The Rebecca Boyce Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution held its annual Good Citizens Patriot’s Tea honoring good citizens from Ellis County high schools on Feb. 14 at Central Presbyterian Church in Waxahachie.
First Vice Regent Ellen Hays welcomed students, family members, and school personnel. Chapter Chaplain JoAnn Ranton gave the invocation and led in the pledges to the United States and Texas flags. Registrar Glinda Felty explained the significance of the pin awarded to each nominee which illustrates the qualities of good character emphasized by the society. These qualities include dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism. Judy Justice Durham, the 1958 recipient of the Rebecca Boyce Chapter of the DAR Good Citizens Award, spoke to honored students and guests to share with them what being a Good Citizen has meant to her. She encouraged students to embrace the qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism which would have lifelong benefits to them.
Judy Justice Durham (1958 Good Citizen)
Chapter Good Citizens Committee members Leslie Deen, Glinda Felty, and Jane Ann Shipp introduced each of the Good Citizens and shared with the audience their accomplishments. Each student was presented with a certificate and a DAR Good Citizen pin, which was placed on his/her lapel by the person of his/her choice. Each year as a part of being nominated as a DAR Good Citizen, students are given an opportunity to enter an essay contest. The student whose essay is selected is awarded a $500.00 scholarship. This year’s essay prompt was, “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It: Of our American rights and freedoms, which one would you choose to celebrate and why?” The Patriots Tea tradition is to announce the selected student’s essay and then the winner reads his/her essay to the audience. This year’s winning essay was written by Miss Taylor Lynn Frontera from Ferris High School. Miss Frontera graciously accepted her award and read aloud her essay.
The program concluded with the students leading all in the singing of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” accompanied by pianist Karen Esberger. Mrs. Deen invited all in attendance to enjoy refreshments in the parlor.
Taylor Lynn Frontera
Taylor Lynn Frontera is a student at Ferris High School where she is involve in many academic and community areas. She is the daughter of Jack and Jacki Frontera of Ferris. She is the projected valedictorian of her class where she will graduate with eight dual credit courses and thirteen advanced honors classes.
Beyond academics she competes in UIL debate where she rates as All American Debater with Super Distinction based on grades, SAT scores and recommendations. Over the summer she was selected by Stephen F. Austen Pre-Law Academy as the 2015 outstanding Mock Trial speaker for the summer law academy. She also excels in choir where she has received State Solo Ensemble with a vocal solo earning a score of Excellent. She is a member of the Student Council, National Honor Society President, Editor-in –Chief of the yearbook, President of the Choir and her class for three years. She helped to create the Leo Club and the Republican Club. Taylor is founder of the 2014 Teen Jean drive sponsoring, managing and dispersing gently used clothing to needy students.
Her service to the community includes leadership advisor positions on the City of Ferris Main Street Board, Ferris Strategic Planning member, Sterling House Senior Home Entertainment Committee. She plans to attend college to acquire a degree in International Relations/or Global Studies from which she will attend law school to become an International Lawyer.
Taylor states that using her God-given talents to pay it forward by serving others is her goal.
Kaylyn Bell is a senior at Waxahachie Global High school. She is the daughter of Tonya English, of Ennis, Texas. She will graduate with not only a high school diploma, but also an Associates of Science degree from Navarro College.
She is very involved with the Ennis Community Theater where she volunteers in both the adult program and the children’s program. It is her goal to teach kids that hard work produces results. She teaches and helps them to learn the best way to apply makeup on their own for their parts. Kaylyn leads the children by working with them over many rehearsals to help them grow confident in their skills.
Kaylyn also acts and sings in plays and musicals such as The Three Musketeers and the Red Shoes. She paints and draws frequently. Her goal is to teach art on the college level.
She plans to attend the University of North Texas to study education.
Representing Avalon High School, Garrett Christopher Davidson excels both in academics and athletics. Garrett is the son of Nichole Chesser of Waxahachie. He is vice-president of the National Honor Society and UIL regional qualifier for Science, Mathematics and Current Issues. He is enrolled in dual credit courses and advance placement. Garrett is the Vice-President of his class. He is captain of the varsity football team and Regional Qualifier for varsity cross country. His honors include All-District Academics in varsity basketball, track, and baseball.
As a dependable young man, he works currently to maintain a self-service, coin-operated car wash. In addition to school, sports, and work, he is responsible at home for helping tend to the acreage and the animals housed on them. He has volunteered at the Ferris City Animal Shelter.After graduation, he plans to attend the University of Texas at Arlington and study pre-med. He plans to become an oncologist to help patients that are in a battle with cancer.
