Good Citizens: Local DAR recognizes students and teacher

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cassandra Favre | Picayune Item 2016 good citizens: From left, Rachel Smith, Victoria McMurray, Connie Gore and Jakub Hill.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

Cassandra Favre | Picayune Item
2016 good citizens: From left, Rachel Smith, Victoria McMurray, Connie Gore and Jakub Hill.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

Saturday, the Picayune Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recognized three graduating seniors and one U.S. History teacher for their leadership, dependability, service and patriotism.
Members of the DAR are dedicated to preserving the history of the American Revolution and its events by promoting restoration and preservation projects, DAR member Margaret Anne Ulerich said.
Each year, a senior from each of the high schools in Pearl River County is selected by their teachers to receive the DAR’s Good Citizens award.
Victoria McMurray attends Poplarville High School and is the daughter of Joy and Harvey. She maintains a 4.0 GPA and is also dual enrolled at Pearl River Community College. Her activities include student council, Jr. Beta Club, Beta Club, First Priority, prom committee, National Society of High School Scholars, band, band council and NASA’s Girls Excited about Math and Science program. She has been on the all “A” honor roll since kindergarten. She is a member of the quilting and square dancing club and volunteers as a Braille Bible builder during school holidays. She also volunteers at the local nursing home and church. This June, she will be participating in an overseas mission to Paraguay.
“History is one of my favorite subjects because we can learn from past mistakes,” McMurray said. “There’s so much to learn from history.”
McMurray plans to dual enroll at Indiana University and Indiana Bible College to study elementary education and missiology. She plans to teach overseas.
Jakub Hill attends Pearl River Central High School and is the son of Bonnie and Ben. He is a member of the school’s NJROTC, Beta Club, National Honor Society, Rotary Interact Club and the Key Club. He is the recipient of many awards including the Sons of the American Revolution Leadership, Distinguished Cadet, Teddy Roosevelt Model Leader and the School Citizenship award.
He participates in many community service projects including city cleanups, Special Olympics and Manna Ministries. He is also a Bridgeway Apartments Friend.
“It’s very humbling, being so young and chosen for this award,” Hill said. “History can shape a country and the DAR talks most about the revolution and how it shaped our country economically and as a people.”
Hill plans to attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and study biochemistry. He plans to stay in the Navy for about five to six years and use his GI bill to attend medical school and continue his career in the Navy as a doctor.
Rachel Smith attends Picayune Memorial High School and is the daughter of Leah and Douglas. She is employed at Fortenberry’s Slaughter House. Her achievements include the Jessie Stewart Code of Ethics award, honor roll, cheer team captain, president of National Honor Society and an ACT award for a 29 composite score.
Her volunteer experience includes the Glow Run for Cancer, Veterans Day assistant, Walmart school supply drive and Special Olympics. She is also a member of cheer, track, cross-country, softball, National Honor Society, student council and the National Society of High School Scholars.
“I’m really honored and it’s a great opportunity,” Smith said. “My family and I really support what DAR stands for. They defend the Constitution and the people’s rights. Today, as things change, people think we should change the rules of society with time. A lot of what is written in the Constitution is what our nation was built on.”
Smith plans to attend the University of Mississippi and study forensic science.
The 2016 Outstanding Teacher of American History in Pearl River County was Pearl River Central Middle School seventh and eighth grade social studies teacher Connie Gore.
Gore also won the state honor of the same award and will represent the state in Jackson this week.
She has been teaching since 2007 and believes it’s important her students know and understand the impact history has on people.
“It’s very humbling anytime you get honored for doing something you love,” she said. “You don’t teach for honor, you teach for outcome.”

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