Jefferson Elementary leaders honored by Rotary | Education

CHARLESTON — Seven students have been selected as the recipients for this year’s Jefferson Elementary School Leadership Awards.

The seven students and their parents recently were recognized at a Charleston Rotary Club luncheon. The students received their awards at an assembly on the last day of the school year.

This year’s award winners are:

  • Sixth Grade – Hadley Webb, daughter of Kris and Matt Webb, and Dylan Hawk, son of Laura and Christopher Hawk.
  • Fifth Grade – Emma Karbassioon, daughter of Mike and Rameen Karbassioon; Christine Pschirrer, daughter of Jacob and Cara Pschirrer; and Jonathan Brown, son of Missy and Matthew Brown.
  • Fourth Grade – Lauren Ealy, daughter of Jim and Elizabeth Ealy, and Gunner Barr, son of Kirby and Katie Barr.

Since 2009, a committee of Rotary members and Jefferson teachers select the Leadership Award winners from nominations by the school’s teachers. Among the traits the students are expected to demonstrate throughout the school year are helpfulness, respect, understanding, assisting others, service to others, motivating others, time management, teamwork, ethics, planning, being a mentor and being accountable.

Rob Ulm, principal at Jefferson Elementary, said this year’s recipients can be counted on for “doing the right thing” and offering to help without being prompted.

Rick Hunt of the Charleston Rotary Club has chaired this program since Rotary initiated the award in 2009.

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He said the fourth- through sixth-grade teachers make the effort to nominate students and to relate what makes the students leaders at school.

“Without them, we couldn’t do this program,” Hunt said. “We appreciate what the teachers do.”

A special treat at this year’s awards luncheon was a visit from Samantha Killough, who was a sixth-grade Leadership Award winner when she attended Jefferson several years ago.

She recently graduated from the University of Illinois and majored in music education. She told the students that she started her involvement with band while a student at Jefferson. She learned to play the French horn from then-Jefferson School band instructor Ginger Stanfield.

After playing in the band and serving as a drum major at Charleston High School, Killough was a member of the Marching Illini Band at the University of Illinois.

She recently completed student teaching, and said she hopes to teach music and be a band director.

Youth service is one of five areas of emphasis for Rotary Clubs. In Charleston, Rotary honors the Top Ten Academic Students in the graduating class, sponsors the Jefferson Elementary School Leadership Awards, sponsors the Rotary Youth Exchange program at the high school and for the past three years contributed $30,000 to the Charleston school district to assist with technology needs. Rotary meets Tuesdays at noon in The Rotary Room of the Charleston Public Library.

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