Winners… a roundup of students’ achievements

[cleeng_content id=”143024216″ description=”Read it now!” price=”0.49″ t=”article”]Top-flight runner

Jefferson High running star Andrew Milliron (right) has won an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he was recruited for his academic achievements and to be part of the school’s cross country and track teams.0305WINNERSmilliron_72dpi

The Academy states the four-year scholarship, covering tuition, room and board and more, is valued at $445,000. Andrew attended a signing ceremony at Jefferson along with his parents, Jacquelyn and Todd Milliron, and school coaches John Serian, Suzy Munnis, Craig Hunter and Michele Hale.

An Eagle Scout and member of the National Honor Society, the French National Honor Society and Jefferson High’s band, Andrew plans to get his degree in engineering.

Both Sen. Joe Manchin and Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito nominated Andrew for the appointment. Andrew attributes his running form to Scott Biola, his freshman year coach, and to Dr. Mark Cucuzzella with Two River Treads.

He’s always loved to run. “One of his teachers at T.A. Lowery Elementary called it in first grade,” said his mother: “Ms. Swaim said she believed he would be a track star one day because after the children finished their required two laps for recess, Andrew just kept running.”


“White Coat Ceremony”: Daniel Citro of Shenandoah Junction, a member of the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy Class of 2017, recently took part in the school’s “White Coat Ceremony,” marked his formal entrance into the study of the profession.

Citro, the son of Michael and Connie Citro, is a graduate of Jefferson High School who completed his pre-pharmacy coursework at WVU. According to school officials, the presentation of white coats signifies that the students have committed to be compassionate healthcare professionals.

New graduate: Jordan Hitrik has graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University, with a bachelor’s of science degree in computer science and a minor in business administration. He was Phi Beta Kappa and a University Honors Scholar. He is the son of Tim and Becky Hitrik of Shepherdstown and the grandson of Mary Carper of Ranson.

National Guard honorees: Two local students – Cody Main and Joshua Patterson – are among the most recent graduates from the West Virginia National Guard’s Mountaineer Challenge Academy in Kingwood.

Cody is the son of Jeffrey Main and Gale Kidwell of Harpers Ferry. Joshua is the son of Tonya and Mark Rancanelli of Charles Town and Patrick Patterson of Upper Marlboro, Md.

More than 150 graduates from 29 counties across the state of West Virginia completed the program. All graduating cadets complete a 22-week residential phase that includes activities employability skills and in community services for such organizations as American Red Cross Blood Drive, Trout for Cheat, Food for Preston, Mountaineer Food Bank and Ms. Mary’s Food Pantry.

Young people interested in upcoming classes at the academy can call 800-529-7700 for more information.

Dean’s list: Several local students have been named to the dean’s list at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., and at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

VMI cadets Timothy B. Hostler Jr., a junior from Charles Town who is majoring in psychology, and Jonathan S. Winalski, a sophomore from Falling Waters, made the list. VMI, with 1,600 cadets, is the nation’s oldest 
state-supported military college.

Tech students Michael A. Cogswell of Shepherdstown, a senior majoring in computer science, made the list, as did Maxlorenzo Agbayani of Martinsburg, a junior majoring in biological sciences, and Jacob T. Montague of Berkeley Springs, a sophomore majoring in civil engineering. Blacksburg has more than 30,000 students.

Schools honored: Two Jefferson County schools – Ranson Elementary and C.W. Shipley Elementary – have been named Title I Reward Schools.

Thanks to students’ scores and their year-to-year improvement on the WESTEST II assessment, both schools were named High Progress Reward Schools. C.W. Shipley also was named a highest-performance school.

According to the state Department of Education, only the top 10 percent of the state’s more than 800 schools were eligible for the honors. Of those, some 20 schools were cited.

Submit your news to Winners: The Spirit of Jefferson is committed to highlighting good news about local students’ accomplishments. To be included in our next winners in April, send text and photos to editor@spiritofjefferson with WINNERS as the subject line or mail your submission to the newsroom, c/o Editor Robert Snyder, 114 N. Charles St., Charles Town 25414. Please include a phone number in case more information is needed.


Help for Afghanistan

Driswood Elementary students Emma Cugini, Kendall Waggoner and Reid Patterson load boxes of snacks and personal care items to be sent to Bagram Air Base, the largest military facility in 0305WINNERS---Driswood_72dpAfghanistan, with help from school counselor Sarah Soltow and Operation Barnabas coordinator Gary Kavanaugh of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Students and their families collected 34 boxes of items for soldiers.







Healthy appreciation

South Jefferson Elementary School fourth-grader Genna Costello is a hockey fan, as is her school’s phys ed teacher Chris Atkins – though they part ways on a favorite team, with Genna rooting for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Atkins a loyal fan of the Washington Capitals.0305WINNERS---Hockey-fans_7

The team-autographed hockey stick Atkins is holding came to him thanks to Genna, who wrote to George McPhee, the Capitals’ manager, to ask for his help in creating a special “thank you” for Atkins for making a difference at the Summit Point school. She noted that although Atkins has multiple sclerosis, that “doesn’t stop him from being a wonderful P.E. teacher” and she went on to detail how he motivates students to have fun and be physically active, and how he’d formed the Healthy Choice Ambassadors – young people who help students and staff at South Jefferson make healthier choices and live healthier lives.

She also described Atkins’ passion for the Caps. McPhee’s response? A thank you note to Genna, the hockey stick plus four tickets to the Caps’ game of Atkins’ choice.


Focus on young farmers

As part of National Future Farmers of America Week last month, a number of students were awarded Greenhand FFA degrees, given to those who have shown drive and leadership as young members. Others accepted chapter FFA degrees, the highest award a chapter can bestow and recognition of significant leadership development and scholastic achievement.0305WINNERS-FFA_72dpi

The week also included a formal proclamation signing on Feb. 17 with Jefferson FFA Chapter President Darby Patterson and county school officials High School Coordinator Joe Livesay, Superintendent Susan Wall and Vocational Education Director Marty Soltis where FFA members prepared and served a pastry brunch to thank school board staff members for their support throughout the year. Other highlights of the week included “Drive Your Tractor to School Day” and an after-school FFA Olympics with milk-drinking and pie-eating contests, a straw bale toss and three-legged races followed by a meal prepared by students taking Jefferson’s ProStart and animal processing classes.


‘Pop’ tops

The Jefferson High Pop Singers show choir under the direction of Karma Wood (above) finished in second place in its division Saturday at a regional competition at Martinsburg High. Washington High’s show choir, Vocal Fusion, directed by Ken Cooper (left) also competed along with singers from schools in surrounding counties. Among the local students cited for their individual performances were Grace Guiney, Jalon Smith, Mirella Vargas, Devyn Hosby and Kaitlin Morris.



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