By Debra Lackey
While students at local schools may not have ended the school year in the way they would have expected, three 5th graders from Kernersville Elementary can look back on their year and have a feeling of accomplishment. All three students made their mark in some way this year and were recognized for their contributions to the school.
Good Citizenship Award
Erick Segoviano was selected as the KES 2020 winner of the Good Citizenship Award Medal, given every year to one student per school in grades 5 – 11 by the Joseph Kerner Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Wooten Taylor, Historian of our local chapter explained, “This award was established to recognize and encourage young people knowing they are our future leaders. It is important that they grasp the privilege of being a citizen of our country, even at a young age.”
Erick was nominated by his 5th-grade teachers and then the award was voted on by school staff. He was the student who best exemplified the traits that are part of the Good Citizen Award: Honor, Service, Courage, Leadership, and Patriotism. Erick was known by his teachers and classmates to be trustworthy, loyal, and selfless. He demonstrated kindness to those around him and was a leader through his good sportsmanship and cooperation with his peers. Erick also demonstrated a love and respect for our country and its rich history; he enjoyed learning about American historical events and important figures. Erick is an avid reader and part of the school’s Battle of the Books team. He will be going to Hanes Middle School next year and is interested in pursuing a career in science, possibly quantum physics.
Human Relations Commission
Sofia Olvera is a 5th-grade student who always had a smile on her face and a positive attitude about life, no matter the situation. It was no surprise that she was recognized as the Kernersville Elementary Award recipient for the yearly award given by the Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission. This honors one student from every school in Forsyth County that models inclusiveness, promotes equality, advocates understanding, practices compassion, encourages diversity, and strengthens student relations.
Sofia is known as a student with a caring heart for her classmates and teachers. She loves to nurture and serve others: always volunteering to clean as well as assist teachers and other students with anything they need. She participated in the Second Harvest Food Drive service project at church where she packed food boxes to give to families in need. Her way of including classmates and forming new friendships lives up to the Human Relations Commission’s ideals of a community where everyone is treated fairly. Sofia was always positive in her interactions with her fellow students regardless of race, religion, and other cultural differences. She loved to hear people’s stories and was a writer herself who filled up pages with ideas for future books. Sofia will be attending East Forsyth Middle School next year.
DAR American History Essay Contest Winner
Sophie Shannon is another Kernersville Elementary 5th grader who had quite a memorable year. She was the winner of the 2019 – 2020 Joseph Kerner Chapter DAR American History Essay Contest. This contest encourages young people to think creatively about our nation’s great history and to learn about history in a new light. Each year’s essay commemorates an important historical event and the 2019 – 2020 topic was “The Voyage of the Mayflower” which asked students to research the Mayflower’s historic journey from England to the New World. Student essays were judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness.
Sophie’s essay met these criteria and focused on the individual Mayflower passengers who came to the New World searching for the freedom to practice their religious faith. Her essay stood out for using a unique point of view: she told the story as a flashback narrative. Historian for the local DAR Chapter Mrs. Taylor explained, “The fact that it was presented in dialogue format between a child and grandmother added intrigue to the historic journey of the Mayflower.” The local DAR Chapter selected her as their winner which meant her essay was sent to the District IV competition where it won among those ten entries before going on to the state contest. Sophie is a student who is a bookworm at heart and was a member of the school’s Battle of the Books team. She will be attending Kernersville Middle School next year and enjoys writing her own books.
Although these three students finished out their elementary school career through distance learning and missed out on the end of year celebrations with their classmates, they maintained a positive attitude and are looking forward to getting back to school in the fall. Kernersville Elementary is very proud of each one of them and wants them to remember that “Once a Wildcat, Always a Wildcat!”