Fort Zumwalt West High School Student Wins Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award


Photo of Kenneth Dobbins, Ashley Pate and Debbie Below

Kenneth W. Dobbins (left), president of Southeast Missouri State University, congratulates Ashley Pate (center), recipient of the Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award with Debbie Below, director of enrollment at Southeast.(View larger image of Dobbins, Pate and Below)


April 25, 2006 – A Fort Zumwalt West High School student who has been active in both her community and school was named the recipient today of the fourth Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award by Southeast Missouri State University.

The award was presented today to Ashley Pate of Dardenne, Mo., at the annual “Southeast Salutes” Awards Luncheon at the Sheraton Westport-Chalet in St. Louis.

Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, said, “Southeast Missouri State is very fortunate to have the Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award associated with our institution. Jack Buck was a man of impeccable character, a humble gentleman who went about his business quietly, but whose humility and professionalism left a lasting impression of excellence. We think these qualities are similar to those of Southeast, which has been cited nationally as a hidden treasure – a University with sound academic programs that is committed to our students and the values of our region. It’s not surprising that Jack Buck was just recently inducted as the 25th member of the Hall of Famous Missourians. We think Jack Buck would call this award in his name ‘a winner.’”

Pate, daughter of Lisa Menichino and David Pate, has been consumed with academic, athletic and community-related activities throughout her high school years. She currently ranks in the top four percent of her class of 545 seniors. She serves as the National Honor Society president and has earned more than 400 community service hours through various National Honor Society functions.

She has also competed on her community swim team and is a “Big Sister” for 5- to 8-year old swimmers. Pate was the only student chosen from her school to attend the Missouri Scholars Academy during the summer of 2004. After traveling to Japan to visit her father in eighth grade, Pate decided she wants to help the world. Her goal is to travel and help people all over the world who are in critical condition. She plans to pursue a degree in nursing, eventually specializing in the critical care division of nursing.

In 2003, Southeast Missouri State University teamed up with KMOX Radio in the establishment of the award. The award, which was the first scholarship to be established in memory of Buck, recognizes a student in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area who has demonstrated outstanding character, academic achievement and the potential to be a leader in the community.

The award covers incidental fees (tuition) and general fees for the equivalent of up to 32 credit hours per academic year at Southeast Missouri State University and residence hall fees for fall and spring semesters in a standard, double-occupancy room. The award, which is effective with the fall 2006 semester, also provides a 15-meal per week board plan.

Students from the St. Louis Metro Area, including St. Louis County and City, St. Charles County, Franklin County, Jefferson County and the Metro East area in Illinois were eligible to apply for the award. High school guidance counselors from the metropolitan area were asked to nominate one deserving applicant from their high school.

For nearly 50 years, Buck was the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals to generations of sports fans. He passed away in 2002. He was widely admired by his colleagues in the world of broadcasting and by the players whose feats he recounted for fans around the word. Buck worked tirelessly in support of charitable organizations and was committed to his family and his community.

Four other finalists for the award also were recognized today. All finalists receive a Jack Buck Regents’ Scholarship, which covers incidental fees (tuition) up to 32 hours per academic year for up to four consecutive years,  and a one-time $500 Jack Buck Leadership Award to be applied to housing expenses.They are:

Carey Burton

Carey Burton of Granite City, Ill., is the daughter of Keith and Josephine Burton. While attending Granite City High School, Carey has participated in many school activities, including National Honor Society, Alpha Peer Leader and the Varsity Club. She also has participated in many community activities, including the St. Elizabeth’s Church Youth Group, Relay for Life and the Easter Seals Walk. Burton is a four-sport athlete, participating in volleyball, basketball, softball and swimming. She plans to pursue a degree in education, specializing in speech pathology. Her ultimate goal is to help children reach their fullest potential in all aspects of their life.

Heather Carron

Heather Carron of Millstadt, Ill., is the daughter of Terry and Cathy Carron. Besides maintaining her amazing academic record while attending Belleville West High School, Carron has participated in many school and community activities. She has been a member of the Belleville West Soccer Team, the Belleville West Math Team and the National Honor Society. She also has given back to the community by accumulating more than 100 hours of community service. She plans on studying veterinary medicine/biology in college. Eventually, Carron would like to open her own veterinary clinic.

William Gibson

William Gibson of Barnhart, Mo., is the son of Leaster and Sara Gibson. Gibson has received many awards and recognition as a member of Student Council, the Speech Team and National Honor Society. He also has worked hard for the athletic program at Windsor High School by being the lead voice in an effort to add golf as a sport at Windsor. Goals are very important to Gibson, and he uses them in every aspect of his life. He always sets his goals high and works hard to achieve them. Gibson is going to pursue a degree in pre-optometry.

Kara McLaughlin

Kara McLaughlin of Highland, Ill., is the daughter of Johnny and Rebecca McLaughlin. She has many accomplishments at Triad High School, both academically and in extracurricular activities. She is an active member in the German Club and in the Triad Theatre – both as an assistant director and playing the lead role. She is an Illinois State Scholar and volunteers her time as a youth leader at the United Methodist Youth Group. McLaughlin will work on her psychology degree in college and hopes to, one day, run her own psychology lab and to study sleep patterns and the way they affect human functions.

Photo of the Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award finalists.

From left are Southeast Missouri State University President Kenneth W. Dobbins; Carey Burton from Granite City High School in Granite City, Ill.; Ashley Pate of Dardenne, Mo., a student at Fort Zumwalt West High School; William Gibson of Barnhart, Mo., a student at Windsor High School; and Kara McLaughlin from Triad High School in Troy, Illinois.(View larger image of the finalists.)