Hayes named Niswonger Scholar

Published 6:16 am Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Star Photo/Curtis Carden  Cloudland High School senior Lorraine Hayes was recently named a Niswonger Scholar.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
Cloudland High School senior Lorraine Hayes was recently named a Niswonger Scholar.

Handling a busy schedule, Cloudland High School senior Lorraine Hayes is no stranger to a hectic day, but the surprise was evident after she was announced as one of the newest Niswonger Scholars by the Niswonger Foundation last week.
“Honestly, I was just in shock when I learned it,” Hayes said with a laugh about the recent nod. “It’s such an honor.”
Hayes, the daughter of Eloine and Jeffery Hayes, was one of the five newest additions to the Niswonger Scholars — which is now up to 26 for 2017.
The Niswonger Foundation, founded by Scott M. Niswonger, a businessman and philanthropist from Greeneville, has students go through a rigorous selection process that nominates the region’s best and brightest future leaders. Being named a Niswonger Scholar allows the student to attend the college or university that will “best prepare them for success in their field of study, while participating in our four-year leadership program,” the foundation said in a media release.
Scholarships are offered in 17 school districts, including Carter County and Elizabethton. While there are currently 26 scholars, the program has 61 alumni.
The senior student has taken part in various activities to serve her community and has many roles under her belt, too, including senior class president, president and founder of the English Club, president of Relay for Life Club, president of the Bible History Club, co-founder, secretary and treasurer of the Student Government Association, Youth Leadership Delegate and captain of the Cloudland High School varsity cheer squad.
Hayes is also a member of the National Honor Society of High School Scholars, International Distinguished Scholars Honor Society, Beta Club, Drama Club, Relay for Life, HOSA Club, Chorus Club and Bible Club.
Hayes, who has Duke University and Wake Forest as potential colleges following graduation, mentioned the preparation took a lot of work, and the staff at Cloudland High School helped put her in this position.
“It’s taken a lot of work,” she said. “From my eighth to freshman year, I thought about how I could get a scholarship like this. I couldn’t have done this without the help of each of the teachers and the staff at the high school. From Mrs. (Lisa) Benfield, Ms. (Shellie) McKinney, Ms. (Heather) Hughes and Lucas Hitechew … there’s so many people to name and I appreciate all their help.”
To go along with her work, Hayes received awards including: Honorary Usher at Senior Honors and Commencement, Highest ACT Score Award, Principal’s Pride Award, UCA All-American Cheerleader, Most Vistalite Cheerleader Award, Christian Fellowship Center International Ministries Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation for Volunteer Work and the Christian Fellowship Center International Ministries Most Outstanding Youth Award.
With such a high honor, Hayes added that the accomplishment can be achieved by anyone looking to go after their dreams.
“Always believe in yourself,” Hayes said. “There will be tough times but always work hard.”
Five students were named Niswonger Scholars last week, including Brittany Church of Johnson County High School. The daughter of Tammy Ramsey and Billy Church stays busy in her school across the county line by taking part in multiple events and clubs.
Other students receiving the honor include Tyler Myers (Tennessee High) and Austin Blazer and Emily Ellison (Cocke County).

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