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Optimists salute county’s top youths


Guidance counselors from Calvert's four high schools helped the local Optimists select the 2018 Youth Appreciation Week honorees.

Prince Frederick, MD - The four high schools in Calvert County were each represented by 10 seniors who are involved in the community and on track for success in the real world. On Monday evening, Nov. 5, the Calvert-Prince Frederick and Solomons Optimist clubs had a chance to honor and congratulate 32 of the 40 at their 2018 Banquet Honoring the Outstanding Youth of Calvert County. The event, which marks Optimist International’s Youth Appreciation Week, was held at St. John Vianney Family Life Center in Prince Frederick.

The international organization started Youth Appreciation Week 62 years ago for the purpose of saluting outstanding young achievers in the areas of academics, athletics, the arts and community service. The local clubs gave special recognition to the school guidance counselors who assisted them in selecting the honorees. The counselors are Billy Joe Aris of Calvert High School (CHS), Dr. Zelma Mark of Huntingtown High School (HHS), Ellen Oldham of Northern High School (NHS) and Karin Ryon of Patuxent High School (PHS).

A synopsis of the individual honorees shows collectively that they aspire to lofty goals. At least 10 are eyeing careers in the medical/health field, seven hope to become educators and at least two are planning on military service. There are a few who have unconventional career goals. For example, PHS’ Liam Stack indicated he will be attending South Dakota School of Mines to major in metallurgical engineering or aerospace.

“After college I aspire to become a perfusionist,” stated NHS senior Jenna N. Mehls. A perfusionist is a cardiopulmonary bypass doctor.

The goal for CHS senior Isaiah S. Willett is “to be able to support myself and everyone who has gotten me this far in life. I owe them the world. They are my world.”

The current plan for HHS senior Thomas P. Woodburn is to major in engineering at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and “to one day own a company with my three older brothers.”

In addition to serving the honored students and their guests a bountiful dinner buffet prepared by Maryland Country Caterers, the Optimists presented each student with certificates. The presentations were made by Calvert-Prince Frederick Club President Krista Brezina and Solomons Club President Jack Greene.

In addition to the previously mentioned students, the 2018 honorees are:
CHS - Benjamin A. Aris, Liam A. Aris, Gabriele M. Backus, Michaela A. Bell, LeAndre R. Campbell, Justin Diehl, LeNea R. Jordan, Andrew R. Matteson and Allyssa M. Melton.

HHS - Carlos E. Balazs, Meredith N. Brosofsky, Molly C. Gall, Caitlyn E. Gay, Hailiey B. Lagimoniere, Allison E. Moan, Amitha U. Patel, Eva J. Hoetzlein-Sirman and Gavin M. Studds.

NHS - Dominic N. Brady, Joseph A. Crunkelton III, Kendall A. Dent, Sarah N. Donaldson, Ethan L.P. Droneberger, Erin M. Fagan, Joseph B. Mechler, Emma E. O’Kane and Rachael J. Yocum.

PHS - Mackenzie A. Dinopoulos, Rachael E. Evans, Griffin C. Gray, Julia G. Illar, Charlotte M. Marchek, Xristina B. Quirozhernandez, Mitchell H. Richman, Sabrina E. Rodriguez, and Kathryn A. Ryon.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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