SECRETARY — The Dorchester Retired Educators Association held its annual scholarship award dinner Thursday, May 12.

Seniors Julia Weldon of Cambridge-South Dorchester High School and Brad Wilson of North Dorchester High School each received a $1,000 scholarship to pursue education studies.

Weldon will attend Virginia Commonwealth University to study Art Education and Art History. She is the daughter of Laura and Lee Weldon.

Wilson plans to study History at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the son of Gail and Richard Wilson.

DREA also recognized the recently named Dorchester County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Jennifer Wingate and DCPS First Class Teacher of the Year Amy Stoops. The two shared words of encouragement to the scholarship recipients and future teachers.

“Teaching is not for the faint of heart. You have to be dedicated, passionate, patient, flexible and willing to put your heart and soul into what you do. It’s definitely not a nine-to-five job. It’s a lifelong dedication,” said Wingate.

“The next four years will fly by, so make sure you take the time to learn everything you can, volunteer, do it all,” said Stoops. “You’re going to hear constant horror stories about your first year of teaching, but I promise you it will be okay. It’s not as bad as they make it seem.”

For the past 20 years, the DREA has presented a scholarship to a senior from each of the county’s high schools. Many of the recipients have returned to Dorchester to teach.

“I see them when I go into the schools, and it always warms my heart to see that we made good choices, and that these people have chosen to come back to our county to teach. Those are the teachers we are going to retain, and the ones that will make their home here,” said DREA Scholarship Chairwoman Connie Wilson.

The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic history, involvement in extra-curricular activities, quality of the submitted essay, financial need and the declaration of an education-based major.

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