The Gila Valley Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the Revolution recently presented the 2020 DAR Good Citizen Award to seven high schools in Graham and Greenlee Counties. This year, due to the virus pandemic, the awards were presented by way of individual packets or video. One student was chosen from each senior class based on the exceptional ways he or she demonstrated qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism in their homes, schools and communities. The process for making the selection varied with each school but included school administrators, teachers, counselors and students from the senior class. The following are the honored good citizens and the school’s recommendations for this award:
Angel Ontiveros from Morenci High School is an outstanding member of the varsity softball and volleyball teams in addition to being a member of the National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society and National Math Honor Society. Being an athlete, she understands that life is a team sport, and the best leaders help others. She is a reliable and consistent servant leader, putting others before herself and never too proud to do the work that helps the group to succeed. Recently, as a highly involved member of the Student Council, she helped in the cleaning of a nearby area in the Adopt-A-Highway program and helped raise $5,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona. Angel is the daughter of Mary Merino and Tony Ontiveros of Clifton.
A special $100 donation was included in this award by the Amie and Danny Savage Family who lived in the Morenci area for many years but moved away a few years ago. Amie, a DAR member, wanted to use this opportunity to recognize a deserving Morenci High School youth.
Hanna Hilton from Duncan High School is a real treasure; always willing to help anyone. She is not worried about what others think of her and therefore has a great authentic personality. She is very involved, has won many awards and been recognized for her leadership and compassion. Hanna is always first to volunteer for anything needed and follows through with any assignment she takes on. She is a ray of sunshine, bright, innovative and very outgoing. Hanna is the daughter of Melanie Hilton of Duncan.
Shelby McNutt from Mt Graham High School has been an active member of the high school’s Teen Outreach Program for the last two years. This involved doing volunteer work in the community. Shelby is a great example of hard work and does it with a cheerful attitude. This last year she participated in the GIFT program taking Nursing related classes at EAC. In February, Shelby finished her high school requirements early. She is friendly and kind to others around her. She has a positive outlook on life and always has a smile on her face. She’s the kind of student that makes teachers want to be at school because Shelby is focused on working together for a good cause. Because of her outlook, she will accomplish many great things in her life. Shelby is the daughter of Janet and Shawn McNutt of Safford.
Ahlora Lawson from Safford High School is a very polite young woman of strong integrity; quiet, hard-working, honest, highly dependable and self-motivated. She is an exemplary student with outstanding leadership skills, consistently demonstrating a respectful, positive attitude. Ahlora takes initiative in all aspects of her course requirements and actively works well with all other staff members, in fulfilling all responsibilities as needed.
Throughout her high school years, she has been a dedicated athlete in softball and volleyball as well as having an active role in the Early Child Care & Career Technical Education program. In all of these areas, she developed strong skills as a leader and role model for her team mates, peers and the young children. One of Ahlora’s highest achievements was taking first place on the state and national levels of the FCCLA (Family, Career, & Community Leaders of America).
Patriotic-wise, in knowing the veterans in her family’s military history who served honorably in the past and present, she is very patriotic and supportive of those who defend and protect our country. Ahlora is the daughter of Kerri and Gavin Lawson of Safford.
Austyn Larson from Thatcher High School is an amazing leader both in everyday circumstances and her role in student council. She is an extremely hard worker without complaint, never seeking praise for her efforts, which often goes unrecognized. As a leader, Austyn does a great job delegating roles, communicating well with her helpers and always willing to go the extra mile to help someone or get something done on time. Austyn is a very good listener, making each individual feel like they are heard. With a strong sense of responsibility, she does not fear taking charge and does it well.
As an honest, kind, cooperative, go-getter, she is known among her classmates to be very dependable. One of the senior class members stated without reservation, “She would make a GREAT president some day!” Austyn is the daughter of Keighty and Jordan Larson of Thatcher.
Rylee Pritchard from Pima High School, as student body president, shows her strength of leadership by being dependable, reaching out to serve others, and gaining the help of her peers in accomplishing numerous projects for the school.
With her sense of patriotism and honor for her country, she was chosen to represent her high school at Girl’s State last summer. This was an experience that strengthened her awareness of duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities in being an American citizen and a leader.
In addition to her school responsibilities and willingness to be of help, Rylee has volunteered at the Pima Library for three years. In this capacity she was punctual each week, helping with preparation and cleanup with the activity of the day. With the 3rd-6th graders, she played games with them whether it was indoors or outside; always encouraging good sportsmanship and playing fair. Rylee is the daughter of Shelley and Jason Pritchard of Pima.
Todd Stringfellow from Fort Thomas High School is an outstanding leader and a positive role model within the school and the community. Over the past 4 years he has participated in countless activities to promote positive school spirit and energy. He is always willing to assist and support his peers and school staff.
In addition to being an Honors student, he is engaged in a number of extracurricular activities including; Future Farmers of America, Future Business Leaders of America, Athletic Club, National Honors Society, Link Crew, Skills USA and Student Counsel. Despite a busy academic schedule, Todd is an active member of Boy Scouts; offer his time volunteering to assist those who are less fortunate. His welcoming smile and easy-going personality have made him a friend to all. Todd is the son of Cathy Hawkins.