New scholarships established for Class of 2023 graduates


The St. Johns County Education Foundation, which operates as Investing in Kids (INK!), has announced the launch of a new online scholarship application portal for local seniors attending public high schools.

Go to for eligibility requirements and criteria under the “Senior Scholarship” tab. A student may submit a single application online for multiple scholarship opportunities. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, April 5.

INK! oversees more than 20 scholarships totaling more than $50,000 in awards for post-secondary education including college, vocational or technical education. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $3,300. Scholarships available to graduating seniors include:

  • Wayne Hartley Memorial Scholarship For The Academies with up to six awards in the amount of $1,000 each, available to two graduating seniors from each of three local high schools including Allan D. Nease High School, St. Augustine High School and Pedro Menendez High School.
  • Jack Hamilton Wheeler Scholarship with three total scholarships in the amounts of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000 awards to students pursuing college or vocational school.
  • Laurie Bennett Ellis Scholarship offers one scholarship to a student majoring in education at a two-year or four-year college or university. For the Class of 2023, the scholarship award has been increased to $1,250 by the Ellis Family.
  • David Toner Scholarship awards one $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior in St. Johns County who plans to attend Florida State University in the fall of 2023.
  • Tucker McCarty Health Science Scholarship provides one $1,000 scholarship to a student graduating from the Flagler Health+ Academy of Medical and Health Careers at Pedro Menendez High School.
  • MacDonald Family Education Scholarship will award one $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior from Bartram Trail High School enrolling in college to pursue a degree in education.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sally MacDonald Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior who is an active member of a Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corps (JROTC) program in a St. Johns County public school providing one year of tuition equal to 30 credit hours at a Florida public state college.
  • Investing in Kids Jumpstart Scholarships with up to 10 need-based scholarships awarded with the value equal to one year of tuition, 30 credit hours at a Florida state college.

Students can also submit applications in print form to INK! or through public school guidance counselors by the April 5 deadline. For more information or to request a paper scholarship application form, contact Jim Wheeler, INK! Director of Operations and Students Programs, at 904-547-7121 or email

Scholarship honors late Lt. Col. Sally MacDonald

The family of the late Lt. Col. Sally MacDonald recently established a scholarship to honor her and her legacy of making a positive impact. The MacDonald family chose to focus on St. Johns County seniors who are committed to the JROTC program and the military because of the great impact the Army made on her and the MacDonald family.

“The military has a special place in my heart as it created a second family for my sister,” said MacDonald’s brother, Ian MacDonald. “I hope the students that earn this scholarship will use their time in the military to make a lasting impact on their community and their entire family, both natural and military.”

Sally MacDonald received her Bachelor of Science in social science from Towson University in 1998, her Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland in 2002, and her Master of Laws Degree from The Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Legal Center and School in 2011.

She served as the associate dean of students at The JAG Legal Center and School. Prior to assuming her duties as associate dean, she served as the chief of military justice for the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Additionally, MacDonald had an operational deployment to Iraq as an administrative law attorney for the 13th Corp Support Command.

“When Sally was assigned as the chief of military justice for the XVIII Airborne, she wanted to be Airborne-qualified,” said Ian MacDonald. “Even though she wasn’t required to go to jump school she wanted to. If she was going to serve the XVIII Airborne, she wanted to be Airborne-qualified in support.”

The MacDonald Family Education Scholarship, also established by the MacDonald Family, will be awarded to a 2023 graduate of Bartram Trail High School who enrolls in college or university to pursue a degree in education after graduation. Both Ian MacDonald and his wife, Erin, are former teachers in the St. Johns County School District.

“Having two children go through the St. Johns County school system has given us another perspective in appreciation for the impact a teacher can make on a student,” Ian MacDonald said.  “We’ve seen it through the lens of a teacher and as a parent with students who have been highly impacted by their teachers. This scholarship hopefully allows us to help future teachers make an impact on their students and families.”

To establish a memorial scholarship, donate to INK! in support of scholarship opportunities for St. Johns County students, or to learn more about scholarships or other programs operated by INK!, contact Donna Lueders at or 904-547-7120.