Thursday, 10 June 2021 13:59

Maple Ave. Middle Schoolers Receive Billy Wardell Memorial Fund Award

By Jaynie Ellis | Education
Left to right: Jayden Wiley, Taydem Watson, Emilia Acquavella, Olivia Cowieson, Matthew Jeffers. Photo provided. Left to right: Jayden Wiley, Taydem Watson, Emilia Acquavella, Olivia Cowieson, Matthew Jeffers. Photo provided.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Maple Avenue Middle School has announced this year’s recipients of the Billy Wardell Memorial Fund. 

The Billy Wardell Memorial Fund, set up by Billy’s grandmother Sherry Wardell, has selected eight sixth graders from Maple Avenue Middle School to receive this year’s awards. Billy Wardell was a sixth grader at Maple Avenue Middle School when he passed away five years ago in an ATV accident. The Billy Wardell Memorial Fund has been able to award eight Maple Avenue sixth graders each year for the past five years with a Target gift card to help offset the cost of next year’s school supplies. 

The sixth graders awarded this year are: Jayden Wiley, Taydem Watson, Emilia Acquavella, Olivia Cowieson, Matthew Jeffers, Bella Edwards, Levi Layden, and Caylee Faulkner. 

The characteristics teachers look for when selecting the recipients are students who carry the same kind and caring characteristics as Billy. 

“We specifically ask that it goes to a student who is a true mentor to other students,” said Sherry. “Someone who will step in to stop bullying. That’s what Billy did.”

Next year will be the last year of the Billy Wardell Memorial Fund, and it will be moving to the high school to award two seniors $5,500 towards a skill school or college of their choice. Billy would have been a senior in 2022, and next year’s recipients would have been his classmates. 

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