Westminster students recognized at Awards Day

NORTH SHELBY – Westminster School at Oak Mountain’s 2017 graduating class is small in numbers but big in accomplishments.

The seniors along with other students were recognized at Upper School Awards Day on Wednesday, May 3, at Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church.

Westminster’s 29 graduates this year will attend at least 15 different colleges, were offered a total of $2.7 million in scholarship funds and accepted about $1.2 million in scholarships.

Head of Upper School Chris Knowles said Awards Day is meant to “recognize God’s work in and through our students” and noted that not all achievements can be recognized.

“We who work at the school see incredible things being done each and every day,” Knowles said.

The first awards handed out were for Latin, and then the Thesis Awards were presented.

Juniors and seniors choose topics for their theses, research and then present in the form of a paper and a speech in front of their peers.

Camilla Lemons won the award for Best Junior Thesis, and Deanna Lockett won the award for Best Senior Thesis.

Westminster College Advisor and Dean of Students Bridges Herring talked about the criteria for being selected for National Honor Society before recognizing inductees.

The National Merit portion of Awards Day included special recognition for Scott Landers, who scored in the top 2 percent on the PSAT and was commended by the National Merit Corporation.

All graduation seniors were recognized, and then scholarship recipients were announced—including one student to enroll at the University of South Alabama, five at Auburn University, one at the University of Montevallo, seven at the University of Alabama, two at Samford University and nine at out-of-state institutions.

“We’re very proud of you guys,” Herring said.

Knowles announced that the class valedictorian is Maddie Hoaglund, and the salutatorian is Sarah McDaniel.

The class has eight students with an unweighted 4.0 GPA.

Instructor Margie Eubanks announced the Fine Arts Awards, and Director of Athletics Jeff Poore noted accomplishments of the school’s various sports programs.

Senior letter winners were presented with Westminster blankets, and two seniors participated in signing ceremonies to declare their intentions to participate in sports at the collegiate level.

Hoaglund will compete in track and field at Washington and Lee University, and Josh Lipperd will play soccer at Covenant College.

Finally, Dean of Students Ben Burgess announced the winner of the year-long house competition: House Tolkien, which also won the Shakespeare Festival that concludes the competition.

Each year, Westminster Upper School students are divided into four houses, which compete against each other in various activities, ranging from Ultimate Frisbee to poetry.