FOES fifth graders receive awards in end-of-year ceremony

Fifth-grade students at Forest Oaks Elementary School receive special awards for their work at an end-of-year ceremony May 13. (For the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

Fifth-grade students at Forest Oaks Elementary School receive special awards for their work at an end-of-year ceremony May 13. (For the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

CHELSEA – The cafeteria at Forest Oaks Elementary School was packed with parents and family members May 13 as fifth-grade students were honored for their achievements in their last year before middle school.

“Kids excel in many different areas, and we wanted to recognize these areas of success,” FOES Principal Sasha Baker said. “This is a very special day.”

Students in all fifth-grade classes were recognized, followed by presentations of awards in specific areas.

FOES Principal Sasha Baker congratulates a student at the Fifth Grade Awards Ceremony held May 13 in the cafeteria. (For the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

FOES Principal Sasha Baker congratulates a student at the Fifth Grade Awards Ceremony held May 13 in the cafeteria. (For the Reporter/Dawn Harrison)

Betsy Samuelson received a literary award for her ABC poem “Nano” published in the 2016 Shelby County Journal of Literary Arts.

Art awards were presented to Katelyn Shirley, Mason McGuire, Gracie Hamilton, Palmer Sexton, Baylor Wall, Karsyn Helms, Ari Greene, Lindsey Haupt, Tyndal Griffith, Will Turner, Easton Evans and Zoey Shelnutt.

“They’ve had an excellent attitude and work ethic,” Assistant Principal Stevi Sims said of the students.

Students recognized for their outstanding character were Walker Thomas, Avery Harris, Benton Lane, Gracie Hamilton, Mason McGuire, Ashleigh Cruz, Liam English, Tyndal Ann Griffith, Harper Thornbrough, Dani Sulenski, Easton Evans and Coleigh Dean.

“Parents, that is a true reflection of the work you’re doing at home,” counselor Cindy Smith said. “I just encourage you to continue doing what you’re doing.”

Students that were selected to participate in the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) based on their ACT Aspire test scores included Nora Breedlove, Brady Clements, Mason McGuire, Christopher McNeill, Hayden Molloy, Betsy Samuelson, Zoey Shelnutt and Baylor Wall.

Students that received music awards were Jakob Short and Merna Elgazzar, Jordan Garrett, Cailyn Kelly, Fletcher Grant, Emma Shaw, Brandon Brown, Cassie Clemons, Keegan Valentine, Helen Catherine Oldenburg, Drew Prady and Betsy Samuelson.

“We are really excited that Shelby County continues to support the arts,” music teacher Cindy Woodham said.

P.E. awards were presented to Camden Thomas, Walker Thomas, Nora Breedlove, Dylan Brown, Emma Pohlmann, Jackson Laughlin, Coleigh Dean, Jackson Morgan, Ava McCartha, Leighton Garrard, Molly McLemore, Ari Greene and Dani Sulenski.

P.E. teacher Sandy Evers said recipients were selected for displaying leadership, sportsmanship and athleticism.

“We get to see our students every single day from kindergarten all the way through fifth grade,” Evers said. “We form a special bond. I’m really going to miss all these fifth graders when they head to middle school. I’m proud of every one of them.”

Recipients of the Principal’s Award for Leadership, or P.A.L., were Austin Rigdon, Zoey Shelnutt, Baylor Wall, Esmee Cavander, Mason McGuire, Katelyn Shirley, Daniel Ramirez, Cody Fortenberry, Will Ross, Ella Sciara, Kayleigh Dodson andBrady Clements.

“Parents, thank you for being here to support your child,” Principal Sasha Baker said. “This is a milestone in their educational journey, and your support is important. While they are growing up, they are going to continue to depend on you. Thank you for all that you have done to support your child up to this point, and all you will continue to do.”

Baker also praised teachers for investing their time and energy in their jobs throughout the school year, and encouraged students to keep working hard to achieve their goals as they leave FOES.

“As you move forward, remember, you are leaving your mark,” Baker said to students. “I expect great things from all of you.”