The Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (VIAAA) awards three annual scholarships to deserving high school students who will be graduating from a Virginia High School League member school or Independent School in honor of Claudia Dodson. The athletic administrator of the member school must be a member of the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association in order for the member school’s student to qualify for the scholarship.
Click below for the information about the three availalbe scholarship opportunities.
The VIAAA is proud to present scholarships to the following seniors from the class of 2021:
The Claudia Dodson Scholarship/NIAAA Female Scholar-Athlete Award
Anne C. Kumashiro – Wakefield High School
This honor student has a 4.17 GPA and proudly serves in Girl Scout Troop 6977 achieving rank of Gold Award and earned her Silver Award while helping raise $20,000+ for her troop to travel to Panama for Sea Turtle conservation. She has served as Class Secretary and Student Government Secretary as well as Vice-President of the Women of Wakefield Club. She has earned a varsity letter in Golf, Cross Country, Dive, Lacrosse, and Outdoor Track & Field. She competed in the Region and State Dive Tournaments, earning 8th and 9th place in the State. She has led at Wakefield as a member of the Interact Club, National Honor Society, and the National History, Math, and Science Honor Societies. Anne has volunteered for tutoring programs, food drives, teaching adaptive Taekwondo, and for the Best Buddies programs. She also is active in the Army Navy Country Club Summer Dive program and has earned a Black Belt in Jhoon Rhee Taekwondo.
Ms. Karen S. Coltrane, President and CEO of the Leadership Center for Excellence, stated, “During the summer, Anne stood out as an exuberant leader who values the input, variety of skills, and reflection that a team can bring to the equation. She was often one of the first to ask a question or offer her thoughts, and she genuinely cared to hear the response or feedback.” When asked how this scholarship will benefit you achieving your higher educational goals, Anne stated, “This scholarship would help me achieve my dream/goal of attending Yale University’s Law Program. I will need to excel in my undergraduate studies to qualify for this program. To defray the amount of my future student loans, I have saved every penny of my earnings (e.g. dog walking, babysitting, tall ship deckhand, etc.) along with my birthday and holiday monies.” Anne Kumashiro plans to pursue a degree in Political Science to go onto Law School and will attend the University of Virginia in the fall. Additionally, Anne was selected as the NIAAA Female Scholar-Athlete Award recipient for the VIAAA and will compete for the Section II and NIAAA Scholarships.
The Past Presidents’ Leadership Award (Sponsored by the VIAAA Past President’s)/NIAAA Male Scholar-Athlete Award
Johnny L. Oates, II – Thomas Dale High School
Johnny holds a 4.04 GPA and is a decorated student-athlete, earning a varsity letter in Baseball serving as Captain while also being the announcer for Basketball and Field Hockey games and Spirit Rallies at his school. His involvement doesn’t stop there, he is a member of the National Beta Club, DECA, KEY Club, Science Club, and serves as a mentor. Johnny serves his community by being a Little League Coach, works at the local Food Bank, and fundraisers for the American Heart Association; specifically the Mended Little Hearts Charity Organization. He does all this while working at a local wedding venue facility.
When asked about his leadership philosophy, Johnny states, “I am honored to have the opportunity to be involved in interscholastic activities and greatly appreciate all the skills and lessons I have learned during my participation. I see myself as a very strong and encouraging leader. My philosophy I use is to always uplift others and build confidence. I look forward to helping others and teaching through example and positive influence. Although it can be very difficult at times trying to balance all the aspects of life, it is still very important to me to show others it can be done.”
Mr. Richard E. Talman, III, Director of Student Activities at Thomas Dale High School wrote, “Johnny has stood out as a leader within the Thomas Dale community since I first had the opportunity to meet him in the fall of 2019. Last year, as a junior, Johnny had already earned the role of captain of the baseball team. This was no surprise to me as he embodies the characteristics of what you look for in a student leader. He sets the example of how others should act and holds himself accountable to high standards, which is unique for someone his age. His accomplishments in the classroom and involvement throughout the school community are also something to be recognized.” Johnny Oates, II plans to study Biology at Hampden-Sydney College in the fall. Additionally, Johnny was selected as the NIAAA Male Scholar-Athlete Award recipient for the VIAAA and will compete for the Section II and NIAAA Scholarships.
