Page One winners: Early College Academy teacher takes home top award

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comMay 7, 2013 

For the second year in a row, a senior from Northside High School won the Tucker-Wilder Journalism Scholarship, and for the first time, an instructor from a nontraditional high school, Early College Academy, was named Sara Spano Top Teacher Award at the Ledger-Enquirer Page One Awards.

Gabby Wilson, whose friend Emily Fitts was the journalism winner last year said writing is her passion and her heart’s desire.

Gabby was the first freshman allowed to work on the school newspaper “The Patriot Reveille” and has served three years as editor. She established on online newspaper, a blog and daily news broadcast. She uses a Twitter account to gather and dispense school news quickly.

Besides her work on the school newspaper, she is also the senior class vice president.

The judges said that besides putting out a newspaper, she “excelled in an array of extracurricular activities, all while maintaining the highest standards as a scholar.”

Christy Grigsby was named the Sara Spano Top Teacher. Runners up were Rachael Dubois, an English Language Arts teacher at Jordan, and Lamont Sheffield, a mathematics teacher at Spencer.

In her application, Grigsby said, “The most important thing that I can teach my students is to set high expectations for themselves. This can be a daunting task when you are dealing with first generation college goers that feel like college in unobtainable. But by motivating the students it can be accomplished.”

Overall, 200 students and 18 teachers from 21 high schools were nominated. There were 13 categories for students.

Cash awards totaling $19,000 were presented. Each Page One winner received a trophy and a $1,000 cash award, with the journalism winner getting $1,500. Each student runner-up received $300 cash and a plaque, and every nominee received a certificate of recognition. The top teacher received a trophy and $1,0000 with the two runners-up receiving a plaque and $300. Columbus Regional Healthcare was the presenting sponsor.

Student winners and runners-up were:

• Art: Julianna Wells of Harris County, Quintez Williams of Central in Phenix City.

• Athletics: Andre Carter of Spencer, Chandler Barre of Columbus.

• Career and Technology: Efetobore Tasker of Columbus, Lauren Munoz of Harris County

• Citizenship: AmberNechole Hart of Hardaway, Adriana Embus-Figueroa of Brookstone.

• Drama: Joseph Goldman of Northside, Alan Giles of Hardaway.

• English-Literature: Abigail Fitts of Northside, Lake Dowling of Harris County.

• Foreign Language: Kalah Ozimba of Central in Phenix City, Alex Ridley of Brookstone.

• General Scholarship: Ansur Ahmed of Brookstone, Kishan Pithadia of Columbus.

• Journalism: Gabby Wilson of Northside, Kayla Staubitz of Hardaway.

• Mathematics: Gautam Chebrolu of Columbus, Jay Dawahare of St. Anne-Pacelli.

• Music: Kristen Wright of Hardaway, Richard Huckaby of Columbus.

• Science: Brett Askins of Harris County, Kelsey Tjen of Columbus.

• Social Science: Andrew Dreelin of Brookstone, Sivakumar Venkatachalam of Columbus.

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