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June 14, 2023

Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation announces 2023 Smysor Scholarship recipients

Pictured L-R, 2023 Windsor High School Graduates, Top, Reese Bennett, Joseph Despennett, Michael Kircher; Middle, Lutisha Brownlee, Rhett Rincker, Kaylynn Carey; Bottom, Robert McDaniel, Kiersten Wheeler, Dylan Curry

(EFFINGHAM, Illinois – June 12, 2023) Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded 55 students with the John L, Harry L, and Catherine Smysor Scholarship

2023 Windsor High School graduate recipients:  

Reese Bennett is planning to study esthetics at Aveda Art & Sciences Institute.

Lutisha Brownlee plans to study business at Urshan College.

Kaylynn Carey is planning to study at Lake Land College.

Dylan Curry will begin pursuing a secondary education degree at Eastern Illinois University.

Joseph Despennett will begin at Lake Land College to pursue a business associate degree.

Michael Kircher plans to begin pre-med studies at Lake Land College.

Robert McDaniel is planning to study at the Academy of Pet Careers to receive a Vet Assistant degree.

Rhett Rincker is planning to study agriculture business at Lake Land College.

Kiersten Wheeler will begin pursuing a degree at Illinois State University in early childhood care & education.

Windsor High School Alumni scholarship recipients: Dawson Ard, Karlie Bean, Haley Beck, Candice Colclasure, Carson Cole, Anthony Curry, Ella Gilbert, Liam Hortenstine, Cameron Hughes, Graham Kasey, Rachel Miller, Jessica Rauch, Logan Stremming, Nikki Trussell, Jackson Welsh

Dependents of Windsor High School Alumni scholarship recipients:

  • Stew-Stras High School: Abbie Kelly, Maggie Kelly, Austin Wittenberg, Jordan Wittenberg
  • Okaw-Valley High School: Camden Coleman
  • Sullivan High School: Haylee Faulkner
  • Mattoon High School: Austin Boyer, Mitchell Gergeni, Waylon Schultz, Quentin Wright
  • Charleston High School: Macayla Finley, Zach Finley, Maia Voegel
  • Arthur Lovington Atwood Hammond High School: Wyatt Hilligoss
  • Arcola High School: Gracie Wagoneer, Makenna Wagoner

Dependents of Windsor High School Alumni scholarship recipients from other regions: Anna Alexander, Jaxon Bennett, Kolby Collins, Aidan Daugherty, Oda Drake, Slater Goebel, Carter Herbert, Benjamin Kitten, Vanessa Maguire,  Reagan Nieves, Jared Stevens, Riley Stirrett, Tobias Snyder, Kristina Taylor, Victoria Taylor

The Harry L. and John L. Smysor Charitable Trust was previously under the management of First-Mid Bank & Trust. Due to distribution requirements for charitable trusts and recent increases in farmland values, First-Mid sought a solution that would honor the Smysor family’s intention to provide scholarships in perpetuity for Windsor High School graduates. In May 2019, the Smysor charitable trust was dissolved, and the assets were transferred to Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization managing permanent and nonpermanent funds for the benefit of southeastern Illinois. As a publicly supported charity, the Community Foundation can ensure a perpetual source of scholarships for seniors and graduates of Windsor High School as well as dependents of Windsor High School alumni.


Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation manages more than 200 funds for the immediate and long-term benefit of communities in southeastern Illinois. For more information, contact Alex Pleasant, President/CEO of Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, at 217.342.4988 or

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