As a student at Ovilla Christian School, Samuel Vincent has many interests. Samuel is the son of Fred and Elisa Norman of Waxahachie. He is valedictorian of his class and is a National Merit Commended Scholar. Sam is in the Project Management class where students take on the challenge of planning, funding, and completing projects around the campus. Currently the project is to sell old textbooks on line to refurbish old computers. He is President of the Student Senate.
Sam also excels in the area of fine arts. As a pianist, he enjoys composing music in his spare time. He received superior ratings in both piano and vocal performance at the Texas Association of Public and Private Schools competition during his junior year. He loves jazz and is interested in the history of jazz. He attended the University of North Texas Jazz Combo Workshop in 2015.
In Cross Country he is the TAPPS state champion. He is a two time state champion in the 3200 and 1600 meter races. Sam received the “Eagle Award’ for all overall athleticism, attitude, and aptitude. Vincent is considering following a pre-med track in college where intends to enter medical school and eventually go into surgery.
Erin Leigh Phelan
Erin Leigh Phelan is a senior at Red Oak High School. She is the daughter of Rick and Adele Phelan. Erin entered Red Oak High School as a junior. Before that, she attended Pantego Christian School. She has been involved in varsity track during all four years of high school. In addition to playing both soccer and track during high school, Erin has also been TEA involved in the Student Council at both Pantego and Red Oak High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and serves on the Tom’s Committee which is a group within the student council which helps raise awareness for children of the world who do not have shoes to wear.
Erin has volunteered at Buffalo Creek Assisted Living, Mission Arlington, Habitat for Humanity, and the North Texas Food Bank. She also is employed as a hostess part time at Panda Express in Red Oak. Her future plans include going to college and majoring in either business, accounting, or psychology. At this time, she has applied to UCLA, Stanford, and the University of Texas at Austin. After graduation from college, Erin has the goal to work for the FBI so that she can have a “positive impact on the world”.
Skyler DeShon Slack
Skyler Deshon Slack is a senior at Waxahachie Preparatory Academy. He is the son of Shelby and Darrell Slack. Skyler has been involved in varsity basketball and golf while in high school. He is a recipient of the Allen Spirit Award for outstanding character and service. He is also a member of the Student Council and serves as the president and senior class representative. He is also a member of the National Honor Society.
Skyler has served as a volunteer for the Flying G Ranch. He serves as a youth leader at Stonegate Church and helped build a chapel and worked at Vacation Bible School while on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. During the summers, he has done farm work for Janway Farms, Gemini Farms, and Fitch Farms as well as working for a lawn mowing service. After high school graduation, he plans to attend Navarro College for two years and then go to Texas A&M University to major in agribusiness within the college of agriculture. He aspires to be a successful business leader and has a “heart of service” for the needs of other people.
Kendall Nikole Waddle
Kendall Nikole Waddle is a senior at Palmer High School. She is the daughter of Dan and Nikole Waddle. While at Palmer High School, Kendall has been involved in volleyball, basketball and track for four years. For the last two years, she has served as the captain of the basketball team. She has been on the softball team for three years and this year she also participated on the cross country track team. She is on the A/B honor roll and takes dual credit classes from Navarro College along with her regular high school classes. She works as a volunteer for PUMP which is the Palmer United Missions Project. This mission team helps repair homes for needy people within the community. Kendall has also served as a volunteer at the concession stand during Palmer athletic events. Her future plans include going to college and becoming a high school counselor. She enjoys the teaching environment, because both of her parents are teachers and she wants to be able to impact others in a similar role as a school counselor.
Britney DeAnn Chambers
Britney DeAnn Chambers is a senior at Italy High School. She is the daughter of Michael and Jennifer Chambers. She has been a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for four years and the student council for all four years of high school. She has been the captain of the softball team and recently received the Dave Campbell Community Hero Award.
As a junior, she was inducted into the National Honor Society. She volunteers with youth mission work at her church and spends time during the holidays talking to senior citizens who live in nursing homes. She says she likes to talk to them and they always have something special to say. For the past two summers, she has worked as a custodian at Italy High School. Her extracurricular activities include raising lambs and participating in the FFA. Her future plans include attending Hill College in Hillsboro and majoring in diagnostic medical sonography.
Jacob is a senior at Ennis High School. He is the son of Ron and Elaine Kasowski. He is described as a talented, well-rounded, focused student with great potential. Jacob is a member of the Ennis High School Band and medalled at state Solo and Ensemble for saxophone competitions. Jacob played football, basketball and baseball for Ennis High School. He was inducted into the National Honor Society and has completed over 60 hours of community service. He is member of the Newtronic (Ten80) Racing Club (a STEM based activity) and has served as the Business Manager and President. His team placed 13th in a STEM National Finals competition this year and was a NSL finalist team. Jacob has been active in UIL Academic competition in Policy Debate, Extemporaneous Speaking, Computer Science, and was a Student Congress district competitor. In his junior year his team was a state qualifier and he has served as Team Captain.
