James E. Westbury Memorial Board of Education Scholarships
The SSD Board of Education is committed to helping all SSD students achieve success, no matter how they individually define that success. For many years, the Board has provided scholarships to graduating students who receive special education services or attend an SSD technical high school. In 2018, the Board added the name of Dr. James Westbury to the scholarship in recognition of his many years on the Board as a fierce advocate for education throughout the St. Louis region.
As a graduating senior from Oakville High School in the Mehlville School District, Catherine Kister is already preparing for what she wants to do in the next steps of her life. After receiving special education services from Special School District, she hopes to become a special education teacher in order to give back what was given to her. Having already gained experience working with students as a volunteer at her church, she also spends time working with patients at a local nursing home.
At school, she is an honor roll student and a member of National Honor Society. She serves on the student council and has been a member of the school band. Motivated to take more difficult classes in order to always improve, Catherine met her goals by achieving a 3.8 GPA.
“As kids attend school, I believe they should receive the best help they can,” Catherine said in her essay application for the scholarship. “I want to provide the help that gets these kids through the day. As a teacher I can help them learn and mold their minds.”
Amarian Woods is a well-rounded and successful student at Hazelwood Central High School, but make no mistake where her passions lie—she has an appetite for the visual arts. And her plan is to feed that passion through her post-secondary schooling and into her career. With a goal of becoming a director of photography, she has built a strong foundation as a successful high school student. Along with being a National Honor Society member, honor roll student and perfect attendance award winner, she earned the Prestigious Student Award in 2019 and was recognized for her work in the Hazelwood District Art Show in 2017-2019. She is also a member of the Theater Club and served as the assistant stage designer.
Outside of school, she volunteers her time at Haven House City of Refuge in the children’s ministry and helps with community outreach projects.
“I have always been interested in creating things to entertain others,” Amarian said. “Seeing others laugh, cry and genuinely enjoy my work makes me feel like I am going in the right direction.”