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SRHSF Scholarships

Scholarships Funds Held by SRHS Foundation

Scholarships are an integral part of the SRHS Foundation. If you are interested in establishing a memorial scholarship, or want to learn more about SRHS Foundation Scholarship program, please contact:

Monica Baldenegro or Kristine Erken

The funds listed below have been established by family and friends as a memorial to their loved ones. Each year through a collaborative effort, recipients are chosen and honored at the Senior Awards’ Program at the end of the school year.

Click here to view the 2023 Fleck & Memorial Scholarship Winners.

The James Fleck Scholarship

James Fleck, who graduated from Santa Rosa High School in 1946, at his passing left the Foundation with a very generous gift to pass on to the students. The amount of this gift exceeds two million dollars. Fleck’s will specified that income generated from this gift be given to graduating seniors in the form of scholarships to assist them with a post-high school education. It also directed the Foundation to invest the gift and to distribute the income. The Foundation Scholarship Committee worked to establish a meaningful process and criteria that will honor Fleck’s wishes and will appropriately identify students to receive the awards. The plan honors seniors nominated by eleven departments at SRHS. The nominees are reviewed and selected by the SRHS Foundation Scholarship Committee and selections are made. Each year the number of scholarships will vary related to the funds generated by the investment. On average, 22 scholarships are awarded each year from this fund.

The Robert Clell McKinney Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is to be given on a yearly basis to a college bound, graduating student focusing on Fine Arts; drawing, painting and/or sculpture. Mr. McKinney was a leading North Coast modernist painter and sculptor Born in CA, his family moved to the Midwest where he accomplished his primary education. He received his BA from Univ of the Americas in Mexico City and a Fine Arts degree from the Univ of Missouri. In 1962, he moved his family to SR to accept a reference library position with the Public Library that included responsibility for an extensive art book collection. His daughter, Conci recalls her father a “very caring and loving man, always passionate about color and the aesthetics of things. He really enjoyed outdoors, and he was always surrounded by his paintings.”

The Bruce Mecchi Memorial Scholarship Fund

Bruce Mecchi was a student who died in a forest fire in 1968, the same year he graduated from SRHS. He died in a tragic accident while responding to a forest fire at the young age of 18. This scholarship was originally given to a student pursuing a career in Forestry. For this scholarship, one senior is selected who will be going into the Public Service area at Santa Rosa Junior College. First consideration for the recipient is a student studying Fire Technology. The committee will also consider a student focusing on Administration of Justice, and/or Emergency Medical Care Academies.

The Jerry Poncia Memorial Scholarship Fund

Jerry Poncia was a much-loved counselor at Santa Rosa High School. He was known for entertaining crowds by playing the accordion and for his interest in Sonoma County agriculture. One year this scholarship will be awarded to a student from the instrumental music department. The following year, the award will be given to a student in the agriculture department. This scholarship will alternate between these two areas of interest each year.

The Berta Wiggins Golf Scholarship Fund

Berta Wiggins graduated from SRHS in ’55. She became an avid and accomplished golfer in the years following her retirement as a secretary in the Bennett Valley School District. Her interest soon became a passion as she became more successful. Her family felt it fitting to honor a senior girl who shared her passion for golf, and who is a member of the SRHS Golf Team, and who might continue with her golf interest in her life after high school.

The Lisa Nilsen Scholarship Fund

Lisa K. Nilsen was an Ag Booster member and Advisory member who passed away early in 2007. She was instrumental in the development of the vineyard and expansion of the farm on Alba Lane as well as a huge supporter of students and the agriculture program. The Ag Boosters and Ag Advisory Board established a scholarship in Lisa’s name. The Boosters and the Advisory Board will select an agriculture student who is not only active but is also academically talented as well as a program completer.

The Jack Kellar “Lucky Jade” Scholarship Fund

Jack J. Kellar was a 1939 graduate of SRHS, where he particularly enjoyed his music classes and playing in a dance band. He had a lead (opposite Verona Lindau Tate) in the 1939 operetta “The Lucky Jade.” Jack’s daughters would like the scholarship named “The Lucky Jade Scholarship” for that reason. The recipients must be seniors who will be continuing their education in music at a 2- or 4-year college or university, or a music conservatory. While a particular GPA is required for admission to some schools of higher education, none is required for the award of these scholarships. Jack’s daughters said that their father’s life proved that grades are not necessarily an indicator of success.

