Marion High School students Lauren McLinden, Amanda Stuchlik, Nicholas Meyer, and Zachary Robson were selected by judges from the Elks National Foundation to compete for scholarship awards at the national level in the Most Valuable Student competition.
“The judge who contacted me said this was the first time that all four national representatives from our state have been from the same high school,” counselor Mark Felvus said.
To reach the national level of competition students first competed at local and state levels.
At the local level, judges at each Elks Lodge selected three girls and three boys to advance to the state level.
“In the initial round of competition, Marion students had all three female representatives (including Kaelyn Thierolf) and two of the three male representatives,” Felvus said.
Out of 66 total students who made it past the local level, judges identified all five Marion scholars as state winners.
For winning at the state level, each student will receive a $4,000 scholarship, distributed in $1,000 increments, over four years of college.
However, since judges could only pick two girl and two boy students from the “state winner’ group, only McLinden and Stuchlik continued on to represent Kansas in the national level of girl’s competition.
“All five students have great academic ability, great school and community involvement, and great understanding of the importance of being actively involved in the world around them,” Felvus said. “The four that advanced to the national level should do very well.”
Felvus said that if any Marion student is selected as one of 20 finalists — 10 male and 10 female — they would be flown to Chicago for an Elks leadership conference where the winners will be selected.
Prizes at the national level consist of two $50,000 awards for first place, two $40,000 awards for second place, two $30,000 awards for third place, and fourteen $20,000 awards for fourth place.
“The judge who contacted me indicated that she thought we had a really good chance to have at least one and maybe two of our students selected as one of the top 20, or one of ten from each group,” Felvus said. “That would be awesome.”