2020 South Adams Senior Awards

 The 2020 South Adams High School Senior Awards Program was held on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 6:00pm by a Drive-In Scholarship Reception at South Adams High School. Over 80 scholarships were awarded to South Adams Graduating Seniors.
South Adams Senior Scholarship Awards
« Class of 2020 «

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


ACCF/William and Coleen Allmandinger Vocational Scholarship

The William and Coleen Allmandinger Scholarship Fund was established by Coleen Allmandinger, on behalf of her late husband, William Allmandinger, herself, and their three sons: Lee, Kent, and Jon. The scholarship’s intent is to encourage, and support dedicated students through higher education, by either traditional or non-traditional coursework. While formatted as a financial gift, the scholarship seeks to help sustain a student’s core standards of hard work, ethical decisions, community service, and personal persistence for individual growth, responsibility, and achievement. Additionally, the student is encouraged to apply his or her education for broader community thinking and improvement.

ACCF/Kenneth and Mary Beer Scholarship

Ken was a well known farmer and was president of Dewbrook Farms. He was a member of the Cross Community Church, the Adams County Holstein Association, and enjoyed participating in area horse pulling contests. Mary was a member of the Cross Community Church and co-owner of Dewbrook Farms. She enjoyed fishing, mushroom hunting, bird watching, and cooking. Ken and Mary had three children: Diana, David, and Dean. Established by daughter Diane and Barry Humble, this fund is to remember her parents and to recognize students, like her parents, that are hard-working and community minded. Students should be proud to receive this award as it recognizes hard work and her service to others.


ACCF/(Madonna) Pauline Borders Scholarship

This scholarship fund was established in memory of Pauline Borders by family and friends.

Madonna Pauline Borders taught science for 40 years at South Adams as well as many years at Ivy Tech in Portland. Pauline was passionate about helping all improve their lives. She expected excellence from herself and demanded it from her students. The intent of this scholarship is to help any student off-set his/her financial burden while obtaining a post-secondary education.  

ACCF/Dick and Katie Fields Scholarship

The Dick & Katie Fields Memorial Scholarship Fund was established as a tribute to Barb’s parents Richard and Katherine ‘Dick & Katie’ Fields. Barb fondly remembers her parents dedicating their free time to taking tickets at any South Adams high school sports event. Katie was a teacher’s aide in the South Adams math-science department for 30 years. Dick was at SA so often to help Katie that SA hired him as an employee in maintenance. Katie volunteered as a Girl Scout leader and Sunday school teacher. Richard was a member of the Cross Community Church. He retired from CTS Corp, Berne and engaged in farming. He was an avid South Adams athletic and I.U. sports fan. Dick, a retired farmer, was so well known and loved that he was recognized with the South Adams Outstanding Fan Award. Students should be proud to receive this award as it recognizes athletic involvement and perseverance.

ACCF/William Morris Scholarship
This scholarship is established in memory of William L. Morris, 81, by Bill’s family: Eleanor and their sons Bob and Mike.Following time spent in the Army, Bill graduated from Ball State and spent his entire career in the field of education, initially teaching history and coaching basketball. Bill became Geneva High School principal at the age of 27 and was one of the youngest principals ever in Indiana. He was known as stern but fair with a wonderful sense of humor. Bill’s wit was exceptional, and his sons both inherited this talent. Bill, Eleanor, and sons, Bob and Mike have all been deeply involved in their communities, and it is their intent that this interest be shared by the recipient of the William L. Morris Scholars. 
ACCF/Carey ‘Tater’ Moser Scholarship

Carey L. "Tater" Moser, 52, Berne (May 3, 1964 - July 17, 2016). Carey “Tater” Moser, beloved husband, father and friend to so many, played football for South Adams during the 1978-81 seasons. This scholarship is being created by his family and friends to honor the legacy of the person who personified the meaning of loyalty and friendship, along with his great sense of humor. It is also being created to remember his love of football and the South Adams Football program.The South Adams recipient of this scholarship will use the funds to further their education, and will do so with the same spirit and enthusiasm in honor of our husband, father and friend Tater.

