Helena students honored for character
Published 12:25 pm Thursday, September 17, 2015
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
Four Helena students were recognized for their outstanding character and leadership qualities at the Shelby County Drug Free Coalition Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 17, when they were presented with Character in Action Awards.
The Character in Action Awards program is now in its second year of existence that strives to nominate students at the elementary, intermediate, middle and high school level by rotating to each school zone in Shelby County throughout the year.
“What today is about is celebrating strength of character in our students,” Shelby County Schools social worker Emily Littrell said. “In my completely unbiased opinion, this is the highest honor that a student can receive. Academics are extremely important, but we also take a lot of pride in producing well-rounded students that are ready to be successful in the future.”
The four students recognized for their outstanding character were Helena High School student Cana Brown, Helena Middle School student J.T. Watkins, Helena Intermediate School student Forrest Heacock and Helena Elementary School student Kate Hendrix.
In her nomination form, HHS administrators and teachers acknowledged Brown’s role as a HHS Ambassador and ability to help other students.
“She’s often observed going out of her way to help other students,” read her nomination form. “She has been very welcoming, in particular to new students in our building and goes out of her way to make sure they feel welcome.”
HMS teachers praised Watkins ability to treat everyone with respect and his ability to volunteer and help whenever he is needed.
“To watch J.T. interact with some of our special needs students is heartwarming,” read the comments. “ He cares about his classmates and takes a huge interest in helping other students. He shows great integrity and exhibits excellent sportsmanship.”
Heacock’s teachers discussed how he always strives to do the right thing and how genuine he acts towards fellow classmates.
“Forrest is always the first student to check on someone and shows genuine concerns for other students,” read his nomination form. “He follows directions always on the first time and always strives to do the right thing.”
Teachers at HES praised Hendrix’s ability to serve as a role model for other students and role in helping with a food drive for Oak Mountain Missions.
“Kate serves as a peer helper at HES and is a role model to other students through her words and her actions,” read her nomination form. “Kate helped our school collect hundreds of non-perishable food items Oak Mountain Missions and worked diligently to inspire others to care about this project.”
Even though it was the students getting most of the spotlight for the awards, Littrell also recognized the parents for the role they played in their child’s development.
“It’s also very important that we acknowledge our parents taking the time to instill the values in their children,” said Littrell. “As you all know as parents, you’re your child’s first and most important teacher in life.”