Ms. Sabine Foerg and Ms. Lauren Kovacik
CVU’s 2020 senior class chooses to honor their former classmate, Connor Lewis, with a memorial scholarship for two deserving seniors, keeping Connor Lewis in their hearts as they graduate from high school. Students and teachers voted for two recipients of the scholarship on May 15th.
On June 2nd, 2017, our community unexpectedly lost a beloved classmate, student, and friend. Connor Lewis, remembered by his community as a kind, nurturing, and lighthearted student, has remained in the hearts and minds of his classmates, CVU’s graduating class of 2020. As a 9th grader, Connor entered the CVU community in the Nichols core. Years later, a committee of his classmates and friends have chosen to honor him as they graduate high school by creating a scholarship in his name.
Students and faculty were asked to nominate “a classmate who embodies these values: kindness, inclusivity, and dependability”, says Principal Adam Bunting who addressed the community. “Two $1000 scholarships will be awarded to CVU High School seniors who have demonstrated these values over the course of their four years of high school.” These scholarships are to be given in honor of Lewis, and the students who receive them should have and portray some of the characteristics that Lewis is remembered most for.
The committee is led by Connor’s friend and classmate, Garrett Gruendling, alongside several other seniors. Originally, this group was organizing a ping pong tournament to raise funds for the scholarship, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this event was unable to take place. Instead, the group turned to their classmates and came up with the idea of the scholarship in Lewis’ name.
CVU’s 2020 class council has raised a record amount of funds over their four years of service to the CVU community and is choosing to allocate a large portiont of those funds to honor Connor Lewis through this scholarship. Funds remaining at the end of senior year from the CVU class councils are generally used for a “class gift” to the school. This can mean many things, and for the 2020 class council, it means honoring and remembering a dear friend and member of their class.
The scholarship, called the Lewis Memorial Scholarship, is to be given to two graduating seniors who have embodied the values that his community most strongly associates with Connor. These values are “kindness, inclusivity, and dependability”, according to the student organizers of the scholarship. These were the highlighted traits that Lewis embodies to the class of 2020, and is what his friends and classmates remember most about him.
According to teacher and advisor of the 2020 class council, Karen Needler, inclusivity has always been a fundamental core value of the 2020 seniors as a whole, and Connor’s spirit emulated this communal quality.
The scholarship is to be presented by CVU Seniors Maddy Love, Garrett Gruendling and Ryan Underhill at the 2020 graduation ceremony , happening on June 12th at the Essex fairgrounds. This event can also be streamed online, according to Bunting. This ceremony will be the unprecedented conclusion to the Seniors’ time at CVU and is designed to honor their hard work.
This virtual meeting will be available to CVU 2020 seniors, families, and community members, so be sure to join if you are interested in the announcement of the scholarship recipients of this unique and important award.