By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Judy Patterson Legacy Memorial Scholarship… Archer remembers community leader
By Julie Rizzo 
with Beth Volpert Johansen

Among the many available scholarships offered to students at Archer High School, one stands out as a shining example of an extraordinary commitment to the students of the surrounding community. The Judy Patterson Legacy Memorial Scholarship began as a way for her husband, Stacy, to come to terms with her loss.

Stacy knew his own level of grief, but also considered the loss to the community of one very special volunteer and community leader. Establishing a scholarship in Judy’s name, along with some specifically designed stipulations, ensures that not only will she be remembered, but her influence will also remain an integral part of the Archer volunteer spirit. 

“On a personal level, it is a way for me to funnel some energy,” says Stacy Patterson. “I think she would be proud because she put so much time and energy into those schools.” According to Stacy, Judy was a constant presence at Cooper Elementary where she devoted her time and talents. She ran the Fall Festival, was a tireless fundraiser, as well as a board member for a variety of causes within the Archer cluster. “It is my way of telling her, I appreciate what you did,” said Stacy.  “It lets other kids know what someone did for them, that they took a vested interest in them.” 

According to Mr. Kerry Mitchell of the Archer Academic Foundation, Judy was the type of person who was open-minded about any good idea. “I was extremely fortunate to know her and work with her.” 

The busy mom of two young children enjoyed snow skiing, snowboarding, water skiing, wakeboarding, horseback riding, whitewater kayaking and camping with her family. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia in 1985 and was a founding member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Because education was important to Judy, “her desire to volunteer probably originated with the desire for all the children attending the Archer Cluster schools to have all the tools available to them to succeed,” says Stacy. “She saw her volunteerism as a way to make sure that happened.” 

The scholarship itself is a one-time award of $1,000 to a senior at Archer High School. What makes this scholarship unique it that it is available to the student with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who exhibits good character and meets the requirements of graduation. The award can be applied to any form of post-secondary study that leads to employment. The 2015 scholarship recipient was Candace Mauck who is currently attending Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. Ms. Mauck was chosen by a panel comprised by Stacy Patterson to ensure the recipient exemplified the qualities Judy selflessly shared with the Archer community. “I am looking forward to reading this year’s applicants,” says Stacy. “It is a reminder of how Judy lived her life.”