Shelby County Schools students get Character in Action awards

ALABASTER – Five model Shelby County Schools students were recognized on Wednesday, Nov. 20, during the Character in Action awards ceremony for demonstrating what it means to have good character.

Every year, each Shelby County school district selects one student from each of its schools to receive a Character in Action Award. These students have been handpicked by teachers, counselors and administrators for displaying respect, courage, responsibility, friendship and kindness toward others. The award also honors the parents and caregivers who have raised these students and who continue to work hard to support their success, said Anna Kate Prum, social worker with Shelby County Schools.

The Character in Action Award program is joint partnership among local school systems, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, District Court Judge Jim Kramer and the Children’s Policy Council. Pelham’s American Legion Post 555 recently joined the partnership and awards the American Legion Achievement Award to the students.

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 doing well in life.

The students recognized were Marilyn Nichols, Elvin Hill Elementary School; Lee Price, Wilsonville Elementary; Mia Kate Shirley, Shelby Elementary School; Sawyer Hobbs, Columbiana Middle School; and Ashley Wilson, Shelby County High School. Prum read comments from teachers, counselors and administrators about each student.

Nichols is said to be someone who goes out of her way to help others in need. When she sees a student who needs help, she immediately jumps up without being asked, Prum read. Nichols teachers said she looks at everyone equally in a classroom that is very diverse. She enjoys creative writing and chooses to use her independent free time to create stories. Friendship is her biggest asset. She shines in this area because she never meets a stranger; she is friends with everyone. She emerges as a leader in all situations, whether it’s in a science small group, outside at PE or at the lunch table.

Price loves Wilsonville Elementary School, and this shows in all of his words and actions, Prum read. He is the first student to greet his teachers and peers each morning. He always wants to make sure his friends are taken care of before his wants or needs. He can always be depended upon to make good choices and get his jobs done in a timely manner. He can often be seen talking to students who have made a mistake in class, giving them a pat on the back and a word of encouragement. Price is no stranger to change. Over the last year, he has had to learn to embrace change with courage and a positive attitude. He has worked so hard to overcome his fears and has helped other students have the courage to be strong during times of change in their own lives.

Prum stated that Shirley shows respect to everyone she meets. She encourages her peers daily to show respect to themselves and others. Shirley does a great job of walking away when frustrated or taking a cool down before speaking to someone with whom she is having a hard time. She speaks respectfully to her peers even though she may disagree with them. She helps others to talk out their problems and come to a fair resolution. She even confides in staff members when she is worried about her friends and wants to make sure that the whole truth is known about a situation.

She is on the school’s Serve Team and works daily to lead announcements, collect trash, and maintain the appearance of her school. She also helps to organize monthly charity drives, such as socks for the homeless, stockings for foster children, and a canned food drive for the local food bank.

Hobbs demonstrates great respect to her teachers and peers at all times, Prum read. She is a very self-driven person and is willing to go above and beyond what is asked and expected of her. She is very responsible with her school work, consistently submits her work in a timely manner. Hobbs is a member of the CMS news team. She joined a staff of 10 students this year, and yet she was the first and is the only one who has taken on the daily tasks of setting up the camera and filming the show. She has been an important part of the CMS math teams and a part of the school’s golf team. For the math team, she worked from November to March to prepare for the team’s tournament. She is the rare eight grader who makes the connection between what she does now and how it impacts tomorrow. Sawyer sets a wonderful example of leadership by staying on task with her work and taking on responsibilities with determination and dedication.

According to Prum, Wilson is well-liked amongst her peers and teachers. She treats everyone in a manner that represents herself, her family and her school very well. She has a caring spirit and relates to others without judging them. She looks for the best in everyone, regardless of their activities, grade level, intellectual capacity or any other characteristics that others might use to exclude someone from a group. She keeps moving forward toward her goals and aspirations, regardless of the obstacles in her path. She is an outstanding student and juggles the most difficult academic load offered at SCHS. She is currently ranked second in her class with a GPA of 4.2 on a 4.0 scale. Even though she is academically gifted, she does not take the easy road. She strives to take the most rigorous courses in order to prepare herself for her future academic endeavors.