WHS’s Stowe wins Parks Scholarship

Published 3:43 am Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

Education plays an important part in the life of Washington High School senior Hayley Stowe.
Her mother, Tricia, is a teacher at John Small Elementary School and her father, Lentz, is an administrator at Beaufort County Community College.
Stowe, 18, has worked hard at school, particularly during her junior year when she had to overcome a serious health obstacle.
“There was a time last year when I was very sick with a hyperthyroid condition,” she said. “It was very hard to focus on things as simple as reading, and I had constant headaches and short-term memory loss. My grades were dropping.”
Her family — those in her birth family as well as those in her WHS “family” — helped her through the crisis.
“Mr. Holloman (WHS principal Russell Holloman) allowed me to drop my first-period class until I could recover,” Stowe said. “Everybody had my back when I was down. The teachers were willing to postpone my tests and quizzes until I could get better.”
Stowe didn’t ask for any shortcuts, and she wasn’t given any, Holloman said.
“She was always an inspiration as a student before, as involved as she is in everything here,” he said. “What really inspired me was when she was not in good health and she knew there were limitations for her, she didn’t ask for special treatment or sidestep anything. She simply put in more time.”
Stowe, despite dropping her first class of the day, still came in early and worked on her other lessons. She stayed on campus long after her classmates left.
“That’s when I started to realize the stuff she is made of and the character she has,” Holloman said. “She is just so mature for a young lady her age.”
Stowe’s hard work paid off recently, when she received notification she had been awarded a Park Scholarship to North Carolina State University. Stowe was nominated by her teachers for the scholarship, which covers four years of tuition, room and board. The Park Scholarships program was established in 1966. It is named for the late Roy H. Park, who bequeathed more than 70 percent of his holdings to create the Park Foundation, which is dedicated to education, extracurricular activities and volunteer work.
Stowe plans to major in biomedical engineering or aerospace engineering, and then attend graduate school to further her education.
“I want to get my Ph.D.,” she said. “I want to be Dr. Hayley. I think that would be cool.”
Stowe was pulled out of biology class by WHS guidance counselor Jennifer Beach when the phone call came about the scholarship.
“I sprinted all the way down South Hall,” said Stowe, who has family ties to the home of the Wolfpack. “My dad went there, so I’ve always grown up around N.C. State.”
Stowe is a three-sport athletic at WHS, where she is on the softball, tennis and basketball teams. Her love of sports comes from her parents.
“My dad was quarterback at Washington High School, and my mom was a cheerleader in high school,” Stowe said. “She was a flier, so I’ve always considered cheerleading a sport.”
An honor-roll student, Stowe is a member of the National Honor Society. She serves as treasurer for the executive student council. She’s been a member of the award-winning WHS Science Olympiad Team, which is preparing for state competition to be held April 23-24.
Stowe is one of two high-school students named to the Beaufort County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, where she serves alongside the district attorney, law-enforcement officers and attorneys. She’s a member of the WHS Student Athletic Advisory Council.“We think of different ways to better school athletics, and we go out into the community to set a good example for younger kids,” Stowe said. “We spoke to kids in P.E. (physical education) classes at John Small School, and we had a field day for Bath Elementary School.”
Holloman said the Parks Scholarship is the “icing on the cake” that is Stowe’s high-school experience.
“To see someone who has been such a bright light slump when she was sick was difficult,” he said. “But she worked hard to rebound. She deserves this.”