Sellers, Simmons take Civitan#039;s J.O. quot;Tipquot; Colley Scholarship

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Two Pike County High School seniors were honored Tuesday night by the Troy Civitan Club's J.O. "Tip" Colley Award.

Christy Sellers of Pike Liberal Arts and Keon Simmons of Pike County High School were selected by the Civitan Club as the top scholar-athletes in the county.

At an awards banquet held at Park Memorial Baptist Church, Simmons and Sellers were selected from a field of 32 nominees and presented with trophies and scholarships.

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"I was very surprised," Sellers said.

A cheerleader, leader in her class and member of the National Honors Society, Sellers said she was proud to win the award and is planning to enroll at Auburn University in the Fall. She is the daughter of Gilbert and Martha Sellers.

Simmons was also surprised by his selection as the male recipient of the Colley Award.

"It felt great to hear my name called," he said. "I was surprised and now it'll be nice to have my name engraved on the trophy. I think my parents are overwhelmed."

Simmons is the valedictorian of his class and a standout on the PCHS football team. The son of James and Patricia Simmons, he plans to attend Troy State University and said he was happy to be associated with the past winners of the award.

According to Darren Hipps, president of the Civitan Club, the decision-making process was extremely difficult due to the excellent caliber of all of the nominees.

"We were happy to have the opportunity to recognize the outstanding achievements of these young people and to recognize their leadership and community service. That's a big part of what Civitan is about: community service," he said.

In addition to dinner, the students and their parents were treated to a speech by Jack Hawkins, Chancellor of the Troy State University system.

Hawkins encouraged the students to focus on creating a vision for their futures and maintaining integrity and honesty. He presented the students with a book of quotes on the subject of leadership and praised the late J.O. "Tip" Colley, for whom the award is named.

Colley was a beloved Pike County physician, businessman and civic leader.

This year marked the 13th annual awarding of the Colley award.