New Albany High School class earns record $23 million in scholarships

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May 25—NEW ALBANY — The New Albany High School Class of 2023 earned a combined $23 million in scholarships, a record number for the high school.

The recipients of these college scholarships were honored at Wednesday's Class Night.

Eddie Bobbitt, the post-secondary counselor at NAHS, said this year's scholarship total is the highest in the school's 170-year history, surpassing last year's record of $18 million.

He said Class Night honored "excellence in academics, in athletics, in community service [and] on the theater stage."

"To say that the Class of 2023 had an unprecedented high school career would be a gross understatement," he said. "They've had to deal with the global pandemic and the aftermath of it their entire high school careers. Despite that adversity, they've achieved great achievements and are prepared to leave as graduates here soon."

Kaydence Kaiser was among the students honored at Wednesday's ceremony. She received the Bette Bennett Hammond Memorial Scholarship, Jacob Trulock Memorial Scholarship and Otto "Bud" Morris Scholarship.

She was also offered a quarter million in scholarships from various colleges in the state.

"College is going to be a lot of money, and with two parents who are planning on putting me through college, that takes so much more stress off their shoulders," she said.

Kaiser said as she approaches graduation, it feels "kind of crazy that we're already here," especially considering what the past few years have been like for her class.

"Not that we were robbed of our high school experience, but COVID and everything happened at the end of our freshman year, so just going into everything, it's been like, how is it already my senior year," she said. "Our senior year has really been our one normal year where we've not had any restrictions because of COVID."

She said even amid the pandemic, she stayed involved in school. She has played varsity soccer for the past four years, and she is involved in the school's Anchor Club.

She is an AP Capstone Diploma candidate, and she is graduating with an associate's degree from Ivy Tech Community College. After graduation, she will attend Indiana University on the pre-medical track.

NAHS Principal Michelle Ginkins said the Class of 2023 is continuing "the tradition of excellence at New Albany High School."

"At freshman orientation each year, I ask the incoming class to exceed the most recent senior class scholarship goals," she said. "And here we are four years later, and you have. We are so proud of you. Thank you for your hard work, your perseverance and your dedication to your goals."