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Stifel Awards Presented to Ohio County Schools Students

West Liberty Elementary School student Tristin Gonzalez is shown with his Stifel Award. Stifel winners are encouraged to send a photo with their award to seniors2020@wphs.ohio.k12.wv.us to be recognized on Ohio County Schools social media sites.

WHEELING – Despite unusual circumstances, more than 200 standout students of Ohio County Schools recently received prestigious Stifel Awards.

A total of $134,470 was awarded to 218 deserving students as part of the 2020 Stifel Awards.

The Stifel Awards ceremony is typically held at the Wheeling Park High School J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center, but the prizes were mailed to students this year due to COVID-19 concerns. The Stifel prizes are named in honor of the late George E. Stifel who made and endowed a trust for encouragement of education in public schools.

The Stifel Awards are given for academic achievement in the classroom and on standardized achievement tests. A student must have a grade-point average of 3.5 or better, must be a resident of Ohio County and must be a United States citizen to be eligible.

WesBanco of Wheeling is the administrator of the Stifel Trust Fund. Ohio County Schools Federal Programs Director Walter Saunders thanked Stifel trustees for again rewarding and recognizing deserving students. He said students are not often awarded monetarily for classroom achievements. Saunders noted the award and the cash prizes are greatly appreciated by the recipients and their families.

“The Stifel Awards are unique, and it’s quite an accomplishment to be named a winner,” Saunders said. “Ohio County Schools is proud of our students who have earned Stifel Awards, and we are grateful to the Stifel Trust for recognizing and rewarding those students in a significant way.”

Ohio County Schools plans to congratulate Stifel winners and highlight them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Stifel winners are encouraged to have their picture taken holding their Stifel Award certificate and forward it to seniors2020@wphs.ohio.k12.wv.us. The photos will be posted on social media as they are received.

Stifel was born in Wheeling in 1849, and was the owner and operator of the Stifel Department Store in downtown Wheeling. He was known for his public service and philanthropy, and he was inducted into the Wheeling Hall of Fame in 1979.

In 1926, Stifel created an endowment dedicated to forever fund the children of his city. He hoped the students would believe that a good education was “well worth the ambition, patient work and sacrifice which it may require.”

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