John Pettibone scholarships totaling $90,000 have been given this year to 38 graduates of New Milford High School.
A $45,000 donation from the Ellen Knowles Harcourt Foundation pushed the fund to reach the $90,000 mark this year, the fund’s 70th anniversary.
To date, the fund has awarded $1,886,650.
The John Pettibone Memorial Scholarship Fund has since 1949 supported New Milford students in memory of Pettibone, who served for 40 years as a teacher, principal and the school district's first superintendent.
Scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 were presented to
Tristan Lee, Annessa Ririe, Emily Sanford, Shelby Ruiz, Skylar Bush, Souraya Taouil and Jillian Ciaglo.
In addition to the awards listed above, the fund has created several scholarships in memory of the several people: a $5,000 scholarship in memory of Tim Conn was awarded to Ryan McNulty; a $5,000 scholarship in memory of Phil Hulton was awarded to Nicholas Cavuto; a $2,000 scholarship in memory of Michael LePage was presented to Claire Sproule; and a $1,000 scholarship in memory of Tim Spada was presented to Connor Caridad.
The fund also receives funding from the Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce/New Milford Village Fair Days Committee and the Helen Knowles Harcourt Foundation.
The Helen Knowles Harcourt Foundation Award was presented Samantha Paige Burns, who will receive $5,000 per year for four years.
John Pettibone Scholarship Fund through the years
1949: Friends and former students of John Pettibone establish a memorial for the former school superintendent. Those involved include Irma Ambler, Howard Peck, Anne Dube, Bessie Cornwall, Merrill Golden, Barbara Weaver, Ralph Dodd and Ethel Prince. Class representatives dating back to 1902 are listed in the minutes recorded by secretary Anne Dube.
1950: $2,253 is raised by March.
1951: The Dramatic Club raises $43 at a benefit play, and a Glee Club concert raises $83. The scholarship fund is officially incorporated and trustees are elected. Trustees decide to consider an applicant’s family assets, family size, ability to borrow, character, personality, scholarship and aptitude tests results and whether the applicant has his or her family’s backing to further the individual’s education.
June 1951: With $3,221 raised, the fund awards the first $300 scholarship to Eleanor Smith and approves loans of $700.
1952: The fund totals $6,000. LaVonne Crawford, one of six applicants, is awarded $300 and the runner-up in voting is to be shown “personal interest” from board members, according to the minutes.
1953: The fund makes multiple awards. Kenneth Law receives $300 to attend Duke University, and Charles Golden and Lewis Zurlo are each awarded $50 each. The fund is earning 3.5% interest at New Milford Savings Bank.
1954: The trustees discuss awarding several smaller scholarships, eventually giving $250 to Sylvia Wolinski and $150 to Donna Corey. Corey is to have received the larger amount until the trustees learned she would also receive a Daughters of Isabella Scholarship.
1956: Three scholarships are awarded in the amounts of $250, $150 and $100. There are also three loans approved, including a $500 loan to Archie Golden to attend medical school. Golden is inducted into the NMHS Hall of Fame in 1998.
1957: Trustees award five scholarships - a $300 award, two $100 awards and two $75 awards.
1958: Trustees award three $200 awards and three dictionaries at the grade school.
1959: The fund reaches $7,327, and $3,421 in loans are outstanding. Six awards are made: four at $200 and two at $100.
1960: The fund awards scholarships: $300, two $250, two $200 and two $150 scholarships.
1961: Ten years after making its first $300 award, the fund trustees have $11,000 in the bank, $4,767 in loans outstanding and award $1,400 in scholarships - four at $250, two at $150 and one $100 award.
1971: The fund totals $30,000 and $4,200 is awarded in 18 scholarships, with the largest being $400 and the smallest being $100.
1981: Trustees award 13 scholarships totaling $6,800 with the largest award a $900 scholarship.
1991: Trustees make 27 awards totaling $26,300, including three $2,500 awards, four $1,500 and eight $1,000.
1993: Records switch to computer based and letters of awards and rejection are no longer handwritten. For years, Elizabeth Dolan had done this task.
1999: Fifty years after the fund is established, $50,000 in scholarships are awarded to 18 students.
The Greater New Milford Chamber of Commerce/New Milford Village Fair Days Committee funded $4,000, with $2,000 each to Connor Stahl and Gina Paradiso. Checks were presented during the Village Fair Days.