KENMORE — The Briana Talty Memorial Scholarship was recently awarded at St. John the Baptist School in honor of Briana Talty, the school's Spanish teacher, who passed away earlier this year. Families and friends of both St. John's and Talty established a memorial scholarship to honor the beloved teacher. Talty's parents and members of her family joined St. John the Baptist's principal, Cynthia Jacobs, at the ceremony to present the scholarship awards to the recipients, eighth-grader Alyssa Barnum and seventh-grader Colin Richey.
"Although Miss Talty was only with our St. John's community for a short period of time, she left an incredible impression with both the staff and her students," stated Jacobs. "I clearly recall her enthusiasm towards starting her career as a teacher. It was clearly evident in so many ways, from volunteering at junior high dances to the passion of her lessons. She was really proud to be part of our St. John's family."
Shortly after she passed away, Jacobs recalled gathering with the teachers and staff in the school library and listening as many of them shared their stories of how Talty had already bonded with the school and parish community. "The tremendous outpouring of prayers and support all expressed a strong desire to honor Miss Talty in some way," Jacobs said. "It was with these sentiments that the Briana Talty Memorial Scholarship was established."
Jacobs said contributions from school parents and staff, as well as friends of the Talty family, were so generous that they allowed the school to create two scholarship awards, in the amount of $1,750 each, to be used towards furthering Catholic education.
Students of Talty were eligible to apply for the scholarship. Applicants submitted two essays as well as a letter of recommendation. A scholarship committee comprised of foreign language teachers, parishioners, and high school educators was assembled to review and select the awardees.
"By reading all of the students' essays, the selection committee came to understand what we already knew: Miss Talty was a remarkable young lady who made a lasting impact on the faculty, staff and students of St. John's School, and I dare say all whom she interacted with," Jacobs added. "Her kindness, enthusiasm, commitment and Christian spirit were evident through both her words and deeds. Truly, she was a remarkable young lady."