Tarn Udall receives Boettcher scholarship
RFSD Public Information Officer
Roaring Fork High School senior Tarn Udall is one of 40 graduating high school seniors in Colorado to win the prestigious Boettcher scholarship.
But she is quick to direct the attention to her teachers, school and the noted scholarship program.
Udall, whom school officials say will be one of two co-valedictorians at RFHS this May, received word of the full-ride, four-year Boettcher Foundation Scholarship to any school in Colorado earlier this semester. More than 1,000 qualified applicants competed for the awards in a rigorous application process.
“I applied just because it’s a great opportunity. I never really believed it until I re-read the letter over and over again,” Udall said.
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Favorite teacher honored as well
In addition to the scholarship, Udall is able to honor a special teacher who has made a significant impact on her high school life. Udall selected science teacher Laura French, who will receive $1,000 from the foundation.
“What is most remarkable about Mrs. French is her dedication to the cultivation of the entire student. She takes a sincere interest in each of her student’s academic and extracurricular lives,” Udall said of her favorite instructor. “She is constantly present at games and plays. It is obvious that Mrs. French believes that each of her students possess a talent and a desire to learn.”
Udall said French has taught her “the power of perseverance, patience and passion.”
“A class with Mrs. French is challenging and extremely rewarding. She ensures that students are not lost in the sometimes rigid and challenging realm of science,” Udall said.
Second scholarship for family
Each year the Denver-based Boettcher Foundation grants more than $1.7 million in merit-based scholarships to superior young people from Colorado high schools.
Begun in 1952, the statewide competition recognizes scholarship, leadership and achievement and seeks to reward outstanding seniors who demonstrate the potential to make significant contributions to the state.
Tarn is the daughter of Carbondale residents Randy Udall and Leslie Emerson. Her accomplishment makes a second for the family, as Tarn’s older sister, Ren, also won a Boettcher scholarship and now is a junior studying political science at Colorado College.
Tarn, an all-conference basketball and soccer player at Roaring Fork, said she is leaning toward joining her sister at Colorado College for an opportunity to play college basketball. She said she plans to study political science, environmental science or journalism.
“I’ve seen what a great opportunity her (Ren’s) scholarship has given her, and I just feel lucky and honored to have been selected as well,” Udall said.
‘Amazing student, athlete, leader’
RFHS principal Wendy Moore and counselor Diane Corbett are big fans of Udall.
Her accomplishments include maintaining a 4.0 grade point average, winning essay contests, serving as a Student Council officer, and participating in varsity volleyball, basketball, soccer and track. She also volunteers in the community.
“She is an amazing student, athlete and leader,” Moore said. “Both in writing and action she operates on a plane above and beyond most of the rest of us. It is maturity well beyond her years.”
“She is an incredible student and an exceptional human being,” Corbett noted. “Tarn is bright, dedicated, involved and modest.”
Udall, in turn, has kudos for her Carbondale high school.
“In an age where public schools are beginning to get a bad reputation, Roaring Fork has solidified my belief in the power of a few, select individuals,” Udall said.
“While not every class and not every student is geared toward the ultimate academic challenge, I was lucky enough to have brilliant and talented teachers,” Udall said. “Mrs. French, Mrs. Cretti, Mr. Hontz, Mrs. Knaus, Mr. Black, Mr. Kalous, to name a few, have played a large role in my education.”
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