DAR presents awards to students in Pearl River County

Published 11:59 pm Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) presented the winners of the American History Essay Contest and Good Citizen Awards with medals and certificates on Saturday, February 11 at the Margaret Reed Crosby Memorial Library, in Holland Hall.

Chairman of the American History Essay Contest, Virginia Mitchell, said, “We had a total of 178 participating entries from  schools in Pearl River County. The essay contest was open to all 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders in Pearl River County, and the winning essays are truly works of excellence.

“The entrants were instructed to write about a scenario in which they were alive during the war of 1812 and had a friend who had become famous for making a stand for America during that timeframe. The entrants were asked to describe their friend and their actions that made them famous as well as why it is important to honor such heroes today when we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.”

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Sarah Weir, daughter of Traci and Jeremy Weir, was the winner from the 5th grade entrants. She attends Pearl River Central Upper Elementary School. Her favorite subject is science and she was last year’s Science Fair winner with her project on “Materials that absorb the most oil,” inspired by the British Petroleum oil spill. Weir loves to read mysteries and attends Lake View Chapel, where she is extremely involved in church activities. Weir sings in Show Choir and enjoys gymnastics and painting. Upon graduation, she plans to attend LSU in New Orleans to pursue a degree.

Avary Yvonne Phillips, daughter of Robin and Powell Phillips, was the winner from the 6th grade entrants. She attends West Side Elementary School. She is the first place winner of this year’s Science Fair with her project “How to write a secret message.” Phillips is a member of Goodyear Baptist Church and is active in the AWANAS program. She is active in sports and the Beta Club. She is learning to play the flute and is third chair in the school band.

Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in Marine Biology. Selma Newbill, daughter of Amanda and Clayton Newbill, was the winner from the 7th grade entrants. She attends Pearl River Central Middle School, where her favorite subject is science. She was the winner of last year’s Science Fair with a chemistry project. Newbill is active in the Beta Club, Middle School Band and Jazz Band and competitive dancing. She attends St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, where she has been an altar server and is active in the youth group. Upon graduation, she plans to attend Tulane University in New Orleans to pursue a degree that will allow her to work in biology research. Dalton Howe, son of Juanette and Alan Howe, was the winner from the 8th grade entrants. He attends Pearl River Central Middle School, where his favorite subject is math. He plays football, basketball and guitar. Howe attends Central Baptist Church and is active in youth activities. Last year he attended church camp in Mobile, Ala. Upon graduation, Howe plans to attend Southern Miss. and is unsure, at this time, what he will major in.

In addition to the American History Essay winners, the DAR Good Citizens for 2011-2012 were also recognized. Only seniors are eligible for this award and are chosen by teachers from each high school in Pearl River County, because they demonstrate qualities of leadership,dependability, service and patriotism.

The Poplarville High School winner is Ashton Elizabeth Rogers, daughter of Sarah and Randy Rogers. Rogers is President of Beta Club, presently ranked 5th in her class, active in Health Occupational Students of America (HOSA) and the Institute of Higher Learning (IHL).

She also is a completer with the Allied Health work at the Pearl River County Nursing Home through the CDC program. She is active in sports; she has played softball since 8th grade. She currently attends First United Methodist Church of Poplarville. Upon graduation, she plans to attend PRCC for two years and then on to LSU emphasis in engineering.

The Pearl River Central High School winner is Layton Evan Spiers, son of Tara and Raymond Spiers. Spiers is active in Beta Club and serves on the Security Council. He has participated in the Marine Biology Quiz Bowl and is ranked first in his class. He is in the honors calculus class and has taken AP courses in World History and English. He plays varsity baseball and is the captain on the varsity football team. He attends Picayune Church of Christ where he is active in the youth group, helps with prayers and regularly reads scriptures in the morning worship.

Upon graduation, he plans to attend college and pursue a degree in engineering. The Picayune Memorial High School winner is Lindsey Caroline Shaw, daughter of Dean and Stacy Shaw. Shaw is a member of the National Honor Society, a Superintendent Scholar, a Principal Scholar, Most Distinguished Young Women 2011 Hancock County, PMHS Homecoming Maid for three years, member of the Campus Security, Student Council, Tide cheerleader, National Junior Beta Club and competitive dancer. She is a member of AWANA and has done mission work in both Miss. and N.C. She has been a volunteer for Reading is Fundamental and Read Across America.

Upon graduation, she plans to begin her college career at PRCC in the medical field.


Shown above are winners of the 5th through 8th grade categories in the American History Essay contest for the Daughters of the American Revolution. From left are: Sarah Weir, Avary Yvonne Phillips, Selma Newbill and Dalton Howe. Shown right are winners of the DAR Good Citizens awards for 2011-2012. Only seniors are eligible for the award and are chosen from each high school in Pearl River County. Shown from left are: Lindsey Caroline Shaw of Picayune Memorial High School, Ashton Elizabeth Rogers of Poplarville HIgh School and Layton Evan Spiers of Pearl River Central High School.

Item photos by Jodi Marze