The John C. Youngblood Scholarships
Mitchell W. Campbell – Honaker High School
Mitchell is a three-time letter winner in Varsity Cross Country, Forensics, and Track & Field and one-time letter winner in Varsity Soccer at Honaker High School. He serves others through his Church Youth Group Mission Trips to Tennessee and in Virginia. He has worked with the Blankets for Veterans project and Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Gifts program. He has been a top 10 finisher in Cross Country and Track at his district and region meets. In ninth grade, he placed 3rd in the Extemporaneous Speaking category at the Class 1 VHSL State Championship and was a Region Champion. At Honaker, Mitchell serves in the Student Government, FBLA, FCA, and Interact Club; all while being ranked 6th in his class.
Mitchell’s Youth Pastor at Swords Creek Community Baptist Church, Dr. Matthew Jessee, stated in his recommendation, “As a youth pastor, I see many teenage kids develop and change as they proceed through our group. Mitchell has always demonstrated a Christian character like no one else I have ever been associated with. Whether it is doing missions in poverty-stricken areas or holding the door and greeting fellow students at his high school, Mitchell does everything with passion and a true desire to serve others. Probably one of my favorite things about Mitchell is his faith. He is an elite level runner and trains daily with all his heart. I have seen him battle through injuries with joy and the belief that God has a master plan for him, even in the valley of disappointment. Mitchell is the epitome of a strong Christian man. He isn’t fazed by pressure from his peers at school and unashamed to share his faith and belief in Jesus Christ. His passion for serving and loving others is contagious. His boldness to step out in faith has inspired others in our group to follow. Mitchell is a natural born leader.”
In his essay about how the scholarship will help in achieving your higher educational goals Mitchell stated "For as long as I can remember, my parents have always taught me to do the absolute best in everything that I can do. When it comes to school, I use my strongest efforts to take in what I learn during classes and apply them in and outside of school. Because graduation and college are getting close, I am determined to keep up my hard-working habits. When it comes to my family, I want to make them proud by no letting tuition be a burden on them or myself.” Mitchell W. Campbell plans to attend Southwest Virginia Community College in the fall.
Eliana Gabrielle Dellinger – Stonewall Jackson High School
Eli is an honor student with a 4.2 GPA and will graduate with the honor of being named the VHSL State Soccer Player of the Year as a Sophomore. She has earned a varsity letter in Cross Country, Basketball, and Soccer, serving as captain on all three teams. She also received All-District/Region/State Honors for Soccer and Cross-Country. Her extra-curricular activities include serving as Student Government President (11th and 12th) and Secretary (10th), Alpine Ski Racing, National Honor Society (Vice-President), Environmental Club (Vice-President), and Cancer Awareness Club (Treasurer). She has volunteered as a youth soccer coach, Leadership Camp Counselor, Youth Basketball Camp Coach, Clean-Up Events, Blood Drives, Virtual Book Readings, and Breakfast with Santa events. Most impressively she started a podcast with her sister entitled, Girl Power Gurus, which sets out to help listeners learn about female heroes and role models through shared stories and wisdom.
In her essay about how her leadership and character have affected her school and community, Eli wrote, “High school athletics has positively impacted my school and community in many ways. As our soccer team experienced success over the past few seasons, I noticed that we had accumulated more spectators and later on noticed that we had great interest from little girls throughout our county to participate in our summer camp. This was heartwarming because I felt that our team had brought enjoyment to our community.”
