PERSEVERANCE: STUDENTS CELEBRATED WITH TURNAROUND AWARDS


PERSEVERANCE: STUDENTS CELEBRATED WITH TURNAROUND AWARDS

Every spring, the efforts of a select group of local students are celebrated for overcoming difficult times with the Clare-Gladwin Area School Board Association’s TurnAround Achievement Awards. The fact that the students weren’t able to convene in person for that celebration this year does nothing to diminish the accomplishments that got them there; under the circumstances, it might signal something even more meaningful.

This year’s batch of awardees – 22 students from Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Gladwin and Harrison, as well as Bullock Creek, Coleman and Meridian – were notified last week that they had been chosen by their local teachers and administrators. The package they received included certificates, scholarship information and a printed program sharing their stories of perseverance.

“The TurnAround students’ stories are as varied as the students themselves,” said Sheryl Presler, superintendent at Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District, which administers the awards. “Some have fought through deeply traumatic personal experiences; some have learned to deal with extreme anxiety in the school setting. But the common thread running throughout all their stories is grit – the ability, with the aid of friends, family, teachers and administrators, to overcome.”

Students honored include Dacoda Johnson and Kayla Burch from Beaverton Jr./Sr. High School; Brian James and Danielle Drake of Bullock Creek High School; Craig Humphrey and Haley Grady from Clare High School; Autumn Warner and Damien Ferguson from Clare Pioneer High School; Wesly Davis and Jessica Moore of Coleman High School; Hauck Degeer and Jheda Valdez from Farwell High School; Tyler Shinkan and Brenna Finch of Farwell Timberland Alternative Education; Kelsey Lynn Derck and Victoria Whitney from Gladwin High School; Brooke Farless and Paige Tucker of Gladwin Alternative Education; Walter Worthing and Kaylee Copeman from Harrison High School; Cailey Fedderson of Harrison Alternative Education; and Jessica Raymond of Meridian High School.

Recipients of the TurnAround Achievement Awards are given one of three scholarships, each of which entitles them to six credit hours of in-district tuition at Mid Michigan College. The scholarships include the Doug Dodge Academic Opportunity Award for Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Gladwin and Harrison students; the Al Roeseler Academic Opportunity Award for students from Coleman High School; and the Tom Gilstad Academic Opportunity Award for those attending Bullock Creek High School or Meridian High School.

Since the awards began in 2006, it’s been standard practice for the TurnAround Awards to bring all the students, their families and the teachers/administrators who nominate them together for a luncheon where their stories are told and they’re given certificates from CGRESD and MMC. This year, that wasn’t possible, but their achievements still needed to be applauded in the safest way possible.

“During these difficult days, it can be hard to find things to feel good about,” Presler said. “I encourage everyone to visit the RESD’s website at www.cgresd.net or search ‘Clare-Gladwin RESD’ on Facebook to learn about these amazing students and the obstacles they’ve battled. At a time when physical, mental and emotional perseverance is so important, these young women and men epitomize that spirit; they’re simply inspiring.”

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