TSF announced the winners of its 2023 merit awards at the WMHS Senior Award ceremony held on May 30th, 2023.
There are seven winners of the 2023 Bill Spaulding Merit Award. In order to be eligible to apply, students have to be college-bound high school seniors ranked in the top 10% of their class and a Wakefield resident. Six of this year’s winners are students at Wakefield Memorial High School. They are Molly Berinato, Spencer Little, Gabriella Minasian, Madison Nett, Jessica Pan, and Peter Pietryka. Also a recipient of this award is Olivia Goff, a student at Malden Catholic High School.
This award was originally named the TSF Merit Award, but the TSF Board of Directors voted to rename them the Bill Spaulding Merit Awards in honor of an esteemed member of our Board of Directors, William R. Spaulding, who passed away in 2003. For almost forty years Bill was an integral member of TSF. His financial acumen is what made the organization, formerly known as Citizens’ Scholarship Foundation of Wakefield, into the largest chapter in the Dollars for Scholars organization. His generous spirit touched many lives and he was a great supporter of this, and many other scholarship funds.
Dan Blanchard History & Athletics Award
Molly Berinato was the winner of the Dan Blanchard History & Athletics Award. This award was created to honor the memory of Dan Blanchard, who taught history and social studies in Wakefield for 46 years and was Department Chair for 26 of those years. Dan coached basketball at WHS for many years and also coached the WHS Varsity Tennis team through several winning seasons. Dan was the voice of the Warriors for 40 years, announcing both football and basketball games. He was also very committed to TSF and served as President from 1991 to 1992. He remained a member of the Board of Directors until his sudden death on January 19, 2006. Award winners are recognized for their notable achievements in History and participation in sports at Wakefield High School.
Boston College Academic Achievement Award
Emma Callahan was the winner of the merit-based Boston College Academic Achievement Award. This award recognizes the highest-ranking member of the WMHS graduating class who will be attending Boston College. This recipient is selected by WMHS staff.
The funds for this four-year award comes from income earned on the investment of an anonymous donation earmarked for a WHS senior entering Boston College.
Rhudine Johnson Unsung Hero Award
The 2023 Rhudine Johnson Unsung Hero Award was awarded to Emily Vicente and Marcus Conte. Rhudine Johnson was born on a small farm in rural South Carolina in the 1920s, a descendant of slaves. She believed in the value of education and encouraged her ten children to excel in school. Her oldest son, Jasper, became among the first African Americans to receive his Ph.D. in Psychology from Duke University. When Rhudine died of cancer in 1998, this scholarship was created in her memory. Each year, the Student Directors of TSF choose two of their classmates, one boy and one girl, from the graduating class of Wakefield High School, who best exemplify the quiet dignity and commitment to education that guided the life of Rhudine Johnson.