Saturday, July 12, 2014

Simon Students are Shining Bright!

Simon Elementary School, located on Mississippi Avenue, has many student achievements to celebrate.

In May, Whitney Bartell's fifth grade students, Ka'Shawn Hough and Arjanae Mitchell were two of ten winners of the National Capital Lawyers Auxiliary's (NCLA) Law Day essay contest, while another, Kavon Douglas, was named as a Carson Scholar.

When Bartell suggested the Carson Scholarship and NCLA Law Day essay contest to Douglas, Hough, and Mitchell, it didn’t take much convincing to get them to apply! Not only do the three students have superior grades, they are leaders in the classroom.

“They are the people who take over in terms of projects and can manage their peers in a way," explained Bartell, "and their peers are very dedicated to following these three.”

According the application, the NCLA Law Day essay contest, of which Hough and Mitchell were winners, aims “to encourage students to understand the importance of living in a democratic society.” The contest invited DC Public School fifth graders to write 250 to 500 word-essays on a chosen theme. This year’s theme was “What America Means to Me.”

Hough and Mitchell were honored at the NCLA awards ceremony where they read excerpts of their essays in front of Justice Sotomayor. After the ceremony, they were able to meet Justice Sotomayor and receive an autographed copy of her most recent book.

The Ben Carson Scholarship Fund, of which Douglas was one of the 510 recipients, awards students in grades 4 through 11 with academic success and humanitarian qualities demonstrated in community service projects. As a winner, Douglas received $1,000 college scholarship and an “Olympic-sized medal and trophy.”

What makes this achievement even more special for Douglas and Hough is that as siblings, they can celebrate together.

“They're very competitive, but they're very, very close,” said Bartell. Despite constantly competing academically, they support each other's accomplishments.

“I'm proud of him for winning,” said Hough. “He's my older brother, so now, I can follow his footsteps.” Douglas agreed saying, “I never thought she would get this type of award from this greatest person...So now, I can set examples for her and she can set examples for me.”

Keep up the great work Simon Elementary School!

Read the full story on Capital Community News.

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