The Oconomowoc Scholarship Fund is proud to award $111,500 of new college funding to ten local high school seniors. The non-profit fund encourages post-secondary education of students based on their academic achievements, community involvement, character, and financial need. Since it was created in 1947 by the editor of the Oconomowoc Enterprise, the Fund has awarded over $2 million to 581 students. Donations from the public are always appreciated. In alphabetical order, this year’s winners are:
Thomas Buchan IV was on the High Honor Roll every semester at Lake Country Lutheran High School, won varsity letters in football and cross country, and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. The son of Shelly and Thomas Buchan III of Oconomowoc is eligible to receive $10,000 over four years. He has been greatly influenced by music and literature, and he wonders how songs and books can so deeply affect the mental state and chemistry of people. Thomas will study a combination of psychology, biology and English at UW-Eau Claire, hoping to someday ‘help people by learning more about the curious mechanics of the mind.’
Teachers describe Emma Green as a ‘true organizer who shows compassion and respect’ toward everyone she works with. She played varsity soccer, was named a Scholar Athlete three times, and represented OHS at Badger Girls State. She also had a grade point average of nearly 3.9 while taking a rigorous course schedule. The daughter of Eric and Cindy Delaney of Oconomowoc is eligible to receive $10,000 over four years to study Political Science at UW-Madison. Emma doesn’t want to be an elected politician. Instead, she wants to work behind the scenes, ‘comparing different points of view with open-mindedness to commence positive change.’
Sarah Haley’s plan is to get a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at UW-Madison, then go on to earn a Master’s degree and finally a Doctorate in Pharmacy. She says a career in pharmacy combines all the things she loves about science and chemistry – ‘lab work, research, collaboration and helping people.’ The daughter of Kimberly and Mark Haley of Oconomowoc ranks 8thin her class of 388 with a grade point average of 4.1, tutored other students in math and science, and helped arrange a service project to raise awareness about human trafficking. She is eligible to receive $10,000 over four years as the winner of a Hilbert Scherffius Scholarship presented by the Oconomowoc Scholarship Fund.
Emily Kehl was on the High Honor Roll every semester since middle school. She was also a member of the soccer and cross country teams, and Student Council all four years at OHS. The daughter of Travis and Carissa Kehl of Oconomowoc is eligible to receive $10,000 over four years as the winner of another Hilbert Scherffius award. Teachers say she ‘spends countless hours giving back to those in need and is completely selfless in her acts of service.’ Emily loves to debate and vouch for her opinions, so she will major in Legal Studies at UW-Madison and then pursue law school to become an attorney.
Dylon Kutz has always been fascinated with ‘how things go together and how they fall apart.’ He also loves math. He is eligible to receive $2,500 over two years to study mechanical engineering at Waukesha County Technical College. He says his parents, Gail and Darin Kutz of Watertown, ‘have always instilled in me the value of a dollar and that you need to work for what you want.’ His grades put him on the High Honor Roll every term since 6thgrade, and he ranks 24thin the class. In his spare time Dylon enjoys camping, fishing, kayaking, tennis, volleyball and strategic board games.
Brandon Mauel is eligible to receive $34,000 ($8,500 a year) as the winner of the Future Leader Award funded by the Thomas Mount family. Brandon ranks 4thin his class and earned a composite score of 32 on the ACT test. He also ran track and cross country all four years at OHS and was named a Scholar Athlete four times. His experience with running taught him that ‘injuries often start in the mind.’ Brandon’s dream is to help people not only recover from injuries, but prevent them. He plans to get a bachelor’s degree in psychology at UW-Madison and then go to graduate school at UW-La Crosse in Physical Therapy. He is the son of Gene and Debra Mauel of Oconomowoc.
Samuel Mickelson has been designing and building things his whole life. Last summer, he worked on a survey team for a local engineering firm, and decided he wants to be a civil engineer. ‘It may not sound glorious’ he says ‘but they design the infrastructure that supports our society.’ As the winner of another Hilbert Scherffius award, the son of Lynn and Mark Mickelson of Oconomowoc is eligible to receive $10,000 over four years to attend UW-Madison. Teachers call Samuel ‘dependable and humble’… ‘the type of student who goes above and beyond with projects.’ He ranked 13thin his class and made the High Honor Roll 14 times.
Music became her passion when Stephanie Plautz started playing the euphonium in 5thgrade. She also plays trombone and has earned a first place rating at state competitions on both instruments, which is a rare feat. The daughter of Fredrick and Silgan Plautz of Oconomowoc has traveled internationally with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and has composed pieces for full orchestra and brass ensemble that have received standing ovations. Instructors say she is ‘full of promise and potential.’ She also ranks 19thin her class. Stephanie is the winner of a $5,000 award from the George Markham Memorial Fund under the Oconomowoc Area Foundation. She will study music education and composition at the University of North Texas.
Audrey Sobczak describes herself as ‘outgoing and passionate. I set goals, take risks, and I’m not afraid to be myself.’ The daughter of Heather and Mark Sobczak of Oconomowoc ranked in the top 10% of her class, was a member of Student Council all four years at OHS, and volunteers for mission trips and community service projects. She also played varsity basketball three years and was named team captain as a junior and senior. Audrey is eligible to receive $10,000 over four years. She will major in Psychology at UW-Madison because she is intrigued by ‘different concepts of behavior and especially treatments for mental health.’
Hannah Tremaine got her start raising cattle at age three. She has had the Grand Champion Steer at the Waukesha County Fair three times and also the Champion Overall Performance Steer at the Wisconsin State Fair. The daughter of Mark and Karen Tremaine of Oconomowoc says exhibiting animals all over America has taught her ‘responsibility, leadership, how to win humbly and lose graciously, and that the root of success is hard work.’ Hannah is eligible to receive $10,000 over four years as the winner of a Debbink Family Foundation scholarship. She will study Agricultural Communications at UW-Madison to combine her knowledge of agriculture with her joy for photography, writing and design.