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.
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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