Jacob is a part time musician, being a member of two local bands in Ennis. Jacob is currently ranked fifth in his class of 348 as of February 6, 2015 and is a class officer. He has served as Secretary since 2014 and previously was the class reporter for the 2013-2014 school year. Jacob has earned the rank of Eagle Scout in his Boy Scout troop. His Eagle project involved moving a roadside memorial of two fallen officers to the Department of Public Safety office in Waxahachie. In Jacob’s spare time he works as a landscaper. Once a month he goes to local nursing homes to play music for the residents and has volunteered at the North Texas Food Bank. Jacob is a member of Saint John’s Catholic Church where he has been a volunteer alter server for five years. He is a member of the American Sokol KHB in Ennis, was an American Legion Boys State attendee 2015, and was an assistant counselor for 2016 Camp RYLA Rotary Club program. Jacob was the Special Award Judge for the DFW chapter of AHMP at the 2015 Dallas Regional Science and Engineering fair. Jacob’s future plans are to attend Texas A&M, play in the fighting Aggie Marching Band, earn a degree in civil engineering, and own a business.
Lauryn Ashleigh Baltrip
Lauryn Ashleigh Baltrip is a senior at Waxahachie High School. She is the daughter of Fabian and Cynthia Baltrip. Lauryn has been a member of the drill team for four years and a Cherokee Charmer for the past three years. She is serving as an officer and is a Sr. Lieutenant. She has received numerous awards through the Cherokee Charmers organization including Most Outstanding Junior, Drill Team Council Representative and for personality and integrity. She is a member of the All American Dance Team and is also on the All American Kick Company.
Lauryn is described as a young woman who is looked up to by her peers and respected by her teachers as well. One reference said of Miss Baltrip, “She is one of the most superb young women on WHS campus.” Lauryn has participated in food drives and Christmas gift wrapping for children at Texas Baptist Home. Lauryn future plans include joining the military following graduation and plans on pursuing a degree in Accounting. She hopes to become a Certified public Accountant and run and manage her own Accounting Firm on day.
Kristopher Hurst is a senior at Life School in Waxahachie. He is the son of Kristi Hurst of Waxahachie, TX. Kristopher is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as Treasurer. He is a class officer where he also serves as Treasurer. He is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and is the Student Council Treasurer. Kristopher runs Cross Country and was the videographer for the Basketball and Baseball teams. He also served as a student athlete trainer. Kristopher competed in UIL Academic competition in Journalism and is an A Honor Roll student.
Kristopher is a member of the Order of DeMolay, an international fraternal organization for young men ages 12 to 21. He received the Representative DeMolay Award and has served three terms as Master Councilor of the Royal Rangers, a role of which few are chosen. Kristopher also received the Gold Medal of Achievement and has served in the areas of children’s ministry and media department of Gateway church. Kristopher is currently ranked fourth in his class.
References describe him as a servant leader, motivated, responsible, having a high degree of integrity, and a young man with outstanding work ethic. His future plans are to attend an unspecified college and study Pre-Med or Pre-Physical Therapy. He hopes to attain a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degree.
Gabrielle Cheyenne Rose
Gabrielle Cheyenne Rose is a senior at Milford High School. She is the daughter of Glen and Joy Rose of Milford, TX. She has been a member of the National Honor Society since the 10th grade. “Gabby” has been a cheerleader for the past four years and has been a three sport athlete, participating in volleyball, basketball, and track and field. She has participated in UIL Academic competition in Writing and Math and has been in One Act Play. Gabby has also been a member of the Marching Band and Concert Band from the 8th to 11th grade. She has been on the yearbook staff as well.
Gabby has been active in helping with the Carter Blood Care blood drive and has been a volunteer for a program called Food4Kids, a weekend back pack food program for at-risk elementary students. She has been leading and helping grow a youth program at her church, First Baptist Church of Milford. She also finds time to work part time at Sonic.
Gabby is ranked first in her class and has been described as having a great work ethic and inquisitive mind which has resulted in her success in her studies. One reference said of her, “She is a leader in her class, often finding the common ground and avoiding contentious issues that can divide a class.” Gabby has been active on mission trips with her church and sets a great example for other to follow, students and adults alike. Gabby has been accepted to the University of Texas and plans to attend in the fall of 2016. She plans to major in advertising and minor in business.
The Rebecca Boyce Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution would like to congratulate all of the Good Citizens, their parents, teachers, counselors and loved ones on their achievements. It is a privilege to honor these students, for they embody the characteristics of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism. The DAR wishes these spectacular students the best of luck and success in all their future endeavors.