County Comment/Youth Meritorious Awards Presented

by Norman Bassett
Washington County Public Information Officer


At the March 23 meeting of the Washington County Board of County Commissioners, the Washington County Community Partnership presented Youth of the Month (YOM) Meritorious Awards to three local students for the months of December, 2003; January 2004; and February 2004.

December’s winner was Aaron Mills of Clear Spring Middle School. Son of John and Sandra Mills, Aaron is an eight-grade student at Clear Spring Middle School, and is currently a member of the school band. Academically, Aaron has been on the Distinguished Honor Roll many times and was a “Star Student” in 7th grade. Aaron is an active member of Grace United Methodist Church, has helped with the homeless shelter and has participated in many fundraisers to help the disadvantaged. Aaron served as tour guides for the student orientation at the beginning of the 2003 school year and again during the “Meet the Teacher” night for the 2003 school year.

Aaron participated in the 2001 and 2002 United Way Run at Clear Spring Middle School and in the Junior Olympics. Aaron has also played on the Clear Spring and Maugansville Little Leagues and the Hagerstown Pony League All-Star Team. Aaron has been called cooperative, kind to others, extremely motivated, and well liked by his classmates.

For January, the YOM was presented to Amber Morris of Boonsboro Middle School. Daughter of Matt and Kim Brant, Amber is a sixth-grade student at Boonsboro, was on the Honor Roll for the first marking period and the Distinguished Honor Roll the second marking period. She was also nominated for the Citizenship Pillar in the Character Counts Program. Amber is involved with a traveling soccer team in the community and is also a member of the Student Council at Boonsboro Middle School, where she serves as a homeroom representative.

Amber possesses many leadership qualities, helps to motivate her teammates on her soccer team and has served as captain of the team. Involved in her local church youth group for several years, Amber also regularly donates clothes to the needy and contributes to the local canned food drive at the school. Amber has been recognized for her respect for others, her kindness to others and her “treat others the way I want to be treated” attitude.

For the month of February, the YOM is Derek Reichard of Clear Spring Middle School. Derek is an eighth-grade student and the son of Craig and Julie Reichard. Academically, Derek has been on the honor roll since first grade. An active member of the Clear Spring U-14 youth soccer traveling team, Derek has assisted with food, medicine and clothing drives for American Indians in America’s most impoverished county, Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He has been a member of the Destination Imagination Team and was the 2002 Regional Champion and the 2003 State Champion and Global Finalist. He is also a member of Explorer Post 2, Hagerstown-Potomac Dancers. Dedicated to preserving the culture of the American Indian, this organization frequently performs throughout the Tri-State area, including weekly campfire performances at Camp Sinoquipe in the summer. Derek attends weekly meetings to learn dances and to design and create his dance outfits.

He has received Character Counts awards, and Physical Fitness awards, in both 6th and 7th grades. Derek also participates in Middle School Youth Group activities at St. John’s United Church of Christ and is a member of the 8th grade chorus at the school. He has also been a Spelling Bee finalist in 6th and 7th grade and was a Geography Bee finalist in the 5th grade.