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School board honors students, coach

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@chronicle-tribune.com

Marion High School students were awarded scholarships by a local church and were recognized Tuesday night’s board meeting.

Six MHS students were awarded a total of $11,500 in scholarships to help them pursue their post-high school careers. Marion Baptist Ministerial Alliance has offered Martin Luther King Jr. scholarships to students for over 30 years to those who excel academically.

Contributions for the scholarship are provided by Indiana Wesleyan University, Walmart Distribution Center, and other local churches, according to a MCS press release.

Students earned scholarships from $500 to $3,000 to help pay the cost of their future schooling. Many students stated they already have plans for college. LaShaunte Wallace was awarded $3,000 and said she plans to study dental hygiene at Indiana University. Jacob Speikes, awarded $2,500 wants to study entrepreneurship at Indiana Wesleyan University.

“We are pleased to be able to serve and celebrate these students in their future endeavors in college, wherever that education may be,” Rev. Larry Batchelor said.

Terry Lakes, longtime cross country and track coach for MHS announced his resignation from coaching to focus on teaching for the remainder of his career on Monday, and offered a speech that brought board members to tears.

“If it weren’t for Marion I don’t know where I’d be,” he said. “The athletes, without them our program would be nothing. They put in the time, they give the effort – and I know how hard that is because I used to be one of them.”

Current and former student-athletes were at the board meeting for Lakes’ speech. IWU sophomore Adrien Howard said he doesn’t know where he’d be without Lakes and his mentorship.

“He’s helped made me who I am today, without him I don’t know what my life would look like,” Howard said.

IWU sophomore Sabrina Porter said Lakes has always been someone to build her up, even when she had no confidence in herself after a meet.

“I was always afraid I had disappointed him, but that was never the case. He always encouraged me to move on and do better the next meet,” she said.

The board concluded their business with receiving an update on student ISTEP and IREAD readiness. Testing is due to begin by Feb. 26, and will mostly take place online. Meal prices increasing for staff members for the 2018-19 school year was also discussed, but the board concluded that their hands were tied for reducing the cost due to policies established at the state level.

The next board meeting will take place in March 13 at 7 p.m.