Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives in eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota honored some of the area’s most impressive high school seniors Saturday, April 30, during the 20th annual Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Year banquet and recognition on the campus of Dakota State University.
The event honored the 33 high school students who were chosen each week throughout the school year as the Touchstone Energy Scholar of the Week. It’s a program which recognizes students for academic achievement, co-curricular involvement and community service. The students are featured in weekly segments which air on Dakota News Now television and each student receives a $250 scholarship for being chosen as the Scholar of the Week.
Reese Powers, a senior at Avon High School within Charles Mix Electric’s service territory, was selected during the banquet as the Touchstone Energy Scholar of the year and received a $1,000 award. Alivia Spilde, a senior at Oldham-Ramona High School within Sioux Valley Energy’s territory and Connor Bauer, a senior at Webster High School within Lake Region Electric’s territory, were both chosen to receive $500 awards.
The keynote speakers were former Scholars of the Week: Jessica Carlson (Thomas Kilian Academic Success Center at the University of Sioux Falls), Matthew Adamson (First National Bank) and Mikaela Burma (Vantage Point Solutions). Dakota News Now news anchor Alexandra Todd served as the master of ceremonies.
Touchstone Energy is a network of over 720 electric cooperatives from around the country – including the electric cooperatives in our region – who are united in the four touchstone values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are local, active members of their communities, dedicated to building our communities and improving our way of life. The cooperatives have sponsored the Scholar of the Week program since 2002. In that time Touchstone Energy Cooperatives have awarded over $90,000 in scholarships to nearly 600 students as part of the Scholar of the Week program.