The Lorenzo Solis Scholarship Fund

Santa Rosa High School over its many years has enjoyed benefits from the services of many dedicated people. Perhaps the most dedicated of these, a man who truly loved SRHS and his work, was head custodian Lorenzo Solis. He never said no to anyone who asked for help. He had other opportunities, less demanding and better paying, but he chose to remain at SRHS. For many years he was the centerpiece, the linchpin of daily operation no matter how mundane or complicated. SRHS lost Lorenzo September 18, 2007. He suffered a fatal heart attack on his early morning drive to begin his workday at the high school. Retired SRHS staff decided to keep the spirit of Lorenzo alive by creating a perpetual scholarship in his honor to award to a deserving student who has a passion for Santa Rosa High School.

The Emmett O’Neill Scholarship Fund

Emmett O’Neil passed away on New Year’s Day, 2011. He was one of the most inspiring and respected social studies instructors ever to serve SRHS. He retired in 1999 and was a man of many, many accomplishments. Perhaps one of the most notable was his development of an Asian Studies curriculum which was highly regarded by many seniors. He was a master of getting students to think and to question the world around them. This scholarship will be awarded to a senior in the Social Science Department who intends to pursue a social science major in college, has a high GPA, demonstrated campus and community leadership, and demonstrated a broad range of interests in the world at large.

Henry and Doris Matteri Agriculture Scholarship

The Matteri’s were dairy farmers in Santa Rosa for 4 decades. They farmed the land and had a deep connection to the agricultural community. Henry graduated from SRHS in 1951 and married Doris Ferrari who was in the class of 1950. Two seniors will each be selected by the Agriculture Department to receive these scholarships. The criteria for selection calls for enrollment in the agriculture program at SRJC after graduation. Academic standing is not necessarily a requirement, rather a promising and committed pathway to an agriculture-related career and the student’s financial need.

Gary Rasche Memorial Shop Scholarship

Gary, a well-loved 1961 grad, left the school $1,000,000 for its wood, auto, and metal shops. Six (6) scholarships will be awarded, two (2) from each shop, Metal, Wood, and Auto. The seniors will be selected by a committee consisting of instructors from each of the three shops. A senior shop student will qualify with one of the following requirements: 1. A student who will be enrolling in a post-secondary education for a trade or technical career 2. A student who will be enrolling in technical or vocational school educational training 3. A student who will be enrolled in a public or private program or training for a trade or technical career.

Peter Slusser Debate and Agriculture Scholarships

Peter Slusser’s daughters contacted the Foundation to set up two scholarships to honor their father. Peter’s particular interests when at SRHS were debate and agriculture, therefore, one graduating senior from the Debate Program and one from the Agriculture Program who are planning to attend a 2- or 4-year college/university will receive this award. Debate and Agriculture program heads will select the recipients from their respective departments. Financial needs of students can be a consideration but not a requirement.

Cristian Valencia Figueroa Memorial Scholarship

Cristian graduated from SRHS in 2016. He was tragically taken from this world at the age of 22. His devoted family and friends established this scholarship in his memory. This scholarship is for a graduating senior from the SRHS boys’ soccer or basketball team whose love for the game is an inspiration to their team. The student’s GPA should be a minimum of 2.0. The student must be planning enrollment in a post-secondary program (Trade school, JC, University).

Patrick Gallagher Artquest Scholarship

Mr. Gallagher was a teacher in the Santa Rosa City Schools for 35 years and was a founding member of the ArtQuest teaching staff. The scholarships that are to be awarded in his name must be from the graduating students from the ArtQuest Program who pursue post-high school education in the visual arts. Either one or two graduating students may be selected by the majority decision of the group consisting of the active ArtQuest teachers at SRHS for this scholarship. The student’s financial need shall be highly considered, as shall the quality of the student’s work, talent, and commitment to a visual arts career.

Betty Jean Gong Business Scholarship

Betty Jean Gong was born in Stockton, CA. Her parents, who ran a small store there, moved to Santa Rosa in 1963 where she and the family started one of Santa Rosa’s landmarks, G&G Supermarkets. One student will be selected by the Counseling Department for this scholarship. The criteria for this award will be enrollment in a 2- or 4-year accredited college or university after graduation from high school in a promising pathway to a business-related career. The student’s financial need should be a major consideration. Scholastic standing within the graduating class should not necessarily be a requirement.

