Three students receive Character in Action Awards
Published 10:33 am Wednesday, April 13, 2016
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
ALABASTER— Three students in Shelby County were recently recognized for their strength of character at an April 13 Shelby County Children’s Policy Council meeting at Family Connection in Alabaster.
For the past two years, every monthly meeting has started with Character in Action Awards, according to Judge Jim Kramer. This month, the council celebrated Ashlin Hope, Dalton Stern and Jeffery Gaiters.
“This student award was created by Judge Kramer in a partnership with Juvenile Court and the District Attorney’s Office to celebrate our students that are setting the example in our schools and doing good things,” said Emily Littrell, social worker for Shelby County Schools.
A different school zone is highlighted each month, and Littrell said the schools within that zone nominate one student for the award.
“Only one student is chosen from each school, so it’s a big deal,” she said.
As Littrell announced each of the students, she also read teacher comments explaining why he or she was chosen.
Hope is a 12th-grader at the College and Career Center in Columbiana. Her teachers described her as a polite and courteous student who goes out of her way to help others.
She is known to include everyone in group activities, to encourage others when they are having a bad day and to stand firm in her beliefs without giving into peer pressure, Littrell read.
“Ashlin has bravely overcome personal loss and continues to try new things and is open to new experiences,” Littrell read. “Ashlin has flourished into a very accomplished young lady that undoubtedly has a bright future ahead.”
Stern is in the 10th grade at the Day Program in Alabaster, and his teachers described him as a well-spoken, respectful, methodical and creative young man.
His teachers have witnessed his willingness to help others and the kindness he shows everyone.
“Dalton is cool under pressure and has repeatedly shown maturity beyond his years as a quiet leader in our school,” Littrell read. “Dalton never gives up; he is dedicated to his education no matter the stumbling blocks placed in his way. He is well on his way to graduating and becoming a successful adult.”
Gaiters is an eighth-grader at the Linda Nolan Learning Center in Pelham. His growth in self-discipline and ability to take responsibility for both his successes and failures were reasons his teacher gave for selecting him for the award.
He was described as being willing to help others always. His teachers have often witnessed examples of this at school when he helps the custodians clean up after school activities, and when he uses his own money to purchase snacks for friends.
“Jeffery has a big heart and shows love to his friends through his actions and words,” Littrell read. “When he sees something that seems unfair, he has the ability to discuss his feelings in a clear manner. He also tries to help other students understand that life is often unfair, but that it is still important to treat others with fairness and kindness.”
Each student received a plaque and a gift card from the District Attorney’s Office. Littrell said the parents were also awarded certificates as a way to acknowledge what they are doing in the household to raise children with good values.
“This is a way to say ‘Thank you for what you are doing, and keep making those good choices and setting the example for others in your school,’” she said.