Mt. Hiram Lodge bestows annual Lamar Awards
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Members of Mt. Hiram Masonic Lodge #595 of Copperas Cove presented the Mirabeau B. Lamar Award to two Copperas Cove High School Class of 2020 seniors and graduates and one educator Friday morning in front of the front entrance of Copperas Cove High School.
The Mirabeau B. Lamar Award is named after Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar, the “Father of Texas Education”, former president of the Republic of Texas and a Texas Independence hero. Lamar is so named the “Father of Texas Education” for his role in the establishing of a public school system, including the setting aside of public lands to support two colleges- the University of Texas and Texas A&M University- and the creation of a permanent endowment for the support of public education that is still alive to this day.
Under the leadership of Grand Master Graham Childress, the Grand Lodge of Texas established the Lamar Award of Excellence in 1988, to be awarded to students and educators in recognition of outstanding personal achievement in academics, citizenship, community service or sports.
Typically, the award is given to a male and female student, but this year’s award went to two female students: Samantha Ingram and Madelyn Miller, as well as CCHS Chemistry teacher Misty Thomas.
The ceremony for the awards was held in front of the high school instead of the Lodge as usual. Senior Warden Darrell McDonald led the ceremony with background on the award.
“The interesting thing to note Is this is the first time that we’ve awarded this to two female students,” McDonald said. “Typically, we award a male student and a female student but we always look at the overall student when we’re judging the packets against each other, and it just happened to be this year, you two ladies are what represent our Lamar award.”
Samantha Ingram plans to attend Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois this fall, majoring in education and playing volleyball. Ingram plans to become a teacher and return to CCHS to coach volleyball.
Madelyn Miller plans to attend Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas in the fall, studying early education and exercise science to become a pre-Kindergarten teacher and then go to chiropractor school.
Both Ingram and Miller were grateful for the award.
“I think it was an awesome opportunity because I mean, we did graduation and all that, but obviously it wasn’t like the normal so I think it was nice to kind of get a little bit of recognition for all that we’ve done throughout high school, and it was awesome to get it through this organization and all that,” Ingram said. “It was a really good opportunity.”
Miller said she appreciated all of the various scholarship opportunities that had been still available for seniors this year.
“It’s a really big honor,” Miller said. “It’s a bright spot in the dark year, so it’s really awesome that they still did this for us.”
Winner of the Educator award, Thomas has taught chemistry for eight years and won the Copperas Cove Independent School District’s Secondary Teacher of the Year Award this year.
Thomas said she thought it was amazing to receive the Lamar Award, especially considering the number of other amazing staff members.
“I’m just honored,” Thomas said. “I’m so honored because we have such amazing teachers and administrators and team and community, and it’s just wonderful to feel supported.”