Senior students receive Glory of Missouri awards for embodying values of the state

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Corey Sink
The awarded seniors pose for a picture in the hallway outside Derek Grier’s office on their way to be recognized on the House floor. Each student was awarded one of the virtues of Missouri that surround the house ceiling. “I was awarded ‘law,’ and I think that’s because I’m a very morally driven person. I base most of my life around ethics, and use that to lead others,” senior Bella Hatzigeorgiou said.

Every year, 14 high school seniors are chosen as representatives of the 14 values of Missouri. The students then travel to Jefferson City to receive their awards from their district representative and take a tour of the capitol building.

“The coolest part of the trip was getting to go up in the capitol dome and walk around. It was not part of the regular tour and we had to take back hallways to get there, and once we got there you could hear someone whispering across the entire dome,” senior Natalie Butler said. “It was also cool to see the capitol building from a new angle up high.”

Each student was awarded a framed resolution signed by the Missouri House of Representatives that stated which virtue they embodied and why.

“I think I won ‘charity’ because I like to be involved and I’m always looking for ways to help other people, especially through volunteering,” senior Klea Markollari said. “I was honored when I found out I had won, and I’m so glad I got to go represent my state and school on the floor of the House.”

The awards recipients were as follows:

 

Matthew Boyd, Knowledge

Gokul Venkatachalam, Liberty

Kyra Clerk, Equality

Bella Hatzigeorgiou, Law

Dani Fischer, Justice

Will Schuchardt, Fraternity

Mitchell Norman, Education

Neil Tomala, Progress

Tracy Wilson, Honor

Alyssa Theroux, Truth

Natalie Butler, Virtue

Tess Allgeyer, Temperance

Hayden Sampson, Enterprise

Klea Markollari, Charity

 

“I was awarded ‘law,’ and I think that’s because I’m a very morally driven person. I base most of my life around ethics, and use that to lead others,” senior Bella Hatzigeorgiou said.

Seniors were nominated by a school-wide faculty vote and then narrowed down by assistant principal Corey Sink and the counseling department.

“I think [the award] really goes back to what [values] the state is founded on and the students that receive it really represent, quite honestly, the best character and people that we have,” assistant principal Corey Sink said. “It really emphasizes the hard work and the good stuff the students are a part of and we want to share it and have the state recognize it. It’s pretty cool.”

All Missouri schools have the opportunity to send students to receive the award, but only a few take advantage of it. Sink’s previous school, Parkway South, did not recognize students in this way.

“Until I got to West High, I had not heard of it. It’s unfortunate because I think every high school should take advantage of it,” Sink said. “[It’s a] way you can recognize and celebrate the great things the kids do more than we can just in our building. We do a lot of celebrating in our school, but this is a way to share the great things the kids do on a larger scale.”

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