The Derby Scholarship Program

Since its establishment as a nonprofit organization, the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, Inc. has awarded annual scholarships to Martha’s Vineyard graduating seniors. The amount of money donated since 1988 totals $933,000. Qualified students are recommended by the school and selected by a Derby subcommittee. The Derby scholarship program has also enjoyed the support of the Ann E. Clark Foundation, the Tony and Renee Marlon Charitable Trust, The Windmill Foundation, the Edgartown Board of Trade, and the Howes Family, in memory of Teddy and Sarah Howes. In 2023 the Derby awarded $90,000 in scholarships to the thirteen deserving graduates featured on this page. One of the scholarships has been named in honor of longtime Derby President and island educator Ed Jerome, whose vision led to the creation of the Derby Scholarship Program. Another is named in honor of island artist Ray Ellis, whose contributions to the Derby made the scholarship program flourish. A third scholarship has been named the Teddy and Sarah Howes Memorial Scholarship supporting those interested in ocean engineering, and/or, as the Howes’ would say, "anything salty." The Derby Committee wishes these graduates success in their educational endeavors.


Samuel GurneySamuel Gurney

Sam is the 2023 recipient of the Edward J. Jerome Memorial Scholarship. Ranking academically in the top 20% of his class and elected to the National Honor Society, he has established a commitment to protect our marine ecosystems with a goal of working for an environmental organization, restoring wild habitats. His family’s background in commercial fishing and his volunteer work at Felix Neck and with many fishing organizations have reinforced his interest in our natural resources.

Sam will attend the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, concentrating in Fisheries and Wildlife Science.

Henry Kyburg-AbbotHenry Kyburg-Abbot

Henry is the 2023 co-recipient of the Teddy and Sarah Howes Memorial Scholarship. His love of the sea grows from childhood experiences sailing throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean aboard his family’s boat and, while at MVRHS, working in commercial maritime transportation. He has also worked as a Shipwright at Gannon and Benjamin and served as Harbor Assistant for the Tisbury Harbor Department. Henry will attend Massachusetts Maritime Academy, majoring in Marine Engineering.

Henry will attend Massachusetts Maritime Academy, majoring in Marine Engineering.

Maria Sanchez RoaMaria Sanchez Roa

Maria is the 2023 co-recipient of the Teddy and Sarah Howes Memorial Scholarship. At MVRHS, she has balanced undertaking advanced science-based courses with her volunteer activities as a Spanish Language translator. Focusing on the effects of human impact on the environment, she is committed to creating better sustainability for our planet.

Maria will attend the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, concentrating in Environmental Engineering.

Lucas BelainLucas Belain

Lucas is the 2023 co-recipient of the Ray Ellis Memorial Scholarship for students pursuing education in the fine or performing arts. An accomplished photographer, he has served as official sports photographer for both the MVRHS Boys Hockey and the MV Sharks Baseball teams. This year, he received the prestigious Chris Rebello Sportsmanship Award in recognition of his many contributions.

Lucas will pursue Photography studies at the University of Oregon.

Matti-Lynn FloydMatti-Lynn Floyd

Matti is the 2023 co-recipient of the Ray Ellis Memorial Scholarship. At the MV Charter School, she served as the President of student government in her senior year while also mentoring younger students in dance and photography. She has volunteered at the Chappy Community Center and has shown a passion for both the visual and theatre arts, frequently performing and exhibiting her work.

Matti will attend Bennington College, concentrating in Photography and Dance.

Sophia KokoszkaSophia Kokoszka

Sophia ranked in the top 10% of her class at MVHS. She aspires to a career as an Athletic Trainer, with a dream of working in professional sports medicine. In school, she undertook a rigorous academic schedule, served as a Teaching Assistant for two years and was involved in many clubs, including ambassadorship in diverse environmental and community service activities.

Sophia will attend Northeastern University, focusing on Athletic Training.

Griffin SteadGriffin Stead

Griffin is passionate about Meteorology; he hopes to work professionally constructing storm models for NOAA or a similar global organization. At MVRHS, he was the sole Meteorologist for the weekly student newspaper as well as being a four-year member of the Sailing Team and a leading volunteer for Sail MV. He is the recipient of numerous academic honors including Excellence in AP World History.

Griffin plans to pursue college studies in Earth Sciences and Meteorology at Connecticut College.

Daniel SerpaDaniel Serpa

Daniel ranks academically in the top 10% of his MVRHS class and was elected to the National Honor Society, also garnering numerous awards for scholarship and leadership. An outstanding athlete, he served as Captain of both the Outdoor and Indoor Varsity Track teams; he is also an accomplished concert violinist and a dedicated community volunteer. Growing up on the Vineyard shaped his deep appreciation for natural systems and our environment.

Daniel will attend Bucknell University, concentrating in Biology.

Jocelyn BaliunasJocelyn Baliunas

Jocelyn has a long-standing interest in both Psychology and Communications with a career goal of helping others. Finishing her MVRHS academic career in the top 20% of her class, she was elected to the National Honor Society as well as being a four-year member of both the Varsity Field Hockey and Sailing Teams. She also excelled in photography and was a leader in the Environment Club.

Jocelyn will attend the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, intending to major in the Human Sciences Exploratory Track.

Kinley RinzinKinley Rinzin

Kinley’s ambition for college is to complete the academic requirements to become a Registered Nurse. A National Honor Society member in the top 20% of his class, he garnered numerous awards for academic excellence and achievement throughout his career at MVRHS. His caring outlook is reflected in the many community organizations he has volunteered for, including the Island Food Pantry.

Kinley will attend the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, studying Nursing.

Ryan HardingRyan Harding

At MVRHS, Ryan’s academic focus was technology; he was one of a select few students serving on the school’s Student Tech Support Team. Outside of computer studies, he committed to environmental advocacy as an officer of the Environment Club and organizer of the Climate Cafe and Climate Summit. He was also a four-year member and Captain of the Varsity Golf Team.

Ryan will attend the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, pursuing studies in Computer Science and Environmental Studies.

Annalee HoyAnnalee Hoy

Annalee’s passion for the natural environment has roots in her family’s sustainable Vineyard life; fishing, vegetable gardening, raising chickens and keeping bees. At MVRHS, she excelled in Natural History and Marine Biology courses. She also participated in the Environment Club and produced an impressive exhibit at the MV Museum on Native Plants of Martha’s Vineyard. Her goal for college studies is to explore environmentally safe options for sustainable living.

Annalee will attend Hampshire College, majoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainability.

Jacob RiisJacob Riis

Jacob has set his sights on a career addressing the earth’s environmental challenges. AT MVRHS, he undertook a rigorous, science-focused curriculum and received honors for his Science Fair design of marine upwellers. He is also an accomplished tennis player, teaching at Vineyard Family Tennis and Co-Captaining the Varsity Team for two years while receiving numerous awards for his sportsmanship, character and leadership. Additionally, he was an active member of the Cape & Islands Social Justice Committee.

Jacob will enroll in college in 2024, pursuing his interest in Environmental Science.