Rayle EMC awards scholarships to seven local students

Rayle EMC prides itself in giving back to its members in various ways throughout the year.  One of the ways Rayle EMC chose to give back in 2018 was by awarding scholarships to students in its service area.  General Manager Tony Griffin is proud to announce that Rayle EMC awarded seven students in Rayle EMC’s service area each a $1,000 scholarship at the Annual Meeting on June 21, 2018, at the Pope Center in Washington.  Students receiving the scholarships were Diamond Burley, Greene County; Savannah Cliatt, Lincoln County; Jake Echols, Wilkes County; Zachary Hill, Wilkes County; William LeRoy, Lincoln County; Jose Olalde Palacios, Wilkes County; and McKenzie Spooner, Oglethorpe County.

Diamond Burley

Diamond Burley, daughter of Gregory Burley of Greensboro, graduated from Greene County High School with a 4.0 grade point average (GPA). She was a member of Interact Club, Beta Club and Future Farmers of America (FFA) and served for two years as FFA Vice President and also as Treasurer for two years. Her honors include “A” honor roll from 2014 to 2017; Greenhand, Chapter, and State degrees in FFA; chosen as a participant in Youth Leadership Greene and Rotary Student of the Month, February 2017. Following graduation, Diamond plans to attend Georgia College and State University where she will study psychology with a focus in art therapy. Her goal is to work in a children’s hospital in Augusta or Atlanta because she feels that children can express themselves through art.

Savannah Cliatt

Savannah Cliatt graduated salutatorian from Lincoln County High School with a 4.0 GPA. She is the daughter of Cory and Bridgett Cliatt of Lincolnton. While in high school, Savannah was a member of Senior Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), varsity cheerleading, track, varsity soccer, Border Bowl V Cheerleading and musical theater. Savannah’s honors and recognitions include Cheerleading MVP and Leadership Award; Homecoming Court, four years; Graduation Honor Usher; and University of Georgia Certificate of Merit. She will be attending the University of Georgia in the fall with plans to major in pharmaceutical sciences.


Jake Echols

Jake Echols, son of Chris and Amy Echols of Washington, graduated from Nathanael Greene Academy with a 3.91 GPA. He was a member of Beta Club and served as President. He participated in basketball and served as Captain. He also participated in baseball, tennis, football, One-Act Play, spring musical, student government, literary competitions, Youth Leadership Greene, student life and quiz bowl. He served as President of the junior and senior classes. Jake’s honors and recognitions included headmaster’s list, grades 9 through 12; Rotary Student of the Month, November 2017; and was voted most creative. Following graduation, Jake plans to attend the University of North Georgia to pursue a career in the medical field with hopes of one day becoming a physician’s assistant.

Zachary Hill

Zachary Hill, son of Bob and Julie Hill of Crawfordville, graduated from Briarwood Academy with a 4.0 GPA. While in high school, Zachary was a member of 4-H, FCA, National Honor Society, football, basketball, baseball and National Society of High School Scholars. His honors and recognitions included class Vice President 2014 through 2017; Wilkes County Council reporter; Wilkes County Council Vice President; 2015-2016 state track champion; 2016 football state runnerup; 2014 Outstanding Junior 4-H’er; 2015 Gold Clover Award; 2016 football, all-state; 2017 football, all-state honorable mention; 2015 baseball coach’s award; and 2017 baseball defensive MVP. Zachary plans to attend the University of Georgia in the fall to obtain a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science.

William LeRoy

William LeRoy graduated valedictorian from Lincoln County High School with a 4.0 GPA. He is the son of Jason and Cindy LeRoy of Lincolnton. While in high school he was a member of student council, senior beta, FCA, varsity football, soccer, and Y Club and served as its President. His honors and recognitions include UGA Certificate of Merit, Lincoln-Wilkes Retired Educators Association (LWREA) Award for Academic Excellence and AP Scholar with honor. LeRoy will be attending Georgia Institute of Technology in the fall pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Jose Olalde Palacios

Jose Olalde Palacios, son of Heriberto Olalde Palacios and Florentino Olalde of Rayle, graduated from Washington-Wilkes Comprehensive High School (WWCHS) with a 4.0 GPA. While in high school, he was a member of FFA, Interact Club, Key Club, WWCHS soccer and WWCHS football. His honors and recognitions include Georgia Certificate of Merit; GREA Academic Award in 9th, 10th and 11th grades; WWCHS soccer and football varsity letter award in 9th, 10th and 11th grades; 2017 junior fellow scholar; and National Honor Society. Following graduation, Olalde Palacios plans to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to become a doctor of veterinarian medicine.

McKenzie Spooner

McKenzie Spooner graduated from Oglethorpe County High School with a 3.36 GPA. She is the daughter of Liz Spooner of Washington and Ken Spooner of Crawfordville. While in high school she was a member of FFA and served as its Junior Vice President, Senior Vice President and reporter. She was also a member of Key Club and student council and served as its Secretary and President. Her honors and recognitions include Rotary Student of the Month, A/B honor roll, most outstanding junior, FFA Greenhand degree, FFA chapter degree and FFA state degree. She also represented Rayle EMC on the 2016 Washington Youth Tour. Spooner plans to attend the University of North Georgia and pursue a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management.