Partnership for Educational Excellence recognizes GHS Class of 2020 graduates

Partnership for Educational Excellence recognizes GHS Class of

(Editor’s note: The Partnership for Educational Excellence awarded several Class of 2020 graduates in May. This is the second portion of awards that was previously omitted).

A record 26 percent of Gillespie High School graduating seniors were awarded $1,000 tuition scholarships by The Partnership for Educational Excellence.

Since 1992 the educational foundation has given $273,500 to 451 GHS graduates from every quarter of their graduating classes. Every dollar of these awards came from local individuals, businesses, alums, and foundations who share The Partnership’s goal of supporting post-secondary education in support of our philosphy: “Only on the foundation of education can our children build useful lives and a stable society.”

Betty Olive Memorial Scholarship

Because of the high value she placed on education.

Known for her “green thumb” and prolific flower and vegetable gardens, this native of Alhambra cherished a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. She focused instead on raising her children – Judy, Kay, Pam, Patti, and Randy, all graduates of CUSD7 – on the farm.

Deyon Wolber, daughter of Abby and DuWayne Wolber of rural Litchfield, will attend Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield to study animal science.

Louis Polovich Memorial Scholarship

Established by his family, this scholarship honors Lou who was a respected teacher and principal in CUSD 7 and a devoted member of St. Joseph’s church in Benld.

Joseph Bertetto, son of William and Michelle Bertetto of Benld, will attend Marian University and The Bishop Simon Brute Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana, to study for the Catholic priesthood.

Robert M. Prevedell Memorial Scholarship

Robert lived 94 years as a farmer near Eagarville. Beloved by all for his dignity, good nature, integrity, and generosity, he was a prolific woodworker; veteran house mover; self-taught musician; talented gardener.

Blane Lancaster, son of Dave and Anne Lancaster of Gillespie, will attend Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, to study agribusiness with a focus on the seed industry.

Tammy Rosentreter Memorial Scholarship

Established by family and friends. A U.S. Air Force veteran, she was active in her church and a dedicated teacher. She did it all through her valiant battle against cancer, inspiring Team Tammy fund raisers while maintaining her top priority: her family – husband Jerry and children Josh, Tateum and Tess.

Callie Reynolds, daughter of Lisa and Russell Reynolds of Gillespie, will attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to study speech pathology.

Sam Stewart Memorial Scholarship

Sam was a talented athlete and teacher whose lifelong dedication to sports and education shaped his career. He was a CUSD7 baseball coach for 30 years, and he coached basketball and football as well. “Sam would be pleased. This scholarship is a way of ‘paying it forward,’ in his memory,” says his wife, Suzanne.

Frank W. Barrett, son of Frank and Alissa Barrett, will go to Rend Lake Community College to play baseball and study mathematics secondary education.

UMWA Local No. 1613 Scholarship

The union represents coal miners, health care workers, truck drivers, manufacturing employees and public employees in our communities. UMWA 1613 fights for safe workplaces, good wages and benefits, and fair representation in workplaces.

Alex Ottersburg, son of Walter and Brandy Ottersburg of Gillespie, will attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to study engineering.

Michael Valenti Memorial Scholarship

This 1994 GHS graduate lost his life in a 1999 tragic accident. Michael had earned an associates degree at Lewis and Clark Community College and was continuing his education at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

Katie Reed, daughter of David and Brandi Reed of Gillespie, will attend Illinois College in Jacksonville to study history education.

VFW Post No. 4547 Scholarships

The Partnership is pleased to offer a scholarship for a child or grandchild of a U.S. military veteran and/or a student who has committed to Reserve OfficerTraining Corps in college. This scholarship is the result of a generous gift from the now disbanded

Gillespie VFW Post No. 4547

Meghan Hatlee, daughter of Kelley and Becky Hatlee of Gillespie, will attend Sourthern Illnois University at Edwardsville to study business management. There are six veterans in Meghan’s immediate family.

Evaline Boehmke Musician-ship awards

Evaline (Mrs. Robert) Boehmke, was an ardent supporter of music in CUSD7. She left a bequest for $100 cash awards for students to be selected by the music faculty of GHS for outstanding musicianship in band and chorus.

This year, the Band winner is Ruby Savant, daughter of Jim and Mindy Savant of Benld, and the chorus winner is Chance Reiniesch, son of David Reiniesch of Gillespie and Jennifer Binney of Gillespie.

To view the complete Gillespie High School virtual awards ceremony go to The Partnership’s web site or Facebook page or the GHS Facebook page.

The Partnership for Educational Excellence is an IRS-chartered 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational foundation in Community Unit School District 7 in Macoupin County, Illinois.

In addition to scholarships, The Partnership annually awards classroom grants to enhance curriculum. To donate or learn more about The Partnership, go online to, where you can review biographies of several past scholars.