Masons honor top students

Posted: Sunday, May 01, 2011

The 44th Annual Masonic Outstanding Student Awards event was held Friday at Kenai Central High School in the Renee Henderson Auditorium. Students representing 24 schools from the Kenai Peninsula School District and one from Nome were honored for their achievements.

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Submitted Photos
Submitted Photos
Students representing 24 Kenai Peninsula School District school, and one student from Nome, were honored at the 44th Annual Masonic Outstanding Student Awards Friday. Below, members of the Kenai Lodge No. 11 and the AL-ASKA Shriners International worked as ushers and provided the staff and acted as escorts for the students and presenters.

The most important goal of this event is to give each student public acknowledgement, recognition and reinforcement that dedication to learning, being an active and positive participant in the school and school activities and helping other students is noticed, encouraged, and rewarded. Event organizers hope this positive reinforcement leads the students to become a benefit and productive members to their communities.

Outstanding Student Awards included a $50 U.S. Savings Bond, a book published by the Scottish Rite called "Dynamic Freedoms," a gold embossed certificate from our Lodge, a personalized certificate of appreciation from Gov. Sean Parnell, an individual award plaque for the students' homes and a engraved name tag for the large award plaque at each school.

The program started with an invocation preformed by Very Worshipful District Deputy Billy Harris of the Grand Lodge of Alaska Billy is also Secretary for Kenai No. 11. The awards were presented to the students by Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayer Dave Cary, Kenai City Mayor Pat Porter, and Sean Dusek, Assistant Superintendent of the Kenai Peninsula school district. The Master of Ceremonies was Ralph Sterling of Soldotna, Chairman of the Masonic Outstand Student awards and Senior Warden of Kenai Lodge No. 11 Free and accepted Masons of the Grand Lodge of Alaska. The W. M. Ken Owens, Al-ASKA Potentate V.J. (Nik) Nikolas (head of the Alaska Shriners) and members representing many Masonic originations assisted in the presentations.

Sawyer Gillilan, the Alaska State Master Councilor for the order of the DeMolay,gave an introduction for young men. (DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives.)

Sally Tachick of the KPBSD spearheaded the coordination and communication between the schools and the Awards Chairman, and without her vast skills, dedication to the students and the school district, this program would be very difficult to perform.

Kenai Lodge No. 11 also presented three $1,000 scholarships, two to local students from Soldotna High School and one to a Student from Nome.

Refreshments were provided by The Star of the North Chapter No. 17 Eastern Star. A flag presentation done by the Heroes of '76 of Alaska of the National Sojourners, who put on a flag history demonstration with flags used for our country from 1775 to present day. Members from Kenai Lodge No. 11 and the AL-ASKA Shriners International worked as ushers and provided the staff and acted as escorts for the students and presenters.

Participation is voluntary and each school chooses their student. The lodge provides the awards and with the help of the KPBSD and many other. The scholarship awards are submitted to the committee by the students from each school; they are then selected based on the criteria of the scholarship form and a review of the committee.

-- Submitted by Ralph Sterling

2011 Masonic Outstanding Student Awards and Scholarship winners

Allison Ostrander, Aurora Borealis Charter School

Rachel Woods, Chapman Elementary

Mary Hana Bowe, Fireweed Academy

Daniel Franklin, Homer Flex High School

Judah Aley, Kalifornsky Beach Elementary

John Stenglein, Kenai Alternative High School

Shaynee Devito, Kenai Central High School

Jonah Theisen, Kenai Middle School

Tekaiya Rich, Mountain View Elementary

Eli D. Ward, Nikiski Middle-High School

Braden Ellis, Nikiski North Star

Jamie Yerkes, Nikiski North Star

Cayla Rogers, Ninilchik

Kianna Steadman, Redoubt Elementary School

Kiowa Richardson, River City Academy

Brett Kyler Chase, Seward High School

Robin McKnight, Seward Middle School

Carol Clonan, Skyview High School

Preston Weeks, Soldotna Elementary School

Angela Ramponi, Soldotna High School

Megan English, Soldotna Middle School

David Prather, Sterling Elementary School

Robert Waterbury, Susan B. English School

Morgan Stoddard, Tustumena Elementary

Izabelle Hagge, West Homer

$1,000 Scholarship Awards

Dakota Bailey-Elsey, Soldotna High

Tanner Minogue, Soldotna High

Zachary Bourdon, Nome Beltz High School

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