DAR Annual Tea honors Good Citizens and JROTC students

The Daughters of the American Revolution Annual Tea honors and awards outstanding students from Morgan and Lawrence counties each February. Lawrence County students pictured from the left are Hatton High School’s Caroline Craig, East Lawrence High’s Hunter Letson, and Lawrence County High School’s JROTC member Jessy Maria Lovelace. Also awarded, but not pictured were Kineta Duke of R.A. Hubbard, and LCHS student Allie Gilliam. 

Students from Lawrence and Morgan counties were awarded and honored at the Stephens Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Annual Tea at The Country Club in Decatur on Thursday, Feb. 6.

DAR members presented 11 Good Citizen Awards to high school seniors in the area during the ceremony. The DAR Good Citizens Award was created in 1934, and is intended to encourage and reward qualities of good citizenship: dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism, according to the DAR website.

DAR Citizenship Chairperson Betty Montgomery said the program is only open to high school seniors whose schools are accredited by their state board of education, and only one student per year may be recognized as a school’s DAR Good Citizen. 

Lawrence County recipients included Allie Gilliam of Lawrence County High School, Hunter Letson of East Lawrence High, Hatton High School’s Caroline Craig, and Kineta Duke of R.A. Hubbard.

“Lots of high school seniors are good citizens, and it was a real challenge to go through all the qualified contestants and select one from each school,” Montgomery said. “We know our future is in good hands.”

Each student was presented with a certificate and honorary pin during the ceremony. Sample, the Good Citizen recipient from Decatur Heritage, was also named overall winner and received $50 from the Stephens Chapter.

Jonathon Robert Norris, a homeschooler from Decatur, was also awarded for an American history essay he wrote on his ancestry. Norris is a three-time winner of the DAR Chapter’s American History Essay Contest.  

DAR Constitution Chairperson Anita Pahman said the students who attempted the essay were given the subject matter before the assignment but were not allowed any reference materials at the time of the supervised composition sitting.

Members of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) were also awarded and recognized for academic achievements and exemplary leadership at the Annual Tea, Pahman said.

Lawrence County High’s Jessy Maria Lovelace was presented with a bronze JROTC medal with a ribbon bar. She also received a certificate from the Stephens Chapter for demonstrating dependability, service and patriotism.

Pahman said JROTC candidates must be in the upper 25 percent of their classes, both academically and within the ROTC program. Qualifying students must also have demonstrated qualities of outstanding character and adherence to military discipline: line, leadership ability and a fundamental patriotic understanding of the importance of ROTC training.

“Each of these students all deserve recognition and encouragement. As recipients of this award, you must remember how important it is to be involved in the community,” Pahman said. “We are a country founded on good leadership. It is up to you to take that initiative as well.”

The DAR is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization established to promote patriotism and preserve American history through education for children. For more information about the organization or other scholarship and award opportunities through the DAR, visit DAR.org

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