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Putnam County R-I Schools



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Where Are They Now?

The fifth article in the series.

The annual UHS/PCHS Alumni Reunion will be held Labor Day weekend in Unionville.
Saturday’s activities include a delicious meal prepared by alumni David and Judy Mullins. Meal
ticket prices are discounted to $12 per person if registrations are received by August 26.
Registration forms are located in area businesses and on the school web site,
Three young ladies that received alumni scholarships are featured this week: Elizabeth
Newman, Courtney Griswold, and Madeline (Mattie) Newman.
Elizabeth Newman, PC class of 2009, was awarded a $500 alumni scholarship in 2011.
She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Central Methodist University in
2013. She is putting her degree to good use as the office and finance manager at Superior
Exteriors in Des Moines, Iowa. Elizabeth also holds a second job as bartender at Brew House
No. 25 on weekends.
In her spare time, Elizabeth plays golf in a women’s league, a sport her grandmother
Shirley Riley also enjoyed. She takes in concerts, festivals and generally likes the many
activities available in the Des Moines area. She says “I love the area I live in, and I have met
some really incredible people here, it makes me feel like I’m in a small town again.” However,
there are things Elizabeth misses about Unionville. “I miss not being able to see my family
every day, and spending an hour in Hy-Vee because you ran into your middle school science
teacher, and then three other people that you went to school with.”
Elizabeth values the education she received at Putnam County, stating “You don’t realize
how much your PC education was the greatest thing to happen to you until you hear people
asking you, ‘How do you know how to do that?’” Elizabeth learned practical skills in
agriculture, business and marketing classes as well as proper grammar in her English classes.
“But the greatest part of my PC education was how much every single one of my teachers
genuinely cared about every single student, and wanted every single one of us to succeed. I
couldn’t have asked for a better place to grow up.”
Courtney Griswold, PC class of 2010, received her alumni scholarship in 2012. After
high school graduation she attended Westminster College in Fulton, studying sports management
and running track for the college. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in 2013, Courtney
completed an Associate’s degree for Physical Therapy Assistant from State Technical College of
Missouri (formerly Linn State Technical) in 2015. She is employed as a licensed physical
therapist assistant with Peak Sport and Spine in Fulton. Courtney helps people rehabilitate
following injuries or illnesses to allow them to get back to their full potential. She says, “It is
amazing to see the progress that people can make with just a little bit of encouragement.”
Courtney currently lives in Jefferson City, but cannot wait to move back to a rural
location. She says “I am so glad I grew up in a community such as Unionville and hope to one
day provide that same experience for my future family.”
Regarding her PC education, Courtney states, “I was able to become a more well-rounded
person due to the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities. In larger schools,
students are often limited to what they can be a part of, but with PCHS we got to explore
multiple areas of focus such as athletics, FFA, FBLA, etc. Being a part of these different
organizations taught me skills that have allowed me to be successful in my post-grad life.” In
her spare time, Courtney enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.
One of the 2013 scholarships went to Madeline Newman, a 2011 PC graduate and sister
of alumni scholarship winner Elizabeth Newman. Mattie completed a Bachelor of Science
Mathematics Education degree in 2014 and a Master’s degree in K-12 Educational Leadership in
2016, both from Northwest Missouri State University. She holds several teaching certificates:
special education K-12, elementary education, math 5-9 and business 5-12.
Mattie is beginning her third year teaching special education for the Kirksville R-3 school
district; this year her assignment will be at the kindergarten level. Previously she was the
business teacher at the Macon Area Career Center.
Mattie lives in Kirksville and takes advantage of the ample restaurants and activities
available. She says however, “I miss driving through Unionville and being waved at by every
vehicle I pass, whether I know them or not.”
While at Putnam County R-I, Mattie carried a challenging class load, stating “I am
grateful for the opportunities I had to take college courses during high school. This helped me
finish my bachelor’s degree in three years.”
In her spare time, Mattie spends time with family and friends, and also likes to craft, run,
fish, kayak, and do anything that involves the great outdoors.  
Watch next week’s Unionville Republican for more scholarship winner updates.