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Oswego Rotary Club Scholarships and Award

The 2011 Rotary Club scholarship winners.
The 2011 Rotary Club scholarship winners.

The Oswego Rotary Club and its president, Dr. David Granoff, recently honored five outstanding Oswego High School students and their parents at its regular weekly meeting at Patz on the River. Four of the students are this year’s recipients in the club’s long-standing program of scholarships and one received the Occupational Education Award. Each Oswego Rotary Club scholarship provides $1000 toward the students’ college expenses. Selection considers contributions to school and community activities, academic record and awards, and the quality of a written essay.

Norman J. Berlin, III, was selected to receive The Charles E. Riley Oswego Rotary Scholarship that is given to honor the memory of the founding president of the Oswego Rotary Club and a former superintendent of the Oswego schools. Berlin has played the viola with the school orchestra since the third grade. He participated as an actor, singer, stage manager, or technical crew in over 75 school and community dramatic productions. He participated in the Oswego County Academic League for two years. Berlin has been an honors student throughout high school, received Social Studies awards, and earned a score of 100% on the Regents history examination. Berlin plans to attend SUNY Oswego and major in history. He is the son of Norman and Sonia Berlin.

Rebecca R. Chatterton received The Ralph & Dorothy Faust Oswego Rotary Scholarship that honors the memory of a former president of the club and former principal of Oswego High School and his wife. Chatterton has been extensively involved with music in school and the community. She has performed with the concert and symphonic orchestras, concert choir, chamber singers, All County Festival Orchestra and Chorus, and NYS School Music Association Solo Festival. She has participated in numerous musical theater productions, including My Fair Lady, Oliver, Three Musketeers, and Pirates of Penzance; music festivals and competitions; and art club, shows, and competitions. She has been a 4H member and volunteer for eleven years, been active in her church, and has shared her musical talents with nursing homes, The Salvation Army, teacher association meetings, and Board of Education meetings. She represented New York State at the National Youth Leadership Institute Conference in Burton, Texas, in 2009. She plans to attend SUNY Fredonia to earn a fine arts degree and intends to pursue a career in art teaching or therapy. Chatterton is the daughter of David and Marie Chatterton.

Shannon Pasco received the Manjula R. Shah Oswego Rotary Scholarship that honors the memory of Dr. Shah; physician, philanthropist, and dedicated Rotarian. Pasco has been an orchestral violinist for ten years and a member of the National Honor Society, TV Club, OHS Inc., and National Society for High School Scholars. She earned bronze, silver, and gold awards during thirteen years in Girl Scouts and participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life for fourteen years. She has volunteered at Harborfest and served as a lector at St. Paul’s Catholic Church for two years. She plans to major in hospitality and event management at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts, where she has received three merit-based financial awards. Pasco is the daughter of Mary Ann Pettie and Louis Pasco.

Kaitlin Friel received The Anthony J. Murabito Oswego Rotary Scholarship that honors the memory of Anthony Murabito, former principal of Oswego High School, fifty-year member of the Oswego Rotary Club, and long-time member of the Scholarship Committee. Friel played ice hockey, softball, and soccer; was an officer of Interact and the Environmental Club; and a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club, and Junior Prom Committee. She has been a participant and volunteer in several community activities, including Volney Elementary School, Skate Like A Girl Clinic, Tyke Skate at Kingsford Ice Rink, 10 Kan Run, Oswego State Hockey Camp, Powerplay Hockey Tournament, and Mite Hockey Tournament. Friel has been recognized as Elks’ Teen of the Month and received Physical Education Merit and Scholar Athlete awards. She plans to attend SUNY Cortland to major in speech language pathology. Friel is the daughter of Lori Friel.

The Oswego Rotary Club annually offers one Occupational Education Award of $500 to acknowledge the importance of the work that Rotarians do in their professions. Each of the more than 31,000 Rotary clubs in the world is organized around members’ occupations. This is done to emphasize the value and dignity of all work and to assure that each club represents a cross section of the businesses and professions of its community. The award is given to an Oswego High School student who completes an occupational education program in preparation for gainful employment. Selection is based on the applicant’s demonstrated skill in the chosen field and demonstrated leadership ability. Besides completing an application form, students must obtain two letters of support from people familiar with their skills and leadership ability.

Derek Grindle was selected to receive this year’s Occupational Education Award. He completed the Horticulture Program at Oswego County BOCES. Grindle’s skill in horticulture has been recognized by an ABC Agri-business trip and blue and red ribbons for garden maps and horticulture presentations through 4H. He was recognized for participating in the annual Kiwanis Garden Program and received the annual Flower Box Award. He volunteered to work on the ARISE garden at Fallbrook and recently took part in a work-study program involving plant care. Grindle has actively participated in 4H, Boy Scouts, Oswego County Youth Leadership, Lutheran Church Youth Group, ARISE Youth Group, Special Olympics, and Junior Achievement. He has earned many awards for his school and community contributions. He would like to work part-time in the field of horticulture after graduation, take college courses in plant biology and identification, and continue with his own vegetable and flower garden. Grindle is the son of Marc and Kim Grindle.

The Oswego Rotary Club, founded 84 years ago, supported high school graduates from its early days with a loan program to help with college expenses. Sometime in the early 1960s the loan program was dropped and the club began to award scholarships. The value and number have increased over the years to the current level of four $1000 scholarships awarded annually. The Manjula Shah Scholarship is provided by the generous support of the Tarandi Foundation. The club raises money for scholarships through members’ dues and contributions, occasional memorial gifts, and fundraising projects. The club hosts the annual Top 100 Dinner to honor the accomplishments of the 25 top academic students in each of the four classes at Oswego High School. The club has established an endowment fund to help underwrite the scholarship program in the future. Gifts and bequests will be held in perpetuity, with only the earnings used for awards.

The Oswego Rotary Club, in cooperation with Rotary District 7150 covering central New York State, participates extensively in student international exchanges. Oswego has been host to Andrea Gonzalez from Rubio, Venezuela, during the current school year. A student from France is scheduled to arrive in Oswego this summer and will stay for the next school year.

Members of the Scholarship Committee this year are William Crist, Mack Richardson, Randy Zeigler, and Vernon Tryon.

Anyone having questions about membership in the Oswego Rotary Club or its scholarship program is invited to call Vernon Tryon at 343-9692.