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Becky Sawyer, Nixa Education Foundation president, Jeannie Johns (Jackie’s sister), and Kristy (Keltner) Horton, original scholarship board member, receiving check from Nixa Public Schools board treasurer & executive director of finance, Brenda Rantz.


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A quarter century has passed since Jackie Johns was murdered and a little over a year has passed since Gerald Carnahan, the man who was always the chief suspect in her murder, was found guilty.  Today, there is hope for students in Nixa who want to further their education thanks to a scholarship set up in Jackie's memory.
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According to a news release from Nixa Public Schools, "In June of 1985, a few days before the funeral of Jackie Johns, a reward fund started with a mere $500 for information leading to the person responsible for her death.  In just a few days that $500 grew to an amazing $11,800. Originally set up for six months, the reward fund was extended another six months. 
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One year later, in July of 1986, no one had stepped forward to claim the reward and the local banker and Christian County Sheriff, Dwight McNeil, suggested that since no one had claimed the money it should become a scholarship fund. A letter was sent out to the 265 people who had contributed to the reward fund to see if they wanted their money back, but all agreed that the money should be put into the a scholarship in memory of Jackie Johns. The first Jackie Johns Scholarship in the amount of $300 was awarded to Paul Cox by the directors of fund: Marilyn Richmond, Kristy Keltner, and Barbara Kreider.

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Jackie Johns was 20 years-old when she was murdered


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In 1987, the Scholarship Fund was turned over to Nixa Public Schools. Since that time, $16,690 has been awarded in scholarships to 29 Nixa students who planned to further their education at a 4-year college, a 2-year junior college, school of cosmetology, vocation-technical school, or other business or career training school.
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The principal of the funds were not allowed to be used for any purpose for a period of 25 years, only the interest was used for scholarship purposes. Since 25 years have now passed, it was the desire of one of the original board of directors, Kristy (Keltner) Horton, that the funds be transferred to the Nixa Education Foundation.
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On January 23, 2012 the Nixa Education Foundation was presented a check in the amount of $13,442.83 officially turning over the Jackie Johns Scholarship Fund to their care. Anyone interested in donating to the NEF Jackie Johns Scholarship Fund may do so at www.nixaeducationfoundation.net.

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