Outstanding leadership, civic involvement and academic talent have earned five Oklahoma high school seniors a scholarship named in honor of one of Oklahoma’s former chancellors.
Maddison Bruer, Norman High School; Dalaney Flies, Carl Albert High School, Midwest City; Jessica Heiser, Altus High School; Cody Ressel, Comanche High School; and Courtney Winchester, Marietta High School, will each receive a $2,000 scholarship as part of the Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholarship program.
The Chancellor’s Scholars Program, created in 1990 with private funds, was renamed in 2006 to honor Brisch, who served as chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education for 15 years. Brisch retired in 2003 and passed away in February 2006.
The 2011 Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholars were selected from 65 nominations made by high school principals statewide.
"These talented high school seniors make a difference in the lives of others by consistently giving back to their communities,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson.
"These students are joining an elite group of young Oklahoma leaders. We congratulate each of them and wish them the best as they begin their higher education experience.”
Bruer has served her community in a variety of efforts, including volunteering at Food and Shelter for Friends, providing meals to those less fortunate and serving as a volunteer for the Meals On Wheels program for homebound senior citizens. She has volunteered as a friend and mentor to special needs students and the Special Olympics and participated in the 19th Annual Great Strides Walk. She also worked to keep her community clean by volunteering for the Household Hazardous Waste Event.
Bruer was elected junior senator, served on Norman High’s Student Senate, and chaired the Battle of the Bands, an annual charitable event hosted by the Student Council. She has served as historian for DECA and chair for high school pep assemblies and the annual bonfire each year. She also served on Norman High’s Link Crew, a group selected for their leadership and service record. She is in the Advanced Mentor English program, Advanced Placement courses and competitive debate. She is a produced playwright, participated in the Young Writer’s Association, was awarded an Excellence in Playwriting award and won the Gold Key Award in Scholastic Competition.
Bruer will graduate with a 3.9 GPA and plans to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.
Flies has been heavily involved in her community by raising $17,500 for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program, which funds training sessions for child advocates in Oklahoma County. She has volunteered with Hotdogs for the Homeless, where she prepared sack lunches and passed them out to the homeless in downtown Oklahoma City. She volunteered with Habitat for the Homeless, where she painted siding, landscaped yards and cleaned up areas of construction. She has also volunteered with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, the Global Oklahoma Festival and Relay for Life.
Flies is Key Club president and has organized a Students Against Hunger food drive and a fundraising drive for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF. While serving as Key Club president, she increased membership and service projects. She also served as freshman class officer, junior class secretary, yearbook editor and a student Kiwanian.
Flies is a member of the National and Oklahoma honor societies and 4.0 Club. She will graduate with a 4.26 GPA and plans to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.
Heiser participates in and organizes a multitude of events for school and non-school organizations, including Caps for the Community Cupboard, which raises money by selling tickets to students for a chance to wear a hat to school. The money raised went to replenish the community cupboard after last winter’s devastating ice storm. She has participated in breast cancer awareness walks, blood drives, Harvest for the Hungry, tutoring and Salvation Army canned food drives. She organized the Altus National Honor Society’s Share Our Strength’s Great American Bake Sale, where they raised money to help hungry families in Altus, and the National Honor Society’s Christmas Party, where students buy gifts for all the children enrolled in the Head Start preschool program.
Heiser is vice president of the KAY Club, a high school girls’ sorority that prepares young women for their future roles as social and civic leaders. She also serves as vice president of Altus High’s National Honor Society and as Link Crew Leader.
Heiser is a member of the Oklahoma Honor Society, was nominated for Oklahoma Academic All- State and will graduate with a 4.1 GPA. She plans to attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University in the fall.
Ressel has volunteered in various community projects, including the rebuilding of the local baseball field, school maintenance, March of Dimes, blood bank, tutoring and the Salvation Army. He also planted and tended a garden to supply the local food bank with tomatoes, okra and squash through the Gardening for the Needy program.
Ressel is section leader in the Comanche High School Band, a member of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, academic team captain and senior class student government representative. He has served as president of the American Sign Language Club and in student government.
Ressel is a member of the National and Oklahoma honor societies and Who’s Who Among All-American Scholars. He will graduate with a 3.85 GPA and plans to attend Cameron University in the fall.
Winchester initiated a program at her high school where high school students work with elementary schools to provide tutorial services. She tutors in the elementary special education classroom in addition to serving as a peer tutor at the high school. She has participated in community service projects such as blood drives, food drives, March of Dimes and Special Olympics. She has received the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens Award.
Winchester is secretary of her senior class, team captain on her academic team and yearbook editor. In recognition of her leadership abilities, she has been nominated to attend the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington D.C. and the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine and is listed in the United States Achievement Academy’s Who’s Who in Leadership.
Winchester is a National Merit Scholar semifinalist, ranked first in her class, is an Oklahoma Academic Scholar, and is a member of the National Honor Society and the Gifted and Talented program. She will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and plans to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.
In the 20 years since its inception, the Chancellor’s Scholars Program has recognized 80 students with the award. Private gifts, including professional honoraria from the current and past chancellors, support the program, which honors not only Brisch but the office of chancellor and all individuals who hold that office.