DAR Good Citizens

Published 10:03 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2011

From left Dec. 12 at Cass District Library in Cassopolis, DAR Capt. Samuel Felt Chapter Good Citizens for 2011: Joshua Clark, Edwardsburg; Craig Zebell, Dowagiac; McKenna Terrill, Marcellus; Jameka Eleazer, Cassopolis; Erika Southworth, Decatur; Angelika Anderson, Niles Brandywine; and Emily Pleadwell, Lawrence.

CASSOPOLIS — Capt. Samuel Felt Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) paid tribute to seven area high school seniors Monday afternoon at Cass District Library for their “dependability, service, leadership and patriotism to an outstanding degree.”
DAR Good Citizens for 2011 were all present, thanks to an unseasonably sunny December day, which members already regard as “our favorite meeting of the year,” according to Regent Paula Johnson. “You are our future. No pressure.”
DAR Good Citizens are Craig Zebell of Dowagiac Union High School, Angelika Anderson of Brandywine High School in Niles, McKenna Terrill of Marcellus High School, Emily Pleadwell of Lawrence High School, Joshua Clark of Edwardsburg High School, Erika Southworth of Decatur High School and Jameka Eleazer of Cassopolis Ross Beatty High School.
Terrill is the daughter of a Good Citizen, while Eleazer
’s brother also earned the honor.
The “tea” features a concert by the Marcellus Jazz Band, conducted by Katy Essex, which combined “Frankenstein,” “Birdland,” “Louie Louie” and “Money” with Christmas tunes, “Jingle Bell Rock” and “White Christmas.”

Angelika Anderson

Anderson, a Spanish student of Good Citizens Chair Sarah Essex at Brandywine, described herself as “particularly interested” in youth outreach with soccer.
“It’s something I find pleasure in because it’s amazing to see the joy in kids’ eyes at 5, 6 or 7. I’ve also been able to do a toy and clothing drive for youth through National Honor Society (NHS) and to do Colonial Days at the elementary. I communicate with children on a level they understand and, hopefully, develop their character.”

Jameka Eleazer

Eleazer intends to study accounting at Central Michigan University, but she is also active in her church’s youth ministry and “likes to get my friends involved and to bring people to God because that’s most important in my life.”

Erika Southworth

Southworth plans to attend the University of Michigan, Dearborn, to major in business. She’s active with NHS, which in Decatur has done canned food drives and relief work for Japan and Haiti.

Craig Zebell

Zebell, who brought his parents, Steve and Claudia; sister, Anne; guidance counselor Randy Luthringer; and DUHS Principal Paul Hartsig, has been captain and All-State in soccer and was on the basketball team which made the final four at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center. “I got to play one minute. I got tackled, actually, and made one of my free throws,” he said.
Zebell, who is in the running to be Dowagiac valedictorian, has attended three leadership camps and done missionary work in Peru and in Africa.
“My family this past summer went to Zambia and helped build a school,” said Craig, who wants to attend Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for sports or international ministry.

Joshua Clark

The athlete has also been involved at EHS as Student Council and NHS treasurer.
”I’m a four-year varsity soccer player,” Clark said, “cross country athlete and track and field athlete. Running is what I like to do. I’m a two-time All-State cross country runner and finished third place this year at the state finals in 800 meters in track.”
Next year Clark hopes to attend Washington University in St. Louis.

Emily Pleadwell

Pleadwell has been president of student council for two years and of NHS for one.
She has been on the cross country varsity all four years, captain for three. She has played two seasons of softball and is involved in band.
She volunteers with Van Buren County Road Commission.
“In the future I hope to attend college, hopefully in Indiana, either for engineering or international business,” Emily said.

McKenna Terrill

Terrill is active in NHS and Student Council. “I’ve played varsity basketball since my freshman year,” she said. “Varsity softball since my sophomore, varsity volleyball since my sophomore. With NHS, we decorate downtown for the holidays. That’s always fun. Next week we’re doing a blood drive with Red Cross and a can drive in our school. Next year I plan to go to Grand Valley State to study sports management and I’m looking into extending my softball career there.”
Essex said, “The DAR recommends that the faculty choose three awesome seniors who have demonstrated the qualities of a good citizen. From these three students, the senior class selects one — however, each school may use a method of its own.”
Seniors must obtain two letters of recommendation to accompany their transcripts and outlines of information about themselves and their school experiences, plus candidates must write timed two-hour essays without assistance or reference materials.
“All of this information is submitted to three non-DAR judges, who have a difficult task,” Essex said. “The winning essay and paperwork are forwarded to the state chairman for more competition.”