ACCF/American Legion Post #468 Scholarship

Established in 2012, the leaders of the American Legion and our community participated in a unique fundraiser recognizing local military personnel by placing an ornament on the Tree of Valor. This tree 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 a fund in the Foundation and to provide funding for this award. The scholar selected for this award must provide proof of military association and membership to the American Legion, Post #468. 

ACCF/Adams County Memorial 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/Herman Bixler Memorial Scholarship

Herman “Bix” Bixler was born and raised in Hartford Township. He graduated from Geneva High School in 1941. After high school, he joined the Navy and served during WWII. After the war he worked in the Pfennig Insurance Agency in Geneva, buying the agency in 1952. He expanded the business and now there are offices in Berne, Decatur, Geneva and Portland. Bix was an avid golfer. He was one of the leaders to develop the Wabash Valley Golf Course in Geneva. 

ACCF/Adams County Coon Hunters Scholarship
This fund was established as result of a group of formerly active outdoorsmen. They were members who were in the once thriving organized club: Adams County Coon Hunters. At one time, there were meetings and sporting events and family gatherings. Over the years, the interest and involvement waned. It was decided that this money should be used in the way it was intended before it is completely forgotten. Therefore, an Adams County Coon Hunters Scholarship Fund was established. This is for an Adams County student who has an interest in Animal sciences with activities to include but not limited to: hunting, trapping, or other outdoors sports.
ACCF/Carolyn Donaghy Memorial Scholarship

In 2004, Carolyn’s husband, Larry Donaghy, contacted the Adams County Community Foundation to begin an annual scholarship to memorialize Carolyn. Larry and son, Mark Donaghy wanted to recognize Carolyn’s employment at Taylor University in Ft. Wayne and her involvement in community activities. This prompted the eligibility requirements for this scholarship. Students attending Taylor University are considered for this scholarship and those who have shown particular attention to compassion and community service are the strongest candidates.

ACCF/Gregg Drake Memorial Scholarship

The Gregg Drake Memorial scholarship is being given by the family of Gregg Drake, who passed away October 1, 2013.Gregg was born in Adams County, grew up in Berne, and graduated from South Adams High School in 1969. He received his B.S. degree in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Indianapolis in 1973. After college, Gregg started a State Farm Insurance Agency in Berne where he served the community for nearly 40 years. As a businessman, Gregg enjoyed living in, working with, and giving back to our community. This scholarship is awarded to a student who is planning to pursue a career in business. He loved sports and was especially proud to coach and sponsor our baseball teams. Our family knows Gregg would be pleased to help a South Adams student with business aspirations.

ACCF/Thomas Neal Dull Memorial Baseball Scholarship
The Thomas Neal Dull South Adams Baseball Scholarship is being awarded in memory and honor of Thomas Neal Dull who passed away in 2007. Mr. Dull was a pioneer and great supporter of the Geneva High School and the South Adams High School Baseball programs and sports in general for over 50 years. This scholarship will be awarded each spring to a graduating South Adams baseball player who has displayed strong leadership and has excelled in their scholastic endeavors. The scholarship recipient will also be an individual who is committed to furthering their talents and skills at the collegiate level. 
ACCF/Trooper Cory Elson Memorial Scholarship

Established in 2001, as a result of a staggeringly appalling circumstance that occurred in April 2000, the Trooper Cory Elson Scholarship has been awarded to a student from one of the three high schools in Adams County. To date this scholarship has been awarded to 16 students. Based on an essay topic ‘What is Community Service’ this student is recognized with her very impressive essay and application. 

ACCF/K. 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/EXCEL! /Lehman Family Scholarship

 “A helping hand-up to a student doing their best and wanting to further their education towards their goals and passions. College or trade schools or certification programs.” This donor says: “Be industrious. Make Something Happen in Your Life. Go the second mile: Excel! “If you’re a ‘C;’ student, try your best for a ‘B’. This scholarship is for a student who has shown they are industrious and can overcome challenges to be the best they can be.”      


