October Dawn Scholarship recipient Megan O'Brien is headed to Farmingdale State College (2)

Megan O’Brien Wins October Dawn Scholarship

October Dawn Scholarship recipient Megan O'Brien is headed to Farmingdale State College

July 17, 2020

The October Dawn Scholarship is a very special award presented annually to a graduating Huntington High School senior. This year, the scholarship’s generous stipend of $2,000 was captured by Megan O’Brien, a member of the Class of 2020.

The scholarship is presented in memory of Kathryn A. DeGelleke, a special education teacher and Centerport resident who passed away September 22, 2009 after a two-year battle with cancer. She was only 53 years old.

 October Dawn Scholarship recipient Megan O'Brien.
October Dawn Scholarship recipient Megan O'Brien.

Mrs. DeGelleke worked in the district as a home tutor and provided instructional support services. Her husband, Scott usually presents the award in the high school auditorium during the senior academic awards night ceremony, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the event from being held this year. So high school college counselor Bernadette Walsh made the presentation during an online broadcast.

Scholarship applicants are asked to submit a one-page essay detailing what obstacles they have overcome in high school, their future plans and why they believe they should be awarded the scholarship.

Ms. O’Brien will be attending Farmingdale State College. She isn’t sure what she wants to study yet, “but I’m leaning toward early childhood education right now,” she said.

A delightful young woman, Ms. O’Brien is always surrounded by friends and activity. She’s articulate, energetic and thoughtful. Something is always happening when she’s around.

Ms. O’Brien played lacrosse for many years until deciding to serve as the team’s manager the past two seasons. She kept track of a dizzying array of statistics at each game, including shots, shots on goal, saves, assists and goals along with fouls, etc. It has been no easy task, but the teenager did it so well.

“Megan is one of the most selfless and thoughtful people I know,” close friend Katie Renkewitz said. “She would do just about anything to help a friend out and if you were to ever need someone by your side, it would be her.”