452. Jim Heern-Ray Maez Memorial Scholarship


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  • Award: $1500
  • Eligibility: Graduating senior from Illinois Valley High School
  • GPA: 2.5 and above
  • Selection Criteria: Applicant needs to have intention of entering at least a 2-4 year post high school educational program with a focus on industrial arts, agriculture, trade tech or educational study. Applicants from Latino, African American, Pacific Islander, or Native American backgrounds will have first priority or if applicant has especially overcome personal, family, social, or cultural difficulties and preserved through obstacles in pursuing their educational goals.
  • Use of Funds: May be used at any accredited two or four-year college, trade or technical school, or for training in an accredited apprenticeship program. Scholarship checks are mailed directly to the recipients’ college or university, or educational institution for payment of tuition and fees. Award may also be used for books and needed school supplies upon presentation of receipts to JCEF for reimbursement.
  • About this Scholarship: Our father and beloved husband, Jim Heern, was at the agriculture, FFA, and Industrial Arts at Illinois Valley High School from 1978-2007- nearly 30 years. Having grown up in family alcoholism and adversity Jim was befriended by a Latino football teammate, Ray Maez, who offered his home and food when Jim had no shelter or anything to eat.  Jim couldn’t live at home but worked nights to feed and clothe himself. He graduated with a 1.7 GPA.  He sacrificed and took one night course at University of Utah where he met his future wife, Bobette Badertscher, who introduced him to The Baha’i Faith. A Baha’i friend helped find him a full four year scholarship. He and Bobette moved to Logan, Utah where he majored in Agricultural Education. With intense focus and tutoring from Bobette he graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science. After marrying the couple moved to North Dakota and then Cave Junction in 1978 where he taught nearly 30 years and raised three boys. He was a hands on teacher, took his students on many educational field trips, helped them raise livestock for the Josephine County Fair (where they won many awards),  and built a greenhouse on campus where students raised and sold plants, and taught welding.  He also taught weight lifting, public speaking, coached baseball and the mountain biking team to two state championships.  He was strict, personable, had a great sense of humor and many, many friends in the Illinois Valley.
    In the words of Arch McHie, a former student, “I am reminded of all the greatness, that was Jim.  My mentor, my inspiration, and my friend. He always said you had to be true to yourself and never waiver in your conviction. I’ve never forgotten those words and try to live by them everyday.”