SCS student named AAGC Outstanding Gifted Student

Published 11:40 am Friday, October 23, 2020

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COLUMBIANA – A local high school student has received a prestigious award for excellence in academics, leadership and community involvement.

During his report at the Shelby County Board of Education meeting Oct. 15, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dr. Lewis Brooks recognized Shelby County High School freshman Sarah Elizabeth Shelton for being named Outstanding Gifted Student by the Alabama Association for Gifted Children.

Brooks described Shelton as an “amazing student” and “eloquent speaker,” noting she presented at the Shelby County Showcase of Schools as a fifth grader three years ago.

“Sarah Elizabeth Shelton represents, in my opinion, the best of Shelby County Schools,” Brooks said.

Brooks, along with former teachers and administrators and her family, surprised Shelton with the announcement of her award during a brief ceremony at Columbiana Middle School.

Shelton and her family were unable to attend the board meeting Oct. 15, but will be invited to attend a future meeting to celebrate her award.

Several people wrote letters to the AAGC in support of Shelton’s nomination.

“As the leader of a large school district, it can be difficult to get to know students as closely as you would like,” Brooks wrote in his letter. “However, Sarah Elizabeth is a standout student. It warms my heart to know and admire the exemplary role model she embodies for all Shelby County students. Sarah Elizabeth is a phenomenal scholar, an incredible communicator and a confident ambassador for her community and the district as a whole.”

During her eighth-grade year, Shelton was a cheerleader, captain of the Scholars Bowl team, member of the school news crew, member of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS) club, and a national competitor and gold medal winner in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America’s STAR events competition.

In addition, Shelton also was a member of SCHS’s cast of “Annie” and was an all-A Honor Roll student.

In other business, the board heard from Federal Programs Supervisor Mary Cooper regarding a new Family Resources for Early Literacy page on the district’s website,

The page provides information, activities and resources to help families support early literacy at home through the five essential components of reading instruction: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

Clicking on each component tab will direct students and their families to videos and activities they can utilize together at home.

The board also:

  • Approved a change order for a project involving ADA access to the track at Chelsea Middle School. The change order denotes a decrease in the contract sum by $32,540, bringing the total down from $212,800 to $180,260.
  • Approved the renewal of a bid contract with Atlanta Recycling Solutions for technology recycling and reuse pickup for an additional six-month period, extending the contract through May 17, 2021.