Senator Fred Akshar continued the fourth year of his district-wide “Akshar's All-Stars” student recognition program by recognizing students at DCMO BOCES, Valley Heights Christian Academy, Norwich High School, Oxford Academy High School and Greene High School.
Each month, Senator Akshar recognizes local students selected by their school districts in the 52nd Senate District who have shown great leadership, compassion, school spirit or improvement amongst their peers. Due to COVID-19, the latest round of All-Stars were recognized remotely via Zoom.
For each student recognized as an “Akshar All-Star”, Senator Akshar presents them with a t-shirt, framed certificate and a challenge coin.
From DCMO BOCES, Akshar honored junior Wionna Myers and senior Logan Cazzolla for coming to the aid of a fellow student during a serious medical emergency on their school bus. Both enrolled in the Certified Nurse Assisting program, Wionna and Logan jumped into action when a fellow student suffered a serious asthma attack on their school bus and was without an inhaler. Wionna and Logan recognized the emergency situation and alerted the bus driver to contact the school nurse and re-route to the local ER. Wionna and Logan assisted with maintaining the student’s airway, calming and managing the younger students on the bus who were becoming anxious by the emergency situation, and ultimately assisting with getting the student in distress safely into the emergency room. Both of these students demonstrated an understanding of the severity of the situation, what actions were appropriate to take, and then served both as caretakers for the student in distress as well as leaders for the other students on the bus.
“Without Wionna and Logan’s actions, this scenario could have turned out very different, and that’s why we’re lucky to have them as part of this community and why I’m proud to call them Akshar’s All-Stars,” said Akshar.
From Valley Heights Christian Avademy, Akshar recognized 8th grader Evan Moore. Evan’s teachers have seen him make outstanding improvements in his effort, attitude and quality of his school work over the past year. In addition to reaching new heights academically, Evan is a kind and caring peer who strives to get along with others and is always willing to help, actively participating in his church’s youth group and helping people of the community through food distribution and building projects.
From Norwich High School, Akshar recognized junior Addyson Whaley for her positive attitude, her willingness to help others both in and out of the classroom and her dedication in service to the Norwich community. She can always be found assisting a local organization called Helping Hands. Not only does she volunteer her time during their events, she is heavily involved in the behind the scenes work that truly makes the donation nights possible. You might also see her serving a meal at the local “Spay-hetti Dinner” or at the church Thanksgiving meal or perhaps you’ll pass by her while she rings the bell for Salvation Army donations. If it involves helping others, you can bet that Addyson is a part of it. She truly is a beacon of hope and grace when our world needs it the most!
From Oxford Academy High School, Akshar recognized senior Natalie Barrows for being a conscientious student, a positive go-getter, a natural leader full of school spirit and an academic achiever who likes public speaking.
When asked for any advice for other students during this tumultuous time, Barrows said, "Ultimately, for me the focus should be on staying positive and finding ways to be together when we can't physically be together. There are always ways we can find outlets for our creativity and find ways to spark joy. When the world is so down on us and there are so many bad things happening, it's really important to bring joy to yourself."
From Greene High School, Akshar recognized senior Kathleen Becker for being a role model both in school and in the Greene community. Her school district described her as not only patient, kind and altruistic, but also a natural leader and well respected by her peers. In addition to her academic successes, Kathleen engages with the youth in her community through volunteerism and teaching dance.
Senator Fred Akshar said, "During these difficult times, I’m truly inspired by the amazing work and service that’s still being done by young people in our community. It’s important that we continue to shine a bright light on these outstanding individuals and let their stories be told. In a time when the nation seems so divided, I’m happy to continue supporting such a great recognition program that shows the best in our young people.”
Video of DCMO BOCES Akshar’s All-Stars presentation: https://youtu.be/l1s0vfpSwuE
Video of Valley Heights Christian Academy All-Stars presentation: https://youtu.be/PkLx-n0fLRI
Video of Norwich High School All-Stars presentation: https://youtu.be/TqXSoIXts-8
Video of Oxford Academy High School All-Stars presentation: https://youtu.be/ML2btaG0nIo
Video of Greene High School All-Stars presentation: https://youtu.be/4bD752MhgI8