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County Comment: Commissioners honor meritorious youth

CAPTION: Meritorious Middle School Youth (L-R) Devin Fales, Bailey Covington, Emily Gross, Joseph Ernst

County Comment
Commissioners honor meritorious youth
By Norman Bassett
Washington County Maryland Public Information Officer

As part of the regular meeting of the Board of County Commissioners on April 24th, meritorious awards were presented to four outstanding youth for the months of April and May 2012.
Honorees for the month of April are Joseph Ernst of Clear Spring Middle School, and Emily Gross of Springfield Middle School. For the month of May, the honorees are Bailey Covington of Western Heights Middle School and Devin Fales of Boonsboro Middle School.
Joe Ernst
An 8th grade student at Clear Spring Middle, Joe is the son of Steven and Sheila Ernst of Clear Spring, and was nominated by School Counselor Earl Meagher, who wrote:
"Joe is an eighth grade student at Clear Spring Middle School. This young man has many characteristics that make him an outstanding student. Carrying a very rigorous academic schedule, he is consistently on the honor roll. He also tutors students after school. Joe has demonstrated a commitment to the total school program."
"Joe has developed himself into an outstanding soccer player. He brings to the soccer field the same desire to do his best as he does in his classes. Joe has been involved in many community activities, one that includes a mission trip to the Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico."
"As counselor, it is a pleasure to have someone like Joe in our school. As you can read from the information provided, he is a very outstanding young man in many areas," Meagher said.
Emily Gross
Daughter of James and Romayne Gross of Williamsport, Emily is an 8th grade student at Springfield Middle School, and was nominated by Teacher Cynthia Gross who wrote:
"Emily is an excellent student and very well-rounded citizen. She has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll every marking period since entering middle school (earning straight A's). She has been in the magnet program for Science Technology Engineering and Math since 3rd grade and is also enrolled in merit classes. She has been nominated as a STAR student at Springfield three times. She is also involved in SGA at school and is currently school secretary. She has been involved in the following clubs in middle school: Art Club, Yearbook Club, Robotics Club, and BEST Club."
"Her extracurricular activities are varied. She also plays soccer in the fall and spring with Smithsburg Youth Athletics. She also plays basketball in the winter. She plays violin at Springfield Middle School as well. Emily is enrolled in religious education courses at home through St. Ann's Catholic Church. She also enjoys writing her own music and creating artwork and homemade cards for people. She also runs her own pet sitting business for neighbors in our community," Gross said.
Bailey Covington
Bailey, an 8th grade student at Western Heights Middle School is the daughter of Darren and. Angela Covington of Hagerstown and was nominated by School Counselor Nick Mowen who wrote:
"Bailey has numerous reasons to be proud of her accomplishments. She has been, and continues to be, enrolled in all Merit classes; has already earned a high school credit for Algebra and will have completed Geometry by the end of her 8th grade year. Bailey has had a high A average throughout middle school and has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll the first two marking periods of the 2011-12 year. As a result, Bailey is a member of our National Junior Honor Society. She is also a member of our band and the music honor society Tri-M. Bailey's attitude is always positive and she shows great willingness to learn."
"Bailey is also active outside of school, especially with her church. Through her church she has worked with Habitat for Humanity, Soles of Souls, Operation Christmas Child and homeless shelters. Her compassion and caring for others is evident at school each day. She is considerate of all members of our learning community, students as well as adults. Bailey is the kind of person/student teachers wish they could fill their classrooms with," Mowen said.
Devin Fales
Devin is an 8th grade student at Boonsboro Middle School, the son of Curtis Fales of Boonsboro, and was nominated by Paraprofessional Susan Fisher who wrote:
"Devin has Fanconi Anemia. In 2006 he had a bone marrow transplant and he missed a lot of school because of chemo and radiation. Despite all of this Devin works hard and earns good grades in all his classes. Devin plays the trumpet in band, is a member of the sign language club and the Art club. Devin also takes Karate and is a 2nd blue belt. He also belongs to a bowling team on Saturday mornings, and helps out at the bowling alley running pins during tournaments. Devin has always attended Bible school and now that he is older, he helps out with the younger students in their classes too."
"Devin attends a camp in Maine during the summer to understand more about FA and educate others about the transplant he went through. Devin is a huge supporter of Fanconi Anemia Research Fund; and helps others by raising awareness and money for FA. Devin's dad is a volunteer firefighter and Devin goes with his dad whenever he can because when Devin is old enough he would like to become a Jr. Firefighter," Fisher said.
The Award is presented by the Commissioners to honor outstanding youth who exhibit leadership in their schools, homes and in the community.

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