Dyer: A 20-year tradition of honoring top students

A Star Student poses with Mayor Gail Barney at a recent ceremony as people snap photos and take video. (Independent Newsmedia/Richard H. Dyer)

I had the privilege of attending a recent Star Students presentation hosted by the town of Queen Creek. It was held in Historic Town Hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road.

A total of 38 students from 10 elementary schools were honored. All had been recommended by school officials.
Three council members and the mayor officiated at the presentation I attended.

As each student’s name was announced, Councilwoman Dawn Oliphant found the child’s name on a certificate arranged on a table and handed it to the student.

Council members Robin Benning and Jeff Brown took turns reading why each student was nominated.

Mayor Gail Barney posed with each student in front of a backdrop as admiring parents snapped photos and video with phones and cameras.

As each student went through the process, he or she was arranged in the front for the ending group photo.

It took nearly 25 minutes to get through the 38 names, with the first students posing along with the others, one by one.
The town began Student of the Month ceremonies more than 20 years ago and changed to the Star Student format in 2010, Constance Halonen-Wilson, the town’s public information officer, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The town typically holds four ceremonies for Star Students, two in February/March for the fall semester recognition (one for elementary and one for middle/high school) and two in May for the spring semester recognition (one for elementary and one for middle/high school), she said.

Anyone interested in chiming in on the issues of Queen Creek can e-mail me at rdyer@newszap.com.

Editor Richard Dyer can be contacted via e-mail at rdyer@newszap.com or at twitter.com/rhdyer or https://www.facebook.com/RichardDyerJournalist

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.