Scholarship Night

By: Staff Report
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Placer High School graduating seniors have received nearly $1 million in scholarship awards and grants. Awards presented from private, local and club scholarships came to over $101,000.

Institutional awards amounted to over $224,000  per year. When added in that all are renewable up to four years, it is over $898,000, officials said.

The awards were announced and presented May 16 on Scholarship Night.


PVL Scholar Athlete (female) - $200

Marin Chamberlin

In Cross Country, Marin Chamberlin was a four-time PVL MVP, undefeated over four years, as well as individual PVL and section champion in track and field while maintaining a 4.09 GPA.  She excelled in finding the challenging balance of being both a top athlete and academic to earn this honor.


PVL Scholar Athlete (male) - $200

Derek Shreeve

Derek Shreeve maintained a 4.05 GPA and was a contributing factor athletically with the varsity basketball team. He plans a career in dentistry.


Western States Determination Award - $500 - Four awards

Nominated and chosen by Placer High coaches based on stellar ability, perseverance and success.

Jason Hensler for excellence in tennis and academics. He was a 4.0 student, four- time All- League player, three-year section champion and, as a captain on the team, was a role model in work ethic and sportsmanship for all athletes.

Adam Fragola: One of Placer’s top cross country and track athletes, he placed fifth all time in the school’s history in the 1600 while currently ranked fifth as well in the Sac Joaquin Section to vie for a spot at the State Meet. He plans to continue in track and field at American River College.

Travis Warren: He was a force on the Placer baseball team for four years. This year, he took his speed and ability to the football field and the slopes for snowboard. In fall and winter, he was a main factor in the quest for both teams’ state titles. This year’s only senior male three-sport athlete.     

Anthony Kerrigan: He persevered through injuries in football and track, becoming the quintessential “comeback kid.” He finished football playing in a cast at the final state championships. In track, after two weeks healing a hip injury, he returned to break the 1974 long jump record of Bernhard Peat, jumping 22 feet 6 inches. He plans to attend Chico State as an engineering major and track athlete.


Placer High Athletic Hall of Fame - $500

Given to a Placer athlete who has exceeded high school standards of athletics and is continuing competition on the collegiate level.

Marin Chamberlin: Volunteer at the Athletic Hall of Fame and other sport venues. Varsity Athlete Club Block P Society was lead by Marin as president  to help Placer athletes give back through service. Additionally, she met her goal of becoming a Division 1 athlete and will be competing at UC Davis in distance running in cross country and pole vaulting in track and field.


Sweat Equity Scholarship - $500

Recognizing a Placer student who has shown a strong balance between academics and athletics.

Lara Condosta: With nine varsity letters on her jacket, she has been a main factor in both golf and track league and section titles. She plans to continue in track and field at Chico State.


American Legion, RW Townsend Unit Post 84 - $400 - Two awards

Recognizing one male and one female student who exemplify the values of the American Legion - patriotism, courage, honor, leadership and service.

Thaddeus Ziarkowski: As one of the three Boys State delegates, he spent a week learning not just about the California political process, but the power of people. He naturally engages others to share, be part of, open up to and work toward finding new opportunities. He is going to Chile next year as a Rotary exchange student.

Abigail Vaughan: Her commitment to leadership and service opportunities is evident through her numerous roles in FFA and as a top student in Placer’s Peer Mentor Program.               


Placer Sportsmen Harry Rosenberry Memorial - $750

Established by 1928 Placer High graduate and Hall of Fame member Harry Rosenberry. The Placer Sportsmen, who have organized the annual Fish Derby for 67 years, continue to support the Rosenberry scholarship.

Marin Chamberlin: She grew up fishing with her dad and hiking with her family. One of her childhood memories was thanks to the Sportsmen when she won her first ever pink and red  fishing pole at the annual Fishing Derby.


Cabrillo State Scholarship - $500

Cabrillo Civic Clubs were organized by Californians of Portuguese descent. The clubs are known for many charitable activities and providing scholarships for students of Portuguese descent throughout the state of California.

Brenn Haydon: She was selected for this award because she possesses high qualities of character, honor, promise, leadership and service.


