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Eight seniors selected for Roan Scholars' Class of 2022

Contributed • Updated Feb 22, 2018 at 5:22 PM

JOHNSON CITY – The Roan Scholars Leadership Program at East Tennessee State University has selected eight high school seniors for the incoming Class of 2022. Those students will join 21 returning Roan Scholars this fall as part of the prestigious four-year scholarship program.

“The Roan continues to inspire and develop transformative leaders to impact our world,” said Scott Jeffress, director of the Roan. “The Class of 2022 is a stellar group with exceptional leadership potential that we are excited to see grow and develop over the next four years at ETSU.”

This year’s class was selected from among more than 90 nominees in 27 counties across Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina. The newest Roan Scholars are:

* McKenzie Templeton (Gate City High School): McKenzie founded Stand Up for Down Syndrome in honor of her younger brother to advocate for and celebrate individuals with Down syndrome and other special needs, and to educate others about those conditions. She is the youngest-ever ambassador for the Commonwealth of Virginia National Down Syndrome Society, a passionate filmmaker, a published poet, and a recipient of the Tennessee Governor’s Volunteer Star Award. “She has the character and perseverance of someone who would become a CEO of a company, president of a nonprofit organization or a legislator,” said Tiffany Porter, president of Serving with Style.

* Lily Edwards (Daniel Boone High School): Lily was on the school volleyball team for four years, is president of the Beta Club, and is a committed member of Young Life. She has also received several honorable mentions for her abilities to lift twice her body weight in the weight room.“Lily has more grit in her young body than I have seen in countless adults,” said Regina Cox, school counselor at Daniel Boone High School.

* Clara Reynolds (Providence Academy): When Clara is not singing or practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or tennis, she is a talented illustrator and a National Merit Commended Scholar. Using her skills and love for drawing, Clara started the Superkids Project to encourage pediatric patients with serious medical conditions by drawing them as superheroes. She involved Niswonger Children’s Hospital and has dreams of expanding the project. “Her enthusiasm is catching, and she has learned how to persuade others and organize people to accomplish a goal,” said Katherine Anderson, history teacher and department head of social science at Providence Academy.

* Jordan Teague (Elizabethton High School): Jordan is a classical pianist and a tennis player. She is also top of her class and has played the French horn since sixth grade. With future plans in bioengineering, Jordan also volunteered with the Johnson City Environmental Field Office to sample local streams and seeks to maintain a meaningful connection with nature. “Jordan’s academic aptitude for mathematics and the sciences is only outweighed by her desire to serve other people,” said Tina Robinson, Johnson City Division of Water Resources.

* Casey Bonnell (Grainger High School, Rutledge, Tenn.): With aspirations to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a pediatric surgeon, Casey has invested time and effort in high school as captain of the school’s softball team, president of Beta Club, class officer for the last three years, and harvester at a local tomato farm. She is also a National Merit Commended Scholar, can solve a Rubik’s cube and credits her parents’ service in the Air Force with her values of integrity, dependability and responsibility. “Casey is not afraid of a challenge,” said Jill Denton, school counselor at Grainger High School. “She has a love of learning, life and people.”

* Addie Fairchild (Ashe County High School, Deep Gap, N.C.): Recognizing a need for students to meet during the day for clubs and other academic activities, Addie helped create SMART Lunch at her high school. When she isn’t finding new ways to help her school or serving as student body president, Addie is also accomplished at rodeo and is a former vice president of the North Carolina High School Rodeo Association. “She was instrumental in changing the culture of the school, faculty and staff,” said Gordon Prince, assistant principal at Ashe County High School.

* Caroline Parris (Pisgah High School, Canton, N.C.): Caroline has already started a chapter of Interact, a Rotary-affiliated service organization, and founded her own organization to raise money for breast cancer research. After wildfires hit Gatlinburg and other surrounding areas in 2016, she helped start a supply drive for area firefighters and was invited by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to raise awareness of natural disasters in the community. “Caroline’s leadership is the backbone of who she is; she is a servant leader who steps up whenever she sees a need,” said Teresa Heinz, school counselor at Pisgah High School.

* Shivam Patel (Morristown East High School, Morristown, Tenn.): A musician, composer and actor, Shivam cares deeply about music. He also was a leader in Boy Scouts, student body secretary and an Upward Bound scholar. “Shivam is not a person who is satisfied with the status quo, but is consistently challenging himself and others to keep striving, keep pushing and always aim higher,” said Karen Hartman, associate director of Tusculum College Upward Bound. “I am confident Shivam will positively impact the university he attends and that one day, the world will know his name.”

The Roan Scholars Leadership Program inspires and develops students to be leaders of excellence who will positively impact the region and the world. The Roan includes a financial award for tuition and fees, room and board, and books and supplies at East Tennessee State University, as well as a comprehensive four-year program of experiences and opportunities designed to challenge and inspire students to grow and develop as future leaders. The Roan, which is funded primarily by private donations, was established in 1997 by Louis H. Gump. For more information, contact the Roan office at (423) 439-7677 or email [email protected] Or visit the website at www.RoanScholars.org.

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