An appreciative BHS alumna has launched the Hart-Thomas Scholarship, an award of $1,000.00 to be presented annually through the Brighton Schools Alumni Association (BSAA). Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (BHS’71), who credits the Brighton school system in general and a sixth-grade and high-school teacher in particular, with providing skills and confidence that have been key to her professional success as a writer, editor and proofreader, established the scholarship in 2020 and funded the initial award.
The award recognizes a graduating BHS senior who has demonstrated initiative, originality, creativity, independence, critical reading and writing skills, and overall excellence in written materials. The recipient does not have to plan to major in English or journalism in college, and should not have served on Trapezoid newspaper, Galaxy literary magazine or the yearbook at BHS. “Being a writer takes guts and persistence,” said Thaler-Carter. “I’d like to see recognition for students who find their own paths.” As an example, she started her own literary magazine after being turned down for Galaxy, and earned her first freelance journalism income by writing a column for the Brighton-Pittsford Post newspaper while at BHS.
The scholarship honors Louise Thomas, who taught sixth-grade English (among other subjects) at 12 Corners Middle School, and Elizabeth Hart, who taught AP English and an elective on "Critical Reading and Writing" (as well as several other electives) at BHS. "Miss Thomas instilled a lifelong understanding of, respect for and ability in grammar and usage in her students, and Miss Hart provided a lasting standard of excellence in writing and self-editing," Thaler-Carter said. "They were both tough, demanding teachers who expected us to think and write clearly and accurately. If they gave you a good grade, you really felt you earned it. I use their training literally every day, in everything I write, edit or proofread."
Applications for the Hart-Thomas Scholarship are available from the BHS Guidance Office.
Applicants for the Hart-Thomas Scholarship must submit up to five examples of essays, fiction, poetry and/or article they have written, including two for a class and three for publications or outlets other than Trapezoid or Galaxy. These can include blog posts and self-published books.
Applicants for the Hart-Thomas Scholarship must submit up to five examples of essays, fiction, poetry and/or articles that they have written, including two for a class and three for publications or outlets other than Trapezoid or Galaxy; this can include blog posts and self-published books. Applications will be reviewed by Thaler-Carter through her lifetime and a committee of three current or retired BHS teachers, including at least one from the BHS English Department. Depending on additional contributions, the award may be increased in a given year or several students may each receive a $1,000.00 award in the same year. The scholarship is a one-time award per recipient.
How to Contribute
To contribute, send checks made out to the BSAA with Hart-Thomas Scholarship in the memo line, to: BSAA c/o Brighton Central School District 2035 Monroe Avenue Rochester, NY 14618 The BSAA is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization; scholarship donations are tax-deductible.