Successes in Education

Local students recognized by Athens Rotary Club for Success in Education include Allie Sexton and Will Suggs of Athens Bible School, Kara McHalffey and Sean O’Connor of Athens High School, Hannah Gilliam and Jeriel Jammullamudy of Lindsay Lane, Katy Payne and Amber Walker of Ardmore High School; back row, Lily Miller and Anna Page of Clements High School, Emma Banks and Carlton Schmieder of East Limestone High School, Emma McNatt and Malena Butler (not pictured) of Elkmont High School, Angel Howland and Jake Powers (not pictured) of Tanner High School, Cody Daniel and Kelsey Hopkins of West Limestone High School.

Area high school seniors recently received recognition by Athens Rotary Club for their academic success, participation in extracurricular activities and community service.

The following students in Athens and Limestone County were recognized as Successes in Education:

Athens Bible School

Allie Sexton

Persell is active in a number of clubs, including the Beta Club, where she served as reporter and competed in the National Group Talent. Year after year, ABS is recognized at the State Beta Club convention, often achieving the highest honor. It has also competed against other schools at the national convention.

Persell is also a member of Above and Beyond and the history and science clubs.

She teaches guitar and also enjoys volleyball. She has been a varsity starter since 10th grade. In 2014, she played on the state championship team.

Will Suggs

Suggs was selected as the Boys State representative for ABS and was elected Mr. Athens Bible School for 2017-18. He is the recipient of the Pack-Buchanan ABS scholarship for this year.

He serves as senior class president, the student council vice president and Beta Club secretary. He is also a member of the history club and Above and Beyond Club.

Suggs enjoys basketball and has been a varsity starter since 10th grade. He was voted Most Athletic in his senior class and was also an Applebee’s Athlete of the Week.

Athens City Schools

Kara McHalffey

McHalffey received a presidential scholarship to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has remained in the Top 10 of her class throughout high school and excelled in AP and honors classes.

She is a published author of Spanish prose and is a Spanish instructor at Brookhill Elementary. She has received her patient care tech certification from the Limestone County Career Technical Center.

At Athens High School, she served as president of the National Spanish Honors Society and Spanish Club. She also served as secretary of the Health Occupations Students of America and as a representative of the Student Council Association.

McHalffey has been a varsity cheerleader throughout high school and is the cheer captain this year. She is active with the Jessica Elkins Run, St. Jude Walk and mission work at Central Church of Christ.

Sean O’Connor

O'Connor maintained a place on the Top 10 highest average and A- honor roll throughout high school and has excelled in AP and honors classes.

He serves as Beta Club vice president and senior class student council vice president, as well as being elected to serve as student council representative in grades 9-12.

O'Connor was selected as Boys State representative and is a member of the Technology Student Association and Interact Club.

He has played on the varsity football team for two years but loves soccer and has played varsity soccer since his freshman year. He was team captain of the soccer team this year and was named The News Courier’s 2017 Player of the Year.

O'Connor was named to the all-county soccer team for both 2016 and 2017. He has also been named to the all-area and all-state soccer team for 2017.

Lindsay Lane Christian Academy

Hannah Gilliam

Gilliam was named Girls State representative and is a member of the National Honor Society and Phi Theta Kappa.

She serves as president of the senior class, Beta Club and student council.

Gilliam has attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference, was selected to the First National Bank Student Advisory Board, Limestone Youth Leadership Commission and the Limestone County Sheriff’s Youth Council.

She is a recipient of the Distinguished Christian High School Athlete Award and the Varsity Volleyball Leadership Award.

Jeriel Jammullamudy

Jammullamudy was named to the National Honor Society and is a member of the Beta Club.

He enjoys participating in sports and plays varsity basketball and varsity baseball.

Ardmore High School

Katy Payne

Payne was in the Top 5 Average Awards for math, English and history. She received the Woodmen of the World Award and is the winner of the Veteran’s Day Essay Award.

Payne is a member of the gifted program and was selected for the First National Bank Student Advisory Board.

She has served as class vice president for grades 9-12. She is the president of the Beta Club and the editor of the yearbook. She is also active in the math and Spanish clubs.

Payne was this year’s Ardmore Homecoming Queen.

She enjoys music and plays the trumpet in the jazz and symphonic bands. Payne would have played trumpet in the marching band, but she was selected drum major and earned Superior, Best in Class and Best in division ratings in this year’s band competitions.

Amber Walker

Walker achieved membership to the 30+ ACT Club, a feat accomplished by only 5 percent of students nationally.

