Daughters of the American Revolution Tombigbee Chapter Regent Polly Grimes, left, stands next to the chapter’s JROTC Cadet of the Year, Cadet Col. Kiersten Dancy; Good Citizen Award winners, Taylor Adair and Kayla Lee; and essay winners, Chance Riggan and Paylin Markham, at its annual awards.

ABERDEEN – Five students from Aberdeen High School and Hamilton Attendance Center shared the spotlight Jan. 23 through the Tombigbee Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s annual awards, held at First United Methodist Church.

This year’s DAR Good Citizen Awards went to AHS senior Taylor Adair and Hamilton High School senior Kayla Lee.

“Taylor has many interests, but her passion is to help people. She participates in the AHS Service Dawgs community service club. She works at the local food pantry and mentors younger children,” said DAR Tombigbee Chapter Regent Polly Grimes.

She is a member of the AHS JROTC, and her future plans are to complete her bachelor’s and masters degrees in nursing from Alcorn State University. Taylor’s parents are Tanya Gardner and Mark Adair.

Lee is involved with several school and church groups, including the Future Farmers of America. She is the daughter of Fred and Andrea Lee. She plans to attend Itawamba Community College for physical therapy and transfer to the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

“She recognizes the qualities of good leadership include having good teamwork skills, good listening skills and putting others before herself,” Grimes said.

Adair and Lee wrote essays on the subject, “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It.” Both of them were also awarded Andrea Harden Memorial Scholarships.

The Outstanding JROTC Award went to Cadet Col. Kiersten Dancy, a senior at AHS.

During the unit’s recent transition to two new instructors, she was been instrumental in informing them about the unit’s history and communicating their vision of the program.

She plans on majoring in biology and minoring in business administration at Mississippi State and to ultimately attend medical school at Vanderbilt University. Her parents are Erick and Dorothy Dancy.

“I quote from her instructor, ‘As a cadet wing commander, Kiersten has been a face for JROTC at Aberdeen High School and a stern example of what this nation’s best and brightest looks like,’” said chapter national defense chair Faith West.

For the American history essay awards, Hamilton fifth-grader Paylin Markham and sixth-grader Chance Riggan were chosen as the winners.

Paylin is the daughter of Chris and Tiffany Markham, and Chance is the son of Kym Holley and Dustin Riggan.

This year’s topic was “The Voyage of the Mayflower,” which will marks its 400th anniversary of landing at Plymouth Rock in November. A total of 88 Hamilton students participated in the essay contest.

This year’s ceremony was dedicated to two charter members – Betty Hudson and the late Annie Ruth Howell White, who passed away Jan. 12.

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