From left, Schalm PTO Vice President Lisa Ball, Treasurer Salisa Savel, scholarship winner Samantha Pizzo, scholarship winner Grace Back, President Samantha Hanser Maynard and Secretary Kimmy Gabrys pose for a photo at Schalm Elementary School June 24.

From left, Schalm PTO Vice President Lisa Ball, Treasurer Salisa Savel, scholarship winner Samantha Pizzo, scholarship winner Grace Back, President Samantha Hanser Maynard and Secretary Kimmy Gabrys pose for a photo at Schalm Elementary School June 24.

Photo provided by Samantha Hanser Maynard


Schalm Elementary PTO distributes second annual scholarships

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published July 3, 2021

Advertisement

CLAWSON — In an effort to give back to former students and help them out financially in furthering their careers, the Schalm Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization decided to create an annual scholarship program for graduating seniors last year.

On June 24, Clawson High School graduating seniors Grace Back, who will attend Wayne State University, and Samantha Pizzo, who will attend Northern Michigan University, both received $500 scholarships for their college educations.

In order to qualify for the scholarship, students had to be seniors at Clawson High School, have attended Schalm Elementary, have a current GPA of 3.5 or higher, be accepted at a university for the fall semester, demonstrate at least 10 hours of civic volunteerism, write a 350-word essay, and include letters of recommendation.

Each year, the Schalm Elementary PTO distributes $500 scholarships to two students.

“We are happy to have the ability to recognize Schalm Elementary alumni for their achievements in this way,” Schalm Elementary PTO Vice President Lisa Ball said in a prepared statement.

Back graduated summa cum laude from Clawson High School; received a Bronze Award and a Silver Award as a Girl Scout, as well as an award from Clawson Youth Assistance; participated on the varsity swim team; and volunteered extensively through the National Honor Society.

Pizzo graduated magna cum laude from Clawson High School; served as student council president, senior class vice president and National Honor Society historian; and also participated in the Trojan Leadership Council, the varsity golf team, Students Against Destructive Decisions, and Oakland County’s mentorship program Women of Tomorrow.

Samantha Hanser Maynard, Schalm Elementary School PTO president, said the PTO decided to launch a scholarship program because it wanted to do more charitable work in the community.

“Most of our funds go to help kids in school. We pay for the majority of assemblies, give each teacher funds to purchase things for their classrooms, and we pay for subscriptions to Scholastic for students,” she said. “We had a small committee that put together the parameters.”

She said the group opted to keep the scholarship to Schalm Elementary alumni because the funds come from Schalm Elementary families.

“We really wanted to focus on volunteerism — students that are engaged in the community,” Hanser Maynard said. “With Clawson, we’re such a small, close-knit community. There are a lot of people who grow up here and stay here and raise their kids here too, so we wanted to highlight the spirit of volunteerism.”

For more information, visit schalmpto.com

Advertisement