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First-ever Gary Goolden Memorial Scholarship awards given at OFA

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The inaugural presentation of the Gary Goolden Memorial Scholarship took place Friday morning at Ogdensburg Free Academy.

Two $300 awards were given to deserving students who plan on attending the school’s trip to Washington, D.C., in the fall.

Eighth-grader Anthoni Pope and seventh-grader Jocelyne Lovely received the awards.

“[They are] two fine OFA students,” Middle School Principal Kevin Kendall said. “We said we want students who exhibit the qualities that Gary exhibited while he was here. He was a stand-up kind of guy. He demanded respect and he treated everybody with that same respect.”

Mr. Goolden, a former junior high school social studies teacher who died in 2012, was responsible for organizing the school’s first trips to the nation’s capital in the early 1990s, Mr. Kendall said.

Assistant Superintendent David J. Valois said when kids would come up short for the trip, Mr. Goolden had a way of making money “magically” appear in their accounts.

“More than once he did that,” Mr. Valois said.

“It was a great trip for them,” Patricia Goolden, Mr. Goolden’s widow, said.

Today the trip costs $1,100 and is paid for by fundraisers organized by seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher and D.C. trip coordinator Fiona L. Hopkins. This year’s trip will take place from Oct. 11 to 13.

Mr. Kendall said the annual trip has been especially good for students who normally don’t get to travel outside of the north country.

“It gives kids a great chance to see the capital,” Mr. Kendall said.

Roughly 55 students are planning on attending this year’s trip.

The Gary Goolden Memorial Scholarship will be an annual award, Mr. Kendall said.

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