From Staff Reports
The Picayune Item
Recipients of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen awards were Poplarville High School student, Macie Marie Keenan — daughter of Margo and Josh Sweet; Pearl River Central High School student, Jessica Nicole Smith — daughter of Mark and Debbie Smith; and Picayune Memorial High School student, Cooper Esslinger — son of Walt and Amy Esslinger. Only seniors are eligible to receive the award.
Winners in the essay contest were Lyndsey Briann Lee, daughter of Wendy and Scott Lee; and Andrew Bates, son of Janis and Jay Bates. The subject was “Forgotten Patriots who Supported American Struggle for Independence.”
The awards were handed out at the DAR’s 2012-2013 awards ceremony.
Keenan was recognized for her participation in the Poplarville High School student council for the past three years; being a member of the dance team; volunteering at Brother’s Keepers; organizing a fund raisers to benefit Children’s Hospital and Wounded Warriors. She attends Springhill Baptist Church and St. Joseph. Keenan plans to go to PRCC upon high school graduations and continue her studies to be a pediatric oncologist.
Smith was recognized for being an honor student, president of the Pearl River Central High School student council, PRC Central Attractions Show Choir Chaplain and year book editor. In addition, she is also the 2013 Distinguished Young Woman of Pearl River County and continues to be heavily involved in state 4-H program. She serves on the American Junior Simmental board of Directors and recently placed as a top four finalist in the FMC National Anthem contest. Smith attends Salem Baptist Church and sings in the youth choir. Upon high school graduation, Smith plans to go to PRCC before continuing on to Miss. State to major in Agriculture Business.
Esslinger was recognized for being a three year letterman in football and has been a member of the 2011 State Champion team and 2012 Football District Champion team. He was a 1st Team All District Offensive Lineman in 2011 and 2012. He is a four year letterman in baseball and a member of the 2011 District 6-5A Champion Baseball team. Esslinger has a 4.0 GPA and 26 ACT score. His is a Wendy’s High School Heisman recipient and involved in peer tutoring. He attends First Baptist Church in Picayune and is a member of their Welcoming Committee. Upon high school graduation he will attend East Miss. Community College where he has both a football and academic scholarships.
American History Essay Committee Chair Virginia Mitchell presented awards to this year’s essay recipients following the presentation of the Good Citizen awards.
Essayists were tasked with basing their work on the topic of forgotten Patriots who supported the struggle for independence. They were instructed to “Focus on the groups, including African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and others who provided military, patriotic and public service in support of the American Revolution. Explain why it is especially important to honor the unsung heroes and often forgotten patriots.”
Lee, of Pearl River Central Upper Elementary, was the 5th grade winner and read her winning essay on women of the Revolution. She reported on some who dressed as men and fought along side their husbands, among others.
Lee is a member of Trinity United Methodist Church but attends Pine Grove Baptist Church. She is a straight “A” student and enjoys art.
Bates, of Picayune Jr. High School, was the 8th grade winner and read his winning essay on contributions made by Native Americans to the American Revolution.
Bates is the son of Janis and Jay Bates. He is attends St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. He actively plays sports and is a member of the Gulf Coast Honor Band.