“The schools are free to use their own criterion for choosing the Outstanding Student. We ask the principals at the event to tell the audience how their student made an impression on teachers and staff to earn this honor. Sharing these stories helps us all appreciate the high quality of character found in youth of our community,” Club President David Turner said in a press release.
Students were selected for the honor by their school’s principal and faculty and received an engraved medallion and a certificate to acknowledge the honor. Students from all schools were represented, including Juliana Garlin of Adairsville Elementary School, who was introduced by AES Gateway teacher Angie Pinkard.
“Principal Ms. Melissa Zarefoss was unable to be here today, so she asked me to present this award. I was thrilled when she asked me because I’ve had the pleasure of teaching this young lady in Gateway and I brag on [Garlin] all the time,” Pinkard said. “... She is honest and smart, she always goes way above and beyond the standard in class. She is also very respectful to her teachers and unusually kind and considerate to her peers.”
Event Chair Susan Yark explained the Cartersville Morning Optimist Club has helped share the efforts of local students with the community for more than 40 years.
According to the press release, “... Youth Appreciation is the most popular program sponsored by clubs throughout Optimist International, with more than 2,000 clubs participating each year. The club supports other youth projects including Advocates for Children, Boys and Girls Club and the Etowah Foundation scholarships. Cartersville Morning Optimist Club raises funds for these projects at Stars, Stripes and Cartersville during the Fourth of July festivities and food vending at the Booth Cowboy Symposium.”
The Cartersville Morning Optimist Club meets in the back room of IHOP, 640 E. Main St., Cartersville, Tuesdays at 6:45 a.m.
Outstanding Students recognized Tuesday were: Juliana Garlin, Adairsville Elementary, Principal Melissa Zarefoss; Houston Medlock, Adairsville Middle, Principal Brian Knuchel; Brett Gutkowski, Adairsville High, Principal Bruce Mulkey; Zander Hattersly, Allatoona Elementary, Principal Jim Bishop; Meredith Gaines, Cartersville Primary, Principal Walter Gordon; Lauren Ray, Cartersville Elementary, Principal Ken MacKenzie; Ivy Nelson, Cartersville Middle, Principal Jeff Hogan; Vanessa Salazar, Cartersville High, Principal Steve Butler; Sarah Fox, Cass Middle, Principal Kristy Arnold; Rashad Williams, Cass High, Principal Michael Nelson; Brentley Durham, Clear Creek Elementary, Principal Kelly Wade; Parrish Wiggins, Cloverleaf Elementary, Principal Evie Barge; Chloe Bohannon, Emerson Elementary, Principal Robb Kittle; Monterya Morrow, Euharlee Elementary, Principal Sharon Collum; Grace Hall, Excel Elementary, Principal Wesley Roach; Bailey Cox, Excel Middle, Principal Wesley Roach; Taylor Vaughan, Excel High, Principal Wesley Roach; Olivia Flynn, Hamilton Crossing Elementary, Principal Lynn Robertson; Macenzie Dougharty, Kingston Elementary, Principal Matt Gibson; Trevor Collum, Mission Road Elementary, Principal Sherrie Hughes; Sophie Best, Pine Log Elementary, Principal Nancy Summey; Dillon R. Wilhoit, South Central Middle, Principal Donald Rucker; Emma Savage, Taylorsville Elementary, Principal Bernadette DiPetta; Allison Youmans, The Trinity School, Principal Ish Bearden; Andrew Turley, White Elementary, Principal Amy Heater; Jaylen Vaughn, Woodland Middle, Principal Lamar Barnes; and Isaiah Ross, Woodland High, Principal Melissa Williams.