Tucked in the corner of the Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) courtyard sits a bubbling fountain surrounded by three boulders. Inscribed on these boulders are three simple words: Community, Citizenship and Scholarship. These three foundational ideas are the cornerstones on which the mission of LOA was built, and are the guiding principles behind LOA’s recently instituted “Cornerstone Awards.”
The LOA mission is stated as the following: “To increase student achievement by building a culture of high expectations for all students. The Academy will incorporate common sense and proven principles, such as a research-based curriculum, high expectations for students, both academically and behaviorally, an emphasis on outstanding school leadership and faculty, and parental involvement. The culture of the Academy is built on these fundamental principles.”
The high expectations mentioned in the mission are not for academics alone, and they are not for the students alone – leadership, faculty, and staff are held to the highest of standards every day at LOA. They should exemplify and model a culture of academic rigor, appropriate social behavior, and professional growth.
In keeping with the mission of LOA and setting a standard for those who follow in the quest for social, professional, and academic consciousness, it was decided that one student from each grade level who embodies each of the cornerstone characteristics will be the recipient of a “Cornerstone Award.” LOA is honored to begin a new tradition of recognizing students in the category of Community, Citizenship and Scholarship.
The recipients of the award for EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY were judged by a committee of faculty and staff on the following criteria:
A person who exhibits care about our school, community, state, nation and world in which we live.
A person who is always looking for ways to improve the school environment, and the environment in which we live, work, and play.
Someone who takes time to learn more about his or her friends and teachers, and shows interest in the lives of others.
Someone who is involved in our school community, and the community outside the school.
Is an encourager of others.
Someone who never forgets to show respect to the people, animals, and property around him or her.
Someone who emphatically exhibits integrity defined as doing the right thing when no one else is watching.
Students receiving the Excellence in Community Award are: Libby Spinks (K), Dawn Zahler (1st Grade), Gavin Minster (2nd Grade), Kyle Worth (3rd Grade), Cole Beyer (4th Grade), Courtney Watson (5th Grade), and Sophie Beyer (6th Grade).
The recipients of the award for EXCELLENCE IN CITIZENSHIP were judged by a committee of faculty and staff on the following criteria:
A person who is always kind, helpful, and sharing.
A person who frequently asks about others and is a good listener.
Someone who is sure to respect all people, property, animals, and the earth.
Someone who is accepting of people for who they are.
Upholds the value of relationships.
A person who is quick to forgive and never holds a grudge.
Someone who includes others and notices when someone is being left out.
Takes time to help other people feel good, learn and grow.
Finally, someone who looks for the good in people.
Students receiving the Excellence in Citizenship Award are: Thomas Miller (K), Brenes Evans (1st Grade), Georgia Manto (2nd Grade), Lily Hartrich (3rd Grade), Tristan Weir (4th Grade), Jameshia Copeland (5th Grade), and Bobby Hatfield (6th Grade).
The final Cornerstone Award is the SCHOLARSHIP AWARD. Often this award may be bestowed on a student who has achieved high academic success; however, this award seeks to recognize all forms of scholarship, both tangible and intangible. In other words, this may or may not be the student with the highest grade point average, but is definitely recognizing a model student. The recipient of this award is judged by a committee of faculty and staff on the following criteria:
Someone who eagerly and appropriately participates in class.
A student who manages working independently and in groups with ease.
Someone who has high expectations of him or herself.
The recipient is a good listener as well as a contributor.
Someone who demands understanding and knowledge – Realizing that true understanding comes from the chaos of in depth study, research, and further investigation.
Someone who accepts challenges willingly, and seeks to be challenged.
A student who consistently submits work that is above the expectation.
A person who works diligently in all subjects understanding that a well educated person is well informed in all academic areas.
This person shows pride in work well done, and regularly seeks to improve his or her last effort.
This recipient is both a student and a teacher.
The scholarship recipient regularly submits authentically student created work with pride.
Students receiving the Scholarship Award are: Danielle Barry (K), Laura Beth Higdon (1st Grade), Haylee Anthony (2nd Grade), Lauren Eley (3rd Grade), Azariah Chester (4th Grade), Madison Prendergast (5th Grade), and Abbey Wendt (6th Grade).