County Comment: Youth Of the Month Presentations

County Comment
Youth Of the Month Presentations
by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer

In its regular meeting on March 7, the Washington County Board of County Commissioners honored a number of outstanding young people for academics and community leadership.
Angela Helfrick of the Washington County Community Partnership brought high school and middle school students selected as Youth of the Month (YOM) for September of 2005 through 2006 before the Board.
The middle school YOM for September 2005 is Damara McDonough of Clear Spring Middle School, daughter of Troy and Stacy McDonough. An eighth-grade student at Clear Spring Middle, Damara has been on the honor roll and distinguished honor roll during her entire middle school years. She is highly motivated and responsible and puts forth special effort in her schoolwork. Damara is a member of the school chorus and plays sports and is a member of the Jr. Olympic fast pitch team. She has served as vice president of the Junior Youth Fellowship at Salem Reformed Church. She has also been active in the church by being liturgist, usher, and conducting children's sermons. She has painted dugouts at the community softball field, planted flowers at Clear Spring Elementary School and went caroling at Homewood Retirement Center.
For October, Zachary M. Valko of Clear Spring Middle School, son of Mark and Kim Valko, is in the eighth-grade and has been on the honor roll and distinguished honor roll many times during his school years. An active member of Hancock United Methodist Church, Zachary has been an active participant in the holiday concerts.
He is described as cooperative, kind to others, and one who really cares about school. He is a highly motivated student and is an outstanding citizen. Zachary participated in clean up of the town of Clear Spring, participated in a car wash activity for Hurricane Katrina victims and helped feed the homeless in the winter. Zachary also participants in the Red Dragon Karate, Club Scouts, plays baseball and enjoys family gatherings with his grandparents.
November's middle school honoree is Amanda L. Crowl of Clear Spring Middle School, daughter of Teresa Crowl and James Wilhelm. Amanda is an eighth grade student at Clear Spring Middle and has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll.
Academically, Amanda has been an excellent student. She is a member of the St. James Brethren Church where she teaches bible school during the summer. Amanda enjoys helping others and volunteers at the Conococheague School. Amanda has demonstrated to her teachers, counselor, and administrator's respect for adults as well as her fellow classmates.
For December, the honoree is Hannah E. House of Clear Spring Middle School, daughter of Stephen and Mary House. An eighth grade student at Clear Spring Middle, Hannah has been on the Honor Roll and Distinguished Honor Roll many times during her school years. Hannah has been a model student and her attendance has been outstanding. She volunteers with the school's Blazer Homework Club as a peer tutor. She has shown leadership qualities with her involvement in the student council. Hannah has participated in the State 4-h and shows pigs, sheep, steers, chickens, and capons at the Ag Expo. She has also participated in Destination Imagination.
The January 2006 honoree is Mary Forsyth an eighth-grade student at Boonsboro Middle School and daughter of James and Michelle Forsyth. Mary has been on the Honor Roll and Distinguished Honor Roll. She also participated in the Character Counts program, the Physical fitness Club and the Teens Church Youth Group.
Mary has also traveled to poor areas and assisted communities through her church. She has assisted with the canned food drive at Boonsboro Middle School and served food at Thanksgiving through her church.
The high school honoree for November 2005 is Jermaine Cain of South Hagerstown High School, son of Wanda Cain. Jermaine, a senior at South, has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll for four years. He has been a member of "Best Buddies," South High Chorus, and has been a member of his church's youth group. He is rarely absent from school and is a very responsible person, always eager to help wherever and whenever needed. Jermaine helps his mother clean Mt. Aetna School and volunteers at various churches on Sunday morning by playing the organ. Jermaine assists with Food Resources, REACH Caregivers, Star Equestrian Center and the Washington County Humane Society.
For December 2005, Bethany Trail of Hancock High School is the honoree. Daughter of Larry Trail and Sherry Rudy, Bethany is a senior at Hancock High. She has been on the Honor roll since the 9th grade and the Distinguished Honor Roll in the 11th grade. A member of the yearbook staff and the Honor Club at Hancock High Bethany has had perfect attendance and has won numerous awards from the Kid Crusade for completing at-home curricula. Bethany volunteers at Rocky Gap with her father, sister, and stepmother. They clean the park, assist the snack shack at the campground and also help with the light festival. She also participated in taking supplies to Louisiana for the families affected by hurricane Katrina and Rita.
The January 2006 Youth of the Month is Elizabeth Conner of South Hagerstown High School, daughter of Kathie Conner. Elizabeth is a senior at South and has been on the Honor Roll and Distinguished Honor Roll, and is currently taking classes at Hagerstown Community College. She participates in several clubs at South, including the History Club, Honor Club, Academic Team, and National Honor Society. She is currently serving as the secretary of the Key Club. Elizabeth assists her mother by making sure her little brother is driven to his extracurricular activities. She also takes her grandmother shopping. She states that "my family is my life." Elizabeth has assisted at soup kitchens, made baby blankets for impoverished families in Brazil, and helped with school functions. She has acquired over 123 hours of community service.