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OAYA honors 42 kids for good deeds, leadership



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Oxford-Addison Youth Assistance honored this terrific group of kids last week. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
June 01, 2011 - Oxford-Addison Youth Assistance honored 42 area students May 25 at its annual Youth Recognition awards ceremony held at the high school's Performing Arts Center.

The students were honored for their good deeds, volunteer spirit, compassion and leadership. Here are this year's winners:

Clear Lake Elementary

Sergio Borg, Cullen Card, Brendan Crabill, Danielle Deryckere, Riley Fritsche, Elizibeth Gonczar, Jessica Heidisch, Elise Hill, John Kauffman, Abby Knop, Abbey Kwapis, Kaylie Seeling, Jack Smalley, Katie Sovis and Madeleine Wiscombe – The Clear Lake Elementary Student Council has been active this year taking on a leadership role. They have been responsible for organizing and running the Spirit Days at Clear Lake. Each Spirit Day has sponsored a special cause and has helped out other people. These children are the leaders of tomorrow.

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Lindsey Aisthorpe – Lindsey is very mature for her age. She helps out at home with her younger sister, Faith, who has cystic fibrosis. When mom stays at the hospital, Lindsey and an adult friend help and take care of the house. Lindsey volunteers in Ms. Lukas-Noe's kindergarten classroom before and after school. She passes out papers and puts up and takes down student chairs. She is always willing to help! Lindsey has a kind heart and is a wonderful young girl.

Bethany Devlin – Beth is a very bright girl who takes initiative in everything she does. She helps new and other students in the class and is a very reliable, helpful, and committed student. Beth has organized parties and started fundraising events that relate to our IB units. Beth is an emerging leader and I can see her being a leader in everything she does.

Daniel Axford Elementary

Evan Kussner – Evan has been a positive role model in our classroom. During our IB unit "How We Organize Ourselves", we watched a video about a school in Africa and we talked about needs and wants. Afterwards, Evan found a newspaper article about a girl who raised money for an impoverished African school. He shared it with the class, and said we should raise money too. The class agreed and they raised $100! His enthusiasm for caring for others rubs off on his peers.

Marie LaFond – Marie LaFond came up with the idea to have a special "hat day" fundraiser to help the frightened and homeless animals at the Michigan Animal Rescue League. The school raised $237.40 for this worthy organization! Marie is mindful of the needs of others and is willing to step forward and help.

Elizabeth Rice – Elizabeth is a very deserving student for the Oxford-Addison Youth Recognition Award. Elizabeth is a great leader in the classroom. Her personality and kind heart make her a wonderful friend to all students. The maturity and grace she shows in handling her diabetes is phenomenal.

Carleigh Rodriguez – Carleigh returned to school in March after being treated for over a year for a type of cancer which forms in the nerve tissue called neuroblastoma. The enthusiasm she shows each day for learning and her overall "can-do attitude" is an inspiration for both students and adults.

Lakeville Elementary

Liana Foutz – Liana has been a joyful volunteer for Oxford-Addison Youth Assistance. Liana has worked in our community garden. She also walked the entire Oxford Christmas Parade route next to the OAYA float and waved to the crowd. Liana helped us unpack our boxes when we moved to Oxford Middle School.

Cheyenne Fowler – Cheyenne is a sweetheart! Cheyenne is always helping others when they are down, and she has a way of taking care of other students. She always puts her friends first! She is respectful to teachers and others. Her kindness is very genuine. Cheyenne is one-of-a-kind!

Cale Kasprzak – Cale is a very deserving student for the Oxford-Addison Youth Recognition Award. Cale has a kind heart. He is always helpful to others and is an excellent role model. Cale tries to find peaceful solutions to issues and problems. He is a polite and respectful young man!

Robert Savich – Robert has been a Peer Mediator at Lakeville for 3 years. He is the "go-to" guy of our team. He helps anytime he is needed, even on short notice. He is willing, agreeable and dedicated. Not only has he helped many students resolve conflict in a peaceful way using the mediation process, he has helped train new mediators as well. Robert is active in many other clubs and service activities in our school as well. He is a leader and a positive role model!

Shane Schwab – Shane has served Lakeville this school year as the director of our LKV News Team. He began as a substitute member of the team, but rose to the top early and established himself as an outstanding leader and role model. He learned all aspects of doing our daily morning announcements, and soon began helping other students learn how to do their jobs and helped them to be successful too. He's amazing!

Austin West – Austin often helps out in Ms. Marginet's classroom. He reads and assists younger students with their class work. Austin is a positive role model to all students he has contact with. He doesn't give up no matter how difficult the task. He is always willing and takes the initiative to help others. Austin faces challenges with confidence, commitment, and integrity.

Sydney Young – Sydney promotes peace at Lakeville by presenting a bi-monthly "Message of Peace" on our Morning Announcements. She picks her message out from texts that tell a story and presents students with real life situations that they may face. She reads the stories and closes with a thought provoking question for students to discuss and consider. She does this with enthusiasm, dedication, and a desire to make Lakeville a more peaceful place.

Leonard Elementary

Mackenzie Carter – Mackenzie has a heart of gold! She is always very caring and helps all of her friends. She is a good friend to all of her peers. Mackenzie is a very hard worker and always has a positive attitude! She leads by example and is a joy to be around.