Paul Huntzinger Scholarship (Class of 1963)

Paul Huntzinger donated $20,302 to the SRHS Foundation during the summer of2023 with the intent of creating a scholarship for a 1st generation college student. Paul shared when he attended SRHS he was not the best student, however, he enjoyed SRHS and especially excelled in Math. Growing up he had a job delivering the newspaper and later in high school he participated in sports and was a track star. He attended Santa Rosa Junior College and transferred to Chico State where he excelled and was recognized for his excellence in math. He then attended UC Berkeley and received his master’s in business administration which further provided Paul with new, prosperous, professional opportunities. Paul shared that he wanted to create a scholarship to help a 1st generation student who could utilize the funds to attend college. His hope is that his scholarship will provide a student with an opportunity to open up their future to new professional opportunities as college did for him.  This scholarship will be issued to two 1st generation college students. The student must be enrolled full time in a post-secondary program/institution.

Marie Hindringer Kelly Memorial Scholarship (Class of 1957)

Marie Kelly graduated from Santa Rosa High School in 1957.  She was remembered fondly by her classmates for her interest in the arts.  She loved music, dancing, drama and art and had a strong connection with Santa Rosa High School.  Marie lost her parents when she was young and received tremendous support from the Santa Rosa High School staff and student body as well as Mr. Glenn Gyman, SRHS drama teacher and SR Police Chief Dutch Flohrs and his family.  Leaving this large donation to SRHS reflects how important Santa Rosa High School was in her life.   Marie was crowned Miss Sonoma County in 1960 and runner up to Miss California in 1961.  Her classmates remember her fondly as friendly to all and loved by all those around her.  There will be 4 to 6 scholarships awarded each year, to be determined by the Scholarship Committee.

Dennis and Ruth McGill “Scholar Athelete” Scholarship

Dennis McGill graduated from SRHS in 1967.  He played sports and especially enjoyed baseball and basketball.  When he graduated from SRHS he was honored as the Student Athlete of the year. 

Mr. McGill was very specific that this scholarship does not go to the best athlete but instead to the “best teammate.” 

One scholarship will be given to a student athlete who is seen as a strong scholar and the best teammate and not necessarily the best athlete.  The student will be chosen after considering senior athletes from all sports teams at SRHS.  The recipient should show leadership, sportsmanship and character on and off the sports arena, but most importantly supports their teammates while also building up team morale.  The student is not expected to attend a post-secondary school.

Memorial and Honoree Funds

The following funds have been established by family and friends to honor their loved ones. The earnings from these funds are earmarked for use in many ways as requested by the original donors. They benefit programs and students at large at SRHS.

Marsha & Jessie Carney Memorial Fund: Mr. Carney works with Foundation Board Members to award various Grants each year from the earnings of the fund to deserving Students. This Fund is Restricted.

Albert Clapp Memorial Fund: All of the earnings are used for Panther Projects at the committee’s discretion.

Joe Espinosa Memorial Fund: The earnings from this fund are directed to the Automotive Program, and utilized upon request. This fund is restricted.

Nancy Fisher Memorial Fund: Half of the earnings from this fund are directed to Boys’ Soccer Program and used upon request. Second half of the earnings are added to the Corpus. This fund is restricted.

Pamela Griffin McMahon Memorial Fund: The earnings from this fund are directed for school program needs as determined by the Foundation Board. This Fund is unrestricted.

Edna Parker Memorial Fund: The earnings from this fund are used to support the Student of the Month Program. This fund is restricted.

Dayle Puckett Memorial Fund: The earnings from this fund are directed to the Baseball Program for use upon request. This fund is restricted.

Irene Scott Memorial Fund: The earnings from this fund are used for Panther Projects as decided by the PPF committee. This Fund is Unrestricted.

Colombe “Coke” Zuliani Memorial Fund: The earnings from this fund are used for Panther Projects as decided by the PPF committee. This Fund is unrestricted.

Kathleen Sorenson Memorial Fund: The earnings from this fund are used for Panther Projects as decided by the PPF committee. This fund is unrestricted.

Gary Rasche Shop Fund: Earnings from this fund are directed to Wood Shop, Auto Shop and Metal Shop and utilized by the shops upon request. This fund is restricted.

Sandra Husby Spencer Memorial Fund: The earnings from this fund are used for Panther Projects as decided by the Panther Project Committee. This fund is unrestricted.

Marie Hindringer Kelly Memorial Fund: The earnings from this fund are used towards the yearly expenses of the SRHS Foundation and the funds use is determined by the Finance Committee.  This fund is unrestricted.

For more information about Memorial Funds or how you can help, please email or call the Pandy Line at 707-571-7747.

For more information on scholarships or how you can help, please contact us.

Once a Panther, Always a Panther!