Written by Kayla Burt|
Photos by Cara Morello and Steady Photography |
Here at Morgan, the students are motivated and encouraged to step outside the school walls and make an impact on the entire community. Senior Judy Chicoine is the prime example of a student that went above and beyond with this concept. Judy has devoted numerous hours to teaching the Learn to Skate classes at the Ralph Walker Ice Skating Rink. She also completed other volunteer activities through the National Honor Society during her high school years. Due to this level of dedication, she has been awarded the prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award.
This award recognizes Americans who have volunteered significant amounts of time to their community and their country. The elite award was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, funded by Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), on behalf of President Barack Obama. Although Judy has not physically received the award yet, the Board of Education is planning to recognize Judy at the next meeting where she will receive her certificate.
Principal Keri Hagness explains her thoughts on this award, “I think it is cool that we started a new tradition because Shelby Mehmet and Jessica Acetta were nominated for this award and received this award last year. It is quite special to see that this idea of service and going above and beyond oneself is part of who we are.”
Judy has been an assistant coach of the Learn to Skate classes at the Ralph Walker Ice Skating Rink since 2011 when the director of the program asked her to help out. She has also been an active member of the National Honors Society since her junior year of high school. She is now the President of this club and organizes all of the volunteer services of the group. For example, every year they provide hours of volunteer service to the Roses for Autism foundation and organize the school’s annual blood drive with the Red Cross.
“I think it’s always a nice thing for people to be recognized for their efforts, no matter what they may be,” Judy explains, “But a piece of paper isn’t what makes something rewarding or special. It’s more the experience itself.” This award recognizes students and places a spotlight on their volunteer services in hopes to motivate others to contribute to their community. Hopefully, other students at Morgan will follow in Judy’s footsteps and continue this new found tradition.