ACCF/Geneva Proud Scholarships

One of the highest priorities of the Geneva Proud organization, has been to insure the promotion and support of the youth of the community. A Geneva Proud Scholarship is awarded to an eligible student every year. The improved town parks and support of the youth programs have made Geneva a very desirable place to raise a family. In addition, Geneva Proud provides scholarships to local students sponsored through donations. Applicants are chosen from high school seniors who live in Geneva or the townships of Harford, Jefferson and Wabash. 

ACCF/Katelyn Gilbert Memorial Scholarship
Katelyn Ann Gilbert was born May 10th, 2010 at the Ohio State University Medical Center. Upon entering the world, Katelyn was faced with a tough challenge. She was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS); the left side of her heart was not developed. She would need three heart surgeries by the age of two. Katelyn underwent surgery at just four days old and was determined to fight the circumstances. Katelyn was a beautiful baby with a full head of dark curls that taught numerous people the value of life, love, and happiness. During her short six-week stay here on earth, she touched the hearts of countless people. She is now in heaven with her complete heart. Katelyn is survived by her parents, Doug and Katrina (Minnich) Gilbert of Monroe and a sisters Allison and Addison (Alli and Addi). 
ACCF/David Habegger Memorial Scholarship

David Habegger was a country boy on his family’s farm on the Tile Mill Road in Adams County. His family included five brothers and four sisters. As kids, they played ball with neighbors and friends from church. After Dave and his brothers returned from WWII, they formed a semi-pro basketball team and played teams from all over Indiana. Dave coached Little League in Berne for a number of years and was active on Berne’s Recreation Department Board. Certainly this explains why the criteria for the Dave Habegger Memorial Scholarship is a student who has participated in sports. 

ACCF/ Ruth C. Koos 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/Derryl Lehman Memorial Scholarship

Derryl Lehman was a Berne businessman who was co-owner of Lehman Feed Mill. Upon graduation from high school, Derryl served in the U. S. Air Force. Returning to Berne, he served as a member of the South Adams School board, and he volunteered as an instructor for South Adams economics class through Junior Achievement. Derryl embraced personal responsibility and achievement. Eligibility requirements for this scholarship is that the student has an interest in the agriculture field of study.  


ACCF/Doyle & Anna Lehman Scholarship

Doyle and Anna Lehman both briefly attended Taylor University; after their marriage Doyle attended and completed his degree at Purdue University. While a student at Purdue, Doyle majored in Agriculture Education and Science, and Anna worked in the Mechanical Engineering office. Doyle taught Vocational Agriculture and biology at Pleasant Mills High School then he went on to teach at Geneva High School and Berne-French High School. In 1964, Doyle was the first principal of South Adams High School and served for fourteen years. He then served as Superintendent at Adams Central and later at South Adams. Because of his interest in Vocational Education, he was very instrumental in establishing the Area 18 vocational school. They have raised three children. Kevin, a teacher, Brent, Superintendent, and Cheryl a Human Resource Director. Doyle was employed for 36 years in the Adams County Schools. Doyle and Anna are interested in giving back to students, particularly vocational students.

ACCF/Jessica Lehman Memorial Scholarship

Jessica was a young lady who shared the joy of living with her family and friends – even as she navigated life with special needs. Her companions on this journey also included may skilled teachers, therapists and members of the health care professions. Jessica’s life benefited many others as she is inspired the creation of Agape Respite Care. She leaves a legacy of love and laughter. This scholarship, supports persons seeking to make a difference in the lives of others. Jessica graduated from South Adams High School and enjoyed swimming, biking, shopping, and horseback riding.       

ACCF/Lilly Endowment Scholarship

Established In 1998, the Lilly Endowment has provided scholarships for Indiana students. Since then, in Adams County alone, 35 students have been award these very notable scholarships. These students will have their tuition and fees covered for eight semesters for any college in the state of Indiana they opt to attend. Since 1998, the ACCF has awarded 35 Lilly scholarships and over $2 Million in scholarships though this scholarship opportunity alone. This year recognizes the 36th Adams County student The requirement for this distribution is established by the donor: Lilly Endowment and we thank them. 

ACCF/Scott Mathys Memorial Scholarship

Established in 1997, as a result of a tragic fatal motorcycle accident, the Scott Mathys Memorial Scholarship has grown by the efforts of the local American Legion and this community. To date, 12 scholarships have been awarded to South Adams students. Like Scott, the eligibly requirement for this scholarship is that the student is an average GPA student that appreciates this community. 

