George Dekan was a "Renaissance Man" in every send of the word. A native of Wheaton, Illinois, and a veteran of World War II, he served the Glenbard Township high schools as both a guidance counselor and teacher of electronics. A husband, father, coach, businessman, football player, pole vaulter, and musician, Dekan even found time to invent and patent the Athletic Performance Analyzer, a more accurate timing system than even a stopwatch. He founded Dekan Timing Devices and the Dekan Athletic Equipment Corporation. He passed away at his home in Fort Myers, Florida, on January 9, 2014, at age 93.
Throughout his 35 years of teaching, coaching, and officiating, Dekan earned many distinct honors. Although never serving as an Athletic Director, he was thrilled to be one of only three honorees to never hold that position yet still be inducted into the Athletic Director Presidential Hall of Fame in 2000. Additionally, he was a Hall of Fame member for both the Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches’ Association and the Illinois Track and Cross Country Officials’ Association.
The Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches’ Association, as well as the family of George Dekan, proudly sponsor the George Dekan Memorial Scholarship to commemorate the life of an amazing individual, and to assist local student-athletes of Cross Country and / or Track and Field with their college expenditures.
The Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches’ Association was founded in 1962 and formed with several goals in mind: to promote interest, enthusiasm, and improvement in Track and Field and Cross Country in Northern Illinois; to provide education and opportunities for involvement in our association by methodology; to promote, publicize, and recognize the achievements of area coaches; to provide a vocal representation of our area student-athletes and coaches regarding rule implementation and modification; and to work with and support the Illinois High School Association.
WHO CAN APPLY AND WHAT ARE THE EVALUATION CRITERIA?
Senior athletes who are participating in an Illinois high school Track and Field and / or Cross Country program and who are planning on attending college or a career school are eligible for the non-renewable scholarship. A minimum of two (2) scholarships (one male and one female) of $2000 apiece will be awarded based on academic, athletic, and non-athletic achievements, as well as an original essay composed by the applicant. Applicants will additionally need to submit a letter of recommendation and an official high school transcript.
WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?
Any and all questions regarding this scholarship should be directed to the George Dekan Memorial Scholarship
Director. James Janota can be reached in the English Department at Neuqua Valley High School via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS?
Step 1: On a separate sheet of paper and in a typed format, please offer your:
- Full name (please, no nicknames)
- Complete home address
- Home telephone number
- Email address
- High school name and complete address
- Cross Country and / or Track and Field coach’s name
- College(s) of choice
- Intended major
Step 2: In a detailed fashion, please list and describe your five (5) greatest athletic achievements while participating in high school Cross Country and / or Track and Field.
Step 3: In an equally detailed fashion, please list and describe your five (5) greatest non-athletic achievements during your high school tenure.
Step 4: Submit a letter of recommendation as provided by your high school Cross Country and / or Track and Field coach in which he / she explains your qualifications as a student-athlete and why you would be a worthy recipient of this scholarship.
Step 5: Submit an official high school transcript as provided by your high school’s registrar or guidance counselor.
Step 6: Compose a thoughtful and well-written essay of no more than 500 words in which you consider the following prompt:
“What has Cross Country and / or Track and Field meant to me?”
BY WHEN AND TO WHOM IS THE APPLICATION DUE?
All applications must be received by May 1st of each calendar year! Any application received after the due date, regardless of postmark, will not be considered for the scholarship. Any requests for deadline extensions will not be granted, and digital submissions are not accepted. A committee of ITCCCA members will evaluate the applications, and the winner will be contacted by no later than June 15th of each calendar year. All applications should be submitted to the following:
George Dekan Memorial Scholarship Director
c/o Neuqua Valley High School
2360 95th Street
Naperville, Illinois 60564-8934
|Year||Name - School|
|2021||Nathan Clapp - Mundelein High School|
|2021||Natalia Martino - Winnebago High School|
|2020||Jacob Flynn – St. Ignatius College Prep|
|2020||Olivia Rosenstein – Urbana High School|
|2019||Rory Cavan – Glenbard West High School|
|2019||Emily Eberhart – Yorkville High School|
|2019||Seth Klein-Collins – Naperville Central High School|
|2019||Danielle Osmon – Grant Community High School|
|2018||Lauren Lynn Glick – Southeastern Jr. / Sr. High School|
|2018||Laure Katz – Vernon Hills Hill School|
|2018||Daniel Kilrea – Lyons Township High School|
|2018||Samantha Mabry – St. Joseph-Ogden High School|
|2018||Michael E. Ten Eyck – Pittsfield High School|
|2017||Jeffrey Thomas Giradot – Benet Academy|
|2017||Margaret Girmscheid – Grayslake Central High School|
|2016||Rachael Lau – Plainfield North High School|
|2016||Madison Mary Ronzone – Rosary High School|
|2015||David Morrison – Batavia High School|
|2015||Olivia O’Hearn Ryan – Fenwick High School|
|2014||Jack Feeney – St. Charles North High School|
|2014||Emily White – Naperville Central High School|
|2013||Dennis Thurow – Neuqua Valley High School|
|2013||Tyler Yunk – Belvidere North High School|
|2012||Bradley Berg – Glenbard South High School|
|2012||Daniel Forrest – Elmwood Park High School|
|2012||Thomas Razo – Lockport Township High School|
|2012||James Vestuto – Adlai Stevenson High School|
|2011||Meagan DeSalvo – Hinsdale South High School|
|2011||Donald DeSalvo – Hinsdale South High School|
|2011||Stephanie Huster – York High School|
|2011||Ashley Parish – Oak Park River Forest High School|
|2010||Danielle Gorder – Aurora Christian High School|
|2010||Jessica Hennig – Lutheran High School|
|2010||Colin Hepburn – Glenbrook South High School|
|2010||Drew Johnson – Winnebago High School|
|2010||Christopher Spudic – Prospect High School|
|2009||Steven Doyle – Lisle High School|
|2009||Meagan Hynes – Neuqua Valley High School|
|2009||Patrick Morgan – York High School|
|2009||Marisa Slomski – Glenbrook North High School|
|2009||Dayna White – St. Charles East High School|
2009-2013, was named John R. Davis Award
2014-2018, changed to the George Dekan Memorial Scholarship with two (2) scholarships of $1000 apiece.
2019, changed to the ITCCCA Scholarship with four (4) scholarships of $2000 apiece…two (2) boys and two (2) girls.
2020 - present, changed back to the George Dekan Scholarship with two (2) scholarships of $2000 apiece…one (1) boy and one (1) girl.