Seniors graduate from Kenston Forest

Published 10:43 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kenston Forest School (KFS) held its 51st commencement June 2 on the KFS lawn. Twenty-nine seniors received their diplomas from John Goode, president of the Lunenburg-Nottoway Educational Foundation and Paul Zanowski, headmaster of KFS.

According to a press release, 11 of the seniors are second or third generation Kavaliers.

“The Rev. Gini DiStanislao gave the invocation. Delaney Christine Francis Basso, historian of the Class of 2017, presented the history of the class. The salutatory address was presented by Rheyanna Leigh Clemens. Joseph Paden Lawson presented the valedictory address.”

“The guest speaker was Russell ‘Russ’ Herbert Lawrimore Jr., KFS Class of 1987, formerly of South Hill,” according to the release. “Mr. Lawrimore was the valedictorian of his high school class and earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia. He began a long career with a paper and packaging company, starting as maintenance manager in a Richmond plant, to building a green field plant in Jacksonville Florida, to running Florida for the company. Today, he is responsible for 94 operations in North America for WestRock for quality and manufacturing. Mr. Lawrimore has a 16-year-old autistic son and he soon found out that there were limited services available for his son and other families who have children with autism. He started a pediatric behavioral clinic in 2009 for special needs and a school in 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.”

Several students received awards during the graduation ceremony, according to the release.

The Elizabeth Goodall Wilson Educational Scholarship was established to honor the memory of a beloved former teacher. Since its inception, over $30,000 in aid was awarded to Joseph Paden Lawson.

Students who successfully completed their associate’s degree through Southside Virginia Community College included Delaney Christine Francis Basso and Sallie Louise Chappell.

The Justin Hart Brandon Memorial Award has been established to recognize a rising senior member of the Class of 2018, selected by the faculty, in hopes that this award will provide the honored student with the incentive to surpass his or her own expectations. The recipient of the 2017 Justin Hart Brandon Memorial award is Cierra Marie Fuller.

The Robert Allen Quicke Sportsmanship Award established this award to recognize a Kenston Forest student who has demonstrated superior sportsmanship. The award went to Savannah Dare Gunn.

The Carl Burton Schwabenton Memorial Scholarship was established by Schwabeton’s former students to honor his memory and is continued today by the Schwabenton family. The scholarship recognizes a student who has excelled in history, government and English. The scholarship recipient is Stevie Yancey Jr.

The Marian Anzolut /Martha Hoefler Memorial Scholarship is a $500 scholarship awarded to a senior who plans to seek further education beyond high school through vocational school, community college or a four-year college or university and has shown excellence in the classroom, participated in extracurricular activities and embodies the Kenston Forest School spirit. The scholarship recipient is Savannah Dare Gunn.

Blackstone Rotary Club Scholarship is a part of Rotary International. Each year, the Blackstone Rotary Club awards a $1,000 scholarship to the Kenston Forest student who best exemplifies the Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.” The recipient of this scholarship is Delaney Basso.

The Headmaster’s Award for Inspirational Leadership was established this year to recognize the member of the graduating class who best personifies the ideals of leadership described by John Quincy Adams: “If your actions cause others to learn more, do more, dream more and become more, you are a leader.” The recipient of this year’s Headmaster’s Award for Inspirational Leadership is Rheyanna Leigh Clemens.

The Alumni Association offers a Kenston Forest Alumni Association Scholarship to recognize an outstanding graduating senior who has shown extended interest and service to Kenston Forest School and plans to further his or her education. The recipient is Mary Elizabeth Hodges.

The Adam Bryant Memorial Scholarship was established by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Class of 2003 to honor Lt. Adam Wade Bryant. The scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior who best portrays a dedication to academics, leadership and a strong commitment to serving in the community. The recipient is Sallie Louise Chappell.

The N. Burton Allen Distinguished Graduate Award is KFS’ top award. It is a $1,500 scholarship and recognizes the distinguished graduate who is a member of the National Honor Society, best exemplifies the mission statement of the school and who demonstrates great dedication to the students and institution of Kenston Forest School.

This distinguished award was given to Joseph Paden Lawson.