ACCF/McDonald Family Scholarship
At a very young age, Barb knew she wanted to become a teacher. She recalls lining up her dolls and giving them lessons on what she thought was important. As a youth, she taught Bible School, tutored migrants, and was a cadet teacher. Retired from teaching, Barb McDonald intends for this scholarship to help students reach their goal of becoming a teacher. Barb earned her bachelor's degree from Goshen College and master’s degree from Indiana University. As a teacher for 26 years, it is understandable this scholarship is to provide support for a student going into the field of education.


ACCF/Meshberger / 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/Amy Meyer Memorial Scholarship

October 2009, age 28, Amy’s young life was cut short very tragically. She left behind many dear family members, friends and a bright eyed young son of nearly 2 years old, Max. Amy was a 1999 graduate of South Adams. She had a love of sports, participating in basketball, softball and cross country. She went on to play college basketball at IPFW and St. Francis while studying sports management. She had recently returned to SA as an assistant coach to the cross country team and was an assistant coach to the St. Francis Women’s Basketball team. This scholarship will recognize students such as Amy. This scholarship was established so we will have an annual tribute for this most memorable female athlete.


ACCF/Peter Minnich Memorial Scholarship

Peter was a member of the St. Marys of the Presentation Church, Geneva Indiana and a Purdue graduate. For 35 years, he was the owner of the well-known Edelweiss Floral & Gift Shop in Berne. Peter was a very talented and creative florist. He was also active in the Jay County Arts Place. Peter was a much respected citizen and talented artist. His interests included his love for animals, gardening, and traveling. This scholarship is an annual tribute to Peter’s many talents.

ACCF/Nut Tree Scholarship

Fiction / Nonfiction /Travel Books / Suspense / Education / Biographies / Autobiographies or Humor Books allow us to go on trips, take a mental vacation, change our moods, make us laugh, make us cry … we learn of other countries, other cultures, other people. These books draw our attention. Learning a life’s lesson through reading experiences may impact our lives in ways that are slight or immense. Reading helps us to form our educational and personal goals.   This scholarship was established to recognize the importance of reading, and to encourage that each scholar passes this love of reading along. This scholarship is awarded to a South Adams and Adams Central student who has shown a great interest in reading.  

ACCF/Alice R Rhoades Memorial Scholarship

Alice graduated from Jefferson High School in 1955, then went on to Ball State University, graduating with a Bachelors and then a Master’s degree in Education. Alice began her 39 year teaching career at Pleasant Mills School, taught at Geneva High School and South Adams High School, and retired in 1998. Alice’s love for education stretched far beyond her 39 years in the classroom. For over 15 years she was the Adams County Community Foundation Scholarship chairperson. She chaired the Committee and was responsible for the recognition of literally hundreds of students. This scholarship is to remember Alice for her impactful service to these past, present, future students and community leaders. 


ACCF/Margaret S. Rhoades Memorial Scholarship

Ron was born during the depression in the 1930s. His single mother had eight children. They, along with his grandmother, grandfather and a disabled aunt lived in a two-room house in Kentucky.His seven-year old sister was often the care-giver. This level of hardship is unimaginable to our generation; however, this domestic description was perhaps not terribly unusual during this time in our country’s history. As often the case during those difficult years, fortunate children were adopted into families that were better prepared to care for young ones. Ron was one of these fortunate children. Ron was adopted at age five by Margaret and Thomas Rhoades. Margaret was born in the hills of Kentucky. In this area of profound destitution, it was not unusual for children to end their education early; however, Margaret was one of two in her graduating class. In the early 1920s, Margaret traveled by train to Georgetown Teachers College where she graduated and became a teacher. Margaret was a teacher for 39 years. This scholarship is for students who plan to earn a 2-year degree.  

