Ripley High School Junior Easton Perry is the winner of the 11th annual West Virginia Scholar competition. Perry will receive a four-year full scholarship to attend West Virginia Wesleyan College beginning with the 2019 fall semester. The announcement was made at the annual West Virginia Scholar Luncheon at Wesleyan.
The 2018 winner is the son of Amy and James Perry and his wide range of activities includes the Ripley High School Drumline, Academic Team, Quiz Bowl Team, Science Bowl Team, Robotics Team, Cross Country Team, and Hi-Y Club. He is also an active member of Epworth United Methodist Church and is engaged in a number of community service projects.
Perry is the third Ripley High School student to win the scholarship competition. Previous winners include 2009’s Rachel White Scull ’14, a research biologist at Bend Research in Bend, OR, and 2017’s Christopher Neil, who will enter Wesleyan this fall as a biology major.
The first runner-up in this year’s competition is John Marshall High School’s Lydia Knutsen, who will receive a $20,000 scholarship over four years. Cole Kleppner of Inwood and a junior at Musselman is the second runner-up and will receive a $10,000 scholarship.
Other finalists included Liberty High School’s Elysia Cain of Salem, Grafton High School’s Courtney Gray of Flemington, Wheeling Park High School’s Sarah Heilman of Wheeling, George Washington High School’s Jackson Johnson of Charleston, Brooke High School’s Katherine Marks of Wellsburg, Webster County High School’s ShaiAnne Williams of Webster Springs, and Greenbrier East High School’s Bailey Withrow of Lewisburg.
The scholarship competition began in February and the pool of applicants was narrowed to 15 semi-finalists in April. The program is a partnership between Wesleyan and West Virginia MetroNews. The scholarship competition is also sponsored by Architectural Interior Products, Inc., KOMAX Business Systems, RBC Wealth Management, West Virginia Coal Association/Friends of Coal, West Virginia Farm Bureau, West Virginia Forestry Association, West Virginia Hospital Association, ZMM Architects and Engineers.
The scholarship is also partially funded by The Culpepper Wesleyan Scholars Award, which was established as an endowed scholarship by the late Olive O’Dell Culpepper ’33 and C. Ross Culpepper ’30. The endowment continues to be generously supported by Marvin, 51, Hon. 06’ and Elaine Karnes Culpepper ’54, Hon. ’06.
Photo cutline: L-r: WV Scholar Winner Easton Perry, 3rd place winner Cole Kleppner, and 2nd place winner Lydia Knutsen.