By Pam Robinson
The universe has conspired to create a new star—a GE Star, that is. A 2012 Mount Vernon High School, or MVHS, honors graduate, Stephan Blanford has recently received a GE Star Award for $3,500, just as his brother Matthew did two years ago. The award will be applied toward educational expenses as the Mount Vernon native is now completing his first year in the engineering program at Purdue University.
The son of Bob Blanford and Judy Butler, Stephan Blanford is one of only ten 2012 MVHS graduates who maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout their high school careers. He explains that the GE Star Award recognizes students with parents who are employed by or have retired from GE. He credits his stepfather Roger Butler, a lifelong GE employee, with making him aware of the application process. Recipients of the GE Star Award, presented to students nationwide, include academic and extracurricular information along with a letter of recommendation in their application packet.
A GE Star nominates a high school mentor to receive an accompanying award of $500 for educational purposes. Blanford honored his German teacher, Mr. Keith Kinnaird, for supporting his education. At the MVHS academic honors banquet in the spring, Blanford had earlier singled out Kinnaird for recognition as an outstanding teacher—the most influential in Blanford’s high school career.
“I liked Mr. Kinnaird because his teaching style was different, and I was always interested in his class,” Blanford stated about his mentor. “He was the only teacher I had that I saw every semester for four years.”
His mentor praises Blanford as a “fantastic” student. “He was like a son to me,” Kinnaird insists.
By Pam Robinson
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