GREENVILLE – The Daily Advocate presented a special scholarship Thursday evening at Greenville Senior High School’s Senior Awards Program in memory of Greenville native and former Advocate reporter, the late Jack Willey.
A 1966 Greenville Senior High School graduate, Willey passed away in March of 2014 after battling several illnesses at the age of 66. He was an award-winning writer and columnist. In high school, a teacher saw his talent in this area and encouraged him to pursue it.
He was adventurous by nature and wrote about many unique experiences and people throughout his career. He loved animals, was athletic and had a way with people that helped him pen his well-known “Item-One” column for The Columbus Dispatch during the 1980’s and ‘90s. The column gave readers an inside view of central Ohio’s most influential people.
Editor Christina Chalmers and Willey’s longtime partner, Sherri Palmer awarded the $1,000 scholarship on behalf of Terri Ashby, Willey’s sister (who couldn’t attend) to Greenville senior Olivia Herron.
Herron is heading to Miami University this fall to study Communications and Political Science. Her goal is to one day become a press secretary in Washington D.C.
“Thank you to so many friends who contributed to make the Jack Willey Journalism Scholarship possible. Olivia Herron as the scholarship recipient with her future goal to someday serve as a press secretary in Washington D.C. perfectly complement the ideals Jack held dear. She has a bright future ahead,” expressed Palmer.
Heron, who will graduate on Saturday, has a 4.046 cumulative GPA and is ranked 14th in her class of 219. She has pursued a very academic curriculum which includes AP and College Credit Plus courses.
She is in the National Honor Society, is the Senior Class Reporter, Kiwanis Key Club Vice President, a Science Club member and has been in orchestra since second grade.
She plays Viola in the high school orchestra and is the section leader. She has earned Superior ratings at Ohio Music Educators Association (OMEA) Solo & Ensemble competitions. She’s also in charge of uniforms, seeing that all students are properly fit and look neat.
She was the Greenville Rotary 4-Way Test Speech Contest winner in both 2015 and 2016. The Four-Way Speech Competition provides an opportunity for high school students to present a four to six minute speech by applying the Four-Way Test to the concepts of leadership, service to others and life experience. The speech is presented from memory without the aid of podium, notes, displays or props and is the work of the student with no more than 75 words being quoted from others.
She also volunteers at the Brethren’s Retirement Center and State of the Heart Hospice and is a member of the Butterflies Jr. Garden Club.
“I would like to thank Jack Willey’s family for creating this scholarship to commemorate him here in his home town. He excelled in all aspects of life, including journalism, and his legacy is inspiring. I hope to prove myself worthy of having received this honor in my following years at Miami,” said Herron.
Herron is the daughter of Maurice and Lisa Herron.