Lowndes County Schools award Toriano “Tito” Baker Scholarship

Published 4:46 pm Thursday, May 25, 2023

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Lowndes County Schools recently awarded the Toriano “Tito” Baker Scholarship to two local students – LaDarrien McCall, from The Calhoun School, and Central High School in Hayneville senior Alana Murphy.

The students received the awards during the Lowndes County Board of Education’s May 16 meeting and, according to Lowndes County Schools Superintendent Jason Burroughs.

“Toriano ‘Tito’ Baker was a former student of The Calhoun School and an employee [of Lowndes County Schools],” Burroughs said. “His last assignment was at Lowndes Middle School as Principal.”

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Burroughs said Baker passed away on May 13, 2021 and afterwards, Baker’s family established the scholarship.

“He was real bid on three different things – academics, character, and athletics,” Burroughs said. “His family decided to set up the scholarship in his honor.”

According to Burroughs, the students were nominated by their schools and considered by a panel of judges for their academic achievements, good character, and athletic involvement.

“We looked at academic achievements – GPA, ACT scores, and things like that,” Burroughs said. “But then we also looked for the other two pillars, good character and athletics, since Baker was a student athlete. We try to award those students that fit into the three pillars he believed in.”

Burroughs explained both McCall and Murphy exemplified the values Baker held. The Calhoun School Principal Nicholas Townsend said McCall was a student who embodied the type of student Baker represented in his lifetime.

“He embodies what most people say about Tito Baker, in his life, even in college,” Townsend said. “He was thoughtful, a hard worker, always looking out for everyone else. Ladarius is an extremely hard worker and very considerate. He’s somebody that his peers want to be like, just an all around great kid academically, athletically, and spiritually.”

Each student received a $1,000 scholarship, payable to the college of their choice. The awards marks the second second year the scholarships were given in Baker’s honor.