WYE MILLS — One hundred twenty-two eighth grade students from across the Mid-Shore were honored May 14 at the 12th annual Salute to the Middle School Youth Achievement Program sponsored by the Kappa Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha in partnership with Chesapeake College.
The students were nominated by their respective schools for achievements during their middle school years.
“The program went very well and all feedback to date has been extremely positive,” said Dr. Willie Woods, program coordinator. “This year’s program was our largest, both in number of students honored and in attendance.
“I continue to be impressed with the achievements and aspirations of the students honored. Through the program we strive to uplift and keep our youth encouraged, as well as to acknowledge with gratitude the guidance and support provided the students by their parents, schools and community.”
Charlene DeShields, Kappa Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha president, and David Harper, vice president for Workforce and Academic Programs at Chesapeake College, greeted an overflowing audience of family, friends and community supporters, as well as school and elected government officials.
“It was a beautiful evening to be a part of,” Harper said. “I appreciated meeting high achieving middle school students with abundant extracurricular, athletic, and academic talent.”
“I thought it was a wonderful event,” DeShields said. “It exposes students college by having them come on campus.”
She said while high school students frequently are awarded with scholarships and awards, “it’s important we recognize middle school students” and “continue to encourage them ...”
Dr. Kelly Griffith, Talbot County Public Schools superintendent, gave an inspirational address about being your best with a focus on “Your Journey to Finding Yourself as an Individual.”
Entertainment for the evening consisted of performances by the Grounded, Empowered, Motivated Sisters, of the Talbot County Public Schools, under the direction of head coach Deja Thompson.
Honorees were introduced individually to the audience by Dr. Yolanda Holloway, Mary Taylor-Acree and Takera Sisco. Each honoree received certificates and/or citations of recognition, as appropriate, from DeShields and Harper on behalf of Alpha Kappa Alpha/KTO Chapter and Chesapeake College; from Kimberly Kratovil on behalf of U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md.; from Melissa Kelly on behalf of U.S. Sen. Christopher Van Hollen, D-Md., and from Betsy Hamilton on behalf of state Sen. Addie Eckhart, R-37-Mid-Shore; Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot; Del. Sharee Sample Hughes, D-37A-Dorchester-Wicomico; and Del. Chris Adams, R-37B-Wicomico.
“Each year, (the event) gets bigger and better,” Holloway said. “I definitely like that we are looking to showcase a leader, or a lead educator, from our districts (like Griffith). We are making it more of a community wide event based on who we bring in.”
Holloway is a member of the KTO Chapter of AKA sorority and is principal of Federalsburg Elementary School.
“It is always a pleasure to encourage and recognize young people for their wonderful achievements,” said Mary Taylor-Acree, Kappa Theta Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Theta sorority member.
Sorority member Tamera Sisco said “it was a great event that celebrated kids in our communities, achievement in academics, school spirit and athletics and to celebrate their promotion from eighth grade to high school.”
The post-event reception in the Todd Performing Arts Center lobby was coordinated by Wanda Molock and Mytaya Johnson, and permitted honorees to receive warm congratulations and family and friends, to show their pride in the achievements noted. Below are the 2019 student honorees by school.
Caroline County Public Schools
Colonel Richardson Middle School: Austin Alexander, School/Community Involvement; Shelbi Briggs, School/Community Involvement; Tysheena Denesca, Creative & Performing Arts; Hezekiah Desire, Academics; Lordine Dorleans, Academics; Jayla Holliday, Academics; Aaliyah Holmes, Creative & Performing Arts; LaTavia Stallings, Creative & Performing Arts; Sharese Thompson, School/Community Involvement; Taryn Waters, Creative & Performing Arts.
Lockerman Middle School: Fajar Asim, Academics; Ayiana Brown, Athletics; Ingrid De La Cruz, School/Community Involvement; Kaitlyn Eaton, Creative & Performing Arts; Zoe Fretterd, General School Spirit, Hezakyah Hynson, Athletics; General School Spirit; Christopher Ireland, School/Community Involvement; Gigliyana Leynes, Academics; Abby Lorenc, School/Community Involvement; Alexis Millard, General School Spirit; Taylor Mitchel, General School Spirit; Areel Naseer, Academics; Leondrea Nichols, Academics; Eamon Peach, Creative & Performing Arts; Zion Powell, Academics; Dayanara Reblero-Velasquez, Academics; Sherlin Santizo-Morales, Academics; Andraya Sudler, Creative & Performing Arts; Travis Turner, School/Community Involvement; Kirra Warner, Academics.
