Ray makes history with scholarship award

Published 5:33 pm Thursday, March 28, 2024

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Rachel Ray, senior at The Calhoun School, was named a Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Scholarship winner on Mar. 4. 

Nicholas Townsend, The Calhoun School principal, described Ray as a well-rounded student-athlete. 

“She’s very passionate about athletics and academics,” Townsend said. “She gives her very best at both and she really shines on the academic side. Currently, she has completed several college courses and is number one in her graduating class which gives her a head start as far as college is concerned. 

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According to Townsend, Ray is a leader among her peers. 

“She’s a leader and a great peer helper. Her peers enjoy her and even though she is very talented athletically and academically, she doesn’t act like she is better than anyone else,” he said. “Ray also works in the community and helps her mom out with her business and those are some things that make her such a great person all around.” 

Named after two Alabama sports legends, Paul “Bear” Bryant and Ralph “Shug” Jordan, the Bryant-Jordan Scholarship Program brings high achieving senior students from 52 regions in the state to award them college scholarships and celebrate their achievements.

The scholarship honors students who have excelled in academic achievement as well as those who have overcome major obstacles during their progress as student-athletes. 

The award program is divided into two categories: the Scholar-Athlete Award which honors high school seniors who are both superior athletes and outstanding students, and the Achievement Award which honors high school senior student-athletes who have achieved success relative to his or her ability or who may have overcome an unusual hardship.

Ray made history as the first female student-athlete to receive the award in the Lowndes County Public School System. 

Townsend expressed that he is very proud to be in a position to be able to watch his students grow throughout their high school careers.

“It’s awesome to see the students grow,” Townsend said. “You know, we aren’t always compensated monetarily for what we do but the reward and satisfaction that we have comes from us seeing our students achieving on a high level.” 

Ray currently participates in a few different Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at The Calhoun School. She also has one of the highest-grade point averages (GPA) of her class with a high ACT score. 

Shameka Baker, Lowndes County CTE Director, said that she has thoroughly enjoyed having Ray in the county’s CTE programs. 

“As the CTE Director, witnessing Ray’s growth into the motivated, self-determined, and driven student she is today has been incredibly rewarding,” Baker said. “She possesses a unique blend of determination, passion, and perseverance that make her an excellent candidate for the scholarship. If I can describe Rachel in one word, it would be ambitious. We are extremely proud of her.”