The bar was set high for the first-ever Raptors Soar Scholarship presented this spring at Lake Lure Classical Academy. Tristan Roos, a Lake Lure Classical Academy senior, was chosen for this honor and he will leave the School and community with big shoes to fill.

The Raptors Soar Scholarship was conceived and brought to fruition by a group of residents living in Vista at Bill’s Mountain in Lake Lure. This group of citizens, headed by Wolf Kutter, wanted to recognize and reward a student at Lake Lure Classical Academy who embodies the spirit of the greater community by giving without wanting anything in return. It was a surprise to this young man and scholar to find out that the community was giving back to him.

Tristan holding his award with Chip McDonnell to his left and guests from Vista Community, Bill’s Mountain.

The Raptors Soar Scholarship is a $5,000 award that Tristan will use toward tuition at Western Carolina University this fall where he will major in Emergency Management. This career is an example of the kind of service Tristan already exemplifies. Tristan gave up every waking moment during the Party Rock Fire this fall to serve beside his fellow volunteers with Bill’s Creek Volunteer Fire Department. Tristan has been a volunteer with Bill’s Creek Volunteer Fire Department for almost two years. In that time he has responded to over 60 emergency calls including the biggest community emergency in recent history, the forest fires that threatened our entire area. Bill’s Creek Fire Chief Jimmy Howell was on hand at the presentation ceremony to personally congratulate and thank Tristan for his service.

Tristan was one of Lake Lure Classical Academy’s first dually enrolled students at Isothermal Community College. He accumulated 31 college credit hours while in high school and will finish his Associate’s Degree at ICC this summer. Tristan is a member of the National Honor Society and is involved with Lake Lure Baptist Church as a lead guitarist in the praise band he helped organize.

The community was on hand to help celebrate this momentous occasion. Mr. Tom Keever, Executive Director, at LLCA started the ceremony with his opening remarks before inviting Chip McDowell, Vista at Bill’s Mountain representative up to make the award presentation. The mayors of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock were on hand, LLCA board members, school faculty and staff…but the loudest cheers came from the nearly 300 middle and high school students who have come to appreciate Tristan as an example of what hard work and dedication can mean to a community.

Chip McDowell closed his presentation remarks by telling Tristan, “We recognize and honor you today with this scholarship award and thank you for your contributions to our community. You have truly made Lake Lure Classical Academy proud while living the School’s motto: Inspire, Inquire, Serve.”

Contributed by Mark Levin, LLCA Communications Assistant