Masonic Lodge bestows the Lamar Awards

Cove Leader-Press

The Mirabeau Lamar Awards were presented to two graduating seniors and one teacher on Tuesday night at Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge #595.
Every year on the first Tuesday in May, the Masonic Society selects one teacher and two students from the community to recognize their achievements in the classroom, as well as their work within the community.
This year’s recipients are Martin Walker teacher Robert Stroud and Copperas Cove High School students Kelsey Dane and Johnathan Goldsborough. Both students will received a $1,000 scholarships to attend their respective colleges.
The Lamar Award is named after Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar who fought in the battle of San Jacinto for Texas Independence. He was a member of the Harmony Lodge #6 in Galveston, Texas and while president of the Republic of Texas, called for the creation of a public school system in Texas. 
Kelsey Dane is a senior at Copperas Cove High School and will be attending the University of Texas at Austin in the fall, where she will major in pre-pharmacology. 
One of the main reasons why she was chosen for this award was because of her exemplary amount of time helping others and her community. Kelsey has logged more than 700 hours of community service. She is heavily involved in activities with her school and used her vocal talents to narrate the 2016 Copperas Cove Independent School District’s annual Convocation. She also served as a Rabbit Fest royalty for two years. 
Kelsey has also served as a member of the Copperas Cove Youth Advisory Council since she was in the eighth grade. She is currently working for Chick-Fil-A and is a part of its leadership academy.
“This award means everything,” said Kelsey. “First, it is going to cut down the cost of my college education, which is a very good thing. My community came together and chose me for this award and scholarship that shows a lot on my end. I am so overwhelmed, because I have put so much into my community and it is very rewarding to be chosen by this community. I would also like to thank for my parents and Wendy Sledd for supporting me in everything that I have done, and it if were not for them I would not be here.”
The second student honored with the Lamar Award and scholarship was Copperas Cove High School student Johnathan Goldsborough.  He will attend Texas A&M University in the fall where he will major in bio-medical science, with the intention of getting into the pre-veterinary program.  Johnathan has over 300 hours of community service in Copperas Cove. He is currently also working at Chick-Fil-A in Cove.
He works while maintaining excellent grades, and also helps with stray animals, and volunteers at the Animal Medical Center in Copperas Cove. Johnathan has also volunteered for the Salvation Army by ringing the bell.  
“The Masonic Lodge Scholarship is really going to help me get through Texas A&M, and become a veterinarian; it is a huge milestone,” said Johnathan. “I thank the Masonic organization for this scholarship, and I would also like to thank my supportive mom. She has always pushed and motivated me to do my best. I want to thank my principal Miguel Timarky, and Dr. Joe Burns, CCISD superintendent, for all of their help and support.”
The teacher who was recognized with the Lamar Award for Outstanding Educator was Robert Stroud. He is currently working at Martin Walker Elementary School as a teacher for kindergarten through 5th grade students with multiple disabilities. 
“I take this award as a tribute to what our kids have accomplished, and the work of everyone that works with them because it’s not just me,” Stroud said. “There are so many different people and if we were not working together as a team, it would not be possible. It is an award for everybody.  I want to thank the Masons for the opportunity to be here tonight. I would also like to thank Dr. Burns and my administrators and colleagues at Martin Walker.”
Lamar Committee Chairman Mike Wilburn talked about what the committee looks for when choosing winners. “The main thing that we look at as a committee when selecting these individuals is the amount of community service that they have done. It was a tough choice this year as we had to choose from 25 different applicants.”

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