Rotary Club of Auburn Scholarships - Five awards (amount not provided)

Funds for the scholarships are raised by the members and have been given since 2004 with over $220,000 awarded.  

Sydney Buchanan: Awarded one of the five Steve Snyder Academic Scholarships. In her involvement with community service clubs, her biggest commitment has been to the Placer County Sheriff’s Explorer Program for the last three-to-four years as she trained monthly, moving from cadet to lieutenant.         

Alexis Heuer: Her love of the outdoors from childhood has grown into a passion for the environment as she has proven by volunteering for Auburn Ravine debris clean-ups and to save the salmon. She plans to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a first generation college student majoring in  environmental protection and management.

Amanda Thomas: With a 4.07 GPA, she has a drive to excel and has skillfully learned to balance school work and life. She plans to major in bioscience at Sierra College before transferring to a university.   

Mallory Cutter: Her intellect and work ethic are proven through her valedictorian status and her kindness and compassion are proven through her smile and altruism.

Carley Mickel: She has spent eight years as a gymnast and now also a coach, gaining life skills she has applied in academics and volunteerism through organizations including Girls Scouts and Key Club. She plans to attend University of Nevada, Reno as a pre-med student.


Rotary’s Presidential Award - Five awards - amounts not provided.

Presented to strong academic students who have also become stronger due to facing adversity.

Natalie Pietromonaco: Pietromonaco soared academically and athletically. With a passion for golf, she did not just play but gave by volunteering at local children’s golf camps and tournaments as well as professional golf venues.  

Sydney Burlison: For her fortitude to bounce back from setbacks and find her own path. As a four-year member of Placer’s AVID program - Advancement Via Individual Determination - she did just that.

Career Technology Field - amount not provided:  

Aidan Keyes: He takes his musical excellence honed at Placer High to the next level having been accepted into Sacramento State’s School of Music.  

Stephanie Kopecki: She is pursuing her initial degree at Sierra College as a radiology technician before transferring to a four-year university.  

Emily Esteban: She will be attending Hosslee Academy for Cosmetology in the fall. From there, she will have her professional license and plans to continue her education to become an aesthetician.


Mary Forsyth, RN Memorial Scholarship - $2,000 - two awards

Registered Nurse Mary Forsyth worked at Auburn Faith Hospital for many years. She was well liked by patients and co-workers. As a lifelong dedicated nurse, she always gave without asking anything in return. Forsyth passed away in February 2016. All three of her children and a granddaughter are Placer High graduates.

Skyler Bray: With her goal of becoming a pediatrics nurse, she will be the first of her family to go to college. She has worked hard to prepare for this endeavor by succeeding in school while balancing sports, a part-time job and being an incredible big sister to her three siblings.

Mallory Cutter: She has been resolute in her focus of entering the nursing profession to become a nurse practitioner. She plans to attend Stanislaus State where she’s been accepted into the pre-nursing program.


Musso Ackerman Scholarship - $500 - two awards

Awarded by Ackerman Charter School District board of trustees in recognition of the Musso Family legacy. The scholarship honors graduates of Bowman School that exemplify Bowman qualities. Applicants must be planning to attend a college or university and be involved in school and community affairs.

Alexandra Mantsch: From kindergarten through eighth grade, she was an exemplary student on campus, singing her way through Bowman’s chorus and music makers. At Placer she has been a member of Placer’s Interact Club, Placer’s Gay Straight Alliance and a member of the American Association of University Women, taking on leadership and volunteerism roles.

Sydney Buchanan. Also a product of nine years of Bowman Charter, she carried her work ethic, academic excellence and leadership to Placer High, honing them as she participated in clubs and community activities.  


Eureka Lodge Masonic General Scholarship - $500 (three)

Established to help students graduating from high schools in the community who are all-American young people, striving to be their best and demonstrate dedication to helping communities and those in need.  Applicants for this award have Grade Point Averages between 2.0 and 3.5.

Awardees not included


Auburn Host Lions Scholarship - $1,000

Supporting one of Placer’s Leo Club members for community service.

Kelli Allen: Not only was she selected for being a stellar student as one of the valedictorians, but she spent four years as a leader and musician in the Golden Hillmen Band, was a varsity volleyball player, Nordic skier and tennis player. She plans to attend UCLA.


