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 Scholarship Recipients for the Class of 2023

At its annual Business Meeting held in May, WCTA president Neil Becker announced the two recipients of the WCTA Scholarships for the Class of 2023. The following students are the recipients of the WCTA scholarships. Hailey Ernest received the Dot Truax Education Award provided to a student pursuing a career in education,  and Camryn Row received the WCTA Members Scholarship.

Hailey is the daughter of Andrew and Karri Ernst.  Both Andrew and Karri are WCTA members. Andrew teaches at Clear Spring Elementary School and Karri teaches at Clear Spring High School.

Hailey plans on majoring in education and starting her college career at Hagerstown CommunityCollege. She then plans to attend either Shepherd or Shippensburg University for their education program. 




Camryn is the daughter of Michael and Jackie Row. Jackie is a WCTA member and teaches physical education at Williamsport High School.  Michael is also employed by WCPS and teaches physical education at Boonsboro Elementary.

Camryn plans on majoring in Nursing at Shepherd University. 

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of our members and building reps for their support of the Restaurant of the Month Club and the at-home Crab Feed raffle during this school year,” said Neil Becker, WCTA president. “We also thank the members of the Scholarship Committee for their work in reviewing the many applications and making the decisions regarding the scholarship winners.”

The Restaurant of the Month and the At-Home Crab Feed raffle provide funds for these scholarships. This year, WCTA was able to fund the Dot Truax Education Scholarship in the amount of $800 and provide a WCTA Members Scholarship in the amount of $500. 

This year’s committee was chaired by Eric Tilmans (South High). Committee members included Erin Wadel (Clear Spring High), Nadine Fox (retired member), Karin Salas (Tech High), Marissa Brocious (Jonathan Hager Elementary), Katie Beall (Springfield Middle), and Sherry Stewart (E Russell Hicks Middle). 

(Photo Captions: L-R: Eric Tilmans, Hailey Ernst, and Neil Becker, and Neil Becker, Eric Tilmans, Camryn Row.)

Scholarship Application & Guidelines


  1. Scholarship(s) will be awarded to deserving sons or daughters of WCTA members. High school seniors must be children of current, retired or deceased members of WCTA.
  2. The award will be given on the basis of financial need and scholarship. Providing academic achievement is acceptable, financial need should be the primary consideration.
  3. The WCTA scholarship is a one-time award.
  4. Scholarship may be used at any accredited college, junior college, community college, school of nursing, or an approved trade school in the United States.
  5. The scholarship award may be applied toward the cost of any normal college expense, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies or room and board.


  1. The applicant must be a high school senior in the current year’s graduating class. The applicant’s parent must be/have been a member of the Washington County Teachers Association. (“Have been” applies to retired or deceased members.)
  2. Pursuance of any field of study by the applicant is acceptable.
  3. The applicant MUST show proof of acceptance in any of the aforementioned schools (see “SCHOLARSHIPS” above, item 4).

PROCEDURES for the Class of 2023

Click here for PDF of the application.

  1. Scholarship information will be sent to all Washington County high school guidance counselors.
  2. The application must be completed and postmarked on or before April 12, 2023.
  3. The student or school counselor must send a transcript of high school grades through the seventh semester, including SAT and/or ACT scores. NOTE: The transcript will not have the SAT/ACT scores on them. Therefore, you must ask the guidance department to print you a copy of your test scores when you ask for a copy of your transcript.
  4. Applications may be returned to the guidance counselor, mailed directly to Aline Novak, Scholarship Chairperson, Washington County Teachers Association, 18047 Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740 or you can drop applications off in person at the WCTA office as well.
  5. The teacher or counselor’s report must be postmarked on or before April 12, 2022. A teacher or counselor must complete this report.
  6. Scholarship check will be sent to the Financial Aid office of the so named educational institute.


  1. The WCTA Scholarship Committee is responsible for review and selection of the applicants.
  2. Selection will be based on the following:
  3. Financial need
  4. Scholastic aptitude
  5. Grades earned in high school
  6. Recommendations of school officials
  7. Overall personal development
  8. Applications will become the property of the Association.


Final accountability for completion and timely submission of forms and credentials are the sole responsibility

Scholarship Winners 2021

Congratulations to our two 2021 WCTA Scholarship Award winners!

Jenna Gest from Williamsport High. Jenna’s parents are John and Michelle Gest. John is a WCTA member and is a counselor at North High. Jenna is graduating from Williamsport High School. At the time of selection Jenna had not selected a school yet, but she plans to major in communication sciences and disorders and speech pathology. Her life goal is to become a speech and language pathologist.

Lacy Fornwalt from North High School. Lacy’s mom is Lynn Fornwalt. Lynn is a WCTA member who teaches at E. Russell Hicks Middle School. She will attend Frostburg State University majoring in mass communications. Her jife goal is to work in the field of journalism.

Scholarship Winners 2020

The WCTA Scholarship Committee awarded the 2020 Scholarships virtually, so no photos are available. Congratulations to the following two winners:

  • Hannah Zeger from North High.  Hannah’s mother (WCTA member) is Gina Zeger at Salem Avenue.  Hannah is attending Mt St Mary’s University and is majoring in Biology and pre-Med.  Her life goal is to become a medical doctor or a psychiatrist.
  • Alexander Huffer from Williamsport High.  Alexander’s mother is Helen Huffer (WCTA member) at CES.  Alexander is attending McDaniel College and studying Business Administration with hopes of owning his own business.

