RUNNELS COUNTY – The graduates in Ballinger and Winters did well this year, netting almost $2 million in scholarships, thanks to the generosity of area businesses, foundations, colleges, universities, individuals and memorials.

RUNNELS COUNTY – The graduates in Ballinger and Winters did well this year, netting almost $2 million in scholarships, thanks to the generosity of area businesses, foundations, colleges, universities, individuals and memorials.

Both Ballinger and Winters high schools presented awards last week, with Ballinger students netting more than $1.2 million and Winters students receiving almost $700,000.

This year, 67 seniors will graduate in Ballinger and 23 will graduate in Winters.

Ballinger Principal Robert Webb challenged the junior class to shoot for $1 million in scholarships this year, and the class surpassed that goal. In 2016, the graduating seniors raised more than $700,000 in scholarships.

“I wrote them a letter and told them to get those scholarship applications in the mail early,” Webb said. “It tells you how much money is out there – I was blown away by the Class of 2017.”

Students in Winters were every bit as successful.

During the awards assembly on Friday, May 12, numerous scholarships were presented with several students netting over $200,000 in scholarship awards.

“This is a great group of students,” said Winters Superintendent Bruce Davis.

During the assembly, Doug Bryan, who presented scholarships from the Runnels County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Taylor Telephone Cooperative, challenged the underclassmen to apply for scholarships next year.

“It represents the work you’ve put in,” Bryan said.

Bryan told the group that Taylor Telephone Cooperative had 25 $5,000 scholarships to present, throughout the area, but only 18 students applied – two were WHS students.

During the Ballinger awards assembly Wednesday, May 10, BHS Alumni Penney Cook Allen, a 1980 graduate, who is now the director of global marketing at Dell in Austin, presented fully equipped laptops to six seniors. She said returning home to give back to the school that gave her so much, was a dream she had a year ago.

“It is wonderful to come back to my hometown,” Allen said.

She encouraged the students to “live life to the fullest.”

“Meet every task with joy and serve others,” Allen said.

There were numerous memorial scholarships presented at Ballinger High School among them - the Trent Ueckert Scholarship, Jamie Sue Palmer Memorial Scholarship, the Justin Byler Memorial Scholarship, the Taylor Dyess Bowman Heart of a Champion Award & Scholarship and the Marsha Fry FCCLA Memorial Scholarship.

Memorial scholarships presented at Winters High School included the Randy Pendergrass Memorial, Chase Langston Memorial, Brenton Jeremy Kurtz Memorial, the Bergman Family Scholarship, Pearl Jackson Memorial Eula Mae Kruse Memorial, the Floy Hodge Memorial and the Mary Louise Bauer scholarship.

Bauer, who taught English and drama, was in the audience and when the $1,000 scholarship was presented.

“You have a beautiful school,” she told the students. “You take care of it.”

During the assemblies, the top 10 students at each campus were announced.

Top 10 BHS students for 2016-17 were:

1. Helen Brown

2. Zacc Ottmers

3. McKenzie Arrott

4. Casey O’Bryant

5. Hannah Heidenheimer

6. Jayden Hughes

7. Cole Cave

8. Dakota Boone

9. Matthew Denigro

10. Jessica Ramirez

The Top 10 WHS students for 2016-17 were :

1. Grace Bryan

2. K’Lee Lindley

3. Brooklyn Galloway

4. Sam Woodall

5. A.J. Smith

6. Jaegger Collins

7. Desiree Wilson

8. Justine Alvarado

9. Kristy Kruse

10. Tia Campos.