Lineman scholarship winner climbing new career path

Derrick Knearman, son of Shelby Electric Cooperative employees Diane and Brian Bunton, and Rory Knearman recently won one of only four scholarships given out by the International Lineman’s Rodeo Association. Derrick also won the 2012 LaVern and Nola McEntire Lineworker’s Scholarship from the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives. Derrick is enrolled in the lineworkers’ training program at Lincoln Land Community College, which is sponsored and taught by instructors from the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives.

“My step dad is a lineman and he set up an old pole for me and he asked me if I’d want to do something like that,” said Derrick. “He had me out climbing on it and I felt com­fortable with it. He didn’t tell me much about the good and bad of being a lineman. I’ve kind of started learning that out here at the school. I really enjoy it and knowing what you are learning to do will help ­people around the ­community. The worst part is probably the weather, you never know what you are going to get. Also, if you are scared of heights this is not a job you’d want.”

In addition to the lineworker’s scholarship, seven other scholarships are given out each year through the Thomas H. Moore Illinois Electric Cooperatives’ Memorial Scholarship fund. For more information on the scholarships contact your local ­cooperative or Lisa Brammer at, or 217-241-7919.