Outstanding McPherson Area Eighth Graders Demonstrate Goodness
“Goodness is about character, integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people” This quote by Dennis Prager perfectly illustrates the ideals that apply to the OMEGA recipients.
The Outstanding McPherson Eighth Grade Award (OMEGA) was created by the McPherson Chamber of Commerce to recognize 8th graders in McPherson County for making a difference in our community through their courage, compassion, and service. These characteristics are apparent in the good choices they make and how they treat others.
The following McPherson County 8th grade students were nominated by teachers, pastors, neighbors, grandparents, youth leaders and community members who appreciate their compassionate gestures, value their positive attitudes and have noticed how their considerate actions have impacted the lives of all those around them.
We are so proud of these incredible eighth graders and are honored to present the 2020 OMEGA awards to these deserving recipients: Gunner Schumacher, Mallory Koelling, Lucy Bowman, LilyAnn Janzen, Lacie Baxter, Nathan Reinecker, Emily Lance, Makenna Cass and Slade Wiley.
Keep reading, to learn about the impact they are making in their unique and inspirational way.
Gunner Schumacher– Compassion and caring are two ways others describe McPherson eighth grader Gunner Schumacher. Gunner sticks up for the underdog and is willing to help anyone, even when it’s not the popular thing to do. Generosity and thoughtfulness are also character traits Gunner demonstrates daily. During this COVID-19 crisis Gunner stepped up to help those in his neighborhood. At Easter time he hid eggs for the younger neighbor kids, and when hearing that some of his older neighbors wanted some ice cream, but didn’t feel comfortable going out to get it, Gunner delivered some to their doorsteps with a smile and a wave. Thank you, Gunner, for your generosity and compassion in making the day brighter for those around you!
Mallory Koelling– Being active in extra-curricular activities and showing exemplary leadership skills sums up McPherson eighth grader Mallory Koelling. One can easily see why she is referred to as a world changer and a leader. Mallory helped lead the peaceful #Enough Rally, assisted by her youth pastor after the mass shooting at a Florida school. Speaking out regarding the right to attend school safely without the fear of gun violence took a lot of courage, which clearly Mallory has. Thoughtful and caring also describes Mallory. During the COVID-19 crisis she stepped up, on her own initiative, to help her peers by tutoring some of them online while school is closed and with a friend delivered May baskets to others. Serving others, kindness, patience, inspiring … this defines who Mallory Koelling is. Mallory, your thoughtfulness in helping others and your skills at being a leader will take you far on your road to success.
Lucy Bowman– Known to those around her as a beautiful example of maturity, intelligence and talent, McPherson eighth grader Lucy Bowman, is an obvious choice for the Outstanding McPherson Eighth Grade Award. Compassionate, caring, and kind are just a few of the adjectives others use when asked to describe Lucy. These qualities are reflected in her involvement in supporting the Malala Fund, an organization that invests in education programs for girls that miss out on secondary education. Lucy is very active in fundraising locally for the Malala Fund, as well as speaking to groups on behalf of girls’ education. Inspiring and courageous are also ways to describe Lucy, who will enter high school at the age of 12. She is an accomplished musician, loves to sing, act, and has a heart as big as this earth. Lucy, you are a blessing not only to our community, but to others around the world.
LilyAnn Janzen– McPherson eighth grader LilyAnn Janzen is the kind of person who would do anything for anyone and not expect anything in return. Caring, helping, and putting others first are things that come very naturally to Lily. Her selflessness is apparent when she reaches out to others around her who are in need. She has compassion and desire to ease the burdens of those who are hurting. Even at a distance, her heart beats for others. Lily’s empathy runs very strong. Strength, caring, and compassion define LilyAnn Janzen. Thank you, LilyAnn, for your caring, helpful attitude, and compassion for others.
Lacie Baxter– When you think about the things that make Inman eighth grader Lacie Baxter who she is –willingness and desire to help others comes to mind. Whether it’s giving tips on how to be a good team manager or helping a new student feel comfortable and welcome at school, Lacie is there to help. Striving to do what is best for others is something Lacie takes seriously. This was demonstrated when she volunteered to run long-distance races just to help the track team score points. Qualities like this, are second nature to Lacie. Regardless of what issues Lacie encounters in or out of school, she approaches them with a positive attitude and caring heart. Lacie, what great traits you exemplify to others – keep it up!
Nathan Reinecker– Nathan is known as a hardworking, dedicated, compassionate, “never give up” kind of guy. Although deliberate and diligent with his studies, it’s not uncommon for Nathan to sacrifice his learning time to help a classmate to understand and be successful with an assignment. He will face a daunting task and persevere until it has been completed. Nathan enjoys helping others and is always willing to lend a hand, run an errand, help out on a project, or just be a good listener. Nathan, thank you for your shining example of perseverance, compassion, and dedication.
Emily Lance– Serving the Canton-Galva school in many ways whether her compassion and caring are seen in sports, cheerleading, or stepping up to be a leader, is Canton-Galva eighth grader Emily Lance. Emily’s compassion for others was evident when she gave the proceeds from her lemonade & sandwich stand on Canton’s Main Street, to those in need. Courage describes Emily as she faced the challenge of dealing with a concussion during basketball season. Standing up to this scary situation she never complained about it, but instead was there to support her team even though she had to do so from the sideline. Caring, looking out for those in need, and reaching out to help others. These things describe who Emily Lance is and what she does. Emily, your courage and compassion for others is a blessing to all.
Makenna Cass– She the kind of person who will step up and speak out for what is right, even if it’s not the “popular” thing to do. Elyria Christian eighth grader Makenna Cass definitely has many positive and uplifting qualities. Her deep compassion and concern for others is obvious as she is the first to volunteer to be a “buddy” to visiting students, helping them to feel welcome and comfortable. Makenna is known for being a great encourager to those who need a friend who will listen or pray with them. She has a servant’s heart and is always there as a volunteer to help with whatever the project may be. Thank you, Makenna for the encouragement you give to others and the compassion that you show to all.
Slade Wiley– Serving others is something that comes naturally to McPherson eighth grader Slade Wiley. His desire to help others was typified when Slade took on the “50 Yard Challenge” sponsored by Raising Men Lawn Care Service. This program was established to inspire youth and to provide avenues for the younger members of our society to give back to their community. Through the course of a summer Slade faced this challenge and mowed 50 yards. He provided this service for veterans, single moms, disabled folks, and the elderly. He faced the 50 Yard Challenge head-on and persevered until the project had been completed. Slade, thank you for your spirit of perseverance and willingness to help others.