Administrator Scholarship Recipients 2019

Administrator Scholarship Recipients, Class of 2019
Posted on 05/23/2019
Every year, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Administrator Scholarship Program honors graduating seniors from across the district.

The DCSD Administrator Scholarship has awarded over $175,000 in scholarships to nearly 200 seniors since 1988. Financial need and academic merit are key criteria used in selecting the scholarship recipients. Students who are awarded this scholarship have often overcome personal challenges. These students show grit, determination and resiliency.

Winners were selected by their school’s administrator, and each received a $2000 scholarship. Funds were donated by Douglas County School District administrators, educators and other staff with $13,000 in matching funds provided by an outside donor. Community members are also welcome to donate to this important scholarship fund at www.coloradogives.org/adminscholarship

The stories of each recipient are incredibly heartwarming. Watch their individual stories on the DCSD YouTube channel and have your tissues ready!



Congratulations to the 2019 Administrator Scholarship Recipients!

  • Ben Rogers -- Castle View High School
  • Alexia and Kelci Droogan - Chaparral High School
  • Alexandra Nance - Douglas County High School
  • Maci Ruder - Eagle Academy
  • Juliana Joyner -- Highlands Ranch High School
  • Andrew Voss -- Legend High School
  • Vitalik Walle -- Mountain Vista High School
  • Jared Wilson -- Plum Creek Academy
  • Mitch Lukes -- Ponderosa High School
  • Sawyer Benson -- Rock Canyon High School
  • Samantha Golden -- ThunderRidge High School

Since freshman year, Ben Roger’s paycheck supported his other siblings by paying bills and buying food while his mom began her nursing career.

“It was worth it because I feel like I developed a good work habit,” Castle View High School senior says. “It was the situation I was put in, and I don’t think I could have changed it -- I did what I had to do.” He is saving to go to college in Alaska. Watch Ben’s story.

Fraternal twins Alexia and Kelci Droogan began helping to support their family after their mom passed away. The sisters work alongside their two older brothers at Texas Roadhouse until 10 pm each night and then help each other with homework.

“School was a big source of strength for me,” Alexia says, explaining why she stayed involved at Chaparral High School. “I needed to develop those relationships and use my teachers and get help from them.” Kelci adds that the Administrator’s Scholarship means, “someone recognizes that we worked very hard.” Alexia will attend Colorado State University to study Social Work and Kelci will attend the University of Denver for Secondary Education. Watch Alexia and Kelci’s story.

Alexandra Nance, a writer who loves short stories and is conducting research for a novel, fought through anxiety and intensive therapy. She reminds her Douglas County High School classmates, “what you see at school isn’t necessarily what’s going on.” Alexandra will attend Arapahoe Community College for Criminal Justice and Law or, as she says, “the one place where I could go into the world and do what I want to do and actually change the world.” Watch Alexandra’s story.

After struggling at her previous school and spending half a year in outpatient rehab, Maci Ruder made a massive change in her two years at Eagle Academy. She improved her grades from D’s and F’s to A’s and B’s.

Principal Jeff Broeker calls Maci “extremely industrious and a hard worker.” He says, “we want kids to be busy, but we also want kids to strike a balance in the lives,” noting how Maci continues to find balance. She wants to become a psychiatrist some day. Watch Maci’s story.

Kelly Corr, Activities Director at Highlands Ranch High School, calls Juliana Joyner, “an inferno her freshman year.” Corr says her passion is contagious among her classmates, and “she’s taken it upon herself to be right in the heart of everything that’s going on.”

Juliana thanks her mom who, despite being a single parent, “definitely taught me not only the value of hard work but also still being able to have fun.” She reflects, “I think that it feels awesome to know that you don’t have to be ranked fifth in your class to be successful because I definitely think kids really get down on themselves.” Juliana will attend Florida State University to study Management, with the hopes of working in event planning. Watch Juliana’s story.

According to Andrew Voss from Legend High School, “it’s always been like I’m just a normal kid who has to do a little bit extra to succeed.” Two-thirds of Andrew’s intestines were removed after birth, causing physical and mental challenges.

Advisor Mike Ackerman confesses, “it was hard for me to imagine for a student to stay here all day long and learn in a classroom.” Yet, Andrew says, “last year I academically lettered and had a 4.0, and I’m on track to get a 4.0 this year as well.” He’ll take his next academic step at Purdue College in their Pre-Nursing program. Watch Andrew’s story.

The first time Vitalik Walle attended an official school was 2014 when he was adopted from a Ukrainian orphanage. Even though he had to talk with his parents through a translator at first, Vitalik excelled a Mountain Vista High School -- learning English, school subjects, family dynamics, and use of resources, for example. This Administrator’s Scholarship recipient says, “the scholarship is a very big honor. It’s just something I never thought I could get.” Vitalik will attend Colorado Christian University next school year. Watch Vitalik’s story.

Jared Wilson, a Gifted Education student, is a great mathematician and plays the piano beautifully. He even creates his own arrangements. However, his day-to-day battle with autism makes recognition like the Administrator’s Scholarship difficult for him.

“I think the only way to describe Jared is just exceptional,” says Mary Page, Principal of Plum Creek Academy. “Jared has touched in with what his strengths are and how his autism positively impacts his life Interviewing for this admin scholarship wouldn’t have happened years ago.”

Jared wants to attend the BYU-Pathway Worldwide in Boise, ID, which would help him transition into a degree or certificate. He says, “I feel very nervous because things like this interview and publicity, in general, are very challenging for me.”

Principal Page has confidence in Jared: “He has a great sense of who he is and is ready to conquer the world.” Watch Jared’s story.

Mitch Lukes loves the outdoors, saying, “I’m a Colorado kid and I can get out there and workout, but also have fun and take some risks.” His passion hasn’t waned since despite his near-fatal mountain biking accident that hospitalized him last September.

“I was scared when I came out of the coma,” the Ponderosa High School senior says. “When I came back to school, Ponderosa was very supportive and helped me transition back to my final year of high school.” Also a Missy Martin Scholarship recipient, Mitch will graduate on time with his class. He will attend Montana State University to study Business Management. Watch Mitch’s story.

Sawyer Benson from Rock Canyon High School was born with a rare disease that requires an oxygen tank. Even though the hardest part of his journey was “sticking with it and not giving up,” Sawyer is still pursuing his passions.

“I’m really interested in computers and science,” he says. “I’ve been interested in video game design and cybersecurity, which are both expanding fields that seem pretty interesting.” Sawyer will attend the Neumont College of Computer Science in Salt Lake City, UT. Watch Sawyer’s story.

Samantha Golden expected her senior year at ThunderRidge High School to be fairly easy-going, with her main concerns being what to study in college and what school to attend.

However, everything changed as Samantha explains, “for a good month my school studies weren’t the first priority, and I had to spend a lot of my time in the hospital, cherishing the moments with my dad.”

After the loss of her father, Counselor Meghan Cofer noticed that Samantha “always just stood out as a rock. She grieved, yet she was still standing strong. She was still doing what she needed to do for herself, and school, and for others.”

Samantha was accepted by all her prospective colleges and decided to attend the University of Northern Colorado to study English. Watch Samantha’s story.

A special thank you from our 2019 Administrator Scholars!
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