Ty Cassavoy – Ty is a compassionate student that enriches the culture of his elementary school. He has never let adversity get the best of him. He is kind and gentle. He is a bus helper for kindergarten students and is very responsible. He is a motivated learner and sets a good example for his peers. Ty has wonderful manners and is respectful. Ty is an emerging leader. He continues to demonstrate the depth and strength of his character.

Joshua Schoenherr – Josh is an outstanding role model in and out of the classroom. He always treats others with respect and is one of the most polite young men in our school. He always works hard and strives to do his best. He often volunteers and is always willing to help in any situation. Josh consistently looks out for and supports others. He is a Student Council Member and a Boy Scout. We truly appreciate his positive attitude and his contagious good mood.

Oxford Middle School

Dylan Foutz – Dylan has been a dedicated and consistent volunteer for Oxford-Addison Youth Assistance. Dylan has worked in our community garden, weeding and growing vegetables. He also helped us assemble community resource bags for our Rural Pearl of a Ride fundraiser. When our office was relocated to the middle school, Dylan helped us move our furniture and equipment. Dylan is always hard-working, pleasant, and dependable and OAYA is grateful for his service!

Tyler Kwapis – Tyler has taken a leadership role with Oxford Middle School's Fuel Up to Play 60 committee. FUTP60 is the partnership between the National Dairy Council and the NFL to promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle. This spring, Tyler was one of nine students from across the country selected to serve as a National Ambassador for Fuel Up to Play. He will be traveling the country and encouraging students to eat well and exercise.

Jennifer Rochon – Jennifer exemplifies he character trait caring by her act of kindness recently shown to a survivor of the Holocaust. Mrs. Ema Gorman spoke to the entire 7th grade about her experiences as a child. She told the students how little she had and how difficult things were for her family. Jennifer responded to Mrs. Gorman not even having a doll by bringing one for her the very next day. Jennifer's thoughtfulness touched the hearts of our staff, as well as Mrs. Gorman.

Brendan Shea – Brendan is a very caring and conscientious student. Brendan organized a relay race to raise money for diabetes. He researched this topic, and wrote and presented his intent for a fundraiser to his principal for approval. He coordinated this event with his Social Studies teacher to help his peers become more aware of childhood diabetes. Brendan also shows compassion for his classmates. He gives of himself without expecting anything in return. Brendan is a true leader!

Victoria Spring – Tori is a sixth grade student that has been helping in Ms. Rushlow's third grade classroom all year. She rides the bus to OES every week to volunteer. She reads with individuals or small groups, helps students work on their multiplication, listens kindly to their many stories, and shares her own learning experiences with them. Tori is a positive role model. The whole class looks forward to seeing her smiling face as she enters their classroom each week!

Oxford High School

Kara Brook – Kara has been a dedicated and consistent volunteer for Oxford-Addison Youth Assistance. She has worked in our community garden and delivered vegetables to local senior citizens. Kara helped to create a sponsor sign for one of our fundraisers, and then volunteered at this event. Kara wrapped presents for the OAYA Christmas Party and sat atop our float as Cinderella for the Oxford Christmas Parade. Kara is always hard-working, pleasant and dependable!

Keegan Brook – Keegan has been a dedicated and consistent volunteer for Oxford-Addison Youth Assistance. He worked in our community garden and delivered vegetables to local senior citizens. Keegan helped at our Duck Race and our Rural Pearl fundraisers. When we relocated to OMS, Keegan helped us move our furniture and equipment. Keegan helped with the Oxford roadside clean-up and with our Christmas Parade float. Keegan is always hard-working, pleasant and dependable!

Meaghan Guzanek – Meaghan is a freshman this year. Part of her day at Oxford High School is spent working with students with disabilities. Meaghan is always patient and kind. She genuinely cares about the students that she is working with. Meaghan is the sort of person that everyone would want as a friend.

Michael Johnson – Mike has been involved in LEGO League for several years. During this season of the elementary robotics competition, Mike again donated his time and talent to help the robotics team with problem solving and programming. He was patient and thoughtful, allowing students to make mistakes in order to apply new strategies. Mike is an exemplary young man and a role model for all students.

St. Joseph Catholic School

Savannah Pfeffer – Savannah is a strong, yet quiet, leader in our school. She is quick to volunteer help to any staff member, peer, or guest. She gives tours highlighting our school to visitors. Savannah tutors younger students, mentors them, and has helped facilitate resolutions during times of conflict. She finds time to help in the community with volunteer work as well.

Academy of the Sacred Heart

Christina Bacon – Christina is a wonderful example of a young lady who seeks to make a difference in our world as evidenced by her quiet and deliberate assistance at Grace Centers of Hope on a weekly basis and as evidenced by her sincere effort to lead her softball team as shortstop. Christina is a good student. She is an active listener and she gives insightful observations. She leads her peers by her example. Kara Brook – Kara has been a dedicated and consistent volunteer for Oxford-Addison Youth Assistance. She has worked in our community garden and delivered vegetables to local senior citizens. Kara helped to create a sponsor sign for one of our fundraisers, and then volunteered at this event. Kara wrapped presents for the OAYA Christmas Party and sat atop our float as Cinderella for the Oxford Christmas Parade. Kara is always hard-working, pleasant and dependable!

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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