Calera students receive Character in Action awards

Published 5:07 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2017

ALABASTER – Three Shelby County Schools students were recognized Wednesday, Feb. 8, during the Character in Action awards ceremony for demonstrating what it means to have good character.

Shelby County District Court Judge Jim Kramer, who presides over Juvenile Court and is chairman of the Children’s Policy Council, said the Character in Action award ceremonies, held at Family Connection in Alabaster, are especially enjoyable for him because it isn’t often he gets to recognize students who are making good decisions.

Every year each Shelby County school district selects one student from each of its schools to receive a Character in Action Award. The ceremonies are held separately for each school district. These students have been handpicked by teachers for displaying respect, courage, responsibility, friendship and kindness toward others.

Calera Elementary kindergartener Skyli Tittle, Calera Intermediate fourth-grader Ava Horn and Calera High 11th-grader Tyler O’Clair were recognized at the ceremony.

As each student and their parents walked up to accept their award, Shelby County Schools social worker Emily Littrell shared comments from teachers about why each student is deserving of such an award.

Tittle, accompanied by her parents Heather Hanson and Jonathan Tittle, only uses kind words, Littrell read. She is known to always help her fellow students when they need it and she always volunteers to be a buddy to other classmates when nobody else will.

Tittle’s teacher noted that she always does the right thing and makes good choices even when the rest of her peers do not.

“Skyli is only in kindergarten but she already has a very mature sense of responsibility,” Littrell read. “She bravely does what she knows is right and shows true leadership potential.”

Horn, accompanied by her parents Charles and Angela Horn, is known for always being respectful and honest with others, Littrell read. Teachers noted that Horn does not complain when things go wrong and she is constantly lifting up others around her.

The fourth-grader has created an organization called “SBK,” which stands for Save Bullied Kids, to promote positive relationships and to inform kids about bullying.

“Ava exemplifies perseverance and has the courage that it takes to stand up for others,” Littrell read. “Students are drawn to her because she never has a negative thing to say about anything or anyone.”

O’Clair, accompanied by his mother Jina O’Clair, was described as a talented student and a great athlete who, despite having reason to think highly of himself, remains one of the most respectful and humble students.

Every teacher that has taught him thinks highly of him, Littrell read. His teacher noted that he shows kindness to students of all ages and works diligently with the school’s special needs students for various events at school and in the community.

O’Clair plays baseball year round, works on Calera High’s Blue Crew to help the cheerleaders transport and setup equipment and is active in church. He balances these activities while managing a challenging course load with several Advanced Placement classes.

“Tyler’s commitment to what he believes is right is unwavering,” Littrell said. “He takes care of others around him and always stands up for his values.”

Calera Middle School student Abigail Snyder was also nominated for an award, but was unable to attend the ceremony. She will be recognized at the next Character in Action ceremony.