Two Great Bend High School students are finalists in the Distinguished Scholarship Invitational, one of the area’s most prominent scholarship competitions. It includes three $64,000 Harry Gore Memorial Scholarships, three of the largest annual undergraduate scholarships in Kansas.
The local finalists, Bayle Sandy and Dalton Dicks, were two of eight GBHS students who competed in the first round of competition at Wichita State University on Nov. 23, 2019. They will return to WSU on Jan. 23 to finish the competition.
Students Daniel Abbott and Patrick Health also made it to the semi-finals.
In addition, although Abbott did not advance to the DSI competition finals, he was named a Koch Scholar and will be awarded $30,000 during his four-year attendance at WSU. GBHS Career/ACT Coordinator Lacy Wolters said that program targets high school seniors enrolling in the College of Engineering or the W. Frank Barton School of Business. Up to seven of these scholarships are awarded for up to four years of study to incoming honors freshmen students declaring a major in computer engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, accounting, economics, finance or management information systems.
The students had to qualify just to compete in the first round, either by ACT scores or grade-point averages. The other GBHS students who competed in round one were C.J. Gibson, Hayden Honomichl, Christopher Schenk and Allen To. The pool of 700 applicants was reduced to 12 with group interviews and other competition.
The finalists Sandy and Dicks attended Monday’s Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education meeting along with Patrick Heath, Wolters, and GBHS English teacher and debate coach Kim Heath.
“We have a great group here and we’re so impressed that they made it this far,” Wolters said.
Coach Heath noted that several of the students, including the four semi-finalists, are members of the debate team. This is the first time that a school district outside of the Wichita metro area has had two semi-finalists, she said.