MOUNT VERNON — The achievements of students of the Knox County Alternative Center were celebrated May 20 at the annual awards ceremony. After welcoming students, family and friends, Kevin Peterson, pastor of the West Side Church of the Nazarene, lauded the collaborative efforts of family members, volunteers and community agencies which helped the students be the best they can be.
“Most of all,” Peterson told the students, “it is your hard work and determination that got you here. It may be a cliché, but life gave you lemons and you chose to make lemonade. Your accomplishments need to be celebrated and that’s why we’re here. We are proud of you. Remember, someone else is looking down on you and is proud of you, too.”
The award ceremony began with Chad Stroud leading the assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance, then Jackson Fry and Ashley Case performed guitar solos, demonstrating new skills they learned in the Alternative Center’s after-school program.
The first award, more accurately a token of appreciation, was presented to retiring Knox County Educational Service Center Superintendent Dave Southward. Ashley Case and Ashley Lohmeyer gave him a blanket the class made for him.
“Thanks for the after-school program,” Case said. “I used to get in trouble a lot after school. Now I don’t.”
Lohmeyer, on behalf of all of the AC students, read a thank-you letter to the staff members.
Derek Fisher, Alternative Center director, served as master of ceremonies for the student award presentations; he was assisted by office administrator Susan Payne.
A special award went to Angel Grennell, who won the Excellence in Education essay contest. She wrote about the teacher who most inspired her, and, in turn, presented a certificate to teacher Julie Conkel, saying, “you influenced me to be a better person.”
The 2010 Alternative Center Award recipients are as follows.
Graduates — Kali Anderson, Jon Butcher, Marcus Clemons, Yawna Everhart, Nick Garee, Angel Grennell, Stacy Jones, Eric Lawson, Katrina McDonald, Rayne Ponce, Emmett Reisinger, Josh Rudrick, Israel Townsend, Richard Ward, Rikki Yeatman and Ricky Young.
Completion of GED — Ray Beaver and Logan Hall.
Best Attendance — Don Barrick, Jeremiah Burch, Jon Butcher, Robert Cantu, Ashley Case, Samantha Childers, Chris Devore, Derek Elliott, Angel Grennel, Chris Kandel, Ashley Lohmeyer, Katie McClain, Josh Parker and Brandi Tschantz.
Exemplary Behavior — Anthony Anderson, Mark Ballard, Don Barrick, Marcus Clemons, Gail Conway, Damien Crites, Holly Daniels, Angel Grennell, Cole Hoeflich, David Johnson, Chris Kandel, Brianna Myers, Nick Rambo, Megan Richardson, Matthew Salinas, Michael Salinas, Eli Shields, Richard Ward and Sarah Whitt.
Academic Achievement — Don Barrick, Jon Butcher, Marie Daley, Holly Daniels, Angel Grennell, Chris Kandel, Ashley Lohmeyer, Katrina McDonald, Brianna Myers, Nick Rambo, Megan Richardson, Michael Salinas, Eli Shields, Kenzie Stacy, Austin Tatman, Brandi Tschantz, Jennifer Turbeville, Lisa Turbeville and Rikki Yeatman.
Career Center Acceptance — Kodey Ball, Marie Daley, Chris Kandel and Sarah Whitt.
College Acceptance — Kali Anderson and Angel Grennell.
Most Improved — Anthony Anderson, Don Barrick, Marie Daley, Holly Daniels, Sydney Mason, Travis Shrimplin, C.J. (Charles) Stickland, Austin Tatman, Brandi Tschantz, Jennifer Turbeville, Lisa Turbeville and Ashley Weatherbee.
Administrative Award — Donald Johnson, Katie McClain and Sarah Whitt.
Grandma Betty Award — Jessica Brandon, most improved; and Nick Rambo, best academic achievement.
Tutor Award — Nick Rambo and Paul Scott Jr.
Art Award — Jackson Fry, Josh Sanders, Jesse Schorr, Kenzie Stacy, Brandi Tschantz, Jennifer Turbeville, Lisa Turbeville and Melvin Yeatman.
Student Patriot— Chad Stroud.
Athletic Award — Kodey Ball.
Officers Helpers — Donald Johnson, Katie McClain and Sarah Whitt.
Individual Classroom Award — Don Barrick, Jon Butcher, Damien Crites, Angel Grennell, Chris Kandel, Brianna Myers, Nick Rambo, Megan Richardson and Sarah Whitt.
First Church of the Nazarene hosted the event, and members of the West Side Church of the Nazarene prepared and served the dinner.