The Jack Fearn Memorial Scholarship for Technical Theater

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Photo courtesy of Wagner Portrait Group

Jack’s family hopes to have the scholarship fully funded by this spring.

By Lilly Anderson, Kirkwood High School

Jack Fearn could usually be found in Keating Theater greeting every audience member and making every performance possible with his nose in the soundboard. This was his passion: technical theater. No show would go on without Jack’s leadership as he ensured the sound, lighting and scenery were the best they could be.

Jack passed away Sept. 26, 2019. He was a senior with plans to major in technical theater at Missouri State the following fall. To honor his passion and keep his name and legacy known, Carola Gloyd, Jack’s close family friend, created the Jack Fearn Memorial Scholarship for Technical Theater.

Gloyd created the scholarship fund on behalf of his family. She also has a passion for professional fundraising. Gloyd watched Jack grow up and maintained a close relationship with him throughout the years she had known him.

“[I] met the Fearn [family] about 10 years ago through mutual friends at the Lake of the Ozarks,” Gloyd said. “Jack always loved to play music [at the lake] to be the DJ. I know that passion for music led him to being in the tech crew.”

Jack’s family hopes to have the scholarship fully funded by this spring. They wish to give it to a graduating KHS student with a passion for technical theater. The scholarship would be 1,000 dollars given in his name and memory. However, the funds are required to begin the scholarship.

“In order for a scholarship to be given away each year, it needs to be fully funded and make enough interest to present 1,000 to a student [annually] without having to keep fundraising,” Gloyd said. “It has to be fully funded at 20,000 dollars by this spring, since Jack’s family wanted to give the first scholarship at the commencement that would’ve been his.”

Kelly Schnider, KHS drama teacher, said Jack’s passion and leadership lives on through KHS with KH Players, the theater program. She is the director for the majority of shows throughout the theater season and spent a lot of time with Jack.

“Jack worked the last four years on the after school tech theater program, and I finally had the privilege of having him as a student in [my] tech theater [class] this last semester,” Schnider said. “Jack came in and was always on fire with passion [for] tech.”

The amount of students who come through KHS with the same dedication as Jack is rare, according to Schnider. This scholarship creates an opportunity for the ones closest to Jack in KH Players to pursue their passion for the arts in college.

“Anytime there is a scholarship available for any student created I think it’s a great opportunity [for] the arts,” Schnider said. “To have something tangible to specifically honor Jack in all the great things that he was while also giving an opportunity to a student that would be interested in technical theater to study, I think it’s great.”

The ones closest to Jack know how much this scholarship would have been important to him to relay his passion of technical theater. His girlfriend, Ramina Melikova, saw the importance of this firsthand.

“[This] fund [is] a positive thing because there are people within this world who enjoy tech theater as much as Jack,” Melikova said. “It’ll be a good opportunity for them to explore and to learn while pursuing their dreams. Jack wanted to pursue his dreams so he’d want others to, too.”

The family’s goal is to have the first scholarship ready to give to one of Jack’s classmates in May 2020, but the fund is only at 5,000: a quarter of the amount needed. The deadline for the scholarship’s availability to be given is in March.

This story was originally published on The Kirkwood Call on December 8, 2019.