Eli’s coach and teacher, Mr. Jeff Burner, stated in his recommendation, “The fantastic thing about her success is that it came through hard work and a desire to have the team succeed. Eli always puts the team first, and we all have benefited. Eli’s greatest quality as a leader is her ability to raise the confidence and expectations of her teammates. Eli builds individual confidence and never tears people down. Many times, I have seen her turn the compliments of fans into praise of her teammates. Her dedication and selfless sacrifice are rare in today’s athlete. The most impressive aspect of Eli is her ability to be comfortable with who she is. She is open to other opinions and information, but without compromising her own beliefs. Eli is true to herself and that makes her comfortable to other people.” Eliana Dellinger plans to study medicine and will attend Swarthmore College in the fall.
Owen Lipps – Ocean Lakes High School
Owen has scored a 1450 on the SAT and currently has a 4.3 GPA. He is a three-sport student-athlete, lettering in Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field where he also serves as Captain on each team. He also was a Region Champion and received All-State Honors. Owen is a member of the National Honor Society, Young Life, and is a staff member on his schools Leadership Workshop Staff. He is also a founding member of the Spikeball Club at OLHS. He has volunteered at numerous road races in his community and worked as a leader on research projects on the effects and treatments of iron deficiency anemia.
In his essay about how his leadership and character have affected his school and community, Owen wrote, “As an incoming freshman on the team, I was terrified of the older guys. They seemed so big, fast, and loud and I was so reserved and quiet. The entire first month of practicing I rarely said a word, I kept to myself because I as too afraid to reach out. That was until one of the seniors, the three-time state champion started talking to me. He made me feel accepted and helped me branch out to the other guys on the team. He grew to be one of t my greatest friends and shaped me into the runner I am today. When it was my time to become an upperclassman, I thought back to how he helped me. I decided to reach out to all the incoming runners. I knew how it felt to be alone and afraid, and wanted to let my new teammates know that they were welcome and had a friend.”
Ms. Heather Cavanagh, Cross Country Team Mom, said about him, “Owen has always been a supportive teammate. As a top tier athlete, Owen finishes most races ahead of his teammates. When he is done, he waits by the finish line to celebrate victories or help a fallen teammate. Then he will find a spot on the course to cheer on the younger runners, helping them succeed”. Owen Lipps plans to attend the College of William and Mary in the fall.
Abby Phillips – East Rockingham High School
Abby has earned a varsity letter in Sideline Cheerleading (Fall and Winter), Competition Cheerleading, and Swimming all while earning a 4.22 GPA. One of her biggest athletic accomplishments was being named All-District, All-Region, and All-State in 2018 for Cheerleading.
Her service does not only come through athletics; she is a member of the Leadership Club, the National Honor Society, Spanish and Social Studies Honor Societies, Diversity Club, and Ruriteens at East Rockingham High School. She has also helped coach youth gymnastics at a local community center. She has volunteered to transport puppies, pickup trash in her community, served as a Bible School leader, tutor, and created Project Sunshine which created videos to help improve mental health. Abby can balance all of this while working in the summertime as a Waterpark attendant.
Abby’s Leadership Sponsor, Mr. Mark R. Palmer, stated, “Through my daily interactions with Abby, I see a personable, warm, gregarious, and thoughtful young woman. She is responsible, organized, and thoroughly committed to ERHS. In all my interactions with Abby, she demonstrates a warmth and passion that infuses all she does with a bright, infectious sense of humor that is both endearing and inspiring. Abby Phillips is a talented young woman with so much to offer. Abby epitomizes hard work and leadership.”
In her essay on how this scholarship will benefit her and her family in achieving her higher educational goals, Abby wrote, “Growing up, I dreamed of leaving the nest, creating friendships that last lifetimes, and learning the fascinating ins and outs of nursing. I never imagined working long hours and putting education on the back burner because of overwhelming student loans. Aiding those who are in need is my passion. I wish to show my community kindness and compassion in their time of need, all the while nursing them back to the best and healthiest forms of themselves. While helping hose is my top priority, I also want to utilize my patience, positive mindset, and dependability by furthering my education and becoming a nurse practitioner.” Abby Phillips plans to pursue a career in nursing and plans to attend the University of Virginia in the fall.