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home : columnists : columnists August 22, 2017

4/1/2017 4:00:00 AM
DAR awards good citizens

By Betsy Reason

Being honored as a Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen is so much more than good grades.

It means you've given back to the community, to your school, to your church and to your family, and that you were voted on by your peers and by your administrators.

Each year, the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award is presented by Noblesville's Horseshoe Prairie Chapter of DAR to one graduating senior.

Westfield's Sami Fassnacht is the 2017 DAR Good Citizen of the Year.

Combine her academics, including a 4.48 grade point average, and scoring a perfect 36 on her first round of ACT testing and earning the National Center for Women & Information Technology Aspirations in Computing award, a national achievement, during her junior year, plus all of her school activities, and this student is bound to do great things.

"It really is an honor," said the 17-year-old, a senior at Westfield High School, who read her essay in front of other DAR recipients from their respective schools during a DAR tea at Hamilton East Public Library in Noblesville.

She took a strong interest in the DAR essay contest. "I saw what the DAR represented and what the essay was going to be about; it made me excited to apply," she said.

The winner is very involved in school and community. "I love volunteering. Ever since I've been in middle school, I've been helping out at my local elementary school, volunteering with the students, helping them with their homework. I've also been involved in Key Club all four years of high school. That's been one of my favorite activities, getting to give back to the community during food drives and Relay for Life and other activities." She's also part of the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation program, which trains and nurtures young leaders of tomorrow "to help other students learn about their own leadership qualities and become more passionate about service."

She said, "I've always loved being in extracurricular activities with my peers, whether it's academic or service-oriented."

When the teen is not studying, she likes to read, spend time with her family, play video games and do target archery at Koteewi Range.

What else? "I love technology," said the teen, who plans to study computer science in college. She was on her school's robotics team, school maker space to use her technological skills to help improve her school community to give back.

Grades, test scores, school involvement, and recommendations from teachers, academics and the community were part of the judging, plus an essay that each wrote. Her essay will be judged in the Indiana State DAR Good Citizen competition.

She posed for photos in front of a colonial flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in her name on Dec. 2, a significant date in DAR history. It was Dec. 2, 1896, when DAR was granted its congressional charter; 2016 celebrated 120 years.

The daughter of Patrick and Maggie Fassnacht, she was chosen from DAR Good Citizen essay contest winners who represented public high schools in the area. Winning essayists from each of their participating high schools included: Grace Dean, Noblesville; Sally Harper, Sheridan; Lauren David, Fishers High School; Morgan Caylor, Tipton; Ashley Roberts, Hamilton Heights (absent); and Olivia Kegley, Hamilton Southeastern (absent). Each of the school representatives read each of their winning essays at the DAR tea.

Each received a card, certificate and a DAR Good Citizen pin, with 13 stars, representing the 13 original colonies. Those who wear the pin are identified with qualities of good character, including dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.

These five 2017 high school graduates will carry this distinction for the rest of their lives.

Also, the chapter sponsored an American History Essay Contest, with Addison McMillan, a fifth-grader at Noblesville's North Elementary, the winner of the Grade 5-8 division. The contest topic in 2016 celebrated the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service, with participants asked to imagine writing a journal while visiting one of the 58 national parks. The winner wrote her essay on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. She was recognized with a certificate and a DAR award pin.

Congratulations all winners!

Contact me betsy@thetimes24-7.com.

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