Prince Frederick, MD – The tradition of local Optimist Clubs annually saluting young, achieving individuals dates back almost 60 years. Optimist International’s Youth Appreciation Week gave the local clubs a chance to recognize those youngsters excelling in the classrooms, in athletics, the arts and outside of school within the community.

The Calvert-Prince Frederick and Solomons Optimist clubs honored 40 high school seniors—10 from each of the county’s public high schools—for recognition in 2015.

The clubs held their annual banquet Monday evening, Nov. 9 at the St. John Vianney Family Life Center in Prince Frederick.

The honored students were selected with the aid of four educators—one from each high school—who served as coordinators. Billy Joe Aris of Calvert High School (CHS), Zelma Pugh of Huntingtown High School (HHS), LeTea Perry of Northern High School (NHS) and Karin Ryon of Patuxent High School were applauded by the club members at the banquet. Ed Dorsey, the clubs’ Youth Appreciation Week chairman, noted that at one time the club members were able to handle the selection but now with so many applicants “we rely on the schools” for the selection.

Of the 2015 selectees, the summaries of achievements for 38 indicated significant academic honors, 28 are involved in school athletics, 10 are active in performing arts, three belong to the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and eight are part of student government at his or her school. Additionally, 11 are active outside of school in church groups and two are involved in Scouting. Other community involvement for various selectees includes rescuing horses, volunteering at a hospital, helping the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, involvement with the March of Dimes, Locks of Love and Karsyn’s Karnival. Thirty-five of the selectees specifically indicated he or she was college-bound after graduating from high school.

Calvert County’s 2015 Outstanding Youth are:
CHS – Anna M. Almuete, M. Adi Campbell, Jenna M. Ficke, Isabelle A. Gholl, Elizabeth R. Hite, Cameron L. Honeycutt, Wen Xing Liu, Tavoy Maddox, Carli M. Stewart and Nicholas A. Shrocco.
HHS – Miranda L. Clark, Ayla D. Gurbuz, Parker A. King, Jewel A. Kuntz, Clarisse A. Lukban, Larisa M. Okshewsky, Tatiana J. Pfatz, Nicholas J. Schmitz, Jordyn N. Taylor and Dana W. Wiggins.
NHS – Ryan I. Briggs, Justin J. Byun, Bailey N. Delamer, Sydney N. Feldman, Caitlin L. Keegan, Francis P. McGrath, Justin L. Meehan, Kelci C. Thomas, Sophie P. Thon and Zachary J. Wolfe.
PHS – Jenna M. Campbell, Amanda L. Everett, Michelle E. Gateau, Taylor C. Jackson, Jaquan R. Kelley, Serena K. Pearl, Janelle M. Stack, Amanda Stevenson, Kendalh M. Urness and Chance T. Hewitt-Williams.

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