ACCF/Ted Schwartz Memorial Scholarship

The Ted Schwartz Memorial Scholarship is being awarded for the fourth time this year. It is being given by the family of Ted Schwartz, who passed away in 2013.Ted was born and raised in Berne and graduated from South Adams in 1967. He received his art education degree from Taylor University in 1971 and earned his master's degree from Saint Francis College in 1974. In 1971 he began his teaching career in Portland, then came to South Adams in 1978. After teaching art to elementary and junior high students, he became head of the art department and taught high school students for many years. His teaching career spanned 41 years, with 34 years being at South Adams. He touched the lives of many young people, who in turn inspired him. This scholarship is awarded to a student who is planning to pursue a career in visual arts. 


ACCF/Betty Jean Jones-Seffernick Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is established in memory of Betty Jean Jones-Seffernick (age 60) by her husband of 37 years, Joseph ‘Joe’ Seffernick. The intention of this award is to provide an annual tribute to Betty Jean and to recognize her 22 years as a medical lab technician at Jay County Hospital. Betty Jean Jones-Seffernick graduated from Geneva High School 1962 and Elkhart University Medical and Dental Technical School after earning her one-year degree as a medical lab technician.

ACCF/Clayton Shuck Memorial Scholarship

A fund that has grown out of the good intentions of a community. That is how this might be described. This young family has been through a lot the past several years. They have experienced more than many couples who have been together for decades. Clayton Shuck was the engineer of a roller coast that led this community through a series of ups and downs. We followed his treatments and recuperations and more treatments. For a 3-year-old child, he taught us bravery and perseverance through his patience and courage. His life shows what a single person can do.

ACCF/Phyllis Speicher Scholarship

Phyllis is the daughter of Dan and Mary Jane Speicher.  She was born and raised in Berne. After graduating from Berne-French Twp. High School in 1961, she attended Ball State University and graduated with a Science and Math Degree in Education. After graduating from college, she was hired by Crown Point Community Schools. She taught Math the first year and Science the next 44 years at Taft Middle school. She was Science Dept. Chairmen for thirty-eight years.  After retirement in 2010, she decided that she wanted to help others have the same opportunity that she had. Since her interest is in Math, Science and Technology, she would like to help people who want to pursue a degree in these areas. 

ACCF/Smith Brothers Furniture/Nick Taylor Scholarship        

Spc Nicholas A. "Nick" Taylor, age 20, died on Monday, July 16, 2012, representing the Indiana National Guard in the Kandahar Providence, Afghanistan. Funeral services were the end of July after Nick returned home. Thousands of local citizens lined the streets from the airport as Nick’s procession passed down Hwy 27 and into Berne. Literally hundreds of American flags were displayed to the Taylor family to show support, sympathy, compassion, and most of all the pride we have in our young men and women who serve. Nick was too young to die. His passing represents his love of country and his dedication to serve and protect. Nick is truly a hero.    Nick is the son of Tim and Stephanie Taylor of Berne. As Nick worked at Smith Brothers Furniture in Berne (and Stephanie works there now), the administrators at Smith Brothers wanted to remember Nick in a very special way. They opened this application process up to Smith Brothers employees’ families.   The essays and applications are reviewed by Smith Brothers administrators and then final selection is by the ACCF. 

ACCF/Alexa Summerset Memorial Scholarship

Daughter of Tim and Valerie Summerset, this scholarship fund was created in memory of Alexa Summerset, who passed away on January 13, 2019 due to complications from a heart surgery. Alexa was a freshman at South Adams and left a huge mark on her family, church, and community in her short fifteen years. She had a beautiful smile that could light up a room and had a heart for serving and helping others. She had an interest in working in the medical field as an ultrasound technician. In establishing this scholarship, Alexa’s family wishes to recognize a South Adams student who plans to enter the medical field.


ACCF/Kenneth & Eula Van Emon Scholarship

In 2008, this scholarship was a gift from their ten children to honor the year of their 80th birthdays. Educator – parents: former, Superintendent Kenneth Van Emon and retired, teacher Eula Van Emon. Kenneth earned his undergraduate degree from Purdue U and this mastery levels from Ball State. Eula began her college degree in elementary education in her mid-30s by attending IU in Ft Wayne. She pursued mastery education from Ball State and Purdue University. With a combined education experiences of nearly 60 years, it is understandable, this scholarship is awarded to a student who plans pursue a degree in education.