SUPER CITIZENS: Students honor community heroes

Published 4:00 am Friday, December 7, 2018

Nearly 1,000 students across Pike County celebrated community heroes Tuesday and Wednesday with the Super Citizens program wrap-up.

Pike Liberal Arts principal Eric Burkett praised the program for teaching students about the importance of history, civics and community involvement.

“It’s a civics program where the students learn about a lot of the history of the U.S. but also helps them learn to be positive influences in their communities and schools,” Burkett said. “It hit at an interesting time this year with the election. Teachers made a voting booth and the students got to go in and vote on their favorite kinds of cookies and learned about the election process. It’s neat to see – personally, my second grader talked about it all the time and loved the lessons that went with it.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

These students have learned their important roles in America’s future thanks to an immersive experience in civics, character, financial literacy and social studies. And in the closing piece of the program, Torch Teams (or “Helping Hands” for the younger students) students are applying those crucial lessons in the real world. They chose heroes who embodied the traits of amazing citizens and read essays from stage before presenting them with Authentic Liberty Replicas & Liberty Pins. They learned that “when you honor a hero, you become a hero.”

“It’s important for our kids to see examples of individuals who have contributed to their community and we hope exposing them to those examples will lead them to follow in their footsteps,” said Dr. Mark Bazzell, Pike County Schools superintendent.

Teresa Sims, principal of Troy Elementary School, said teaching the students about community involvement may be the most important part of the curriculum.

“The part I really like is that it teaches them appreciation for regular everyday folks, regular everyday heroes,” Sims said. “It teaches them to appreciate not just the celebrities they see that don’t do a whole lot for them, but the everyday people. They get to select who they want their hero to be, anybody in the community they see has dedicated greatly to their community. We know those are the real heroes and should be our real celebrities. It gives them someone to look up to.”

The annual program is supported by Troy Bank and Trust, and the school officials praised the bank for sponsoring the event.

The “super citizens” honored at Pike County Schools were Kashonna Flowers, Michael Jordan, Danielle Tillery, Kelly Kelly, Joseph Boswell, Johnathan Isaac, Daniel Hussey, Jennifer Garrett, Terra Foster, Shantell Rouse, Sandra Trotter, Coston Collier, Jimmy Helms, Charles Sanders, Annie Blackmon and Dan Smith.

Super citizens honored at Troy Elementary School were Tonikia Perry, Carroll Connel, Sharon Crawley, Dianna Lee, Renea Fielder, Justin Vann, Caleb Dawson, Tim Lewis, (Troy Fire Department), Jason Barron, Marta Street, Amy Brown, Nikki Johnson, Anna Lowery and Kanorris Davis.

Pike Liberal Arts School honorees were Jimmy Smith, Douglas Bradford, Cristine Simmer and Kelly Sanders.