Bald Knob Public Education Foundation Scholarships

In 1994, the Bald Knob Public Education Foundation, Inc. was formed by a group of community leaders. As a non-profit foundation, funds are invested in an endowment account. Only earnings from the funds invested are used for scholarships keeping the principal intact in perpetuity. The governing board of the Foundation believes this scholarship endeavor is a worthwhile investment not only in our community but in our country as a whole. The total number of scholarships will be determined by scholarship money available for the current year.

Students at Bald Knob Public Schools are very fortunate to have a community that supports education. 

Endowed scholarships

Endowed scholarships have been established in the names of the following people - their legacy will go on.

Mrs. Lena Roetzel Wilkison
Mrs. Wilkison's teaching career spanned 50 years. She taught Social Studies at BKHS for 23 years from 1945 until her retirement in 1968. She was devoted to her students and made history come alive in the classroom. She was a strict disciplinarian, but used her artistic abilities to involve her students in projects that made them want to learn. “Miss Lena” as she was affectionately called, had many hobbies and used these to inspire students. She was an accomplished artist and well known for her painting and ceramics. 

As Mrs. Wilkison was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 1995 she said, “I believe anyone willing to work hard for their education deserves a chance to do so.” She was dedicated to providing educational opportunities for all students and was instrumental in originating of the Foundation.

Mrs. Hazel McDonald Laster
(1913 – 2001)
Mrs. Laster grew up in Bald Knob and acquired a great appreciation for her surroundings. As a math and science teacher she tried to instill in her students their responsibility to protect the natural resources. She was an outstanding basketball player in high school and enjoyed sharing stories of growing up in Bald Knob with her students. She taught in several states and enjoyed traveling throughout the United States. She came back to Arkansas to teach and retired from the Bald Knob District in 1976. She loved her students and wanted to encourage them to go to college and study in the math/science field with the scholarship named in her honor.

Patricia (Pearce) Martin Memorial Scholarship endowed by Billy Martin
When the Russell School consolidated with Bald Knob Schools in the early 60’s, Billy Martin and Pat Pearce found each other. After Bill’s graduation, the high school sweethearts married and a raised a family. Bill and Pat were both instrumental in the Bald Knob community. Together they built a successful business, B & J Construction, sharing their success by providing many types of support for the town and community of Bald Knob, its residents and students. Both loved sports and revered education. It was this family that first gifted the school with the iconic Bulldog prints on the streets leading to the campus. Their love and support spanned over 35 years before Pat’s untimely death in 1999. They were reunited after Billy’s death in 2017 and through this scholarship their love and support of the Bald Knob community continues.

Mrs. Juanita Litzelfelner
(1920 – 2007)
CEO of Citizens State Bank and community leader, Mrs. Litzelfelner was a role model and mentor for our young people over the years. She had a radiant smile and a kind word every time you met her. Her early childhood years at Bald Knob were spent attending school and growing up in a house across the street from the elementary school. She moved with her family and finished high school at Piggott, Arkansas. After graduating from the U of A she returned to Piggott and taught fourth grade before working in the banking business. She was one of the few women in bank management at the time. Upon the death of her father, she returned to Bald Knob and served as Chairman of the Board of Citizens State Bank for 36 years and became involved in all aspects of the community. An avid supporter of her alma mater, Bald Knob School, Mrs. Litz, as she was fondly called, was a Charter Member of the Bald Knob Public Education Foundation and a mentor to young people, always encouraging them to set high goals.

Class of 1954 Alumni Scholarship in Honor of Georgia Stone Byrd
Members of the Class of 1954 live throughout the United States and are proud to be alumni of BKHS. Many of you remember Mrs. Georgia Byrd. She was a tireless volunteer in the school and community. As a Charter Member of the Bald Knob Public Education Foundation, Miss Georgia’s dream was to establish an alumni scholarship for future students. Upon her death, her classmates, school groups, the community, her husband, and the Class of 2010 completed the endowment. 

Billy Wayne Emde Memorial Scholarship
Mr. Emde, Class of 1951, has the distinction of being the first football player from BKHS to be chosen as All-State. This was an honor for him, but he realized the most important thing was service to others. His lifetime of volunteer activities has impacted every aspect of the school and community. Helping young people develop their potential was important to him and he was active with scouting, church work and community activities. He valued education, but realized everyone could not get a four-year degree. While serving on the Board of the Bald Knob Public Education Foundation, he was instrumental in establishing the Technical Academic Scholarship for students wanting to attend a technical school. To continue this legacy, his family has established a memorial scholarship for students wanting to further their education in any career at a technical school or college leading to a Certificate or an Associate’s Degree.

Pass-through Scholarships

Bald Knob Public Education Foundation is pleased to work with families and groups to provide scholarships at any time. The following scholarships are also available for students.