She was selected for the Limestone County Gifted Program and is a member of the Beta and Spanish clubs. She serves as secretary of the math club.

Walker was selected to the First National Bank Student Advisory Board and was selected to participate in a mock United Nations exercise through the gifted program.

She is a member of the varsity cross country team and was fast enough to participate at the state level.

Clements High School

Lily Miller

Miller was named to the academic honor roll the past four years. She was selected for membership on the First National Bank Student Advisory Board and serves as officer of her senior class.

She is active in a number of extracurricular activities, including Beta and Key clubs and First Priority.

She enjoys playing basketball and is a member of the girls varsity basketball team. She was selected for all-county second-team honors.

Miller enjoys volunteering in the community and participating in youth activities at church.

Anna Page

Page was named to the academic honor roll for the past four years and was selected as Girls State representative.

She was also selected as the recipient of the Limestone County Spirit Award. Recipients are chosen by each high school based on good grades, good character and church/civic involvement to be recognized at the county tournament.

Page was also selected for membership on the First National Bank Student Advisory Board, Limestone County Sheriff’s Youth Advisory Council and Phi Theta Kappa at Calhoun Community College.

She is active in a number of extracurricular activities, including Beta and Key clubs and is a First Priority Leader.

Page enjoys playing both basketball and volleyball. She was named to the all-county volleyball team in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In addition, she was named all-area in 2017.

East Limestone High School

Emma Banks

Banks is a member of the 30+ ACT Club and was selected to be the Girls State Representative.

She was also selected as a HOBY Youth Leadership representative.

Banks received the Woodmen of the World History Award and the DAR Good Citizenship Award.

She is active in Junior Civitan and serves as president as well as planner. She is the editor of the yearbook and a participant in scholars bowl.

Banks enjoys playing the piano and volunteering with her church.

Carlton Schmieder

Schmieder is a member of the 30+ ACT Club and maintained a Top-2 academic ranking throughout high school.

He is active in a number of extracurricular activities, including Beta, Spanish and science clubs.

Schmieder is vice president of his senior class and a science club officer.

He is an all-around athlete who runs cross country, plays varsity basketball and plays varsity baseball. He was selected this year as baseball team captain.

Elkmont High School

Malena Butler

Butler is a member of the 30+ ACT Club and is in the gifted program.

She is active in a number of extracurricular activities and clubs, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Future Farmers of America, Mu Alpha Theta and the math team.

She serves as Beta Club president.

She is an all-around athlete playing Volleyball, Basketball and Softball.

Emma McNatt

McNatt has been on the academic honor roll for the past four years and is an active member of several clubs, including Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club and Future Farmers of America.

She plays basketball and volleyball and was named to the all-county volleyball team.

McNatt also enjoys youth group activities and choir at her church.

Tanner

Angel Howland

Howland was on the A honor roll for grades 9-12. She has the highest average in 90 percent of her classes.

She is the senior class president and a member of the Limestone County Student Senate. She is a past president of Future Farmers of America and has done livestock judging for four years.

She is also an active member of the American Red Cross and the art club. Howland is an avid community volunteer with 60-plus hours of volunteering this year.

She is the recipient of the Helping Hand Award. She works part-time at Bark Avenue with animal rescue.

She enjoys softball and has played varsity softball for the past four years.

Jake Powers

In addition to being valedictorian of his class, Powers has been on the academic honor roll the past four years. He is active in the Future Farmers of America and served as president this year.

Jake participated on Tanner’s scholars bowl team, which was 2A state champions this year.

He plays varsity baseball and varsity football. He is this year’s football team captain and was a part of region championship teams for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

West Limestone

Cody Daniel

In addition to being valedictorian of his class, Daniel has been on the academic honor roll the past four years. He is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and the National Honor Society.

He was selected to the First National Bank Youth Advisory Board and the Limestone County Sheriff's Youth Advisory Council. Daniel serves as the vice president of his senior class, president of Future Farmers of America and president and captain of the fishing team.

He serves as the Future Farmers of America North District Treasurer and was a member of the FFA Forestry Team that placed at state competition.

Kelsey Hopkins

In addition to being salutatorian of her class, Hopkins has been on the academic honor roll the past four years. She is a member of the National Honor Society and was selected to the First National Bank Youth Advisory Board and the Limestone County Sheriff's Youth Advisory Council.

Hopkins is active in Beta and Key clubs and serves as secretary of her senior class.

She enjoys playing soccer and has played on the varsity team for six years. She is captain this year and was named as a second team all-county player for 2016 and 2017.