At graduation time, the Chestnut Ridge Lions Club continued a 53-year tradition of honoring the top sixth-grade students at Donegal Elementary School.
“We like to encourage young people to make the most of themselves especially through scholarship and learning,” said Lions Awards Co-Chairman John Proper of Donegal Township.
This year's recipients were Matthew Achtziger in first place, Evan Tinkey in second place and Jordyn Bradley in third place.
The club relied on teachers at the school to provide them with the names of the students, said the Rev. Keith Deckinger of Donegal Borough, who serves as Lions Awards co-chairman with Proper.
“Scholarship is very important, but it's not everything. Neatness, participation and civic awareness and service were also very important,” Proper said.
Deckinger said the third-place winner received $10, the student earning second place, $15, and the top student received $25 and had his name placed on a plaque displayed in the school.
“We started 53 years ago with one plaque and we now have three plaques hanging on the wall in the school, and now we have three on the wall with more than 53 names because a couple years there was a tie,” Proper said.
Achtziger of Mt. Pleasant Township said he had a 4.0 grade point average upon graduation. In addition to his scholastics, he said he hunts and collects historical memorabilia.
“I appreciated the recognition for my efforts in school. I am particularly proud of my name being on the plaque. My uncle's name is also on the plaque,” he said.
Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.
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