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July 3, 2014

2014 Effingham County Scholarship Recipients Announced


Sarah Anne Womack, a 2014 graduate of Effingham High School, was awarded the University of Illinois Dorothy Stier Memorial Scholarship. Womack plans to major in Biochemistry.

The scholarship is open to any female graduate of Effingham or St. Anthony High School planning to attend the University of Illinois, Champaign. Members of the local PEO Sisterhood Chapter NF serve on the selection committee for the scholarship which honors Stier as a past member of the club.


The partners of Open Prairie Management, a private equity and venture capital investment firm based in Effingham, Illinois, established the Open Prairie CEO “Creating Entrepreneurship Opportunities” Scholarship in order to benefit a graduate of the Effingham County CEO Program.

The 2014 recipient of the award is Garrett Ziegler of Altamont. Garrett will be attending Saint Louis University in the fall to study Business Administration. During the CEO program, Garrett started Social SetUp, to assist businessmen and women in creating social-media accounts, particularly LinkedIn, and extracting the hidden values from such sites. His mission is to help individuals discover and use the tools of our digital age to improve their personal and professional lives. Garrett’s essay to the scholarship committee focused on passion and altruism. In the essay, Garrett stated that, “the CEO class made it exciting to wake up every morning knowing that what I am about to do could have an immediate impact on someone’s life. Being the richest person in the cemetery does not interest me; touching the lives of others is lasting and fulfilling. I want to commit my life to some great purpose.” Garrett will receive a $4,000 scholarship, payable over four-years.

The mission of the CEO program is that graduates demonstrate entrepreneurial thinking that sustains their thirst for life-long learning, are ready to compete in the global economy and are inspired to come-back and give-back to their hometown. According to Jim Schultz, CEO of Open Prairie, “Assisting with the education of CEO graduates is one of the best investments we can make in the economic future of our community.”

To qualify for the Open Prairie Scholarship, applicants must be admitted to a four-year college or university and be majoring in a business curriculum which may include finance, economics, general business, entrepreneurship, or marketing.


The 2014 Delbert and Maradyl Facklam Scholarship was awarded to Michaela Vahling of Teutopolis. Michaela, daughter of Tom & Cindy Vahling, plans to attend Benedictine College in the fall to study psychology, philosophy and eventually law. Ms. Vahling will receive a $950 scholarship.

The scholarship was established by Delbert Facklam, for the purpose of perpetuating higher education opportunities for Teutopolis High School graduating seniors in memory of the Teutopolis High School Faculty and Classmates of the Graduating Class of 1939. Mr. Facklam was born in Stewardson, Illinois and attended St. Michael’s School in Sigel until his senior year, where he attended Teutopolis High School. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Mr. Facklam lived most of his adult life in California. However he never abandoned the regional area where he spent his earliest years. Mr. Facklam passed away in June 2011 and is buried at Arlington Cemetery.

To qualify for the Facklam Scholarship, applicants must be a Teutopolis High School graduating senior continuing his/her college education and demonstrate financial need.


The Dieterich Community Education Endowment Fund was created in 2007 with the goal of providing all Dieterich graduating seniors who meet the requirements with scholarship assistance. This year 19 scholarships were awarded to the following graduates: Jena Allen, Madison Boerngen, Mindy Bohnhoff, Whitley Brummer, Mikaela Cox, Isaac Davis, Aakriti Dogra, Michael Flood, Samantha Francis, Paul Gillet, Samantha Leturno, Kevin Robards, Jennifer Soltwedel, James Tague, Heidi Thoele, Tanner Traub, Nathan Waldhoff, Patrick Westendorf and Jodi Zacha.

Applicants must be a resident of Dieterich Community Unit #30 School District (DCUSD), attend eight consecutive years of school at DCUSD, be attending a post secondary school that receives state or federal funding, must maintain a minimum of a “C” average, and must be enrolled as a full time student. Graduating seniors who are receiving a full ride to the college of their choice are ineligible for this scholarship.

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