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Outstanding students of the graduating class of 2012 from all seven Petaluma area high schools have been presented with almost 300 individual scholarship awards, totaling $181,855 from the Petaluma Educational Foundation.

The scholarships were presented during the PEF's 2012 Scholarship Award Ceremony at the Sheraton Sonoma County Petaluma Hotel on Sunday.

PEF board president Cathy Bachman and executive director Janet Ramatici welcomed students and their families to the non-profit foundation's 30th Anniversary Year Scholarships Awards Ceremony.

Since 1982, PEF has funded $2 million in annual scholarships and another $2.1 million in grants to all 36 area K-12 public, charter and private schools.

Scholarship donors were invited to the podium in the hotel's packed ballroom to present their awards, alongside Ken Dennett, chair of the PEF Scholarship Committee. Students provided brief announcements of where they plan to attend college and degrees they intend to pursue.

Award recipients spanned a wide variety of scholarship award requirements for outstanding achievements in academics, the arts and vocational studies as well as sports and community service.

Awards such as the $1,250 Bausman-Wagner Family Fine Arts Scholarship (requiring a minimum GPA of 3.00 and the pursuit of a higher education degree in music, art or drama), received by Eric Heine of Petaluma High School, demonstrated the diversity of scholarship opportunities offered by PEF to graduating seniors each year.

The Gene Benedetti Memorial Scholarship for the pursuit of a higher education degree in agriculture or athletics was awarded to Michelle McClure of Petaluma High School and Jessica Maynard of St. Vincent High School. The awards were for $2,000 each.

Jacob Jovick of Casa Grande High School was awarded the annual $4,000 Maxwell and Doris Decker RN Scholarship.

The Edwin Kelsey Memorial Scholarship of $3,200 ($800 for four years) was awarded to Antonio Grayson of Casa Grande High School.

North Bay Youth Education and Sports Scholarships required a minimum GPA of 3.0 and attendance to a trade/vocation school, two- or four-year college and an essay defining "Integrity, honor and commitment."

Ten new scholarships have been established in honor of community members:

—Bert Smith of Bert's Desserts Academic Scholarship went to Austin Wolf of Petaluma High School for $1,000.

— Betty Jean Gong Academic Scholarship went to Chantel Jensen of Petaluma High School for $1,000.

— Brijet & Ed Neff Performing Arts Scholarship went to Garren Langford of Petaluma High School for $1,000.

— Coach Doug Johnson Athletic Scholarship went to Lauren Fischer of Petaluma High School for $1,000.

— Dr. David Sisler Academic Scholarship went to Brian On of Casa Grande High School for $1,000.

— Officer Michael Meese Academic Scholarship went to Adam Lundquist of Casa Grande High School for $1,000.

— Peter Welker Performing Arts Scholarship went to Eric Heine of Petaluma High School for $1,000.

— Sarah Wadsworth Memorial Academic Scholarship went to Katherine Lane of Petaluma High School for $1,000.

— Stacy & Whitbeck Engineering Athletic Scholarship went to Christopher Jepsen of St. Vincent High School for $1,000.

— Herzog Engineering Athletic Scholarship went to Haley Cahill of Petaluma High School for $1,000.

Scholarship applications for 2013 are due in February of next year. Interested students should consult counselors in Petaluma area high schools or visit the website at www.pefin fo.com/scholarships for more information and to download applications.