Kirkwood High School Student Wins Southeast Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award


Southeast President Kenneth W. Dobbins presents Elena Nunez with the Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 4, 2015 – Elena Nunez, a Kirkwood High School student who has excelled in academics, community service and athletics, was named the recipient of the 13th annual Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award by Southeast Missouri State University.

The award was presented today at the Hilton Ballpark in St. Louis, Missouri.

Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast, said the University is pleased to continue its partnership with KMOX Radio to offer this award.  The award is the result of Southeast’s successful relationship with the radio station, KETC Channel 9 and the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis over the years in sponsoring the annual KMOX/Southeast Missouri State University Student of Achievement Awards Program in St. Louis.

“Southeast Missouri State is very fortunate to have the Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership Award associated with our institution,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “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. We think Jack Buck would call this award in his name ‘a winner.’”

Elena Nunez

Nunez, daughter of Dr. Baldomero Nunez Jr. and Jane Nunez of St. Louis, Missouri, shines not only as a student at Kirkwood High School but also as a leader among her peers. Nunez moved to Kirkwood when she was a junior in high school but wasted no time getting involved. While she has been at Kirkwood, she has been consistently engaged in her academics, government, sports, work and other clubs, all while maintaining a high grade point average. Some of her most notable and largest time commitments have been her Girl Scout projects as she has been a member since kindergarten. One that particularly stands out is the production and completion of a screech owl shelter, specifically for an injured screech owl needing a forever home. Nunez saw this project through from beginning to end. She also completed an artwork series called “Anatomy in Motion” which she donated to Logan College of Chiropractic. Nunez plans to pursue degrees in both art and biology.

In 2003, Southeast teamed up with KMOX Radio in the establishment of the Jack Buck Scholar-Leadership 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 30 credit hours per academic year at Southeast and residence hall fees for fall and spring semesters in a standard, double-occupancy room. The award, which is effective with the fall 2015 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 announced for fans around the world. Buck worked tirelessly in support of charitable organizations and was committed to his family and his community.

Five other finalists for the award also were recognized today. Each finalist receives a Jack Buck Regents’ Scholarship, which covers incidental fees (tuition) up to 30 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. Finalists are:

Anitra Adams

 Adams is the daughter of Alan Adams Sr. and Delore Adams of Ferguson, Missouri. A leader in and out of the classroom, Adams is ranked number one in her class at McCluer High School. With a grade point average higher than a 4.0, she participates in the school canned food drive, serves on Student Government and tutors at Central Elementary. One of her biggest accomplishments in high school was attending the Missouri Scholars Academy her junior year. In addition to her involvement at McCluer, she also is active in her community. She currently serves on the St. Louis County Election Board and is an active member in her church choir where she has received many honors. She also maintains a job at Six Flags St. Louis, where she has been promoted to a manager position. Adams plans to pursue a degree in biomedical sciences and then continue to medical school to become a pediatrician.
Corey Beveridge

Beveridge is the son of Bradley and Jill Beveridge of Chesterfield, Missouri.  Throughout his time at Marquette High School, Beveridge has excelled in the classroom, earning a 3.8 cumulative grade point average. He also has made a great impact on his school, church and community. He is a member of countless clubs and organizations, including Marching Band, Show Choir and Jazz Band at Marquette. He also is a member of Boy Scouts in which he has an outstanding service record. He has volunteered throughout his community at multiple events, including the homeless shelter and scouting for food, as well as directing a Public Service Announcement video about bullying.  He also is very active in his church, community and the St. Louis Metro area. Beveridge plans to pursue a degree in film directing.

Jacob King

King is the son of Stephen and Janet King of St. Louis, Missouri. While King stands out in the classroom at Oakville Senior High School, he is exceptional in his work with the Broadcast Program. King was awarded the Superior Award for Broadcast Commentary at the National Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C., last November. He also has been the Pacemaker finalist at the National Journalism Convention for the past four years. In addition, King has been involved in athletics during his time at Oakville. He played football his freshmen year and tennis all four years. He has held several jobs, including as a wedding film editor. King has a great understanding of computers and the programs they run on as he has built his own. King gives back to his community by volunteering at the Monroe County Humane Society and tutoring for the A+ Program. He plans to pursue a degree in computer science, pre-law or education.


Olivia Pumfrey

 Pumfrey is the daughter of Ronald and Leslie Pumfrey of Festus, Missouri. Compassion comes naturally to Pumfrey as evidenced in her service to her community, specifically through her church. She is the leader in the church nursery as well as the audio and video leader. At Festus High School, Pumfrey is involved with National Honor Society and varsity volleyball. Outside of school and church, she also works a part-time job and plays recreational softball, all while maintaining superb grades. Pumfrey has a deep passion for learning and plans to pursue a degree in elementary education.


Kimberly Thole

Thole is the daughter of Ronald and Jeanne Thole of Trenton, Illinois. She is a standout student at Mater Dei High School in Breese, Illinois, where she is very active. Not only does she maintain a stellar grade point average, but she also is very involved in various clubs and organizations. While at Mater Dei, she has focused much of her time to music by being an active member of the Marching Band and Pit Orchestra all four years, Musicians at Mass, Wind Ensemble and Concert Band. She has been on the high honor roll all four years and is a member of National Honor Society. Thole works closely with her father on their family dairy farm on a daily basis. This has made her come to realize the value of hard work. She plans to pursue a degree in agribusiness: animal science option.