HHS Senior awarded Belk Scholarship to Davidson!

HHS Senior awarded Belk Scholarship to Davidson!
Posted on 05/28/2021
eric s.

Hickory High Senior awarded

John M. Belk Scholarship to Davidson College

Only eight high school seniors from across the globe are selected each year to receive The John M. Belk Scholarship at Davidson College. The Belk scholars are challenge seekers, intellectual explorers, servant leaders and change agents.

Those traits were discovered in a candidate from Hickory High School, Class of 2021. Eric Schoellner, 18, received the life-changing news earlier this spring. “It’s like it isn’t real—did I really get this?” said Schoellner.  Yes, he did. Schoellner earned this prestigious honor.

Davidson doesn’t come cheap. According to Schoellner, Davidson’s cost is upwards of $70,000 per year. In addition to the full ride covering tuition, fees, room, and board, he will receive two $3,000 special study stipends to support intellectual, personal, and leadership development over the course of his college career. Belk Scholars have used the stipends to explore their passions in the U.S. and abroad. Davidson’s international emphasis is demonstrated in a commitment to encourage students to become active world citizens.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Schoellner, the son of Dirk and Teresa Schoellner and brother to Brian, moved to Hickory when he was very young. A product of Hickory Public Schools, he attended Oakwood Elementary, Grandview Middle, and is now wrapping up his high school career between time spent at HHS and attending the Scholars Academy at Lenoir-Rhyne University during his senior year.

Schoellner readily admits that he actively pursues achievement and possesses a strong focus on grades. Earning a 4.518 grade point average (GPA) took some commitment, although Schoellner shares he did make one “B” during his high school journey. But clearly Davidson noticed more than his scholarly productivity. 

Schoellner is passionate about his extra-curricular activities including four years on the HHS award-winning (first-place) Quiz Bowl Team; participating with Leadership 2000 And Beyond—and earning their annual scholarship; serving as an officer with the Key Club; running cross country and track for four years; participating with Hickory Youth Council for three years; and volunteering at the Catawba Science Center, just to name a few.

The academic highlights from Hickory High, other than the Quiz Bowl coached by Mr. Alex Wienbrock, included AP US History with Mr. Drew Daniels, AP English with Mrs. Madison Yount, and AP World History with Mr. Nathan Fredericks. The classes opened some curiosity about political science, a possible major for Schoellner, who volunteered with campaigns during the previous election.

So, what does a young scholar who earned a full-ride to Davidson do for fun? Schoellner enjoys hanging out with his friends, although COVID dampened those good times over the past year. “It’s hard not to have that feeling of community, even acquaintances—the magic of walking through everyone’s life,” he said. “The small stuff became the big stuff—we didn’t know we would miss so much.”

But with hometown activities starting to re-open, there’s one activity Schoellner looks forward to enjoying with his family before he heads off to college. “It’s the Crawdad’s baseball games!” he said. “I love the Crawdads—my family has been going to the games for several years, since I was a young boy. I think I played Little League for just one year, but the passion for the game stayed with me. I can’t wait to return and share in the outdoor fun, once again.”

The intense academics and potential world travel are clearly in Schoellner’s future at Davidson. The gift of the John M. Belk Scholarship will forever change his life. So many opportunities, so many new experiences will pave the way.  But until then, it’s time for some fun with his adopted dog & cat, friends, and family. You earned it, Eric Schoellner. Play ball!


(Photo & post by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)






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