Finneytown Local Schools Community Generously Award Seniors at the Senior Awards Program

It’s always a bittersweet moment as the seniors are wrapping up their time in the high school and the district. They’ve made their plans, finished their exams, and proven that hard work pays dividends. This Finneytown High School Class of 2019 earned high accolades with achievements, awards, and scholarships at the Senior Award Program on Tuesday, May 21.  At the program, students received a total of $62,250 in scholarship money for the pursuit of post-secondary education. This is outstanding support for Finneytown High School seniors pursuing their dreams and furthering their educational endeavors.

Mrs. Terri Noe, Superintendent of Finneytown Local Schools, began with a few remarks about the Class of 2019 students and their achievements. She applauded them on their dedication of service to the community and their leadership in the houses as it continues to blossom on the Secondary Campus. Dr. Jen Dinan spoke congratulating this class on their achievements, leadership, and dedication to the school community. With pride, she then announced Jacob Huff as the Valedictorian and Hunter Giffin as the Salutatorian.

Dr. Dinan recognized and congratulated Cooper Burton as a National Merit Commended Student. All juniors take the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Test (PSAT) of the College Board. On the basis of outstanding performance and confirmation of test scores through the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), selected students become National Achievement Commendation winners, Semi-Finalists and Finalists. Commended students score in the top 3% nationally on the National Merit Scholarship Test.

A brief presentation was given by the members of the Preston Eckerle Morrison Memorial (PEM) Scholarship which honors the memories of Finneytown graduates, Stephan Preston, Jackie Eckerle, and Karen Morrison who died in 1979 at the Who concert. Fred Wittenbaum showed the documentary that was created when Roger Daltrey, of The Who band, visited Finneytown for the first time since the tragic concert. They reminded the audience of the tremendous impact that the PEM Memorial has resonated throughout the FLSD and Finneytown community.  Three annual awards were presented to Alleson Arnold, Caitlin Ramsey, and Mason Dean who are seeking a degree, minor or major, in the Arts Field.  

The MVP Scholarship recognizes students who reflect the Mission, Values and Philosophy of its anonymous founder. Jalila Carter, Andrew Harrington, and Jihad Rasheed demonstrate a drive for success and a desire to persevere.  

The J.R. Graham Jr. Scholarship honors the memory of J.R. Graham, a 1984 graduate of FHS. This scholarship was awarded to Jacob Huff who best exemplifies the qualities of a talented student, gifted athlete, and friend to everyone, in hopes that he will make this world a better place by touching the lives of others.  

The Finneytown Garden Club, presented by Ruth Kinder, happily offers a scholarship to Andrew Harrington who exhibits concern for our environment, has been involved in community service, and is of good character. Ms. Kinder shared a sweet story about Andrew and his future goals to work in the community which he lives.

Joe Gorman presented the The Finneytown Civic Association Community Scholarships. The FCA is comprised of a group of residents who strive to maintain the unique character of Finneytown. The members share ideas, concerns and problem solve to make Finneytown a great place to live. In honoring their mission, scholarship is awarded to Alleson Arnold, Anna Matzko, and Aly Sedgwick who demonstrate high scholastic achievement and commitment to community service.  

The Stegman Family created the Clifford Stegman Memorial Scholarship to honor the memory of Clifford Stegman. They granted scholarships to Nate Stevens and Forest Brown who plan to attend the University of Cincinnati and major in Engineering.  

Philip Wiant was a 1998 Finneytown High School graduate. The Philip R. Wiant Memorial Fund was established so others lives would be enhanced. Mason Deane, Sophia Freeman, Delaney Murphy, Aly Sedgwick, Nick Smoker have been awarded as they are attending University of Cincinnati and exemplify Wiant’s qualities of kindness, generosity, humor, and courage.

The Finneytown Boosters Association is happy to present this scholarship to the students who best represent the Finneytown Athletic Organization, on and off the field.  They recognize the senior player who demonstrates a well-rounded approach to school and community. Jake Huff, Brett Sanders, Cami Kerschner, and Aly Sedgwick demonstrate team leadership, academic achievement, sportsmanship, community service and involvement in extracurricular activities.

