Senior first to receive major scholarship award at CHS in 13 years


Photo submitted by Mr. Alan Rudig

Former United States Senator Herb Kohl presents CHS senior Max Rudig a Student Excellence Award at the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation 2019 Student, Teacher and Principal Recognition Luncheon held at Appleton North High School on March 30

Isabell Kopf

Max Rudig received what any college-bound senior would dream for: a $10,000 scholarship to the post-secondary institution of his/her choice.

The purpose of the Herb Kohl Student Excellence Scholarship is to recognize student leadership, citizenship, school and community involvement, and academic achievement. It is also meant to encourage Wisconsin’s youth to further their education post-graduation, whether it be at a university, college or vocational/technical college.

“It came as a shock,” Rudig said. “Only 100 people in Wisconsin win. I had thought all that time spent applying went to waste.”

Rudig said he had learned of the scholarship from his parents. Mr. Alan Rudig, a math teacher at CHS and Rudig’s dad, said that he and his wife had known about the scholarship for a few years and encouraged their son to apply.

The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation awards one hundred $10,000 scholarships to Wisconsin high school seniors each year. The scholarship may be used to directly aide the expenses of post-secondary education, including (but not limited to) tuition, room and board, technology, equipment and fees. This money can be paid all at once, distributed over two years at $5,000 each year, $2,500 each year over four years or another arrangement requested by the recipient.

“It came as a shock to me,” Mr. Rudig said. “Actually, he had been notified back in December that he was not a finalist, and then in February he got an email saying, ‘We (the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation) were wrong, you are a finalist.’ That was a shock. And then the fact that he also got it was pretty shocking. Yeah, he deserves it, but to go from ‘You’re out of it’ to ‘You’re a winner’ is a pretty big thing.”

Max is the sixth student from CHS to receive the scholarship. Carmen Cullen (1991), Jess Hofberger (1992), Michelle Cullen (1996), Rosemarie Schuette (2000) and Nicole Lenz (2006) have been previous Chilton recipients of the scholarship.

Rudig was notified of his application reaching the Statewide Selection Committee in early March and received word that he was one of the 100 recipients shortly after. He received a certificate of his scholarship from Senator Kohl and was honored at a banquet held in late March.

In fact, this is the same banquet that CHS Principal Mr. Ty Breitlow was honored at, as well. (See “Principal Ty Breitlow receives double the honors” for more of the story.)

Rudig said he plans to attend Grinnell College, which is located in Iowa, with an undecided major. He said that it was a tough decision to make, but he likes their open curriculum and hopes it will give him more opportunities to explore a field he may be interested in.

Open curriculum is where there are little to no required general education classes for any student. Grinnell in particular only has one required general education class for incoming freshmen.

To apply for the Herb Kohl Student Excellence Scholarship, one must be a graduating high school student who intends to enroll in a post-secondary institution. Students must be a Wisconsin state resident, be in good standing and demonstrate likely success in post-secondary education. However, eligibility is not limited to GPA, class rank or any school or program status, such as National Honor Society. Any student meeting these criteria are eligible to apply, making this a very competitive scholarship.

In addition to the evaluation of their personal qualities, applicants must clearly state goals in four areas: future educational goals, personal life goals, community/society service goals and career goals.

Three letters of recommendation are required per applicant. These letters are expected to detail the student’s improvements, contributions and successes. And they can be written by a current or previous year’s teacher, counselor or principal.