Student and Educator Scholarships Awarded

Student Scholarship Recipients

The National Willa Cather Center is delighted to announce our 2021 recipients of the Norma Ross Walter, Ántonia, Antonette Willa Skupa Turner, and the Leslie A. and Helen R. Wilson scholarships. Each young scholar recorded a video reading of their winning essays to be shared virtually at our 66th annual Spring Conference, and they attended a live Q&A session with conference participants.

Norma Ross Walter Scholarship Winners:

  • First place: Anna Schmidt, Tri County High School
  • Second place: Ashleigh Jay, Paxton Consolidated School
  • Third place: Emma Miller, Central High School

Ántonia Scholarship Winner:

  • Fiona Wiberg, Papillion La Vista South High School

Antonette Willa Skupa Turner Scholarship Winner:

  • Reyana Tegtmeier, Pawnee City High School

Leslie A. and Helen R. WIlson Scholarship Winner:

  • Cody Hubl, Blue Hill High School

Norma Ross Walter was a frequent visitor to Red Cloud and lifelong Cather fan. The scholarship established by her ample bequest supports young women seeking higher education. Antonette Turner generously established both the eponymous Antonette Willa Skupa Turner scholarship and the Ántonia scholarship, named after the celebrated Willa Cather character inspired by Turner’s grandmother, Anna Pavelka. Created by Jack Wilson in memory of his parents, the Leslie A. and Helen R. Wilson scholarship assists Webster County students pursuing secondary education or agricultural degrees.

Scholarships awarded through the Willa Cather Foundation since 1987 total more than $190,000 and have assisted more than 75 students pursuing a higher education degree. For more information about our scholarship funds, please contact education coordinator Rachel Olsen at Application information for 2022 are available at and annual deadlines are January 31, February 28, and April 20.

Educator Scholarship Recipients

The National Willa Cather Center was pleased to award three Ana McCracken Educators’ scholarships this year. Melissa Barry of Superior, Nebraska; Timothy Kaldahl of Omaha, Nebraska; and Paul Timm of Lyons, Nebraska, all possess special talents as educators bringing Willa Cather to their students.

Created to help cover the cost of attending Spring Conference, this year’s recipients enjoyed complimentary access to all virtual content and will be able to use the scholarship to offset the cost of an in-person visit to Red Cloud at a later date. Although our conference was partially virtual with limited in-person events, educators still left the conference energized. Red Cloud English teacher Melissa Barry reports, “I am excited to bring my sophomores [to the NWCC]...I am really excited to get them involved!”

Our educators’ scholarships are made possible by the generosity of longtime supporter Ana McCracken. If you are—or someone you know is—an educator who would like to teach Willa Cather in your classroom, we encourage you to apply! For more information, contact education coordinator Rachel Olsen at