Foundation awards Karrels Scholarships

The Directors of the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation are pleased to announce that nine Fort Atkinson students have earned $1,000 Ed Karrels Computer Science Scholarships to help them finance their college education. The recipients of the 2014 awards are Ryan Albert, Jacob Aldrich, John Compas, David Ebben, Elliot Filipiak, Clayton Hoye, Jared Hynum, Kyle Schneider, and Thomas Shockman.

Ed Karrels established this scholarship fund at the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation in 2011 in an effort to encourage students at Fort Atkinson High School to explore the field of computer science. Karrels, a 1992 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, earning a degree in computer science. After graduating in 1997, he parlayed a series of internships and networking opportunities into a career at Google. Karrels was the 56th employee hired at Google, where he worked until 2005. Contributing to the multinational Internet and computer software company’s success, he accumulated enough stock to sell and retire at age 30 when Google went public.

In establishing this scholarship, Karrels stated, “My goal is to convince more students to explore a future in computer science. I think there may be high school students who have the aptitude, but who don’t consider it because at the time computer science might not look like much fun. Later on, they may grow to regret not pursuing it, because it is a very employable skill. I’ve met many people who (at least jokingly) wish they had studied computers in college.”

To earn the scholarship, students must pass the Advance Placement Computer Science class at Fort Atkinson High School and then also pass the Computer Science AP test with a score of 3, 4 or 5 no later than three months after passing the class. Students who meet the criteria automatically earn the $1,000 scholarship which is paid directly to the student’s college or technical school after proof of enrollment is received.

The 2014 Ed Karrels scholarship awards were presented at the August 21, 2014 school board meeting by computer science teacher, Aaron Chamberlain. During his introductory comments, math and computer science teacher Dean Johnson, who worked with Karrels in developing this unique scholarship, noted that these nine awards have brought the total awarded from this fund to $25,000. He expects even more will be awarded next year as this fall there are 24 students enrolled in AP Computer Science. Fort Atkinson High School offers four courses in Computer Science: CS1, CS2, AP CS, and Mobile App Development.

“I’m very proud of the students and their accomplishment,” remarked Johnson. “Learning this skill will prove to be beneficial to their long term goals. I am also very happy to have Aaron Chamberlain as our new hire in the Math and Computer Science department. He is an excellent teacher who works hard to serve the students of Fort Atkinson.”