Patriotism: DAR awards for excellence
The Daughters of the American Revolution Picayune Chapter (DAR) recently awarded three area high school seniors with the DAR Good Citizen Award for 2013-2014. They also presented member Juanita Loveless Gex with the DAR Distinguished Citizen Award for the Picayune Chapter, given by the National Defense Committee of the DAR.
DAR member Judy Seals said that only high school seniors are eligible for the Good Citizen Award. Recipients are chosen by their teachers for demonstrating qualities of leadership, dependability, service and patriotism.
This year’s winners are Poplarville High School student, Hannah Miller, the daughter of Russell and Tonya Miller; Pearl River Central student, Jonathan Fail, the son of Donald and Gayle Fail and Picayune Memorial High School student, Hannah Gravley, the daughter of Craig and Martha Gravley.
Miller has earned a 4.0 grade point average and is the recipient of the 2013 Poplarville High School Government Award. She has spent her years in high school being an active member of the band, color guard, Beta club and FFA. She has been a peer mentor as well as employed at a local grocery store. She is currently enrolled at Pearl River Community College as a dual enrollment student. She will attend PRCC full time after graduation when she will pursue her nursing degree.
Fail is an honor student at PRC High School, where he serves as student council president. He has attended the Trent Lott Emerging Leaders Workshop at Ole Miss. and served as a Mississippi Senate Page in the spring of 2013. He has played football, track and basketball in addition to being a Central Attraction Show Choir for three years for which he is Chaplain. He is a student intern to the youth minister at Union Baptist Church. After graduation, he will attend Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss. where he plans to earn his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology before pursuing a doctorate degree in Physical Therapy at the University of Mississippi. He later plans to attend New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
“We are very proud of our son, Jonathan, and his accomplishments,” his parents said. “He is a joy to be around and we look forward to seeing how God uses him in the future.”
Gravley has earned a 101.55 grade point average and is a member of the National Federation of Music, National Society of High School Scholars and attended the Palazzo Youth Leadership Summit for two years. She is Senior Student Mentor at Roseland Park Elementary School and Sign Language Ministry Director. She attended Rotary Youth Leadership Academy for District 6840 this past year and is a former winner of the DAR American History Essay Contest. She is a Sunday School teacher at Greater Life Apostolic Church and is a member of the church choir and praise team. She will attend William Carey University to major in Pre-Med/Biology. Upon college graduation, she will attend medical school to become a pediatrician.
At the end of the awards for high school students, Juanita Gex was presented with her Distinguished Citizen Award.
The award is presented to a citizen who has contributed to the defense and/or security, and thereby the freedom of the community, state or nation in an exceptional manner.
DAR member Judy Seals described Gex as a patriot. She said Gex is a member of the DAR, Colonial Dames of the 17th Century and has been a member of First United Methodise Church since 1952. She has been the Historical Society President.
“The DAR is all about patriotism and enlightening the public through patriotic, educational and historical outreach. We believe in historic preservation,” said Seal.