Elkford will continue to give out annual scholarships to students living within the District and graduating from Elkford Secondary School.
The District awards a $1,000 scholarship to two eligible students every year. With the 2012/2013 academic year drawing to a close, a review of Elkford’s current scholarship policy was on the agenda at a council meeting on March 25.
The existing policy states that only students residing in the municipal boundaries and attending Elkford Secondary School are eligible to apply for the District scholarships.
“Last year we had a request from a student who went to school in Fernie at The Academy,” explained Mayor Dean McKerracher. “Her mom and dad have been taxpayers in Elkford for many, many years. They were refused because she did not graduate from the high school here, so that’s what has brought this to the table now for discussion.”
Council was presented with two options: to keep the existing policy, or to amend it to allow students living outside District boundaries and/or attending another school to apply.
There was a consensus among council members that it was important to continue supporting the students attending high school in Elkford.
“I remember fighting to keep the high school here. I think that maybe our only little bit of strength that we have to encourage kids to attend the high school here is to say if you do attend the high school there are scholarships available for you,” commented Coun. Mandy McGregor. “Every time you turn around you’re hearing rumours about how they want to get rid of the high school. I think we’ve got to do what we can to keep the kids in that high school. It’s not much, but it’s a little bit of something for incentive.”
When it came time to vote, mayor and council decided they will continue to award annual scholarships to students living and graduating in Elkford.