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Retired teacher scholarships awarded to area students

Published or Revised January 13, 2017

retired teacher scholarships

Three area high school seniors received $1,000 scholarships to Paris Junior College from the Lamar-Delta Retired Teachers & School Employees Association at a recent dinner. The scholarships are awarded to public school seniors in Lamar or Delta counties planning to pursue the field of education at PJC. Shown from left are association President Sandy Lassiter, Jaycie McEwin, Cayson Slakey, Mary Cass, and Scholarship Committee Chair Ruth Wigley.

Three area high school students received Lamar-Delta Retired Teachers and School Employees Association scholarships at the organization’s spring dinner held in the Paris Junior College Ballroom. The $1,000 scholarships are awarded to seniors in public school in Lamar or Delta counties who plan to pursue the field of education at Paris Junior College.

“As retired teachers and school employees, Lamar-Delta believes in giving back to the students and schools in our communities. We are thrilled to be a part of these young ladies becoming teachers,” said association president Sandy Lassiter. “Lamar-Delta sponsors projects that target students from Head Start through high school. Those projects include conducting the Children’s Book Project, reading to and giving books to students; supporting the Junior Live Sale, purchasing animals exhibited by students; and the Scholarship Program, providing scholarships to graduating seniors who plan to attend PJC in preparation to become a teacher.”

To be considered, students must be a public school senior in Lamar or Delta counties; must be pursuing the field of education at Paris Junior College, and must use the scholarship within one year of high school graduation. Receiving their awards from Scholarship Committee Chairman Ruth Wigley and Lassiter were Mary Elise Cass, Jaycie McEwin and Cayson Slakey.

Mary Elise Cass attends Chisum High School and is the daughter of Scott and Katherine Cass. She is a member and participates in FFA where she placed at District and Area, and is also a member of Key Club, UIL, BETA Club, Lamar County 4H, volleyball, basketball, and track.

Awards and honors received in high school include: FFA Green Hand Award, Discovery FFA Degree, English III Honors Award, FFA Steer Production Award, Lamar County Rotary Speech Contest Winner, Lamar County 4H Beef Production Award.

“I have already been asked, ‘Mary, are you sure you want to be a teacher?  You have so much potential,’” Cass said. “My response is, ‘Yes, I am sure because of the potential I have.’ I have the unlimited potential to make my community, state, nation and world a better place one child at a time.”

Cayson Slakey attends Cooper High School and is the daughter of Kevin and Cindy Slakey. Her grandmother, Betty Slakey, is a member of the Lamar-Delta Retired Teachers. Cayson Slakey is a member of Student Council, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and Gifted and Talented program.
Awards and honors received in high school include:AB Honor Roll all four years, and Valedictorian her freshman and sophomore years.

“When I was in kindergarten I had a teacher, Mrs. West, who to this day still inspires and influences me,” Slakey said. “Education is a privilege that we have. I want someone to think back and say that I am the reason they decided to teach or that I inspired them like Mrs. West inspired me.” 

Jaycie McEwin attends North Lamar High School and is the daughter of Chip and Jennifer McEwin. She is a member and participates in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Peer Mentoring, Student Assistant in Class, Office Assistant, Varsity golf and softball, and First Priority.
Awards and honors received in high school include: Newcomer of the year 2013 – Golf, Most valuable player 2015 – Golf, 2nd Team All District – Softball, All District – Golf – Regional Qualifier.

“I grew up with a momma who not only was an amazing teacher at home but at the school as well,” McEwin said. “All in all, everything revolving around teaching gets me excited. The little eyes watching and ears listening to you each day is a major responsibility. I know that teaching may not always be all fun and games, there will be some trials and uneasy moments, but I do know that my job will be completely worth it.”

The honorees and their families were guests at the dinner and award presentation.

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