VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler Optimist Club honored its two nominees for the 2018 Youth Appreciation Award during its Tuesday meeting.
British Adams is a 13 year-old eighth grade student at Morton Middle School. British has moved three times and lived in Texas for eight years before making her way to Vandalia-Butler Schools last year as a seventh grader. The transition was tough, but British finished the year on a positive note by applying to be a WEB leader in May of last year. WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) leaders are eighth grade student-leaders who serve as mentors for our incoming sixth graders. They receive two days of training in August, and they then play an important role in the sixth grade orientation and transition to middle school. Ms. Reinhart, the school counselor, selected British as one of the WEB leaders because she saw her potential for leadership and her fun personality to be attributes that would help make sixth graders feel more at ease.
“British has worked very hard this past year to use her leadership skills in a positive way,” said Reinhart. “She stays focused on what is important and tries to lead by positive example. She makes me smile every day with her sense of humor.”
Coming into this school year, British set goals for herself academically and socially. In addition to being chosen as a WEB leader, she also was selected to be on the yearbook committee. Even more impressively, British has worked hard in and out of the classroom and has achieved all A’s and B’s and Honor Roll status for the first grading period. British enjoys dancing and styling hair and has four siblings. In the future, she plans to attend college and would like to possibly study law or work with children. British shared that she is honored to be selected for this award.
Butler High School nominated Theresa Berry for the Optimist Youth Appreciation Award. As Mark Peck, her counselor states, “Theresa has come a long way since her beginning at Butler” when she struggled greatly. We are so extremely proud of how she has turned things around for herself and is on track to graduate with her class in May 2019. In addition to academic success, she has been employed at Kentucky Fried Chicken for over a year, presently in a management training program. Theresa’s teachers have noted how she is doing the right things.
“I have had Theresa over the last two years in math,” said teacher Nathan Hyatt. “She has been a pleasure to work with. She works quietly, diligently, and always gets her work done. I am proud of the improvements she has made.”
“Theresa shows up daily with a good attitude and shows genuine effort to avoid distractions and complete her tasks,” said teacher Scott Oldfield. “She gets along with her peers, and goes above and beyond doing things to help her succeed such as choosing to make flash cards to study; exhibiting this type of behavior makes her a positive influence I am grateful to have in class.”
“I had Theresa in eighthth grade and have her again this year,” said teacher Erin Amlin. “It has been a monumental pleasure to see how much she has changed and grown in recent years. And I know she has worked hard to do it. I’m thoroughly enjoying having her in class again and seeing where her future takes her.”
And part of that future for Theresa is pursuing a career goal of being a counselor.