Woodrow Foundation Awards First Scholarships

BrianTepera, Lorena Gutierrez, Jazmin Vazquez, and Ana Harris — Courtesy Photo

Community Contribution

Four graduating seniors at Woodrow Wilson High School received the first scholarships granted by the Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation.

During the past year, the foundation has been entrusted with several scholarship funds. The recipients were feted at a reception May 11, which took place at the Veritex Community Bank in East Dallas.

The scholarships were awarded as follows:

  • The Amy and Jason Kulas Family Scholarship Fund: Ana Harris
  • The Richard H. Vitale Family Scholarship Fund: Brian Tepera
  • The Woodrow Wilson High School Class of 1968 Scholarship Fund: Lorena Gutierrez
  • The Bob and Mary Jo English Scholarship Fund: Jazmin Vazquez

Each student received a certificate from the foundation. As a special acknowledgement from state Rep. Dan Branch, they also received Texas flags that flew over the Texas Capitol in their honor. During the ceremony, the students presented a brief acceptance speech that told a little of their background as well as their plans for college and career.

Mike Morath, a member of the foundation’s board of directors and the newly installed Dallas ISD trustee for District 2, headed up the effort to grant these first scholarships. He was assisted by the foundation’s Scholarship Advisory Committee, which includes: Frank McCaffrey, director of account management, Humana; Taly Haffar, assistant U.S. attorney, U.D. Department of Justice; Kenny Rogers, partner, Haynes and Boone; and Debbie Dennis, vice president, Dallas customer relations, Oncor.

“It was not an easy decision because we had several excellent applications for these scholarships. However, we were all deeply impressed by the dedication and accomplishments of these four students,” Morath said.

Morath also noted that there are additional scholarship funds —such as the Marca Lee Bircher Vocal/Musical Theater Scholarship and a scholarship from the Woodrow Wilson Class of 1942 — that will be awarded during the spring of 2012.

Foundation president Richard H. Vitale also congratulated the scholarship winners and expressed gratitude to the representatives of each scholarship fund who attended the ceremony — Jason and Amy Kulas, several members form the class of 1968, and Jim English and Laura Burnett, the son and daughter of Bob and Mary Jo English.

“Granting these scholarships fulfills part of the vision of our foundation,” Vitale said. “Not only are we encouraging academic excellence among students, we are also engaging members of our community in supporting public education.”

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