TSF announced the winners of its 2024 merit awards at the WMHS Senior Award ceremony held on May 28th, 2024.

Photos of the 8 Spaulding merit winners

The Bill Spaulding Merit Award honors an esteemed member of TSF’s Board of Directors. For almost forty years, Bill Spaulding provided outstanding financial guidance and generous support to the organization. These merit awards were named in his honor following his death in 2003. Each year these awards are granted to recipients who must be college-bound high school seniors ranked in the top 10% of their class and residents of Wakefield.

The 2024 Bill Spaulding Merit Award recipients from Wakefield Memorial High School are Alejandro Borda, Cooper Davis, Corinne Dunlap, Julianna Heikkinen, Lauren Mangarelli, Grace McHugh, Ishmael Morales III, and Elaine Standley.

Dan Blanchard History & Athletics Award

Photo of Julianna Heikkinen, winner of Dan Blanchard History & Athletics award

This award honors the memory of Dan Blanchard, a beloved history teacher and coach in the Wakefield school system from 1957 until his retirement in 2004.  For 26 years, he also served as chairperson of the Social Studies Department at Wakefield Memorial High School.  A strong supporter of WMHS athletics, Dan was known as the “Voice of the Warriors,” announcing football and basketball games.  He also coached the varsity tennis team through several winning seasons.  He was committed to TSF, served as President from 1991 to 1992, and remained a member of the Board of Directors until his sudden death on January 19, 2006.  This award recognizes achievement in the study of history and participation in sports at Wakefield Memorial High School.  Julianna Heikkinen is the 2024 winner of the Dan Blanchard History & Athletics Award.  

Rhudine Johnson Unsung Hero Award

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.

The 2024 Rhudine Johnson Unsung Hero Award recipients are Charlotte O’Neil and Cooper Davis.

Headshot photo of Charlotte O'Neil
Headshot photo of Cooper Davs