Southern Pioneer Awards $17,000 in Scholarships to Local High School Graduates

Photos of the 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Southern Pioneer Electric is proud to award 17 high school students from our service area with college scholarships. The students were selected by a  panel for their outstanding scholastic achievement, community and school involvement, personal resume, and interview skills.

Recipients of the 2017 Southern Pioneer Electric Scholarship are:

Nicole Ballard – Kiowa County High School
Jalee Birney – Sublette High School
Caleb Bouziden – Ashland High School
Alissa Bridges – Medicine Lodge High School
Tierra Cooper – Kiowa County High School
Sarah Davis – Liberal High School
Jarod DeWeese – Sklyine High School
Eleni Earnst – Southwestern Heights High School
Keith Evans – Liberal High School
Kacee Hostetler – South Barber High School
Rogelio Pando – Satanta High School
Anna Perez – South Barber High School
Emily Rugg – South Barber High School
Kyler Sill – Medicine Lodge High School
Hannah Wilczek – Minneola High School
Clayton Zimmerman – Satanta High School

“Part of  Southern Pioneer Electric’s dedication to their communities is making an investment in the youth,” said Steve Epperson, CEO. “With these scholarships, we hope to lessen some of the burden on students looking to further their education and, in turn, help our communities. Helping our young leaders today receive the tools they will need for tomorrow is imperative.”


Congratulations 2017 Youth Tour Winners

Youth Tour Coordinator, Dee Longoria and Energy Services Supervisor, Rae Gorman congratulate Rylee Waller for being selected as a Youth Tour recipient.

Christian Hernandez, Kris Wagner, Rylee Waller and Makalah Henke were selected to represent Pioneer Electric on this year’s Youth Tours. The students will be joining other representatives from across the state and country on two all-expense-paid trips in June and July.

Waller and Wagner will represent Southern Pioneer Electric at the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., June 8-15. During their stay, they will tour the Smithsonian Museums, have breakfast with legislators on Capitol Hill, take a night tour of the memorials, and take a dance cruise on the Potomac River.

Henke and Hernandez will travel to the Rocky Mountains on the Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp from July 14-20. Set in beautiful Steamboat Springs, CO, the camp allows students from Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Wyoming to grow and develop their leadership skills together in a fun and active setting. Our representatives will enjoy white water rafting on the Colorado River, touring the Trapper Coal Mine and Craig Generation Plant, visiting Mt. Werner, and participating in a variety of camp activities.

Photos of Christian Hernandez, Makalah Henke, Rylee Waller and Kris Wagner.
Christian Hernandez, Makalah Henke, Rylee Waller and Kris Wagner were selected to represent Pioneer Electric on this year’s Youth Tours.

“Congratulations to each of our winners,” said Dee Longoria, Southern Pioneer’s Youth Tour Coordinator. “I’m proud of all four students and I know that they will be wonderful representatives of the Cooperative.”

Both tours are sponsored by Southern Pioneer Electric Cooperative and Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., of Topeka.


Southern Pioneer Electric H.U.G.S. Team Presents Check for Storm Shelter

February 2, 2017– Representatives from Southern Pioneer Electric’s (Helping Us Give to Society) or H.U.G.S. team, presented Friends of Arkalon Park, Inc. with a $3,700 grant for the development of a tornado shelter at the Arkalon Park Campgrounds.  The $3,700 grant is planned to be put towards the development of an above ground shelter that will be able to house 8-16 people during a storm situation. The park sits approximately 11 miles east of Liberal and has accommodations for 29 campsites with hookups. During its active season, campers enjoy fishing, camping and holding gatherings at the campsite. However, the Park board saw the need for the development of a storm shelter to protect campers from the unpredictable Kansas weather.

“We wanted to provide all of our visitors with the safest experience while enjoying the campgrounds,” said Debbie Giskie. “Currently, the only storm shelter that is available is the bath facilities, but it was brought to our attention that they are only graded to withstand an ‘F2’ storm. This project will help ensure that we provide a safe place for visitors to gather in case of an emergency.”

Representatives from Southern Pioneer Electric were approached of the project in late 2016 and were eager to provide assistance.

“Safety is a major component of our business model at Southern Pioneer Electric, which is why we are excited to be partnering with the Friends of Arkalon Park, Inc. on this project,” said H.U.G.S. member Dee Longoria. “We understand the concern for safety and are happy to help make this new shelter available for campers.”

The Friends of Arkalon Park, Inc. hopes to have the new shelter installed before the 2017 season. For more information regarding the project, please contact Debbie Giskie at 620-626-2207.