Scholarship Winners 2019

Erin Wadel presented the scholarships to the winners

The Dot Truax Education Award winner is from South Hagerstown High School, Olivia Raley.  Olivia is the daughter of Ryan and Mandi Raley.  Mandi is a WCTA member and teaches at Jonathan Hager Elementary School.  Olivia plans on majoring in education and starting her college career at Hagerstown Community College.  She then plans to attend a four-year university.

William Wood is from Williamsport High School and is the son of Paul and Jennifer Wood.  Jennifer is a WCTA member and teaches at the Center for Educational Services.  William plans on majoring in Economics at Shepherd University.  He has plans to become a lawyer and eventually enter the world of politics.

From Williamsport High School is Monica Becker. The parents of Monica are Neil and Julie Becker and Neil is the WCTA member.  Monica plans to major in Forensic Science and Law. In the fall she will be attending St Louis University with the goal of becoming a forensic scientist and serve her community.


Scholarship Winners 2018

Picture 1 – Left to right:

Erin Wadel, Scholarship Committee representative, $800 WCTA scholarship winner Andrew Huffer, $1000 Dot Truax Scholarship winner Amanda Keelan, and Nathaniel Gerber winner of the second $800 WCTA scholarship.

Picture 2 –  Left to right:

Erin Wadel, Scholarship Committee representative, Helen Huffer WCTA member and mom to Andrew Huffer, Kristin Keelan WCTA member and mom to Amanda Keelan, and Nathaniel Gerber, and his dad and WCTA member Eric Gerber.

Due to the fundraising by members and building representatives, the WCTA was able to fund one Dot Truax education scholarship for $1000 and two – $800 scholarships for the children of WCTA members.  The Sherry Koontz Memorial Crab Feed, the Restaurant -of the-Month, and the 50/50 raffle have provided the funds for these scholarships.

On April 12, 2018 WCTA members Cathy Davidson, Robin Spickler, Eric Tilmans, and Erin Wadel served on the committee along with myself to assess the scholarship applications.

The following students are the recipients of the WCTA scholarships:

  1. The $1000 Dot Truax Education Award winner is from Clear Spring High School, Amanda Keelan. She is the daughter of Thomas and Kristin Keelan.  Amanda’s mother, Kristin, is a WCTA member and is Lead Teacher at Springfield Middle School.  Amanda plans to attend Shippensburg University majoring in Early Childhood Special Education.
  2. Nathaniel Gerber from Smithsburg High School is a recipient of an $800 WCTA Scholarship. He is the son of Eric and Joan Gerber.   His father Eric, is a WCTA member and teaches at Smithsburg High School.  Nathaniel plans on majoring in Public Policy/Government and Politics.  Nathaniel has been accepted to the University of Maryland-College Park.
  3. Andrew Huffer from Clear Spring High School is also a recipient of an $800 WCTA Scholarship. Andrew’s mom, Helen Huffer is a counselor at Hickory Elementary School.  Andrew plans on attending the University of Delaware, where he will be majoring in Civil Engineering.

Congratulations to our 2018 scholarship recipients!

Thanks to all the scholarship committee members, Jamie Barrett and Neil Becker for assisting me with this endeavor.

Respectfully submitted,

Aline Novak,

Scholarship Committee Chair

Scholarship Winners 2017

Nicole Gest, Williamsport High School, was awarded the Dot Truax Scholarship.  She is the daughter of WCTA member John Gest.  Nicole plans to attend Shippensburg University, major in early childhood education/special education, and eventually teach in Washington County.

Emily Becker, Clear Spring High School, daughter of WCTA President Neil Becker, will attend St. Mary’s College of Maryland and major in Anthropology and Archeology and minor in museum studies and eventually work in one of the Smithsonian Museums.

Also from Clear Spring High School, Payton Brown, the daughter of WCTA member Mary Brown, plans to pursue a degree in Art Education and Graphic Design at West Virginia University’s Honors College Program. Then, pursue masters and doctorate degrees to then teach at the collegiate level and own a private studio and gallery.

Scholarships were presented by Aline Novak, chairperson of the scholarship committee.

Nicole, Emily, Payton and Aline

Scholarship Winners 2016


Aline Novak presents the Dot Traux Education Award $1000 scholarship to Benjamin Forrest from North Hagerstown High School. He is the son of Mark and Beth Forrest. Ben’s mother, Beth is a WCTA member and teacher at Smithsburg Elementary School. Ben plans on majoring in Math education at Frostburg State University and becoming a math teacher at North High.

Aline Novak presented an $800 scholarship to Alexis Lewis from Washington County Technical High School and is the daughter of Adam and Sharon Lewis. Her mother Sharon, is a WCTA member and teaches at Rockland Woods Elementary School. Alexis plans on majoring in exercise science and eventually earning her doctorate in physical therapy. Alexis plans to attend Shenandoah University.

Aline Novak presented an $800 scholarship to Jared Hose from Hancock Middle-Senior High School. The parents of Jared are Ron and Laura Hose and both Ron and Laura are WCTA members. Ron teaches at Ruth Ann Monroe and Laura teaches at Hancock Elementary. Jared plans on majoring in business and starting his college career at Allegany College of Maryland and moving onto a for year school to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

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