The Novak Award, formed in 2002, is a scholarship sponsored by the Finneytown Boosters Association and funded by FHS Alumni Karl E. Novak (1977).  The Novak Award is offered to soccer players, Jacob Huff and Delaney Murphey, who best represent the Finneytown Soccer Program on and off the field.  

The Finneytown High School Parent Teacher Association awarded two scholarships to two outstanding seniors, Blake Bryant and Jake Hodgen, who are well rounded and take advantage of the diverse opportunities in Finneytown. These students strive for excellence in academics, character and citizenship.  

The Finneytown Elementary PTA bestowed two scholarships upon Sanaa Lynn and Darrion Thomas, who each attended one of our elementary schools. These students are active in a number of opportunities, are well rounded and positively influence life in Finneytown.

The Finneytown Association of Support Personnel offered this scholarship to Aly Sedgewick.

The Finneytown Music Parent Association Scholarship was awarded to Josh Mitchell and Emani Mills who both plan to pursue a major or minor in some form of music at the collegiate level.   

Marlon Johnson and Cami Kershner earned the Finneytown Education Association Scholarship as two members of the graduation class who will attend college.

The Hawkins family granted scholarships to Sophia Freeman, Andrew Harrington, Marlon Johnson that honor the life of Mark Hawkins, a 2004 graduate of Finneytown High School. The scholarships honor athletic, compassionate, and selfless seniors who positively influence others.

The National Honor Society Scholarship is awarded to Bret Sanders, who most represents the four pillars; Leadership, Scholarship, Service, and Character.  

The House/Alumni Scholarship was presented to Nick Ogletree, 2019 House Leader, who exemplifies the Five Pillars of Mentor Group: Be Present, Be Kind, Be a Leader, Be Accountable, and Remember the Why. The award was presented to a senior who enhanced the school culture by living examples of the above Pillars.   

The following scholarships are part of the Finneytown Educational Foundation Scholarships:

Jeff Early presented the Janet Earley Verderber “Sunshine Award” in memory of his sister, a 1979 Finneytown graduate. He presented the scholarship to Anna Matzko, who represents Janet’s qualities-a bubbly and sunny personality, well-organized, prepared, bright, focused, enthusiastic, fair, non-judgmental and genuine.  

Burt McCollum presented the Finneytown Performing Arts Merit Scholarship and recognized Cooper Burton for his excellence in Fine Arts.

Rick Payne presented Jakeal Clark the Richard C. Payne Scholarship as he will be the first in his family to attend college. The award was created in honor and memory of the life of the husband, father and grandfather who was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college (Bowling Green State University).  

The Weiser family presented the Jeff Weiser Memorial Scholarship to Blake Bryant. This honors Jeff Weiser, a 1979 graduate of Finneytown High School.   

Cami Kershner was awarded the The Cindy Weiser Memorial Scholarship to honor Cindy Weiser, a 1982 graduate of Finneytown High School.   

“You will lead a happy life if you make sure to always do something for others that earns you no pay” is the lesson the Eugene and Sally Education Scholarship portrays. Srijana Cjaiwan and Jake Hodgkin were bestowed this award that honors the life and influence of these two individuals who dedicated their lives educating and helping others as volunteers.  

The Seith Family Foundation offers this scholarship to Jacob Huff who has a model moral character, is honest in all aspects of his school and social life and plans to pursue a major in math, engineering or physics.  

Marlon Johnson was awarded The Finneytown High School Founders Fund to recognize a child or grandchild of a current or retired teacher or staff member of the Finneytown Local Schools.   

Luke Kellett was gifted the Donna C. Hoffman Education Scholarship. This  honors the influence of long time Finneytown educator Donna Hoffman.  

The classes of 2000 and 2001 took great pride in the Finneytown Local School District and its surrounding community. They bestowed The Classes of 2000 & 2001 Scholarship upon Hunter Giffin.
Finneytown Local School District administration and staff express pride in all the students who received honors through scholarships and other recognitions or awards. The school community wishes to thank the donors and scholarship providers for their continued support of the mission and values of Finneytown Local Schools and the students’ achievements. More recognition of achievements from the program can be found on