’s license. He would have graduated from Bellmont in 2007 In July 2004, our community began to see ‘Pray for Bryan’ signs. Bryan was diagnosis with a fatal brain tumor and countless trips to Indianapolis and Chicago were made in an aggressive effort to combat this ever present growth. Sadly, in January 2006 hundreds of family members and friends paid respect to Bryan and his family.There are multiple scholarships awarded each year to memorialize Bryan: This year there is one to an AC senior and two to Bellmont seniors. This scholarship was established to recognize students like Bryan. Bryan was an excellent academic student who showed confidence in his faith. 

ACCF/Rosanne F. Miller Memorial Scholarship

Established in 1999, the Rosanne Miller Memorial Scholarship was formed so that a former St. Joe student eventually a Bellmont High School senior would have financial support to attend college. With a rare form of liver cancer, Rosanne’s contribution to participate in experimental cancer research was only one way she paid it forward. Since her death, her family has provided a scholarship each year to a Bellmont student. 


ACCF/North Adams Vocational / Fruechte Farms Scholarship

Kim Fruechte taught trades classes for over 25 years. At that time, the trades program had been greatly reduced due to the retirement of this teacher. However, Mr. Fruechte still has a calling to support these students. He often acts as an advisor and adjunct faculty for the trades division. His support goes beyond the classroom as he also wants to provide financial support for two-year students.    

ACCF/Decatur Optimists Club Scholarship
The Optimist International is a worldwide volunteer organization made up of more than 2,500 local clubs whose members work each day to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children, in their communities, and in themselves. The Optimist Scholarship will be presented annually to NA and AC students.  
ACCF/Don Ray Memorial Scholarship

Established in 2001, the Don Ray Memorial Scholarship was formed. Don and his wife Louise Ray have the Don Ray Drive Away business that delivers the Fleetwood motor homes produced here in Decatur. Louise well remembers the times in their lives when money was tight and they struggled to make ends meet, and now they are in a position to help others – and you can count on Louise and Chastity to do just that. There are two Don Ray Scholarships awarded each year, one to an AC and one to a Bellmont student.  



ACCF/James Rumple Memorial Vocational Scholarship
James was born in Wells County to Bill & Delores Rumple, but lived in Adams County most all of his life. He had two brothers: Paul and Tim Rumple both of Decatur. As most students who have an interested in working with their hands, James liked the vocational education classes. He was a farm-boy who loved the outdoors and wanted to work in an occupation that had steady income and physical movement. He enjoyed his family, life in general, and his trades-employment working for Fuhrman Electric. His family wanted a scholarship which best profiled James. The eligibility requirements listed are for the candidate to be a student working in the trades-field. 


ACCF/Sandy Sailsbery Memorial Fund

Established in 2004, the Sandy Sailsbery Memorial Scholarship was formed by fellow teachers and friends of the Northwest Elementary School where Sandy was a teacher for 19 years. Mrs. Salisbery was a favorite teacher of many students and it was not unusual for her former students, years after graduation, to come by her classroom to let her know how she had impacted their lives. Sandy was a remarkable teacher and for this reason, the eligibility requirements for this scholarship are for the student to major in education.    


ACCF/Ernest Scheller III Memorial Scholarship

This generous scholarship is given in memory of Ernest Scheller III through the Robert and Ernest Scheller, Jr. Family Foundation. Ernest Scheller III was a 1975 graduate of Tamaqua H.S. in PA, ranking third in this class. He was a member of both the National Honor and the French Honor Societies. He earned this BS degree in chemical engineering and joined Silberline in 1982. The Silberline family established the Silberline Company in 1945, which produces alumni pigment for paints, plastics, and printing inks, and has grown to employ over 400 worldwide. With companies in Pennsylvania, Singapore, Brazil, China, Scotland, and locally, in Decatur, Silberling employs 120. Mr. Ernest Scheller III was president and CEO of the company when in 1997 he died at age 40. The Ernest Scheller III Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to a North Adams graduating senior since 1998. This very desirable scholarship is renewable for four years.  

ACCF/Selking International Trucks Scholarship

Many of the Selking family members have benefited from the generous scholarships of the ACCF. Their family understands the importance of the financial support for education and this scholarship is one way the Selking family wishes to give back to the community. Established in 1965 by Reinhard (Reiny), Mariann Selking, their son Jerry and his wife WandaSelking International Trucks has grown considerably in the past 53 years. Reiney passed away in 2016 and today, Reiney’s four sons (Jerry, Jim, John, and Joe) are all involved and share in the ownership of the company. The company shifted their focus from their agricultural base to the transportation industry in the 1990’s and has since evolved into Selking International and Idealease. Selking International Trucks now has Seven locations in Indiana (Decatur, Muncie, Ft. Wayne, Elkhart, LaGrange, Richmond & South Bend), one in Michigan (Monroe), and two in Ohio (Toledo and Bryan). Taking care of their customers and their employees has remained their ingredients for success. Reinhard (Reiney) married Mariann (Brite) in 1944. They are the parents of seven children: Judy (Schiffli), Jerry, Jim, Jeannie (Smith), John, Joann (Okoniewski) and Joe. As of 2018, they had 26 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. Out of the 240 Selking International Trucks employees, there are twelve family members working to continue Reiney’s legacy. 