AAUW or American Association of University Women AAUW Scholarship and Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 - two awards

Awarded to young women planning to advance their education in mathematics, science, business or computer science.

Theodora Petrovich: (Memorial scholarship) Because of her interest in neuroscience as a major in the hopes of earning a doctorate and developing research in that field, Petrovich was a superb model of the values of AAUW. She plans to attend Princeton University.

Mallory Cutter: She exemplifies the values of AAUW through her perfection in rigorous academics with a focus on math and science.


Auburn 49er Lions Hard Worker Award - $500 - three awards

Each year, the 49er Lions Club’s three $500 awards are given to alternating departments that get to choose one student the department feels has a strong work ethic and success.  

Brenda Ramos (English Department): She is a dedicated and hard-working student who gives the best on all of her assignments to turn in work on time and to the best of her abilities in each of her AP and 1A English classes along with other courses.  

Jordan Lockard (Visual and Performing Arts): Lockard is not only dedicated to achieving the highest quality in his art work, but he has also put that same level of quality into his participation as an active member of the Placer arts community.

Megan Mikelionis (Math Department): She worked hard to separate herself from others in the very challenging class of AP calculus. She is respected by her peers, and her AP teacher says “she is in the top of his class.” She plans to attend UC Santa Barbara.  


Ken and Janice Forbes Geil Scholarship - $2,500

Presented in memory of Auburn native Janice Forbes Geil, a leader and champion of many causes. Her tireless work has contributed to the quality of life in Placer County

Michelle Angel: She is a strong role model with a commitment to education and exploration in life experiences. As the oldest of six siblings, she will be the first to attend college and is an excellent example of Placer High’s AVID Program.


Carmen Wilson Scholarship - Two at $3,500 and one at $4,000

Carmen Wilson taught school in Auburn for over three decades at E.V. Cain and then as an art and English teacher at Placer High School. She was an artist, chef, world traveler and, on top of it all, a philanthropist. In August 2010, Wilson passed away at the age of 93, leaving the gift of education in the form of scholarships. The scholarships provide up to $4,000 to students who graduated from Placer High School majoring in music, art or English.

Alexandra Buckman ($3,500): Not only is she one of Placer’s top musicians, she is also the leader of the band as a drum major with a 4.2 GPA.

Maryellen Wood ($3,500): She has performed in “Old Town,” “Shrek,” “The Winter’s Tale,” Guys and Dolls,” “Oklahoma” and “Mary Poppins.” Finding her passion on stage makes her a perfect recipient for this award.

Brenn Haydon ($4,000): Her natural affinity for the English language in both the written and spoken word was proven through winning the Rotary Speech & Poetry Aloud contests.


Al Saladana Basketball Scholarship - $2,000

A.J. Saladana established a scholarship in his father Al’s memory. After serving in the U.S. Army in World War I, Al Saladana came home to Newcastle, attended Placer High and in 1918 to 1919 - 99 years ago - he played center position on the varsity basketball team. The scholarship is awarded to a student who has played on the varsity men’s basketball team at Placer High School and is pursuing  higher education.

Derek Shreeve: As a student-athlete, he was a fast, unselfish player who hit a 3 or stole the ball  just when the team needed a momentum shift for the win. He was instrumental in taking the team to section playoffs. He plans to attend BYU.


Soroptimist International of Auburn Marion Glover Scholarship - Five at $1,000 each

Marion Glover was the epitome of a Soroptimist through her 50 years of service. She served in a variety of leadership roles including president and created the prestigious Laurel Society in which over $10 million has been raised to help empower women. She believed in giving women and girls the resources and opportunities to reach their full potential and live their dreams.

Brenn Haydon: Haydon is someone who could fill this esteemed woman’s shoes. She has served others, been a first to a walk new paths, and loves the community where she hopes to return to teach and raise a family.  

Michelle Angel. She plans to find a career in the criminal justice system as a probation officer in order to help people who have gone down a wrong path make a life change to a new productive one.

Sarah Martin. With a 4.2 GPA readying herself to attend UC Davis, she will pursue her love for microbiology in hopes of curing diseases and preventing epidemics.                