Dorchester County Public Schools
Mace’s Lane Middle School: Jose Aparicio-Ortiz, Academics; Irelyn Corbman, Academics/Creative & Performing Arts/General School Spirit; Rip Cornish, Academics; School & Community Involvement/ General School Spirit; Alexandra Foreman, Academics/Creative & Performing Arts/School & Community Involvement; Albright Pinanzu, Academics; School/Community Involvement/General School Spirit; Hang Shi, Academics/School & Community Involvement/General School Spirit; Jazheer Smith, Academics/ Athletics/General School Spirit; Colin Webster, Academics/Athletics/School & Community Involvement.
North Dorchester Middle School: Caitlyn Hooper, Academics; Molly Kroeger, Academics; Adrian Todd, School/Community Involvement; Sydney Weir, Creative & Performing Arts.
South Dorchester K–8: Jamarion Wongus, Academics/Athletics/ School & Community Involvement/ General School Spirit.
Kent County Public Schools
Kent County Middle School: Carlos Aparicio, Academics; Jordyn Grove , Academics; Angel Llamas, Creative & Performing Arts; Jade Lee, General School Spirit; Tamiyah Lewis, School/Community Involvement; TyAishah Moody, Athletics; Jamar Ringgold, Athletics; Liberty Sampson, Academics; Thomas Stecklair, School/Community Involvement; Jaylin Whye, Academics; Alycia Wilson, Academics; Amoni Wilson, School/Community Involvement.
Queen Anne’s County Public Schools
Centreville Middle School: Tegan Carey, Academics/ School & Community Involvement/General School Spirit; Amirr Day’Shawn Coles, Academics, Athletics; Ethan Connelly, Creative & Performing Arts/ School & Community Involvement; Carson K. Crawford, Academics/Athletics/ School &Community Involvement; Antonia Gonzalez, Academics/Creative & Performing Arts; Jesus Ortic, Academics/Athletics/ School/Community Involvement; Esmeralda Marina Regalado, Academics/ School & Community Involvement/ General School Spirit; Spencer P. Seaborne, Academics/ Creative & Performing Arts/School & Community Involvement; Ryan Sun, Academics; Kira Ward, Academics/Creative & Performing Arts/ Athletics.
Matapeake Middle School: Nolan Burns, Academics; Devin Canter, Athletics; Ana Castro, Academics; Reese Delp, Academics; Bella Fernandez-de Castro, Creative & Performing Arts; Christian Gamez, Athletics; Alivia Hanesworth, Athletics; Brooke Hayward, School/Community Involvement; David Jeffers, Athletics; Victoria Lafferty, General School Spirit; Jayden Lavarreda, Creative & Performing Arts; Sofia Lictao, Creative & Performing Arts; Julia Maria Likowski, Creative & Performing Arts.
Stevensville Middle School: Farzan Ahmad, Academics; Katherine Alvarenga, School/Community Involvement; Zhanay Ames, General School Spirit; Kayla Boxdale, Creative & Performing Arts; Kadin Brown, School/Community Involvement; Patrick Claborn, Athletics; Aviyah Durante, Athletics; Taliya Gibson, General School Spirit; Troy Groce, Athletics; Lyric Gordon, Academics; Bushra Hussain, School/Community Involvement; Traton Jackson, Athletics; Ana Jensen, School/Community Involvement; Mehki Johnson, Academics; Jasmine Kermisch, General School Spirit; Olivia Krampitz, General School Spirit; Kyla Mathews, General School Spirit; Erick Matute, Creative & Performing Arts; Miriam Menenguez, Academics; Angella Pham, Academics; Madison Polk, Academics; Brianna Riska, Athletics; Steve Anthony Sanchez, Athletics; Isayah Joseph Stewart, Academics; NiCere Maurice Wilson, General School Spirit.
Sudlersville Middle School: Abigail Altamirano, School/Community Involvement; Jordanna Al-Atiyyat, Creative & Performing Arts; Marcus Floyd, Athletics; Emily Holden, Academics; Jazelle Torres, General School Spirit.
Talbot County Public Schools
Easton Middle School: Maya Hawkins Bailey, Academics; Aaron Caldwell, General School Spirit; Kameryn Carter, Academics; Ca’Ley A. Ricketts, Academics; Kamryn Thorpe, Athletics.
St. Michaels Middle School: Kelvin Montoya-Guzman, Creative & Performing Arts; James Haddaway, Creative & Performing Arts; Ke’Asia T. Holly, Creative & Performing Arts; Giorgios Mihalis, Academics; Taylor G. Rupp, Academics; Janya Seth, Academics; Randy Soto-Mendez, Athletics; Jael Tilghman, Creative & Performing Arts; Alyssa Wojcik, Creative & Performing Arts.