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La Plata Electric names college scholarship recipients

Recipients of the 2011-2012 La Plata Electric, John Voelker Memorial, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and the Tri-State Generation and Transmission scholarships have been announced by La Plata Electric Association (LPEA).

Two of the awards were made to students at Pagosa Springs High School.

Kelsie McNutt, a 2011 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, and daughter of Michele Miller and Larry McNutt, has been awarded LPEA’s John Voelker Memorial Scholarship for vocational, technical school or junior college. She will pursue her Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts at the Community College of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, Nev.

McNutt is the 11th recipient of LPEA’s John Voelker Memorial Scholarship, named after LPEA board member John Voelker, who was instrumental in creating the scholarship that awards up to $3,000 per year to students planning to attend a vocational, technical school or junior college. Voelker perished in the Egyptian Air plane crash in October of 1999.

Danielle Pajak, a 2011 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, and daughter of Chester and Margaret Pajak, received the $1,000 Basin Electric Power Cooperative Scholarship. At the University of Dallas, Irving, Texas, she intends to pursue a career as a pharmacist.

“We had a tremendous response to our call for applications this year,” said Jeannie Bennett, coordinator of LPEA’s scholarship process. “All of our scholarship recipients are great students with exciting potential. At LPEA we are proud to be able to offer these educational opportunities to help build for the future.”

Scholarships offered through LPEA are awarded annually, selected by a volunteer committee representing communities within the cooperative’s service territory. The 2011 committee included Lon Erwin and Sheri Rochford Figgs (Durango), Tammy Nickell (Bayfield), Dr. Roy Lyons (Ignacio) and Julie Simmons (Pagosa Springs).

In addition to their financial awards, scholarship recipients have the opportunity to attend the week-long electric cooperative summer Leadership Camp. Scholarship winners are also asked to attend the LPEA annual meeting as well as a regularly scheduled LPEA board meeting to personally meet the directors.

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