Students at Margaret L. Felty Elementary were honored in a special school assembly Tuesday morning and Shackelford Elementary fifth-graders were recognized Tuesday afternoon by the Moral Courage Foundation.

Linda Edmiston, principal at Felty Elementary, welcomed friends and family of the honored students.

“This is a very special day – and it is definitely one of my most favorite school assemblies of the year,” she said. “This is the third year that we’ve had this award ceremony and each year the number of student grows. These fifth-grade students have served as examples for all – and this is what the Moral Courage Foundation is all about.”

She told the fourth-graders who were present among the crowd of about 800 students that every one

of them is capable of being recognized during his or her fifth-grade year by the Moral Courage Foundation.

“This is all about setting goals and about making right choices – not only in school, but for the rest of your lives,” she said.

Moral Courage Foundation chairman and founder, Gary Bassett. was on hand for the award ceremonies at both schools and gave special recognition to teachers.

“There is no higher calling than to be a teacher,” he said. “We honor and respect you for the work you do.

He gave a brief explanation of the purpose for the Moral Courage Foundation.

“It’s not just about integrity, trustworthiness and leadership, but it’s about always doing the right thing,” he told the students. “And sometimes doing the right thing is difficult, but in the real world, there are tangible rewards for doing the right thing.”

WISD superintendent of schools Tom Collins was present at the awards assembly at Shackelford Elementary and spoke briefly to the students.

“The Moral Courage Foundation is such a unique program. Four years ago several of us talked about what we could do influence students to live their lives in a moral, responsible way,” he said. “So often we hear about the negatives about youth, but we are here today to accentuate the positive.”

Bassett was assisted by two Waxahachie High School seniors who have been named recipients of Moral Courage Foundation scholarships – at Felty, it was Hudson Smith and Lori Lizarraga and at Shackelford, Lizarraga and senior Stephen Erickson.

Felty Elementary fifth-grade recipients were Rafael Aguilar, Jerica Bell, Jake Davis, Rem Mascardo, Kennedy Mills, Callie Morgan, Stephanie Otero, Rey Perez, Shelbi Sheppard, Hillary Smith, Taylor Stoops, Emme Sullivan, Bradley Summers, Whitney Volentine and Chase Weiszbrod.

Felty fifth-grade teachers were recognized: Anna Holder, Shannon Mose, Jennifer Summers, Debbie Tabor and Shana Volentine.

Award recipients at Shackelford Elementary were Erin Doyle, Coleton Irons, Raymond Kennedy, Megan Lambert, Reed Laviolette, Madison Nesmith, Parker Renfro, Payton Robinson, Braden Roux, and Katy Wilson.

Shackelford fifth-grade teachers were Brenda Alvarez, D’On Hensley, Patty Harris and Denise Stembridge.

The Shackelford Showstoppers Choir, directed by Amy Miller, music specialist, sang, “We are the children of tomorrow” and the Shackelford school song. At Felty, Trey Cook, music teacher, led the assembly in singing the Felty school song.

Each Moral Courage Foundation award recipient received gifts compliments of the following: Moral Courage T-shirt and Dragonspell – Moral Courage Foundation, buffet certificate – CiCi’s Pizza, Scarborough Renaissance Festival – Scarborough Renaissance Festival, Friday gym jam pass – Waxahachie Gymnastics Center, volleyball game tickets – Waxahachie High School Girls’ Athletics, vootball game tickets – Waxahachie High School Boys’ Athletics, Waxahachie High School spirit banner – Waxahachie High School Band Boosters, writing composition journal, art pad, and music manuscript pad – Jackie Shelton, decorative storage box for girls – Jackie Shelton, fishing tackle for boys – Rick and Stephanie Bowman family, and personal message by fifth-grade teachers.

Award recipients at Felty received medals from Felty Elementary School along with $50 and a certificate from the Moral Courage Foundation and Gary and Michael Bassett.

Award recipients at Shackelford received medals from Shackelford Elementary School, along with $50 and a certificate from the Moral Courage Foundation and Shackelford PTO.

Contact Paul at or 469-517-1450.