PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – For the first time in club history, twin sisters have won two of the three scholarships totaling $17,000. The Optimist Club of Calver-Prince Frederick awarded the $8,000 Les Knapp scholarship to Madison Conner, the $6,000 Jim King scholarship to McKenzie Conner (both grants payable over four years), and the two-year $3,000 vocational scholarship to Kobe “Hutch” Valentin. All three recipients are graduates of Calvert High School.
Madison Conner will be attending the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, majoring in exercise science. After receiving her degree in that field, she intends to transfer to a university to further her education in psychology, early childhood development as well as anatomy to attain her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Her goal is to help children with physical, sensory, and cognitive problems to achieve their highest level of independence.
At CHS, she was the editor of the Yearbook and the HS Newspaper. She was a member of the Wellness Club, National Honor Society, Varsity Softball Team, Chamber Choir, All County Choir, and an officer in CAV Student Leaders. She has volunteered at the New Life Church Food Pantry, Project Echo, Empty Bowl Supper, and has been an instructional assistant for Northern Calvert Little League. She was on the High Honor Roll for three years, received the Superintendent’s Scholastic Achievement Award (three years) and Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Science.
McKenzie Conner is headed to the University of North Carolina, Wilmington to pursue a degree in Elementary Education. Other fields she will be exploring include early childhood education, special education, and developmental psychology. After receiving her degree from UNC she intends to pursue a graduate degree. Although she isn’t exactly sure where her passion for working with children will lead, she is sure that she wants to make a positive difference in their lives.
At CHS she was an officer in Educators Rising and CAV Student Leaders. She has been a member of the Teacher Academy of Maryland, the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, and the Garden Club. She has been a volunteer instructional assistant with the Calvert County Public Schools’ Extended School Year Program, a clinic assistant with Northern Calvert Little League, and a volunteer at Project Echo’s Empty Bowl Supper.
Kobe “Hutch” Valentin will be attending North Dakota State College of Science to complete the Diesel Technology—CASE International Program. This program includes two eight-week internships with a CASE IH dealership in Seaford, Delaware. He will also be getting an associate degree in business. His goal is to have his own business in the agriculture equipment and diesel technology field. He intends to return to Calvert County (and along with his brother) expand the family’s small local farm to a large commercial farm.
At CHS he was enrolled in the CASE Agricultural Science Program and the Calvert Career and Technology Academy where he was part of the Automotive Service Technician Program.
He was Captain (four years) of the varsity and junior varsity football and lacrosse teams, and Petty Officer 1st Class ROTC. He has been a member of the National Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, Calvert County Young Farmers, National Technical Honor Society, and teacher assistant in auto 1 classroom for Skills USA.
He is an Eagle Scout and Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 430; received a World Conservation Award; has served for five years as a junior instructor for the Prince Frederick Hunter Safety Team; made High Honor Roll at CHS and assisted in volunteer activities with the Veterans of Charlotte Hall Veteran’s Home.
The Calvert Optimist Club-Prince Frederick through their Calvert Optimist Community Parks Foundation awards three scholarships each year to Calvert County public high school graduates.