Columbiana students receive Character in Action awards
Published 4:05 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2016
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
ALABASTER – Applause filled the Family Connection building after School Social Worker Emily Littrell with Shelby County Schools read a long list of positive character traits for five local students.
The students, all from Columbiana schools, were honored as recipients of Character in Action awards during a Shelby County Drug Free Coalition meeting on March 16.
“We get to see the kids that are doing good things, with good behavior and good character,” Shelby County District Court Judge Jim Kramer said. “We still have good things to look forward to.”
Marcus Deon Carter from Shelby County High School, Morgan Elizabeth Jeffries from Columbiana Middle School, Abigail Rush from Wilsonville Elementary School, Chelsea Guerrero from Shelby Elementary School and Allyson Partridge from Elvin Hill Elementary School each received a plaque and gift card, along with congratulations from their parents, school staff members and others in attendance.
“We’ve got a lot of people here to support our students,” Littrell said.
The Character in Action awards rotate school zones to highlight students across the county.
The awards are presented through a partnership between Shelby County Juvenile Court, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, the Shelby County Drug Free Coalition, the Shelby County Children’s Policy Council, Family Connection, Shelby County Schools, Alabaster City Schools and Pelham City Schools.
Littrell read comments the schools submitted for each student before presenting them with their plaques.
Carter, a senior at SCHS, was described as “a multi-sport athlete who also juggles a very difficult academic load” and “shows great responsibility and maturity in being able to maintain a balance in his life.”
Carter is active in his church and community. Although he faces “a considerable amount of peer pressure,” he removes himself from troublesome situations.
Carter was also described as having a friendly and engaging personality, and a “gentle nature” regarding dealing with others’ needs.
Carter was accompanied by his mother, Walinda Carter.
Jeffries, an eighth grader at CMS, “demonstrates responsibility through the myriad of activities she participates in,” such as cheerleading and scholar’s bowl. She represented the school at the University of Montevallo’s writing festival day.
She is an active member of her church’s youth group and is friends with a “diverse group of students.”
Jeffries was noted for being “patient with those who need help from her – she is always making others feel good about themselves.”
Jeffries was accompanied by her parents, Hayden and Eric Jeffries.
Rush, a fifth grader at WES, demonstrates respect and “is the first one to stand up for what is right, and always has the courage to help out a friend or someone in need,” her description read.
She was selected to serve as a peer helper this year because of her “willingness to help others in need, and for her attention to task completion.”
Rush exhibits leadership qualities and earns some of the top grades in her class, where she “willingly partners with students who don’t work well with others.”
Rush was accompanied by her parents, Phillip and Amy Rush.
Chelsea Guerrero, a fifth grader at SES, shows respect and friendliness to everyone, including her peers and teachers.
She participates in various school programs like soccer, basketball, archery and art.
Guerrero was described as “one of the sweetest, most gentle-hearted students” her teachers have ever had, “always being a peace maker and helping others to shake off their bad moods.”
Guerrero was accompanied by her grandmother Maria Guerrero and parents, Carlos Guerrero and Rosa Berrones.
Partridge, a fifth grader at EHES, exhibits kindness, patience and respect while interacting with others, her description read.
Partridge chose to research poverty in her gifted class this year, and became motivated to launch and lead a project, which she calls S.O.S. (Shoes OverSeas), to benefit others with unmet needs in Kenya.
She “has stepped so far out of her comfort zone that the adults in her life including her parents find themselves stepping back in amazement at the courage and determination of this 10-year-old girl.”
Partridge was accompanied by her parents, Justin and Hollie Partridge.