Suttonwins scholarship to study abroad

Published on Thu, Jun 1, 2006 by ack Kintner

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Sutton wins scholarship to study abroad

By Jack Kintner

Blaine high school junior Sara Sutton is a serious student who wants someday to travel in Europe. Thanks to International Experience USA’s (IEUSA) global classroom student exchange program, she recently found out that her wish is coming true in just a few months.

Sutton, 17, recently was named as one of six county high school recipients of the Todd Curran memorial scholarship. The $5,000 reward will be used to send her to school in Europe for one semester during her senior year under the auspices of IEUSA.

“We normally only give out two of these for foreign study as an exchange student,” said Paul Hallgrimson, IEUSA’s European director, “but the applications were quite strong this time, so we decided to send all four.”

The other three students who will be studying in Europe are from Bellingham.

Sutton said that Hallgrimson will be in town next week to tell her where she will be going. One of the options is Iceland, a location with a definite Blaine tie-in.

Hallgrimson said he hopes to find host families in the area willing to house a European student. “It would help a lot if a family here in Blaine would volunteer to host a foreign student, because it is an exchange program,” Sutton said, “and if we can provide a home here in Blaine then it helps the program fill its commitments to students coming for a semester to the U.S.”

Sutton and her younger sister, Blaine sophomore Sarina Sutton, grew up in Blaine and now live with Richard and Susan Sturgill.

Sturgill directs Drayton Harbor Mariime which operates the Plover on weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Last weekend Sarina began her second season as first mate on the passenger ferry Plover to captain Sam Clemens with Sara as her backup.
Sara Sutton currently maintains a 3.2 grade point average (GPA) while taking advanced placement (AP) classes in U.S. history and English literature, plus chemistry, Spanish and advanced algebra.

She works at Peace Arch Playhouse day care in Blaine, and is learning to play the guitar. She said her tastes range from the Beatles to Pink Floyd.

She credits Blaine high school counselors Rick Vanderyacht and Karen Mulholland with directing her to apply for the award.

“I’ve always wanted to travel, and I also like photography,” she said, “so we began looking at ways to do that.”

Two more students, Claire Morgan of Bellingham high school and Blaine high school’s boy of the year Robert Bleecker, were awarded similar amounts as scholar-athletes to be used as college scholarships.
The only other Blaine winner in the history of the county-wide award was basketball player Kristina Francis, who graduated in 2004 and went on to Whitman College.

The scholarship is named for Todd Curran, a Sehome high school teammate of Oregon State University assistant basketball coach Jeff Reinert.

The $5,000 awards are given out to college-bound scholar athletes over five years and as a lump sum to fund a semester of exchange study in Europe.

For more information in IEUSA, go to www.ie-usa.com (USA) and www.ie-edu.net (Europe).