Marin Chamberlin: Like Marion Glover, Chamberlin feels strongly about the strength of women and the importance of “running like a girl” with power, just like boys, and diving into science and math, just like boys.

Alexandra Buckman: Due to her incredible musical ability and her love for what she does, Buckman has been accepted to Bard College in New York with nearly a full-ride and will double major in music- specifically the bassoon, and another major of her choice.  


Soroptimist Award honoring the memory of long time member Ruth Johnston, funded from the Hillmen Foundation - $500 - two awards

Brenn Haydon: In addition to the $500Ruth Johnston Scholarship, Haydon is also the recipient of the $250 Ruth Johnston award directly from the Soroptimist of Auburn, which then donates an additional $250 to the awardee’s favorite cause. She chose to donate $250 to the Senior Recreation Fund at her grandmother’s Assisted Living Home where Brenn has been volunteering Friday evenings for the last year with Bingo with Brenn.  

Claire Breckenridge: Her $250 donation went to NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness. This is a cause she helped support as a leader on the Placer County Youth Commission, of which she spent the last year serving as a board member working in the adult world discussing, researching, planning and deciding how to better improve policies for youth in Placer County.


Hillmen Foundation Scholarship - Two at $1,000

The Hillmen Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps generate funds for use at Placer High. The organization awards $1,000 to one male and one female who have worked hard toward excellence in academics, athletics and student activities. 

Marin Chamberlin: Many of her childhood years were spent on this campus, so when Chamberlin became a student, she dove into all Placer had to offer by founding two clubs, leading in sports and excelling in academics. Her well-roundedness as a model Hillgal earned her this award.

Aidan Keyes: An an integral member of the Golden Hillmen Band after completion of 10 classes in addition to all the after school training and performing, he also participated in cross country, soccer and track.


Covich Johnson Founders Scholarship - $2,000

Jug Covich and Tom Johnson were co-founders of the Hillmen Foundation in 1991. Covich was a teacher, coach, counselor and principal from 1950-1989. Johnson was a teacher, coach and principal from 1972-1997.

Brenn Haydon: As a member of four clubs, three athletic teams, acting in two school plays and valedictorian with much more still to come, she reflects the ideals of the two men the award honors.  


Aimi Sue Ellyson Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 and $2,000

Aimi Sue Ellyson was scheduled to graduate from Placer High in June 1988, but tragically two months before graduation, her life was cut short in a traffic accident. In her 18 brief years, she made a big impact on family and friends with her outgoing personality, love of animals, children and and helping others.

Jessica Booth ($1,000): She maintained a solid GPA of 3.57 while participating in the Key Club and earning multiple awards. She is a volunteer with the Auburn Symphony and Salvation Army and works as an office assistant at her family’s landscaping business. She will attend Washington State University in the fall with a major in animal science.

Sydney Buchanan ($2,000): While maintaining a 3.75 GPA , she volunteered for multiple groups while also working four days a week to help support herself. Growing up, she played soccer and softball and was active in Girl Scouts for several years. She plans to attend Sierra College to study business and criminal justice.


Auburn Odd Fellows Lodge No. 7 Clifford Logan Scholarship - Three at $1,000

The Odd Fellows organization came into being for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and pursuing projects for the benefit of mankind. Odd Fellows also became the first national fraternity to create an order for women in 1851.

Arianna West:  She excelled in the classroom and the softball field. She plans to attend Simpson College.

Marin Chamberlin: Her desire to improve in the classroom, in sports and in volunteerism was constant. She never accepted this is just “good enough,” making her strongest quality perseverance.  

Brenn Haydon: In addition to academics and service, she stands out for her spirit to connect others, bringing people together to simply enjoy life.


Auburn Kiwanis Scholarships - Four at $1,000

Auburn Kiwanis supports the Placer High Key Club and local Boy and Cub Scout troops and is involved in many activities in the community.

Claire Breckenridge - Mark Fuji Memorial Scholarship: She has been part of Kiwanis from junior high, taking on leadership roles including president of Key Club.  

Brenn Haydon - Mark Fuji Memorial: An active member of Key Club for four years, one of her greatest contributions at Placer was as a peer teacher to special needs students and a peer-tutor to struggling academic students.

