The Rebecca Boyce Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently held its annual Good Citizens Patriots Tea that honors 14 good citizens from Ellis County high schools. The event was held Sunday, Feb. 11 at Central Presbyterian Church in Waxahachie.

Chapter Regent Linda Sibley welcomed students, family members, and school personnel. Chapter Chaplain JoAnn Ranton then led in the pledges to the United States and Texas flags. Chapter member Leslie Deen followed by explaining the significance of the pin awarded to each nominee which illustrated the qualities of good character emphasized by the society.

These qualities include dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism.

Jenelle Ralston Sanders, the 1963 recipient of the Rebecca Boyce Chapter of the DAR Good Citizens Award, was recognized as a previous Good Citizen by the chapter.

Chapter Good Citizens Committee members Leslie Deen, Ashley Huber, and Jane Ann Shipp introduced each of the Good Citizens and shared with the audience about their accomplishments. Each student was presented with a certificate and a DAR Good Citizen pin, which was placed on his or her lapel by the person of his or her choice.

Every year as a part of being nominated as a DAR Good Citizen, students are given an opportunity to enter into 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: How has America advanced the cause of freedom in the rest of the world?”

The Patriot Tea tradition is to announce the selected student’s essay and then the winner reads his or her essay to the audience. This year’s winning essay belonged to Benjamin Helm of Midlothian Heritage High School. Helm accepted his award and eloquently read aloud his essay to the audience.

The program concluded with the students leading all in the singing of the national anthem, accompanied by pianist, Karen Esberger. All in attendance were invited all in attendance to enjoy refreshments in the church parlor.


Juan “Ian” Nunez (not photographed) is a senior at Ferris High School and is the son of Juan Nunez, Jr. of Ferris, Texas.

Ian is a member of the National Honor Society. He is active in athletics as he was in Football where he served on the Leadership Council, and participated in Golf and Baseball. Ian was a member of the Band. He has been involved with UIL competition in Listening Skills and Science. He also has been involved in Teens in the Driver Seat-which is a peer to peer safety program for America’s Youth.

His College and Career Counselor said this about Ian, “Ian is a wonderful young man who has left a lasting impression on me because of his strong character, maturity, and conscientious attitude.” Ian has also been involved in numerous activities in his community through his volunteer work. His future plans include attending Texas State University in the fall and majoring in psychology and minoring in criminal justice. Ian would like to become a criminal psychologist.

Ivy Gaspar (not photographed) is a senior at Milford High School. She is the daughter of Laura Janett Gaspar and Jose Contreras of Milford, Texas. Ivy has been a member of National Honor Society since 2016 and this year is serving as President. She is also a section leader in band and she has been active in athletics achieving awards in Discus and Tennis.

Ivy has also been in UIL academics for science and one-act play as a crew member. Other activities include PRIDE leadership program, yearbook, and Class Treasurer from 2014-2018. Ivy has been active in her church and multiple community events throughout the year. Ivy plans to attend Navarro College to earn an associate’s degree in Accounting. She then plans to attend a university with hopes of completing a master’s degree.