2024 Myrrl Houck Scholarship recipients

Seven El Dorado High School seniors, all Summa Cum Laude graduates, were presented Myrrl Houck Memorial Scholarships at a reception Thursday, May 9, in the EHS library.  The honorees were: Keylee Faudere, daughter of Thomas and Crystal Faudere; Quinn Houseman, daughter of Chris and Molli Houseman; Cheyenne Jones, daughter of Mari Jones; Sean Kagle, son of Tera McClure; Connor Ramsey, son of Erik and Michelle Ramsey; Cole Rickard, son of Scott and Staci Rickard and Billy and Jamie Wilda; and Abigail Vail, daughter of Josh and Jayme Vail.

Students received awards amounting to $600 each, producing a total of $208,990 in scholarships which have been granted to 667 students since the Houck scholarship program started in 1960.

EHS Counselor Megan Sturm opened with a tribute to the students, noting that Summa Cum Laude is the highest academic recognition given at El Dorado High School, requiring that the students complete the school’s most rigorous course work. These classes include Honors English all four years; three math credits, one being above Algebra 2; three science credits including Chemistry and Physics; and two years of the same foreign language.

“In addition to accomplishing this academic work with high marks, these students have held leadership positions in school organizations and athletics as well as being of service to the El Dorado community in various compacities. Five of the seven also worked part-time. They have participated in eight of the thirteen sports we offer. Four of the seven have represented our Fine Arts department through band, orchestra, drumline, Encore, and the school musical,” Sturm said.

“All have been involved in numerous clubs and organizations such as National Honor Society, Circle of Friends, Student Council, Principal’s Advisory Council, KAY (Kansas Association for Youth) and FCCLA (Family Career and Community Leaders of America.)”

Emphasizing that just as Myrrl Houck had become a “legend” in El Dorado High School history, Sturm added, “These students have begun to establish a legend of their own lives. We are all aware that an acronym is a word formed from the initial letters for other words and pronounced as a word in itself. Creating an acronym for ‘legend’ that would accurately describe these students would have to look like this:

“L—Leader; E—Empathetic; G—Grit; E—Energetic; N—Nice; D—Daring.”

EHS Principal Erin Nichols congratulated the students and their parents, mentioning that they had taken “the road less traveled” in their educational pursuits, and wished them good luck in their future endeavors.

On behalf of the Houck Scholarship Committee, Senator Mike Fagg added his praise and presented highlights from Houck’s life, explained how the scholarships came about and how they are maintained, and introduced other members of the Myrrl Houck Committee who were in attendance:  Rod Blackburn, Jennifer Duryea, Jan Pippig, Kelsey Sundgren, and Janice Shaffer. 

The Myrrl Houck Memorial Scholarship fund is a 501(c)3 organization. Managed by Partners in Education (PIE), all contributions are welcome and will help guarantee the future support of the Houck scholarship.  For more information, contact PIE (through El Dorado USD 490) at 322-4800.

2024 Myrrl Houck recipients
2024 Myrrl Houck Scholarship Winners pose with the legendary EHS librarian’s portrait. (L-R): Cheyenne Jones, Connor Ramsey, Abigail Vail, Sean Kagle, Cole Rickard, Quinn Houseman, Keylee Faudere