The October Dawn scholarship is presented annually to a graduating Huntington High School senior. It carries a generous stipend and is a very special award that typically goes to just one individual. In a rare departure from tradition, two members of the Class of 2017 were honored.
James Shea and Lawrence Leake both captured this year’s October Dawn scholarships. The sensational college-bound teenagers each won a $2,000 award.
The scholarship is presented in memory of Kathryn A. DeGelleke, a special education teacher and Centerport resident who passed away September 22, 2009 after a two-year battle with cancer. She was 53 years old.
Mrs. DeGelleke worked in the district as a home tutor and provided instructional support services. Her husband, Scott presented Messrs. Shea and Leake with the scholarships during Huntington’s senior academic awards ceremony in the high school auditorium.
Scholarship applicants are asked to submit a one-page essay detailing what obstacles they have overcome in high school, their future plans and why they believe they should be awarded the scholarship.
Mr. DeGelleke noted that it’s unusual to present two scholarship awards, but he said the pair of exceptional teenagers were both deserving and he found it impossible to select one over the other.
Mr. Shea is headed to Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts to study criminal justice and play on the football team. “Winning this scholarship means a lot to myself and to my mother,” the teenager said. It will help me financially and I am nothing but grateful to have received it.
Captain of Huntington’s basketball and lacrosse teams, Mr. Shea also started on the Blue Devil gridiron squad. He also participated in the student government.
Mr. Leake won county, state and national indoor and outdoor track championships with the Blue Devils. He is headed to Georgetown University where he has been recruited to run on the college’s track team. He also played football and lacrosse for the Blue Devils
Recruited by some of the biggest names in college track, Mr. Leake plans to study business management or finance at Georgetown. He hopes to eventually work as a chief executive officer or in some other capacity as a company leader.