By SHERRY DIGMON
News Staff Writer
For the 33rd year, the Atmore Rotary Club honored students from Atmore Christian School, Escambia Academy, Escambia County High School and Northview High School for academic achievement.
The Rotary Academic All-Star program was held Thursday, May 10, in ECHS Hodnette Auditorium.
One hundred thirty-eight students were recognized. Eight of them are four-year Academic All-Stars: Anna Bell Barberree, Northview High School; Lazarrian Boykin, Escambia County High School; Jackson Breckenridge, Escambia Academy; Terrianna McNeil, Escambia County High School; Jasmina Stahly, Atmore Christian School; Austin Williams, Escambia Academy; Keyaira Wilson, Escambia County High School; Tara Windham, Northview High School.
Three scholarships were presented this year.
* On behalf of his family, Lou Vickery presented the Anna Ruth Vickery Scholarship to ShaDiamond Harris, ECHS.
* Amy Grissett Dean presented the William and Mary Joyner Grissett Memorial Scholarship in memory of her parents to Kristen Gore, ECHS.
* Rotarian Keith Castleberry presented the Randolph B. Luttrell Sr. Memorial Scholarship to Billie Jean McKinley, ECHS.
Keynote speaker for the evening was Barbara Anne Spears, who began her career as a journalist with Alexander City Outlook, then worked in education with Central Alabama Community College, Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education, Trenholm State Technical College, and Alabama Community College System. She recently retired, but said she failed miserably at that, so she started a new job with Northwest Florida State College Monday, May 14.
Her message to students – Create your own opportunities. Don’t wait for them to come to you. She talked about the different positions she has held, how she saw opportunities and pursued them. Once she had the position, she continued striving for excellence in all she did.
“Every time something came up, I volunteered,” she said. “I tried to be the best, be the fastest and work the hardest …
“Work hard, make opportunities for yourself, always volunteer, be passionate.”
Quoting Mark Twain, she said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
And citing an anonymous quote: “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.”
News photo by Ditto Gorme