ACCF/Frederick J. and Harriet J. Soldner Memorial Scholarship
The Frederick and Harriet Soldner Scholarship Fund was established for various reasons. Harriet taught for 20 years at Adams Central Schools and Bellmont/North Adams Schools while Fred was a chemist at Central Soya. To promote education was a planned choice. Married for 66 years, both Fred and Harriet completed their college degrees and all four of their children completed their college degrees.The Soldner family felt they have been blessed with the ability to provide funding for a student that may not have had the support they were able to provide for their four children. That is why this generous, heartfelt fund was created.
ACCF/Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Souder Memorial Scholarship

Six years of teaching at Adams Central, Mrs. Souder touched and impacted many young lives. Liz went in for a seemingly ordinary out-patient procedure but the event and outcome was anything but ordinary – Liz died as a result of complications. Parents, Neal and Sue Keller, wanted to leave a legacy of Liz’s efforts to encourage and educate. They have established a fund in the ACCF to insure an AC and an NA student, going into education or journalism, will be recognized each year with a ‘Liz Souder Memorial Scholarship. 


ACCF/Richard ‘Hap’ Sprunger Memorial Scholarship Fund

Mrs. Richard (Carolyn) Sprunger wanted an annual memorial for her husband, ‘Hap’, 67.  Hap was a minster since the early 1980s.  He also retired from General Electric and retired after 20 years from NA Schools in maintenance.  While at NA Schools he got to know lots of the students and built lasting relationships. Carolyn fondly recalls his love of sports and his support for vocational occupations.  Therefore, this scholarship, for an NA or AC student, will engage these qualities reflected in their lifestyle.

ACCF/Sarah Steury Memorial Scholarship

Family and friends are maintaining this scholarship in honor of Sarah and everything she achieved. A 1997 Bellmont graduate, Sarah Steury was involved in a fatal car accident following her freshman year at Indiana University. Sarah was active in several service-oriented organizations, extra-curricular activities and sports. She was involved in athletics and participated in basketball and lettered all four years in both softball and volleyball, therefore, it is understood that the requirements for this scholarship is that the student is active in sports. This scholarship is presented to a female senior with ambitions to further her education in health related field.  



ACCF/Medford and Shirley Smith Scholarship

Established by their seven children, the Smith Fund is a tribute to this much respected couple both professionally and personally. Reliable volunteers with the St. Mary Church, St. Joseph School, and Adams Public Library; they set their standards high when raising their children. This scholarship maintains this standard with scholarships being presented to former St. Joe students with minimum GPA of 3.0.  

ACCF/Mark Stevens Memorial Baseball Scholarship

This fund was established in memory of Mark Stevens. Mark was almost 22 when he lost his life in a deer hunting accident. Mark was a great sports enthusiast and he especially loved baseball. Mark was a 4-year member of the Bellmont Baseball team being one of the top pitchers. He achieved success on the diamond through hard work and determination. The eligibility for this scholarship is that the Bellmont senior is on the varsity baseball team.


ACCF/Betty Terveer Memorial Scholarship

The Betty Terveer Memorial Scholarship was formed by her family. If, in the past five decades you ever attended a North Adams sporting event – you probably saw Betty and her husband David there…cheering on the team. Betty loved sports…sports of all kinds, but basketball was her favorite. Even in her advancing stages of cancer and with limited mobility, she attended the basketball games. A fond recollection of the family is shortly before Betty died she was recognized at a basketball game as Bellmont’s most faithful fan. There was not a dry eye in the gym as each tall lanky basketball player stooped to give Betty a hug of appreciation as she sat in her wheelchair. So, it is no surprise that the eligibility requirements are that the scholars be associated with the Bellmont Basketball program. 

ACCF/Dean and Cindy Wass Scholarship

This fund was established because they have been thankful for their combined 57 years as educators and a lifetime of operating their family farm. Dean began his teaching career at Highland Terrace, East Allen Community School as a fifth grade teacher for several years. He went on to Wyneken Memorial Lutheran School where he taught fifth and sixth grades and was principal for three years for a total of 30 rewarding years in education. Cindy was a teachers’ aide for North Adams Community Schools beginning at Monmouth, then Southeast and retiring after service at Northwest Elementary School. For 27 years, she had the opportunity to assist many fabulous educators and nurture hundreds of students in K-6 grade classrooms.

ACCF/Emily Wilder Memorial Scholarship 

15 years old….a sophomore at Bellmont High School. Emily was described as a very good student, moral, kind, smart, loving, sweet, funny, creative, and inspirational. These words may seem typical coming from a parent – but these are words describing Emily Wilder are by her former teachers. Emily’s teachers loved her. She was hardworking and a joy to have in the classroom. As Emily made a notable impact, Emily’s parents, Susan and Michael, wanted to make sure her personality and presence will always be remembered. An endowed fund has been established to insure a scholarship will be awarded each year in memory of Emily. As Emily’s family spent so much time with health care professionals and since Emily loved her teachers and they loved her, it is reasonable that her parents want the scholar to pursue a degree in either the healthcare field or education. 


ACCF/Officer Jerry Wyss Memorial Scholarship Fund

The first officer in the history of the Decatur Police Department to have lost his life in the line of duty, Officer Jerry Wyss, was involved in a fatal car accident while in pursuit of a speeding vehicle in 2002. This community showed their support as hundreds of dollars were given through various fundraisers that provided support for this scholarship. Students from all three school districts are eligible to apply. In addition to the ACCF Application, a separate essay is required describing their personal work ethic and loyalty to family – attributes that were Jerry’s personal strengths.
















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