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Scholarship Fund in Memory of Former MSD Student Sends Grads to College

Denise Anderson senior photo

Article by Kelly Anderson, Wilson Elementary ESS

This spring, Wilson Elementary School will, once again, award the Denise Anderson Memorial Wilson Scholarship to selected seniors graduating from North Medford High School. The “Wilson Elementary School Scholarship” was created in 2011 as a way for retired Wilson staff to contribute to the higher education of Wilson students.  The first two scholarships were awarded in 2012.

In 2015 the scholarship was renamed the “Denise Anderson Memorial Wilson Scholarship” to honor and remember Wilson, Hedrick and North Medford graduate, Denise Anderson.  Denise attended the University of Oregon, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in 2011 and a Master’s Degree in 2012.  In November of 2014, she tragically passed away after being struck by a car while jogging.  Wilson staff, friends of Wilson, and Denise’s family support the scholarship as a way to share her love of education and to ensure that Denise is “always remembered, never forgotten.” 

Wilson Elementary School serves many students who have difficulty incorporating college tuition into the family budget. The scholarship was created by retired Wilson teacher, Penny Klabunde, with the hope of “opening the door” to students who might not otherwise consider higher education. It is included in the North Medford High School Foundation Application, and any NMHS graduating senior who attended Wilson Elementary School for at least one year is invited to apply. The selection committee is comprised of active and retired Wilson teachers and staff.  Scholarship recipients attend a Wilson School assembly to receive their award and to speak briefly, providing a “vision of the future” to 5th and 6th grade students.

Since its inception, eighteen North Medford graduates have been awarded the Denise Anderson Memorial Wilson Scholarship.