Carley Mickel - Memorial Kiwanis Scholarship: She has been a member of four service clubs on campus, but her greatest acts of service were spent over the last 14 years and her over 400 hours in Girl Scouts including earning the Girl Scout Gold Award Project.  

Marin Chamberlin: One of her passions is giving back to other athletes all she has learned. Therefore, becoming an assistant athletic trainer gave her a venue to share knowledge, skill, therapies and preventions to keep other athletes healthy.  


Sutter Auburn Faith Student Scholarship - $1,000

Auburn’s community hospital award honors a student who shows a commitment to the medical field and service to others through volunteerism and a goal of continuing in the health profession.  

Theodora Petrovich: She volunteered 100 hours in the Emergency Room, assisting patients and their families. She was invaluable to the ER nurses by keeping their unit clean and well stocked with needed equipment and supplies.


Larry D.  Mitchell Memorial Scholarship - $1,000

Larry Mitchell knew at a young age the importance of education. In 1960, he wrote in a high school essay, “Preparations for college should begin early in life. Studying is one way to prepare for college…but another important preparation is putting aside some money for all the expenses of a higher education.”

Marin Chamberlin: She was an easy selection with eight varsity athletic letters, a leader as a three-year captain in both cross country and track and field, modeling perseverance and leading teammates to win championships including section titles in both cross country and track along with four trips to the State Cross Country Meet.


Jeanne Coppedge Joy Art Memorial Scholarship - $500

Jeanne Coppedge was  a creative artist whose work could be found in many areas, from commercial to art cooperatives to school drama productions. The scholarship is awarded to a senior who exemplifies the same artistic passion and plans to pursue this field in the future.

Juliann Kurtz: For her passion and dedication. Her achievements are a direct result of her persistence, learning from her mistakes and keeping an open dialogue with her teachers and peers about how to achieve her vision.


Jason Rhoades Memorial Scholarship - $500

Jason Rhoades’ artistic endeavors have left an everlasting mark in the art world. He moved art in new directions both visually and conceptually. His family and the Placer High Arts Department provide this scholarship for graduating seniors who have excelled in art.

Travis Heath: He has been a regular in the art building since he was a freshmen. His Palooza poster, Photo Department logo designs and varied art projects reveal a unique talent and vision, and his persistence and dedication to the visual arts has made its mark on Placer High.


Alonzo Hazen Memorial Scholarship - Two at $1,000

Alonzo Hazen was a long time Auburn resident who retired from PG&E. In his will, he left money to the Hillmen Foundation to set up $1,000  scholarships for students in the field of science. One boy and one girl are chosen by Placer’s Science Department as the strongest science students of their graduating class.

Georgia Cook: As one of the Science Department’s most enthusiastic and engaged science students this year, her passion for marine biology and teaching skills led her to become a teen conservation leader at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as well as starting a marine biology club at Placer.  

Layton Birchell: He has great interest and enthusiasm for science. During AP environmental science, his knowledge of native plants proved useful to the entire class and in physics, he proved to be a conscientious and superior student.


Leidigh Family Scholarship - $1,000

Jim and Pat Leidigh have been strong advocates for advanced learning throughout their lives by directly supporting several universities. Supporting a UC/CSU-bound engineering student is a direct and personal way to realize their vision of an innovative tomorrow.

Anthony Kerrigan: Those who know Kerrigan may see him as one of the most naturally talented athletes at Placer, but he is also a driven student focused on earning his engineering degree while at Chico State and competing in track and field as a Wildcat.  


Placer Foothill Women’s Club GFWC Award - $500

This non-profit women’s organization is dedicated to improving the community through volunteer service.

Brenn Haydon: The committee awarded her for her academic successes and community service along with leadership positions. Through her diverse volunteer efforts, she modeled their motto of “living the spirit.”


June Reeves Memorial Scholarship - $1,000

Created to honor June Reeves, who dedicated her time to the Gold Country Fairgrounds as a director and mentored youth to become student and community leaders. It is given to a student who is pursuing an agricultural degree.

Ariel Achilles. She found her niche at Placer through the FFA program. She plans to major in agriculture in Shasta College’s strong Ag Department, with the purpose of transferring to a four- year to become a high school agriculture teacher.  


