Legacies of Zimmerman youth living on

by Nathan Warner
Contributing writer

The enduring legacies of three Zimmerman area tragedies were brought to life at the Zimmerman High School Scholarship Awards ceremony last week, organized by Zimmerman High School Counselor Cassie Klein. The Glen Bye Remembrance Scholarship, the Jacob VanHoever Memorial Scholarship and the Laurie Kerr Memorial Scholarship were unquestionably the most moving awards delivered to students at the ceremony.

LeAnne Bye introduced the Glen Bye Remembrance Scholarship while unsuccessfully fighting the tears that overcame her at one point. LeAnne is the mother of Glen “Bubba” Bye, a popular  senior at Zimmerman High School who died in a car crash in 2010.

Students seeking the Glen Bye Remembrance Scholarship needed to explain in essays what they thought about Glen Bye’s life and the legacy he left behind, while also writing about how they plan to live their lives to leave behind a positive legacy in their communities.

LeAnne read the two top essay picks in full, which were both filled with memories of Bubba’s caring and protective nature for his fellow students and friends. The six laptop and six Best Buy scholarships were awarded to Jeffrey Anderson, Jacob Antolock, Allison Giese, Anna Huss, Linnea Jacobson, Kendra Kraabel, Abby Kratzke, Allie Kratzke, Ethan Lunning, Patrick McEnaney, Andrew Olson and Brandon Smith.

Afterwards, substitute teacher Zach Boser rose to deliver the Jacob VanHoever Memorial Scholarship with a humble tribute to his departed friend.

“I’m honored to be able to present these awards on behalf of the VanHoever family,” Boser said. “Jacob and I were best friends at the time of his death in a tragic car accident in 2001,” he added, “and we would have graduated together from Zimmerman High School had it not been for his untimely death at the age of 13. This scholarship is a tribute to the memory of a talented and gifted Zimmerman High School student and a dear friend.”

Boser congratulated students Jeffrey Anderson and Justine Frisk with the Jacob VanHoever Memorial Scholarship.

Following Boser, Kelsey and Brandon Kerr delivered the Laurie Kerr Memorial Scholarship in memory of their mother, school board member, community leader and activist Laurie Kerr, who died in 2010 of pancreatic cancer while raising funds and awareness of the disease in the community.

“We miss her terribly,” Brandon said, “and we hope this scholarship keeps alive the memory of her passionate dedication to education in Zimmerman and surrounding areas.”

The $500-per-year scholarship for four years was awarded to student Anna Huss (out of 14 applicants) for her academic and extracurricular performance in the arts and her intention of pursuing education at a four-year university.

LeAnne Bye closed her introduction with Glen Bye’s favorite scripture, Proverbs 4:23, 25-26, which carried the sentiments of parents and teachers for the graduating seniors: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe.”