Submitted photos and press release from Pat Iamon.
On June 21, during the Le Roy High School awards night, the premier Rochelle "Willie" Wilson Award was presented to the inaugural recipient, Haley Scripp.
The award was initiated by Tom White, and after a few emails many members of his Class of 1970, reciprocated with donations and a vow to continue this tribute in honor of one of their most loved classmates, Rochelle “Willie” Wilson.
The Class of 1970 was the largest class ever at LHS, however, Wilson stood out. She was regarded highly by both her classmates and the faculty and was a friend of everyone.
White spoke during awards night about Wilson and how she was respected by everyone.
He said, “She was a great athlete and a great person, but almost no one but the people from class knew that because the only place she could display her talent was on the playground. Willie unfortunately missed out on what is now called 'Title Nine' (AKA Title IX) -- which requires collages to give equal scholarships to men and women.
"No doubt Willie would have received an athletic scholarship if her talent and character had been seen.”
White talked of becoming an adult during such turbulent times. The Vietnam War, race riots and women demanding equal rights were constantly in the forefront and shown graphically on TV during the evening news.
Unfortunately, there were no organized women sports for Wilson. Following high school, Wilson joined the Army and served her country. She moved to Alabama had a daughter, Naomi, and lived quietly.
Wilson died of lung disease in January of 2014, believed to be the result of serving overseas during the burning of oil fields in the Middle East (Kuwait, 1990-).
Patty McQuillen Daansen, another member of the Class of 1970, summarized what the annual award is and announced the winner who was nominated by teachers and administrators. A committee from the Class of 1970 chose the debut recipient. The award was presented to Scripp by White and Daansen.
Scripp was described by her teachers as a terrific student, outstanding athlete, a kind personality and a pleasure to be around.
She will be attending RIT and majoring in Mechanical Engineering Technology in the fall.
Scripp will was given a plaque acknowledging the award. Her name will be entered as the first recipient of the Rochelle “Willie” Wilson Award plaque, which will remain in the LHS hallway.
Scripp will receive her $500 from the award upon successful completion of her first semester of college.
Photo below, from left: Haley Scripp, the first recipient of the Rochelle “Willie” Wilson Award, with LRHS Class of 1970's Tom White and Patty McQuillen Daansen.