A Look Back: The Foundation's First Scholarship Recipient

A Look Back: The Foundation’s First Scholarship Recipient

By Alyssa Dahlgren, Public Relations & Fundraising Coordinator

The Bennington Public Schools Foundation awarded 32 seniors with $46,500 in scholarship in 2019, marking a grand total of more than $350,000 since the scholarship program’s inception.

Impacting hundreds of students over 21 years, the program first awarded a $300 scholarship to one hardworking student, Emily (Pruess) Laible, in 1998.


Heavily involved in extracurricular activities at Bennington including volleyball, basketball, dance team, drama, choir, student council, FBLA and FCA, Laible went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Midland Lutheran College in 2002.

“I feel privileged to have been the first student to receive a Bennington Public Schools Foundation scholarship. When I was awarded the scholarship I felt honored to be chosen by people who knew a lot about me and wasn’t just a name on a piece of paper. I had a face and a history,” Laible said.

After graduation she secured a nursing job at Methodist Hospital in Omaha where she has since built a meaningful career in the perioperative surgery department as both a staff nurse and charge nurse.

Emily and her husband, Luke ‘96, have been married 17 years and have three children, Abbie (13), Brennan (11), and Brody (8) who all are enrolled at Bennington Public Schools. She enjoys seeing her children attend the same district she and her husband once did and volunteers regularly at their schools.

“It’s also neat because there are a handful of teachers who are still currently in the system who either taught me or who I knew well,” Emily said. “Although Bennington is much larger than when I was in school, I feel that sense of community still exists and the education provided to my kids is awesome.”

Reflecting back on her own days as a student, she feels the education she received prepared her well for college and ultimately her career today.

“I was able to take advanced classes as well as some online college courses as a senior. I feel by being able to challenge myself and having encouraging teachers, it gave me a solid foundation of confidence, respect, and self-motivation.”

To learn more about the Foundation’s Scholarship Program or how to create and endowed scholarship, visit: https://benningtonschoolsfoundation.org/scholarships/

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