Concordia Seniors Taye Retter and McKenzie Widen Receive 2022 Voice of the Panthers Scholarships

Concordia High School Seniors Taye Retter and McKenzie Widen Have Been Selected as Winners of the 2022 Voice of the Panthers Scholarships
Concordia High School Seniors Taye Retter and McKenzie Widen Have Been Selected as Winners of the 2022 Voice of the Panthers Scholarships

Concordia High School Seniors Taye Retter and McKenzie Widen have been selected as winners of the 2022 Voice of the Panthers Scholarships awarded each year by 1390 KNCK broadcasters Loren Swenson and Toby Nosker.

Taye is the son of Ben and Tawni Retter, while McKenzie is the daughter of Jeff and Lisa Widen.

The intent of the Voice of the Panthers Scholarships is to recognize those who are not necessarily the top athletes, but who have shown a dedication to the team effort through their consistent hard work and inspiration.

"Being a Panther applies on the court and field, but what is even more important is how it applies outside of what people see. Being a Panther is about the impressions and stories you leave behind you," Retter wrote in his scholarship essay. "Being a Panther isn't about being an individual, being in a sport, or being in a club. Being a Panther means building a community filled with passionate people. The Panther community is one that will follow you throughout your future endeavors."

Taye has participated in Football, Basketball, Track and Choir. He plans to attend Kansas State University and major in Finance.

"I have been in education almost 30 years now and I honestly believe that Taye is one of the best kids that I have ever been associated with," Concordia Elementary School Principal and CHS Head Boys Basketball Coach Derek Holmes said. "Taye is a very hard worker and has a great personality. He consistently puts others first. In my many years coaching I have never coached a kid that was a better teammate than Taye."

McKenzie has participated in 4-H, Concordia Trap Club, Golf and Student Council.

"Being a CHS Panther means being part of one big family, a family where there is always someone to talk to and a shoulder to cry on if needed. At CHS you are given many opportunities that allow you to express yourself and be who you want to be," Widen wrote in her scholarship essay. "Being a CHS Panther will stick with me, and no matter how far I travel away, I will always have a home at Concordia High School."

McKenzie plans to attend Cloud County Community College to earn an Associate's Degree in Business, and then transfer onto Fort Hays State University to major in Business or Finance.

"McKenzie has stood out as one of the leaders of the Concordia Junior/Senior High School Trap team since its inception in 2018. Her hard work and determination have set an excellent example to the other athletes on the team as well as people in the community," Concordia High School Trap Coach Matt Farmer said. "Her hard work, determination, and growth, not only as a trap shooter, but a young person ready to take on the world has made her very deserving of this award."

The scholarship awards were announced Friday, May 13th during the Senior Awards Assembly at Concordia High School.

Award winners:
Kansas State Scholars - Cav Carlgren, Malachi Carder and Riley McMillan

Kansas ACT Scholars - Riley McMillan and Phillip Shirkey

CHS Honor Scholars - Juana Ayala, Ashley Bartlett, Hunter Blackwood, Malachi Carder, Cav Carlgren, Jordan Gilkeson, Tyler Hobrock, Kylee Hower, Riley McMillan, Phillip Shirkey, Isaiah Steffen and Joshua Wood

Dale M. Dennis Excellence in Education Award - Taley Murdock and Phillip Shirkey

KSHSAA Female Citizenship Award - Juana Ayala

KSHSAA Male Citizenship Award - Taye Retter

Outstanding Senior Female Athlete Award - Jara Nordell

Ray Culley Award for Outstanding Senior Male Athlete - Keyan Miller

All League Academic/Athletic Awards - Hunter Blackwood, Nathan Brown, Malachi Carder, Cav Carlgren, Shaeleigh Eakins, Shelby Giersch, Jordan Gilkeson, Tyler Hobrock, Kylee Hower, Riley McMillan, Keyan Miller, Dalton Owen, Aidan Poore, Taryn Roush, Maddie Schlyer, Phillip Shirkey, Isaiah Steffen, Bethany Trost, McKenzie Widen and Joshua Wood

Golden Mask Award - Hunter Blackwood

Gwen Fletcher Award - Phillip Shirkey

Panther Honor Awards - Kiana Champlin, Keadan Kearn, Ashley Bartlett and Kira Kearn

Students of the Month - Juana Ayala, Aidan Poore, Cav Carlgren, Ashley Bartlett, Maddie Schlyer, Tyler Hobrock, Joshua Wood, Taryn Roush and Keyan Miller

Industry Recognized Certificates
CNA - Certification
Ayla Collins
Jara Nordell

Microsoft/Business Certification
Nathan Brown 
Cav Carlgren
Riley McMillan 
Isaiah Steffen
McKenzie Widen

Military Enlistee - Tucker Arnold

Local Scholarships
Cheryl Laas Memorial Scholarship
- Taley Murdock and Cav Carlgren 

Nicole Barleen Memorial Scholarship - McKenzie Widen

Jack and Jeanne Metz-Sellers Memorial Scholarship - Kylee Hower and Juana Ayala

Voice of the Panthers Scholarships - McKenzie Widen and Taye Retter

Steven "Turkey " Williams Memorial Scholarship - Dalton Owen 

North Cloud Education Association Scholarship - Keyan Miller

PEO Chapter EV - Taley Murdock and Ryah Klima

Orville Henderson Memorial Scholarship - Cav Carlgren 

Ron Cossel Memorial Scholarship - Cav Carlgren 

Dana Nelson Memorial Scholarship - Hunter Blackwood