DEER — A $100,000 gift to the Mt. Judea High School will be used to fund two annual scholarships for Mt. Judea High School graduates, the Deer/Mt. Judea Board of Education members agreed Monday night, May 6.

Last February, Superintendent Dr. Andrew Curry informed school board that Mt. Judea High School had received $100,000 from a trust fund. The gift came unexpectedly along with a letter from an Independence, Missouri, law firm.

The letter, dated Jan. 30, from the Successor Trustee of the Billie E. Marshall Trust states, "Mr. Marshall died last year and designated Mount Judea High School as a beneficiary of the Trust. The distribution is not restricted and is made in memory of Joseph T. Sexton, Dona (Criner) Sexton, and Mr. Marshall's wife, Eileen (Sexton)."

A distributive check in the amount of $100,000 was enclosed with the letter signed by Bradley A. Constance of the firm of Stewart, Cook, Constance & Minton, L.L.C.

Dr. Curry said he deposited the check in the school district's bank account. It will remain there until the school board decides what it would like to do with it, such as establishing a scholarship.

On Monday, Dr. Curry said it was time to make a decision what to do with the funds that were still in a school district bank account.

Board President Sharon Pierce and other board members agreed that the gift should be invested to provide annual scholarships. The discussion was how to invest the money, how many scholarships should be awarded and in what amount.

It was decided that 80 percent of the money will be placed in certificates of deposit and 20 percent in a interest bearing money market account. Depending on the amount of interest generated the accounts would be allowed to grow and provide two scholarships of $500 each to be awarded annually to aid students further their education via college, trade school or other program of higher education. However, the board left the job of establishing the criteria students would have to follow to be candidates for the grants to the Mt. Judea High School administration.

The scholarships should be earned, said Board Member Julie Black, suggesting that applicants submit a written essay. She said protections against abuse of the scholarships should be established, preventing the money from being used for purposes other than intended.

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