School board honors students with ‘Celebrating Sucess’ awards


The Switzerland County School Board held its December meeting on Monday night, and again the school board honored students from each of the four buildings as the “Celebrating Success” winners for the month.

Students are nominated by a teacher in the building; and one winner is then selected from those nominations by the building principal. Students and parents are then invited to the school board meeting; where each student is recognized and receives a pin of appreciation from the school board.

This month’s winners include:

– At Jefferson-Craig Elementary School, fourth grader Ariana Bright was honored. She was nominated by teachers Kathy Daugherty and Anne Findley. That nomination was approved by principal Darin Gullion.

In their letter of recommendation, the teachers wrote:

“Ariana is a very conscientious student. She works hard and does her very best. She understands the importance of learning, and takes pride in a job well done. She shows a willingness to help others.

“Ariana is a joy to have as a student in both fourth grade classrooms.”

– At Switzerland County Elementary School, second grader Kinsley Griffith was honored. She was nominated by teacher Kathy Keith, and that nomination was approved by principal Mike Jones.

In her letter of recommendation, Kathy Keith wrote:

“I would like to nominate Kinsley Griffith for the ‘Celebrate Success’ award. She is an excellent student in my second grade classroom. She always does her best and tried hard. Kinsley is very sweet and helpful. I can always count on her t help others and to set an example for the other students.

“In our class we are working on being good listeners, following directions, and being helpful and kind to others. Kinsley does all of these things with a quiet, pleasant attitude.”

– At Switzerland County Middle School, eighth grader Olivia Hewitt was honored. She was nominated by teacher Tony Spoores, and that nomination was approved by principal Nancy Stearns.

In his letter of recommendation, Tony Spoores wrote:

“I am nominating Olivia Hewitt for the Switzerland County Middle School ‘Celebrating Success’ student. She is academically a very bright student. The lowest average recorded on her report card for the first nine weeks was a 95-percent.

“In addition to her accomplishments in the classroom, Olivia plays basketball, volleyball, runs cross country, is on the Spell Bowl team, and is a member of the Junior National Honor Society.

“Although I am very proud of her achievements in the classroom and her dedication to her many teams and groups, this is not why I am nominating her for this honor.

“Last year Olivia came to me and asked if I would help her organize a weekly prayer time that staff and students could voluntarily participate in on Fridays before school. The idea originated from the once a year prayer day called ‘See you at the Pole’. I felt honored to be asked and a greater joy tat a student had noticed a need to include God in their daily life. From that initial conversation with Olivia, a day once a week was set aside for early morning prayer.

“Now entering the second year, students regularly ask, remind, and spread the work that we will be praying around the flag pole. It has been great to see approximately 20-30 students and staff outside, not afraid to let the community know that we all need prayer. During this time I have been extremely blessed to hear students praying for teachers, administration, soldiers, tests, school board members, and various needs in our community.

“I want to thank Olivia for her dedication to this project and honoring what she felt needed to happen in her spirit. As a reminder, we meet every Friday at 7:50 a.m. around the flag pole, if you would like to join us!”

– At Switzerland County High School, senior Brittany Morton was honored. She was nominated by teacher Megan Meadors. That nomination was approved by principal Candis Haskell.

In her letter of recommendation, Megan Meadors wrote:

“I would like to nominate Brittany Morton for the ‘Celebrating Success’ award. When I had Brittany as a freshman, she had a very difficult personality, she was extremely immature, and it was a constant struggle to get her to do any of her classwork. As a result, she received mostly ‘Ds’ and ‘Fs’ on her report card, even though she was quite capable of making ‘As’ and ‘Bs’.

“When her sophomore year began, I hadn’t seen much improvement, but I was hopeful. She continued many of her negative behaviors toward the faculty and fellow students, but it seemed to be decreasing slightly.

“Much to my delight, when her junior year began, Brittany’s attitude toward school began to change. She was polite, did what she was asked, turned in all of her homework, and was a joy to have in class. I couldn’t believe the difference in her attitude and maturity level.

“She told me that she had started attending church with her boyfriend, who has strict morals and values. She valued his opinion so much that she began to adopt the same beliefs, and this has led to a complete change in her personality. I am very proud of her for realizing that her behavior reflected negatively on her and for making an effort to change it.

“I am happy to report that Brittany is now a senior and received all ‘As’ and one ‘B’ on her first trimester report card. She was only one point away from having all ‘As’ and was very disappointed with the ‘B’ she received. She has come a long way from accepting ‘Ds’ and ‘Fs’ to being disappointed with a ‘B’.

“Brittany has grown from an immature student into a fine young lady. I have never seen such a transformation in the personality and academic success of a student, but I was very pleased to have witnessed it.”