Commemorating the magic

SHS senior is the first to earn scholarship in honor of late theater teacher


Katie Osborne poses with Kimberly Roberts at the May 2021 thespian induction. Osborne will be attending Ball State this fall for theater education just as Roberts did. photo contributed by Katie Osborne

It’s been less than a year since theater director Kimberly Roberts’ passing, but as the end of the school year approaches, the theater department decided to honor Roberts through an Alumni Association Scholarship as an effort to commemorate her impact on SHS. Sponsored by assistant director Austin Lundsford and choir director Jaclyn Richardson, the Kimberly Ruse Roberts Memorial Scholarship is in effect as of this year.

“We wanted to make sure that her impact, and her legacy lives on through Southport,” Lundsford said. “We didn’t want her memory to go away, and we think this is the best way.”

The Alumni Association holds is a banquet around the end of May to give back to honorable and hardworking students of SHS. There are about 80 scholarships each with a unique principle of their own. Throughout the year, sponsors, whether they be from the class of 1973, one individual, or a family, collect funds to give awards to these particular students. These funds usually add up to about 1,000 dollars. Instead of the money going directly to the school that student is soon to be attending, the award is a check given to the student for college accommodations or whatever they choose to spend it on. Normally, it takes a sponsor an entire year to collect funds for the banquet, but Lundsford and Richardson worked hard to collect 1,000 dollars in only a couple of months.

The theater department announced their first student to receive this scholarship, Katie Osborne, and the criteria that needs to be met is simple. It is preferred that the student is an honor thespian who wishes to pursue a degree related to theater. The student should have good attendance, decent grades and very little discipline offenses. Undoubtedly, Obsorne is a passionate thespian who meets all criteria.

In addition to being an all around excellent theater student, Osborne also had a close relationship with Roberts. She can still clearly reminisce about the times in which Roberts used to comfort he

r. In circumstances where Obsorne felt alone and scared, Roberts helped Osborne feel like she had a place she belonged to.

“To be able to not only be the first person (awarded this scholarship) but to love her as much as I do and to get this in her honor is really awesome for me,” Osborne said.

While attending Roberts’ class, Osborne observed how passionate Roberts was about her job. Osborne learned through Roberts that theater is not just about putting on a show. It’s more about finding oneself within a new world, and this new world gives many people an outlet to express themselves. As the four years of high school quickly passed by, Osborne has set her mind on going to Ball State to study theater education just as Roberts did. As a student who reflects hard work, Roberts always knew and told Osborne that theater education was a path made for her.

“Her passion for her job and the way that she loved us inspired me every single day,” Osborne said. “I cannot wait until I get to do that for other kids.”