Richard and Doris Sayles Family Scholarship - $1,000

Richard and Doris Sayles were public educators who moved to Newcastle in 1958 to raise their family. Both worked at Newcastle Elementary School; Doris as a pre-school teacher and Richard as principal and superintendent of Newcastle Elementary until 1978 before going back into the classroom to teach fifth grade. This award is given to a former Newcastle Knight.

Marin Chamberlin: From kindergarten through fifth grade, her educational foundation was cemented by the excellent educators at Newcastle, who fostered her personal growth. It is also where, in fourth grade, she ran her first ever one-mile cross country race and competed in track with her dad as the team’s coach.


Newcastle Community Association Mike Granata Memorial Scholarship - $750

Mike Granata was an instrumental member of the Newcastle community and as one of his contributing accomplishments, he had the main gym built at the school.

Marin Chamberlin: Her list of accomplishments and having been a former Knight earned her this award.


Auburn Gold Country Rotary service award- $2,000

With the motto of “Service Above Self,” the Rotary has raised through a number of fundraisers around $16,000 that it annually gives to graduating seniors from Colfax to Forest Lake to Foresthill and, of course, Placer. This year there was one $2,000 Community Service award.

Kelli Allen: Her strongest examples of service and dedication have been with the Golden Hillmen Band, where she has been vice president along with spearheading the organization of band camp with its picnics, rehearsals, music pieces and uniform distribution, to name a few behind-the-scenes duties.


Chris Reams Honor Scholarship - $2,500

As a retired Auburn police officer, Chris Reams’s commitment was, and still is, to have a positive impact on the community and the people in it. The scholarship, presented for the first time this year, was created to honor that commitment.

Theodora Petrovich: The story of her family’s travels from Russia to the East Coast to finally Auburn, and the trials faced on their migration and building of their 10-person family is an emotional one. But Petrovich revealed that personal strength and family unity are foundations that kept her on a straight course of college preparation and achieving her goals.


Seth Hanson Financial Literacy Scholarship - $500

Seth Hanson is a local bankruptcy attorney who opened his own law firm in 2006. Since then he has helped hundreds of families and individuals dealing with bankruptcy. Students were asked to write an essay on “How can you ensure your future financial success.”  

Mallory Cutter: Not only is she an exceptional writer,but her own family’s financial hardship due to forces beyond her and her mother’s control gave her first-hand experience in understanding the importance of planning for one’s future.


Brett Ballantine Memorial Baseball Scholarship - $700

Brett Ballantine graduated in 1999, but tragically died in a car accident in 2000. He was a Placer varsity football and baseball player, but baseball was by far his favorite sport, which he played for 14 years.

Matthew Corkery: As a three-year varsity starter, two-time PVL All League recipient, 2018 Optimist All Star Team selection and this year’s co-captain of the varsity baseball team, he was unanimously chosen by his teammates for this award.


McCann and Bale Journalism Award - $500

Vernon Gould McCann was a longtime employee of the Auburn Journal and a community leader and Helen Bale was editor of the Journal as well as being very active in the community and serving on the Placer High School District school board. The $500 scholarship is funded by the alumni of the Auburn Journal person of the year.

Jamie Stroud: As editor-in-chief the past two years, she led the Hillmen Messenger staff with expertise, integrity and pride. Her strengths as a leader were evident in her work as a writer, photographer, copy editor and the other roles she took on. She plans to attend University of Redlands where she will study environmental sciences.  


Northern California Sports Association - $2,500

The Northern California Sports Association began in 1971 with a purpose of encouraging competitive sports and acknowledging the efforts of athletes who served their community or school and excelled in academics.

Marin Chamberlin: Though she spent half of one season in a walking boot with a broken foot and suffered a late asthma diagnosis in a sport that requires racing three miles, she battled to find solutions and come back even stronger. This further motivated her to enter the healthcare field as a neurobiology, physiology and behavior major at UC Davis.


Rotary Music Scholarship - $500

Natasha Buckman: She is the only student who has been in the auditioned-based Jazz Band since ninth grade as well as Advanced Marching and Wind Ensemble. She has, therefore, for the last four years, endeavored 2 ½ hours during the school day as a minimum, perfecting her musical talents.


