Two Salem High School Graduates Named Jack Welch Scholars at Salem State

Salem residents, and soon-to-graduate 2009 Salem High School students, Sarah Shahin and Stephen LaMonica, were recently named Jack Welch Scholars at Salem State. The award carries with it a full four-year scholarship for each student, and is presented annually to two Salem residents or Salem High School students entering the college's Bertolon School of Business.

The scholarships are made possible by a $1 million gift from former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and his wife Suzy to encourage the study of business. Now in its fourth year, the Jack Welch Scholarship Program funds eight full scholarships, two each for members of the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes.

Sarah Shahin, daughter of Julie Shahin of Salem, carries a 3.8 grade-point average at Salem High School, and was elected to the National Honor Society in her junior year. She gravitated to business as the result of an accounting class she took with Linda Blair. "I joined the Business Professionals of America my junior year," she says, "and participated in a regional business competition in which I did very well. After that, I was convinced that a business major is perfect for me."

Shahin has walked for multiple sclerosis, the North Shore Medical Center Cancer Walk and for the Walk for Greg Martinez, and volunteers regularly at a soup kitchen. When not in school, she works as a cashier at Crosby's Marktplace.

Stephen LaMonica, son of Stephen and Denise LaMonica of Salem, also carries a 3.8 grade-point average at Salem High, has been an A student throughout his schooling and is a member of the National Honor Society. He has played both offensive and defensive tackle on the school’s varsity football team, has participated in wrestling every winter, and played on Salem High’s club baseball teams. School, however, has always been his first priority. "I have always put academics first, even while participating in intense sports,” he notes, “knowing that academics will bring me further in life."

An avid reader and history buff, LaMonica is also an accomplished woodworker. When not in school, he works at Bella's Pizza, a position he has held for a number of years.

Both students exemplify the characteristics embodied by Jack Welch, who also grew up in Salem. At the time he funded his gift, he noted that he was "pleased to be in a position to help the kids of Salem get increased access and opportunity through a Salem State education." He also acknowledged the fact that he "owe(s) an enormous debt of gratitude to the Massachusetts public higher education system for my own education and feel a responsibility to join others in giving back."

Salem State's Bertolon School of Business provides a foundation for lifelong learning and a spirit of entrepreneurship, empowering students from diverse backgrounds to become business and community leaders. Business is the college's largest major.