Baker memorial scholarships given

Published 9:53 pm Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Lynell Oliver Baker Memorial Scholarship was awarded to three female graduates in the Suffolk Public Schools in 2017.

Each girl received $2,000 paid directly to the student’s college or university. Haley Beale, of Lakeland High School, and Savannah Miller and Casey Williams, of Nansemond River High School, were the recipients for 2017.

Haley Beale was an honor graduate and served as captain of the field hockey team and of the soccer team in her senior year at Lakeland High School.

Email newsletter signup

She played field hockey for six years and soccer for six years, receiving awards in both sports. She participated in dance for 12 years. She was a member of Rho Kappa, the National Honor Society and Hockey Rocks Field Hockey Club and was the president of her class in her junior year. At her church, she assisted with Bible school for six years. She was a member of the Goober Gang and volunteered with Meals on Wheels. She also worked at Smart Basil Farms. Haley is attending Virginia Tech and plans a career in accounting as a certified public accountant.

Savannah Miller, an honor graduate, excelled academically at Nansemond River High School, while competing on the volleyball team for five years, serving as captain in 2016. A four-year letterman, she also was a member of the soccer team, participating in the 2015 state semifinals. She was a member of the National Honor Society, The Beta Club, Competition Theatre Team, the Performing Arts Club at Nansemond River and the Academic Team. As a Competition Theatre member, she received awards as actress, playwright and student director. She completed the Project Lead the Way Engineering Magnet Program. At her church, she participated in the Operation Exodus Mission trip in 2013 and 2015. As part of a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, she volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. She also worked at Food Lion. Savannah is attending Dartmouth College. Her career goals are actress and history professor.

Casey Williams, also an honor graduate at Nansemond River High School, ran cross country track and indoor track for four years, serving as captain of each team for three years. She also ran outdoor track for three years, serving as captain for two years. She earned Rookie of the Year in cross country, earning state qualification for two years. She was a member of the Beta Club, the National Honor Society, Jazz Band, the Fellowship Christian Athletes and Young Life. Casey was selected 2016 Suffolk Peanut Fest Queen and served 11 years in Girl Scouts, earning the Bronze and Silver Awards. At her church, she presented children’s church and vacation Bible school programs. She also was employed at the Catering Place. She is attending Longwood University to prepare for a business management career.

The Lynell Oliver Baker Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year to outstanding female graduates of the Suffolk Public High Schools for exceptional achievement in five areas: athletics, academics, school activities, church and community activities, and a 500-word essay that expresses goals, family support and financial need.

Lynell, a 1989 Suffolk High School honor graduate, was planning to attend Campbell College. She died July 9, 1989 after suffering head trauma as a result of a fall from a horse. Her parents, Robert Baker and Mrs. Linda Drummond, and friends and family established the scholarship in her memory to recognize outstanding female graduates in the Suffolk Public Schools who, like Lynell, are compassionate leaders in their school and community. Forty-eight young women with great potential have been recognized since 1990.

Tax-deductible contributions to the scholarship fund may be made to: Lynell Oliver Baker Memorial Scholarship, care of Mrs. Paige Hill, 309 Bosley Ave., Suffolk, VA 23434. Applications for the 2018 scholarship are due by April 11, 2018, at each Suffolk public high school.