Kara Nix named 2017 Shoals Scholar Dollars Student of the Year

By Lisa Singleton-Rickman, Times Daily Staff Writer

FLORENCE -- Muscle Shoals High School senior Kara Nix is this year's Shoals Scholar Dollars Student of the Year.

Nix, along with 16 other area high school Student of the Year representatives were honored during the Shoals Scholar Dollars banquet Thursday night.

As this year's winner, Nix received a two-year scholarship to Northwest-Shoals Community College, to be followed by a two-year scholarship to the University of North Alabama.

In addition, Nix's prize package includes a two-year lease from Shoals University Chevrolet-GMC on a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze and she will be the spokesperson for Shoals Scholar Dollars for the year. She also won a stay at the Shoals Marriott Hotel and Spa and dinner for two at the 360 Grille.

Voice breaking with emotion, Nix praised the field of finalists saying, "all these students are so equally deserving."

"The Lord has blessed me beyond belief and I have accomplished nothing on my own," she said. "I have always been told that one thing doesn't define you--not one success or one defeat."

Nix will attend the University of North Alabama in the fall, with the ultimate goal of becoming a pediatric oncologist. 

The Shoals Scholar Dollars organization began in 2010 with the goal of raising money for students who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to attend college.

Executive director Randy Pettus said the Scholar Dollars Student of the Year event is a fundraiser where the finalists themselves give back by conducting their own school fundraisers. This year's students, collectively, raised more than $3,000.

"This event is not about one winner receiving a college scholarship but about these amazing young people contributing to the communities that have molded them," Pettus said. "It's about giving back and providing opportunity."

The organization has provided scholarships the past seven years to 1,500 students. The students receiving Scholar Dollars scholarships must maintain a C+ average, have excellent attendance and no discipline referrals.

Other Shoals Scholar Dollar Student of the Year finalists include: James Parker McGee, Brooks High School; Mackenzie Call, Central High School; Taylor Vance, Cherokee High School; Scarlett Johnson, Colbert County High School; Caleb S. Huckaba, Colbert Heights High School; Logan Williams, Covenant Christian School; Michael Andrew Statom, Deshler High School; Travis Wayne Simpson, Florence High School; Jose Bernardo Acosta, Lauderdale County High School; Jonah Gray, Lexington High School; Taylor Holliday, Mars Hill Bible School; Hunter Gooch, Rogers High School; Evan Austin, Sheffield High School; David Stephens, Shoals Christian School; Coleman Caddell, Waterloo High School; Darby Katherine Berrens, Wilson High School.


2016 Shoals Student of the Year Nominees

Matthew Koonce, Lauderdale County; Lyndsey Young, Mars Hill; Christopher Mason Hill, Colbert County; Annisha Borah, Florence; Autumn Solley, Rogers; Abbigail Austin, Waterloo; Paige Wilbanks, Rosewood Academy; Austin Knight, Brooks; Karah Rhodes, Muscle Shoals; Cameron Roddy, Sheffield; Grace Jaco, Colbert Heights; Blayne McCafferty, Lexington; Zachary Johnson, Central; Meghan Raney, Wilson; Jordan Fleming, Deshler; Hannah Catherine Abernathy, Shoals Christian; Corrie West, Covenant Christian; Garron Green, Cherokee

Shoals Scholar Dollars Auction Bigger and Better Than Ever

The annual Shoals Scholar Dollars Bid and Blues auction on Saturday at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center was bigger and better than ever, according to Director Randy Pettus.

The night was filled with the music of the Wildwood Ruminators and an array of auction items.

Both a silent and live auction were held, with items including furniture, sporting goods and 22 large item packages, as well as three major trips and local and regional excursions.

All money raised is directly applied to the two-year tuition scholarships that ‪‎Shoals Scholar Dollars‬ awards local high school students to attend Northwest-Shoals Community College.

The goal for this year's event was $100,000, said Pettus.