Award recognizes Pelham students for character
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
Four Pelham students were honored for serving as an example for their classmates, achieving high grades and demonstrating leadership qualities at a young age during a recent Shelby County Children’s Policy Council meeting.
During the meeting, which was held on Feb. 19 at Family Connection in Saginaw, Pelham High student Justin Anderson, Riverchase Middle student Ellie McPhearson, Valley Intermediate student Jordan Holloway and Valley Elementary student Shelby-Grace Bailey earned Character in Action awards.
The awards are a partnership between the Shelby County, Alabaster and Pelham school systems and the Shelby County Juvenile Court, and is awarded to students based on several criteria: Respect, self-discipline, responsibility, citizenship, friendship, fairness, perseverance and courage.
In her nomination form, Bailey’s teachers praised her for always offering to help her classmates, and for demonstrating a “sweet spirit” and kindness.
“She notices things about others and has a special talent for making others feel important,” VES second-grade teacher Leslie Lazarre wrote. “I can always count on her to partner with those that have a difficult time working with others.”
VIS teachers praised Holloway for being respectful to peers and adults, for serving as a role model and for being responsible.
“He is not haughty or arrogant in any way,” read his nomination. “He leads by example and others seem to enjoy being around him and following his lead.”
RMS Principal Susan Hyatt touted McPhearson for helping to host U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus during a 2014 visit to the school, for being “very polite and respectful to all age groups” and for balancing academics with her extracurricular activities.
“On Ellie’s last birthday, she did the invitations herself, and instead of asking for gifts, she asked for attendees to donate that money to charity,” Hyatt wrote. “Ellie is a very special young lady.”
PHS counselor Laura Cochran praised Anderson for leading by example, juggling multiple responsibilities and for giving “100 percent effort” in his school work.
“Justin is well-respected by his peers and teachers,” Cochran wrote. “He is kind, polite and always friendly to all people, including his friends and others.”