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Superior Elks distribute $19,600 in scholarships

Applications and a U.S. Constitution quiz earned high school seniors local, state and national awards.

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Left to right, Exalted Ruler Kevin Keener, local students Chad Thompson, Gilbert Torvinen, Ben Hubbard, Paige Sanders, Maddelyn Swanson, Lindsey Olson and Sasha Peterson and Elks Scholarship Chairman Tad Matheson pose for a picture during Youth Recognition Night at Superior Elks Lodge 403 on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
Contributed / Tad Matheson
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SUPERIOR — Knowledge of the U.S. Constitution earned Superior High School senior Ben Hubbard a $3,100 scholarship.

Hubbard was one of eight students who received scholarships through Superior Elks Lodge 403. They gathered at the lodge Wednesday, May 11, for Youth Recognition Night. Scholarships totaling $19,600 were awarded, with funds coming from local, state and national Elks resources.

“We know that our future is from our youth coming up, and we want them to succeed,” said Tad Matheson, scholarship chairman for the Superior lodge.

The local lodge awards three $500 scholarships annually, he said. Those went to seniors Paige Sanders and Gilbert Torvinen, as well as University of Wisconsin-Superior student Lindsey Olson. Four seniors also earned state Most Valuable Student awards: Torvinen, Sasha Peterson and Chad Thompson received $1,000 scholarships and Maddelyn Swanson earned $4,000.

High school seniors Torvinen and Sean Arneson each received a $4,000 national legacy scholarship. It’s the first time Matheson, a 27-year member of the organization, can remember a student from the area receiving a legacy award. According to the Elks Lodge website, only five Wisconsin seniors received 2022 legacy scholarships.

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Quiz reward

Hubbard’s path to an Elks scholarship was filled with questions. Each had to do with the U.S. Constitution. The journey started in February with a 40-question multiple choice test that included a tiebreaker essay question. The local winners from that round moved onto state competition, a second 40-question test.

Although the Superior Elks Lodge covers six area school districts—Superior, Maple, Solon Springs, Northwood, Drummond and Webster—Hubbard was the only senior to take the test. He automatically moved onto the state round in April, where he placed second from a field of 16. The winner missed two questions, Hubbard missed five, and the next three top scorers tied with six wrong each, according to Pat Buck, chairman of the U.S. Constitution Committee.

How tough is the test?

“I took the preliminary test,” Matheson said. “You know, I haven’t looked at the Constitution stuff ... since I was in high school … I got 50%.”

He offered a sample question.

You’re a member of the U.S. Army. Which of the following rights do you not have that civilians charged with crimes under federal law have?

  • The right not to be witness against yourself
  • The right not to be tried twice for the same offense
  • The right to be indicted only upon presentation of an indictment by the grand jury
  • The right not to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process
  •  As a member of the military, you have the same protective rights as civilians.

“I have no idea what the answer would be,” Matheson said.
The number of participants at the state level went up this year, according to Buck. Last year, 13 of the state's 29 lodges took part; this year, 16 participated.

When he sends out information on Elks Lodge scholarships to school counselors in the fall, Matheson includes information on the U.S. Constitution Test. He credited SHS history teacher Kyle Smith for encouraging Hubbard to participate in the test. Matheson served as proctor.

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“It was really fun, and I wish we could’ve had more people participate,” Matheson said.

Students do not need to be connected to the Elks Lodge to take the quiz. Knowing that thousands of dollars are available could encourage more seniors to take the test next year, Matheson said.

Visit the Superior lodge Facebook page or the national website for more information on scholarships available through the Elks.

MORE COVERAGE OF LOCAL EDUCATION:
The district seeks to be reimbursed for costs caused by a fire that delayed Cooper Elementary School's opening by a year.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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The event will include kids' games, live music and more.