DAR Good Citizens

Published 8:02 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

By By JOHN EBY / Dowagiac Daily News
CASSOPOLIS – Capt. Samuel Felt Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) recognized five high school seniors Monday afternoon as Good Citizens at its annual tea at Cass District Library.
Receiving certificates, wallet cards and pins emblematic of their honor were Elizabeth Kolden of Dowagiac Union High School, accompanied by her mother, Patti, and guidance counselor Kristin Dockerty; Gregory Beaver of Niles-Brandywine High School; Lindsey Peak of Edwardsburg High School; Christopher Reed of Marcellus High School; and Cory Harding of Cassopolis Ross Beatty High School.
Chair Sarah Essex said the DAR "recognizes high school seniors who display the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism to an outstanding degree. Good Citizens are chosen each year from the senior class of high schools nationwide. The DAR recommends that the faculty choose three seniors who have demonstrated the qualities of a good citizen. From these three, the senior class selects one. However, each school may use a method of its own for selection."
After the senior's selection, he or she is required to collect two recommendation letters and a transcript, to create an outline of information about themselves and their school experiences.
Then, Essex said, the candidate must write an essay in a two-hour time limit without assistance or use of reference materials.
Information is submitted to three non-DAR judges who select one winning essay which advances to more competition at the state level.
"We will know in about a week whose essay was selected," Essex said. "The young people seated here before you have demonstrated their dependability through truthfulness, loyalty and punctuality. They have shown their desire and ability to serve through cooperation, courtesy and consideration of others. Their leadership is evident, as are their personality, self-control and ability to assume responsibility. Their patriotism shines through their unselfish interest in family, school, community and nation."
Elizabeth Kolden
Elizabeth thanked her "peers for nominating me to represent them here today and the DAR for hosting this."
She plays tennis at DUHS and is No. 2 singles on the varsity. Her high school career also includes volleyball and track since ninth grade.
President of DUHS Humanities Club, Elizabeth is National Honor Society (NHS) treasurer and Drama Club secretary.
"I love volunteering. That's a hobby of mine," she said.
Elizabeth, who as part of her reign as Miss Michigan Teen 2008 appeared before the Cass County Board of Commissioners Nov. 6, said, "So far in my year, I've been busy promoting Tabs for Tots, a children's charity I've started locally with our American Legion post."
At that time Elizabeth said she hoped to attend the University of Michigan through the ROTC program.
"I'd like to become a pilot in the Air Force, but I may be an inch too short," she said. "If I do not grow by then, I'd like to go into military intelligence. Another aspiration is teaching mentally handicapped children through music therapy."
She plays trumpet in band and job shadowed that field at the Berrien County Intermediate School District.
Gregory Beaver
Gregory loves sports. "There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not at practice or working out." He earned varsity letters in three sports – football, soccer and tennis – and is currently a member of the varsity basketball team.
"I also work at a sporting complex on the weekends where I instruct and referee children of all ages," Beaver said. "Off the field, I work in class as hard as I do on the field. I'm taking advanced calculus, advanced history, Spanish IV and Chemistry II. I maintain a 3.9 GPA."
Beaver's extra-curricular activities include NHS vice president, a member of Spanish NHS and a member of History Club.
He plans on pursuing a medical career in college while minoring in Spanish.
Lindsey Peak
Lindsey is president of her Student Council, SADD secretary, an NHS member and involved in the Professional Health Careers Academy as a second-year student.
"I work at my parents' gym," she said, "and I also love spending time with my friends and family volunteering."
Peak plans on studying forensic pathology in Indianapolis.
Christopher Reed
Christopher, who played trumpet in the Marcellus High School Jazz Ensemble directed by Joseph Lekan which entertained with Christmas carols and "Frankenstein," said, "I'm very honored to be the DAR Good Citizen for Marcellus. I like history a lot and I know the part the Daughters of the American Revolution played in the forming of our nation. They made great sacrifices for liberty and we're permanently indebted to them."
Reed quarterbacked the Wildcats for three years, but broke his leg two of those seasons, which makes him think about becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
"This year I made it through" football season, the Marcellus captain said.
Reed also played varsity basketball for two years and baseball for three years.
"I belong to (NHS), where I'm chairman of the blood drive this year," he said. "I also belong to a 4-H club. My future plans aren't really set yet. I'm considering Michigan State, U of M and Western.
"One thing I really love to do is to coach Rocket Football. For three years a teammate and I have coached third through sixth graders and went 16-3. It's a lot of fun to hear some of the pretty weird things the kids say."
Cory Harding
Cory stood out in the Ranger marching band because he was a musician wearing a football uniform in halftime shows.
"High school is one of those things that sticks with you the rest of your life," he said, "so you might as well make the best of it and have fun while you're at it. I've experienced many memorable events while in high school, from tutoring my peers to helping the athletic director with events we're not playing in."
"The most recent event which sticks in my mind," Harding said, was a 20-team Rocket Football Jamboree for which he was referee.
"The biggest joy I received that day was when these young kids and their coaches came up me and thanked me individually," Harding said.
"I enjoy the jobs I do, from mowing lawns to helping my dad with his business," he said. "It teaches me responsibility and discipline. In high school, I've developed many interests, my main one being piano. I've been taking lessons for 12 years. Through piano, I discovered band, which I had to drop this year due to conflicts with my schedule, but I was a section leader for as long as I can remember. Even though I looked silly playing in the band in my uniform, there was no way I could choose between my favorite sport, football, and my passion for music."
Harding plans to pursue a business degree. He wished good luck "to you other four on the journey that life will take you."