Talley Wade Award - $1,000

Tally Wade had a strong drive to persevere and achieve goals despite personal hardships. It took her 10 years to complete her four-year degree, but she did, and became an active member of Placer County volunteerism, serving on the county grand jury, Elder Abuse Task Force team and was an advocate for juvenile justice. The award is given to someone who has demonstrated a willingness to work hard and overcome adversity in order to improve one’s life, and is, specifically, for a community college student.  

Paul Banks: He represented his class as a Boys State delegate and was a top athlete in football and wrestling where he qualified for state championships. He is being awarded for his persistence, work ethic and success despite setbacks not of his making. He plans to pursue a degree in business or civil engineering.


Friebus Family Scholarship - $500

Begun by the Friebus Family in honor of their father Robert Friebus, a long-time member of the  Auburn community who had a passion for mathematics, art and music.

Alexandra Buckman: Awarded for her passion for music. Her intention is to major in music and become a professional bassoonist.


Student Board Member Scholarship - $1,000

Brenn Haydon: In its first year as a position within the district, the student board member was responsible for being a student voice to the adults and attending the monthly meetings. Haydon efficiently communicated information and advocated student needs for decision making practices made at the district level.


Placer Community Theatrical Arts Scholarship - $750

Called the “Best Little Theater in Auburn,” the Placer Community Theater supports local youth who have appeared in high school plays and plan to pursue a major or minor in drama.

Maryellen Wood: Her acting abilities have been proven for many to see, but what cannot so readily be seen is how acting made her discover her true self, as she described “the power of community, connections and positive influences in theater drives me to want to learn more, do more and be better every day.”  


Placer County Farm Bureau Scholarship - $1,000

Placer County Farm Bureau supports young farmers and ranchers who are active agriculturists between the ages of 18 and 35 and involved in production, banking, business and many other areas of the industry.  

Ariel Achilles: She earned the award by being actively involved with FFA all four years of high school, including serving as the Placer FFA Chapter president and the Sierra Buttes sectional sentinel. Shel is also active in the community, helping and leading a variety of community service projects while in high school.


Don Graham Scholarship - $1,000

Set up years ago by the Graham family, the award is given to a Placer High grad attending UC Berkeley.

Troy Sheldon: As one of Placer’s valedictorians with over a 4.3 GPA, he completed nine of the 10 offered AP courses along with Calculus 3 at American River and scored nearly perfect on both SAT and ACT. He also was one of Placer’s top athletes, snowboarding his way to four state team championships and this year was individual giant slalom state champion.  


Bill Francis Memorial Scholarship - $500

Bill Francis was born and raised in Auburn and attended Placer High. He was a rancher and served on the Placer High District board and later served as business manager for the district. The scholarship was formed in 1995 and is funded by his family to assist a student planning to  attend Sierra College.

Brenda Ramos: With her 3.9 GPA, she had her choice of colleges and chose Sierra to begin her collegiate education. For this she is being awarded. She plans to major in biology and psychology and the goal of transferring to a university to earn a doctorate in psychology.


Charles & Fannie Keena Endowment - $766 - three

Charles and Fannie Keena bequeathed part of their assets in a trust to the district’s board of trustees. The revenue earned each year is used for the up to $1,000 scholarship and is renewable for up to five years for students attending community, technical or universities in California.  

Elana Muzzy: The committee is honoring her academic excellence and personal drive to succeed in college. As one of the valedictorians, she was not just about books and has shown that students can do it all. She was a member of the section championship and state cross country team, top swimmer on  the swim team, acted on the stage and worked part time as a lifeguard and swim instructor.

Brenn Haydon and Marin Chamberlin: As incredibly well-rounded students and friends since the age of two.


Joseph Johnson Memorial Scholarship - $2,000

This is a $2,000-a-year scholarship, renewable for four years, meaning an $8,000 scholarship administered by the district.

Mallory Cutter: Due to her innate desire and care for the well being of others, her chosen career is nursing. She earned a 4.3 GPA and honed the skill of building positive relationships.


