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Poplin Memorial History Awards Presented


The Bedford County Historical Society annually presents the Poplin Memorial History Award at each of the county’s three public high schools in memory of the late Richard Poplin, long-time county historian, writer for the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, and charter member of the Historical Society. The award is based on four criteria – (1) scholarship in history & related social studies courses, (2) leadership in extracurricular school activities, (3) citizenship in the local community, and (4) overall academics. The $1000-awards are funded by contributions from Society members.

The Society is pleased to announce the following 2021 awardees:

ü Cascade High School’s honoree is Laurel Cox, daughter of Chris and Kristi Cox, of Bell Buckle. Besides her outstanding academic achievement in numerous Honors courses, Carmen participated in a variety of extracurricular school activities, including the National Honor Society, FFA, Bedford County 4-H, and the State Board of Education Student Group. Her community citizenship and service included volunteering as a math tutor, assisting with church sports activities, and serving on the Bedford County Youth Fair Board. Laurel is planning a career as an equine veterinarian.

ü Disha Patel, daughter of Peter and Gina Patel of Shelbyville, is the honoree at Shelbyville Central High School. Gina excelled in history, geography, and civics, and many other Honors courses while participating in numerous school activities, including Parent-Teacher Conferences and school recycling teams. She volunteered in an array of community service projects, including events at local elementary schools, recreation center activities, and the Tennessee Walking Horse Show. Disha plans to become a physician’s assistant.

ü Community High School’s honoree is Gunnar McGowan, son of Troy and Shelley McGowan of Shelbyville. Gunnar excelled in several Honors and dual-enrollment classes. His extracurricular school activities included varsity basketball, bowling, and golf, while also serving on the Student Council. He volunteered for several community projects, including Leadership Bedford, Boys and Girls Club, and local clothes drives. Gunnar plans to become a construction manager in the concrete industry.

The Historical Society honors these outstanding graduating seniors, congratulates them for achieving this major milestone, and urges them to go forward and make more history in their careers.

Al Simmons, President
Bedford County Historical Society