ROCKINGHAM COUNTY – Each year, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution sponsors numerous awards for students at schools in Rockingham County.
The James Madison Chapter of the DAR recently announced the recipients of the Susie Johnson Lauten Scholarship, Good Citizen, Youth Citizenship, and JROTC Awards for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Susie Johnson Lauten Scholarship was named in honor of the late Madison Regent of the James Hunter Chapter and is awarded annually to a high school senior attending Stokes County High School, Bethany Community School, or Dalton L McMichael High School.
Winner Mary Kathryn Schultz of McMichael, daughter of Christopher and Angela Schultz of Mayodan, took home this year’s honors. She plans to attend UNC Chapel Hill to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology/bioinformatics information science.
“I then hope to return to my hometown to work with community partners as we strive to create more opportunity and a better energy future for the next generation,” Schultz said.
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Schultz has given back to her community by volunteering with the Barry Joyce Foundation, acting as a NatureWay student teacher of environmental science, serving as a youth volunteer at a local hospital, and raising funds for Cancer Kids. First and Hands of God Food Pantry.
DAR’s Good Citizens program is available in high schools across the United States. Students selected by the school’s DAR Good Citizen must have the following qualities: reliability, service, leadership, and patriotism.
Locally, the DAR sponsors the Good Citizens program at five high schools in Rockingham and Stokes counties. Teachers at these schools would nominate seniors for this honor, and then members of the senior class would vote for the person they felt was most qualified.
Bethany Community School has chosen Shelby Murphy as its 2021-2022 Good Citizen. She is the daughter of David and Lori Murphy of Reidsville. She hasn’t committed to college yet, but her first choice is the College of Charleston, where she could study dance, Murphy said.
Murphy, who hopes to pursue a performing career and later become a dance teacher, is very active in the Beta Club, National Honor Society and Student Government. She has served as Vice President of the NHS and Student Body President. Murphy performed on a competitive dance team and worked as an assistant teacher at a dance studio.
The young woman has served her community by entertaining residents of local nursing homes, volunteering at the local animal shelter and managing a fundraiser for the Red Dog Animal Farm.
McMichael High School’s Good Citizen of the Year is Jacob Elijah Swisher. He is the son of Kenneth and Amy Swisher of Stoneville. He was a James Hunter Chapter winner of all the high schools we sponsor and also won the District IV award and won a state award – $1500. He and his parents attended the awards luncheon at the DAR State Conference in April.
Swisher plans to attend Auburn University in Alabama, major in aerospace engineering, and pursue a career in aviation. Swisher has been very active with JROTC, National Honor Society, Beta Club, FCA, Academic Challenge Team, and Academic Bowl JLab Team. He also played football and was on the swim team.
“As a leader, I have set high standards for those around me in sports, clubs, ROTC, etc. I believe my leadership abilities are a result of my fearlessness to speak up, take charge when needed, and hold myself and others accountable. I believe that to be an effective leader, you have to have a servant’s heart,” Swisher said.
Jacob gives back to his community as a member of the Stoneville City Youth Council and the Civil Air Patrol, and he volunteers for local non-profit organizations. He went on missions, served in pantries and soup kitchens, volunteered for Vacation Bible School, and helped renovate a college stadium.
The Chapter’s Youth Citizenship Award was presented to Zoe Kyle of Bethany Community School. She was one of the chosen students in grades 5-11 who demonstrated a commitment to honor, service, courage, leadership and patriotism, the section leaders said.
The 8th grader, who is the daughter of Rebecca Burris, sets goals and completes them, from academics to sports, section officials said. A member of the National Junior Beta Club, Kyle She has participated in softball, has an interest in art, and enjoys playing the piano and singing. One of her teachers described her as “a true leader, with strong morals and an asset to Bethany Community School”.
Kyle plans to attend Rockingham Early College High School next year.
The Bronze ROTC Medal, awarded annually to a junior or senior student in a high school JROTC program, was awarded to Emily Hopper, a senior at McMichael High School. She is the daughter of Brent and Jamie Hopper of Stoneville and serves as the group commander of his JROTC – the highest student position. She attained the rank of cadet-colonel.
Hopper is a member of the StellarXplorers Space Challenge team and the Kitty Hawk Air Society. Not only active in ROTC, Hopper has competed in softball, cross-county, and cheerleading. She has also been active in the National Honor Society, National Beta Club, Juniorettes, Fellowship of Christian Athlete, Mu Alpha Theta and Orienteering Club. “Emily is the epitome of our ROTC program and a role model for others to follow,” her teacher said.
Active in her church, Hopper worked on Team Mission and volunteered with the Huntsville Athletic Association and coached the NC Vipers 14u Fastpitch. She also completed an internship in her community at Lifebrite Family Medical and earned her CNA certification. Hopper plans to attend Ferrum University and major in nursing and minor in coaching and human performance. She plans to play softball while in college and hopes to become a traveling nurse.