Ralph Hoeper and Oyer Scholarships - Two at $1,500

In 2007 Rose Hoeper established two scholarships in the names of her husband (Hoeper) and their children (Oyer) to benefit Placer High graduates attending accredited community colleges or universities anywhere in the U.S.  

Stephanie Knoble (Hoeper award): She is most well known for her incredible videos but she is also a standout on the basketball court, track and field, leadership program and was homecoming queen. She plans to attend Chico State as a communications major.

Paul Banks (Oyer award): He was nominated by staff and chosen by a panel as one of Placer’s top seniors. He models good citizenship,  work ethic, persistence and overall attitude.


PARC Essay Scholarship - $500 (two)

Each year the Protect American River Canyons organization presents awards to students who can clearly address a standard question. This year’s question was, “Why are the American River and canyons important to me and what is my vision for improving the Auburn State Recreation Area.“

Layton Birchell: He is a wonderfully descriptive writer who is  passionate about indigenous plants being necessary for the ecosystem. Without any recognition, he spent many hours creating an indigenous garden at Rock Creek to protect the pollinators.

Brenn Haydon: Her love of writing paid off, literally, since she could so easily express in written language the importance of our environment, especially the preservation of the American River Canyon of which she has run many a mile on the cross country team and picked up many pieces of trash with the Environmental Club. Additionally, she won a second essay contest earning her $1,000 from the Physicians for Social Responsibility Sacramento Chapter answering the prompt: “The connection between women's human rights, gender equality, socioeconomic development, and peace is increasingly apparent.”


Morton Golf Foundation Scholarship - $,2000

For high academic achievers with excellent character and leadership potential along with having an interest in golf.

Natalie Pietromonaco: She has won over 40 golf tournaments including a national one while locally being PVL All League and three-time section champion. She knows how to drive, chip and putt her way into wins.  


Royce Tevis Scholarship - $300

Northern California Band Directors Association is a half-century-old organization dedicated to providing young musicians a quality opportunity to perform. Royce Tevis is a nationally renowned music director and current Chico State professor in whose name the scholarship is awarded.    

Natasha Buckman: She has gone beyond Placer and earned seats in Sierra College’s and the Capitol Section bands. These were done by her competing against adult professionals playing solos to be judged the best, and she did just that. She plans to to continue this in Sacramento State’s music program.


Sacramento Valley Symphonic Band Association Scholarship - $500

ISVSBA’s mission is to support symphonic band music education and performance in the greater Sacramento area.  

Alexandra Buckman: As the the lead drum major during Placer football games, she was a prominent reason the school and community got to enjoy the fabulous half-time entertainment.


The ACSA Future Educators Award - $6,000

Sponsored by the Association of  California School Administrators recognizing those in education who show to be strong leaders with a $1,000 award and the

CTA Scholarship, the largest single award of the night at $5,000, is to a dependent of an educator.

Brenn Haydon - She plans to attend UC Berkeley  


Institutional awards

Boise State University/WUE - Ryan Meyer, $11,654/year

University of Colorado Boulder/Presidential Scholarship - Elyse Isenberg, $13,750/year

Belmont Abbey College/Collegiate Merit Scholarship/Soccer - Emma Roche, $9,000/year

Belmont Abbey College/Collegiate Merit Scholarship/Soccer - Rachel Roche, $9,000/year

Regis University/Regis Achievement Award and Regis Grant - Natalie Pietromonaco, $22,075/year

Seton Hall University/University Scholarship - Allison Conway, $22,500/year

Princeton Grant - Theodora Petrovich, $58,880/renewable

Sacramento State Music Scholarship - Natasha Buckman, $2,000/year

UCB Regents and Chancellor Scholarship - Brenn Haydon, $2,500/year

Bard College Conservatory of Music Scholarship - Alexandra Buckman, $71,000/year

UC Santa Cruz University Grant and Campus Merit-Miller Scholarship - Elana Myzzy, $10,569/$2,000 per year

CPS Charles R. Peebles III Scholarship Cal Poly - Lexi Heuer, $1,800/year

Cougar Award/WUE Washington State University - Jessica Booth, $10,000/year

University of Redlands Achievement Award and University Grant - Jamie Stroud, $27,000/year