Keely Orr receives the Klose Scholarship from WSU


Senior Keely Orr recently received one of the best messages a soon-to-be college student could hear. She won a scholarship that would pay for all third and fourth-year tuition, books, and fees at Wichita State University.

“I always thought I would go to K-State, but when I started visiting colleges, I realized that it was not for me and I really liked WSU when I visited it,” she said.

Orr said she decided on WSU because of her amazing scholarship opportunities.

The Klose Scholarship, the scholarship Orr applied for, can only be used for her junior and senior year of college, and Orr will not be able to use the scholarship if she decides to change her major, but she is pretty certain that secondary biology education is her calling.

“I decided to go into teaching because of hearing all of the good and bad stories my mom told me throughout her years of teaching. I always liked how my mom had the time to come to every one of my sporting events and she could drive me to school. She also had the opportunity to hang out with me over the summer,” Orr said.

While Orr looks forward to being a teacher one day, she didn’t enjoy as much the Nov. 22 four-hour qualifying procedure for the scholarship. Orr said that she went through three stages at the scholarship competition. In the first stage, she created a mini-lesson and presented it to two judges. Orr asked Mrs. Pesha Ptacek to help her outline her lesson plans so she would have a strong foundation for her lesson. 

“I talked to Mrs. Ptacek a lot about the highs and lows of teaching, and she was a big influence on my decision. She also helped me a lot with my scholarship, and I don’t think I would have gotten it if it wasn’t for her,” Orr said.

After presenting the mini-lesson, Orr interviewed and later teamed with others to create a  group project. She said she had to work well with the others competing in the scholarship competition and had to stand out to catch the judges’ attention to look like a better candidate for the scholarship.

Five out of nine of the students attending the scholarship competition received the full scholarship of free tuition, books, and fees. 

Orr heard the exciting news of receiving the scholarship right before her first basketball game of the season. 

“I got a call from the guy in charge of the scholarship. I was so excited to hear that I got it! This greatly cut the cost of college and I am so grateful for this scholarship,” Orr said.