Oakes Scholarship

BKHS graduate, David Oakes, was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. He has displayed a great love for music his entire life. He played the drums and saxophone, along with other instruments, since the age of eight. Due to limited resources, David joined the Army after graduating high school and left his music dreams behind. He felt honored to know that the Oakes Scholarship provided by family and friends will help one graduating senior each year move one step closer to a dream he was never able to fulfill. The preferred recipient of the Oakes Scholarship should be either planning to major in music or have participated in music during their high school career. To all graduating seniors, remember “somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true” – E.Y. Harburg (1939)

Cheryl Evans Scholarship (1971-2014)
Cheryl Sackett Evans was a vibrant, intelligent and beautiful young lady who attended Bald Knob Schools her entire life. Cheryl graduated from Bald Knob High School in 1989. She worked for the White County Assessor’s Office for 12 years when she was elected to serve as White County Clerk. Cheryl loved life, her family, Bald Knob Schools and our community. A scholarship will be given in her memory to help further a student’s education.

James & Linda Staggs Scholarship

The Class of 2011 established the James & Linda Staggs Scholarship to honor them for their service to education and the Bald Knob School District.

Mr. Staggs grew up in the Bald Knob community and became a teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent throughout the State. He returned to BK in 1987 as superintendent. He was called back from retirement in 2007 to lead the District through a financial crisis and threat of consolidation. Through the leadership of “Staggs”, the school and community worked tirelessly together to build a strong bond that helped to place the school on the pathway to financial security.

Mrs. Staggs was known for her dedication to her students and instilling in them a love for learning. She taught elementary grades and ended her career as a 6th grade mathematics teacher in 1992. As a teacher she was committed to the success of each individual student and worked individually with them to ensure they reached their full potential

Bald Knob School Staff Scholarship
Staff members of the Bald Knob School District are dedicated to providing their students with every opportunity to succeed both now and in their future. With this in mind, the staff desires for the students to set their goals high and to pursue them passionately. The motto of Bald Knob Schools -- Pride, Achievement, and Integrity -- are the traits we desire all our students to exhibit. To encourage our students to further their education and achieve their goals, the staff of the Bald Knob School District has developed and funded a scholarship to help graduating seniors who exhibit these character traits take that next step in reaching their goals.

Bradley G. Roberts Memorial Scholarship
(1958 – 2016) 

For the majority of the past six decades, Brad Roberts was an integral part of the Bald Knob School District. He served in nearly every capacity at the school, first as a student, then a math educator, and finally as an administrator and superintendent, which he considered the pinnacle of his professional career. His love for the district, the faculty, and its students, whom he considered to be the best in Arkansas, truly ran deep. Mr. Roberts, more than anything else, promoted school-wide Bulldog pride and unity like no one before him. Instilled by his mother, also a BKS educator, he truly bled blue and white, and no one loved the Bulldogs or the school like he did. His work ethic and dedication were second to none, and he always put the best interest of his students above everything else. As a mentor to numerous students, Mr. Roberts always encouraged the students of Bald Knob Schools to leave the corridors of these buildings and go out and change the world for the better in whatever profession they chose. With this scholarship given in his name, Mr. Robert's passion and vision will continue to live on through BKHS graduates.

McGillvray Family Memorial Scholarship

The McGillvray Family created this memorial scholarship to honor the recent loss of Jessica Louann McGillvray Koenig (Class of 2002) who was a lifelong resident and student of the Bald Knob School System. Also remembered is Brian McGillvray, a dedicated student athlete and graduate of the Class of 2008 and Agnes McGillvray who dedicated over a decade of her life in volunteering within the school district.

Jessica fiercely loved her family, friends, and this community. After her diagnosis with breast cancer at the age of 26, she beat the odds for many years. Jessica’s desire was to eventually watch her three 3 little girls graduate from BKHS. And although her wish did not come true, her family created the McGillvray Family Memorial Scholarship to remember each of their lives while honoring Bald Knob High School graduates and their desire for excellence.

In effort to keep the McGillvray legacy a reality through each BKHS graduating class, this scholarship will be awarded to graduating senior(s) who displays academic achievement, a commitment to serving others (in school, in the community, or at home), and leadership goals through their plans of continuing education.

Additional Scholarships

Additional scholarships are awarded as funds are available by the Bald Knob Public Education Foundation.

U of A - Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
The Foundation Board members coordinated with the U of A upon the sale of the Strawberry Experiment Station property located outside Bald Knob to have the funds placed in the scholarship endowment for the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences. Any student planning to attend the U of A in one of the majors offered at the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences is eligible to apply for this scholarship. Bald Knob students are given preference for this scholarship. If none apply, it is given to a White County student when possible. Information is available at the website for specific areas of study. If interested, contact Scholarship Management Coordinator 479-575-2596 for details.