Noon Exchange recognizes youth and educator at meeting

Special to Leader-Press
The Noon Exchange Club of Copperas Cove met at Lil Tex Family Restaurant on May 13. President Dennis Ayres opened the meeting, Past President Bill Minton offered the invocation and Club Member Stephanie Malley led the Pledge of Allegiance. Board Member Norma Crawford announced birthdays and anniversaries. During the awards ceremony, the club named the Youth and ACE of the Year Award winners.
Secretary Pat Thomas presented the Youth of the Year Award to Copperas Cove High School Senior Alex Wilson. Wilson was selected by the club based on her volunteerism, athletic achievements, scholastic achievements and leadership skills.
“I would like to thank the Noon Exchange Club for the Youth of the Year Award, and I would like to thank the Noon Exchange Club for all that they do for the community,” Wilson said. Wilson plans on attending Central Texas College and UT Austin majoring in dietetics.
Secretary Pat Thomas also awarded CCISD Senior Josebb Bonilla the Accepting the Challenge of Excellence (ACE) of the Year. Bonilla came from Puerto Rico and ranked in the top seven percent of his graduating class. He has lived with his aunt and uncle in the United States for the last year and a half. During his presentation to the club he thanked them for their support and inspiration.
“I have pushed to achieve all my goals, and I want to show everybody that I can do it.” Bonilla plans on attending a university in Puerto Rico.
Both Alex Wilson and Josebb Bonnilla’s names have been submitted to the Texas District of the National Exchange and are now eligible for a $5,000 scholarship from the district. Both will receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Noon Exchange Club of Copperas Cove.
Following the Youth Awards, President Dennis Ayres asked Copperas Cove Jr. High School Band Director Ryan Steward to come forward to receive the Educator of the Quarter Award. President Ayres shared, “Mr. Stewart has been a music teacher at Cove Junior High for thirteen years, and in my estimation he has done a phenomenal job. He teaches kids who have never played an instrument in their life, and within a year they play like they have been playing for years.” Ayres added, “I can attest to this as I go to all the music programs.”
When Stewart accepted the award he said, “I feel very honored. I just really love to teach. I love to see that light bulb turn on in their head and to see students progress. We don’t have a lot of places to get private lessons in Copperas Cove. So to see a student get better without some of the resources that other districts have, they perform really well.”
Maxine Allen received the Senior Citizen of the Quarter. Allen is a resident of the Exchange Sunshine Home. According to Board Member Angela Fields, Allen is someone who makes everyone feel welcome. “She is never afraid to give a helping hand, whether it is cooking a meal or if they are sick, taking them to the store or a doctor’s appointment. She is very deserving of this award.”
Also during the announcements Ray Ashby, Stephanie Malley and Laura Jordon were inducted as the three newest members of the club.
Next, President Dennis Ayres introduced the guest speaker, CCISD Superintendent Joe Burns. Burns opened by thanking the Noon Exchange Club of Copperas Cove for making the community a better place to live and work. Burns also thanked the club for making it a better place for Copperas Cove’s young people. Then, Burns listed the many accomplishments of CCISD. Burns also discussed CCISD’s positive fiscal condition.
“When we look at the business of the district every year since the inception of the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas Schools our district has received the Exemplary rating, which is the highest rating you can earn. The district also received two years in a row an award for Texas Financial Integrity of Transparency for schools,” Burs said. “We ensure the money is spent correctly and the money is spent in a very transparent and open way. I want you to know how we are taking care of business and that we don’t have any secrets.”
Following the presentation, Angela Fields conducted the Child Abuse Prevention Drawing, and the meeting closed with the reading of the Exchange’s Covenant of Service led by Club Member Ray Ashby. The Noon Exchange Club meets at noon on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month at Lil Tex Family Restaurant on Main Street. For more information about The Noon Exchange Club of Copperas Cove contact club president Dennis Ayres at (254) 542-5165, email or visit


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