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Wake Forest student earns national scholarship

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The National Tile Contractors Association, the world’s largest tile contractor association, recently announced the 2019 recipients of the NTCA Tom Ade Ceramic Tile Scholarship.

Tara Wadford, a Wake Forest High School student, was one of three winners.

Recipients were awarded $5,000 and recognized during the association’s annual awards ceremony that took place during the Coverings trade show in Orlando, Florida. As part of the award, scholarship winners received an expense-paid trip to the trade show.

This year, three winners were chosen out of 53 applicants. Applicants were required to submit an application, a letter of recommendation, and an essay detailing their career goals. Their submissions were reviewed by a committee made up of NTCA board members and staff.

“Each year, I am impressed with the submissions we receive,” said NTCA Executive Director Bart Bettiga. “This year, we had an amazing group of applicants and received one of the most well-written essays ever submitted to us in the four years we’ve offered this scholarship.”

The 2019 NTCA Tom Ade Ceramic Tile Scholarship winners are:

• Tara Wadford, daughter of Nyle and Teresa Wadford of NTCA Five-Star Contractor Neuse Tile Service in Youngsville. Wadford plans to enroll at Liberty University, majoring in nursing and minoring in Spanish, and aspires to become a physician’s assistant.

• Riley Sullivan, son of Dirk Sullivan and his wife Beth of NTCA Five-Star Contractor Hawthorne Tile in Portland, Oregon. Sullivan is an international baccalaureate diploma candidate. He plans to use his scholarship to further his studies, specifically focusing on ecosystem protection.

• Tyler Kleinsasser, son of Roger Kleinsasser, owner of Tile Creations in Rapid City, South Dakota. After Kleinsasser graduates with a degree in civil engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, he will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Construction Engineering and Management.

NTCA also awarded 10 other applicants $1,000 each.

The NTCA Tom Ade Ceramic Tile Scholarship was established in 2016 to provide educational opportunities for children and grandchildren of NTCA contractor members. The scholarship was named after long-time NTCA member Tom Ade, who was present for this year’s ceremony. Ade helped make the namesake scholarship possible by bestowing a donation to the association earmarked to support students of NTCA members who wish to continue their education.