To celebrate National Education Week, Nov. 11-17, the Sy Harrison Masonic Lodge No. 70 and Ponderosa Chapter No. 64 Order to the Eastern Star have announced plans to award $2,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors from Payson High School this year, thanks to donations by the Nowik and Feistner families.
The Nowik-Feistner Scholarship is for $1,000 to one male and one female graduating senior carrying a 2.5 grade point average or better at the conclusion of the school year.
Steve and Erika Feistner created the scholarship, along with Mrs. Feistner’s parents, the Nowiks, who immigrated to the U.S. following World War II. Mr. Feistner said he, his wife and her mother wanted to create the scholarship because of their interest in the importance of education.
“My mother-in-law has always been interested in education since she was only able to go to school through the fourth grade,” Mr. Feistner said.
Mrs. Nowik was a survivor of the German labor camps and her husband, who died about nine years ago, was a concentration camp survivor.
They first settled on a farm in Wisconsin when they came from Germany and after about five years had saved up enough money to move to Chicago, where Mr. Nowik went into mechanical engineering and eventually became a master tool and die maker.
The Nowiks and Feistners have been Rim Country residents for about 20 years, first living in Heber and now in Payson.
The local Masonic organization was selected as the awarding body for the family’s scholarships because it has been an important part of Mr. Feistner’s entire life.
“Education has always been a big part of our lives and we want to see it passed on to the next generation,” Mr. Feistner said.
“You cannot go out into the world and function without education,” he added.
The applications for the scholarship are already at the school and at least three have already been picked up, according to Ted Pettet, who helped the Feistners and Nowiks create the scholarship.
The applications are due April 5, 2013 and must include the applicant’s unofficial transcripts, a letter of recommendation from a community member, a list of activities in which they have participated, whether they have a relation with a member of a Masonic Lodge and an essay of 300 words or less on, “The History of Public Education in the United States and What It Means to Me.”
The applications will be reviewed and judged by three members of the Lodge and three members of OES.