ottage Grove High School (CGHS) recently celebrated Unity Week, a week dedicated to bringing staff and students together. Activities took place that promoted togetherness in the high school community and encouraged a sense that each student is not alone in their daily battles. It was led by the leadership class and student council. One of the major highlights of the week was the awarding of The Martin Luther King (MLK) Awards. This year, two teachers, two students and two members of a community organization were honored. Mr. Nick Garman and Mrs. Carmen Adler won the teacher awards, Chelsea Armstrong and Nate Farrell were the two seniors that won the student awards, and Looking Glass Community Services, a social services organization, was awarded for their work in aiding the community and student body.
The MLK awards go to recipients whose contributions to the school and community show integrity, leadership and creativity. The student body votes for students and teachers, anonymously in advisory class, that they believe encapsulate these qualities.
Mr. Garman, now in his 27th year of teaching at CGHS was honored to receive the award that the student's nominated him for.
“If this award shows that CGHS students like and respect me then I want them to know the feeling is mutual!” said Garman. “I enjoy coming to school and working with the students here and I believe in treating people the way I would want my own child to be treated. I just like be around them all, keeps me young I guess.”
Mrs. Adler happened to be granted this award last year as well.
“I am flattered and honored to be the recipient of the MLK Award for the second time.” stated Adler, “The fact that this award is voted on by students is humbling and it is my pleasure to serve and teach the students of CGHS, they have my heart!”
CGHS Students, Chelsea Armstrong and Nate Farrell, were selected by their peers for being valuable members of CGHS. Both were granted this honor because of their academic achievements, extracurricular involvement and service in their community.
Armstrong is a member of many clubs and community service organizations, such as Key Club, Interact Club, Rotary and Kiwanis, where she gives her time to help others in need. She is also the student council ASB PR manager which means she presents what’s going on in the school to the school board at monthly meetings and assists on any duties that members need help with. Armstrong was completely surprised with the honor.
“I felt ecstatic and speechless, I wanted to cry out of gratitude,” admitted Armstrong, “I can really only thank my peers for the award because without the opportunities brought by them I wouldn’t ever be in this position.”
Farrell is an outstanding member of the student body who always seems to have a smile on his face and is doing something nice for others.
“It felt amazing to get this award, it was a really happy moment,” said Farrell, “I work hard to make people happy and go out of my way to have simple conversations with people because I know it could make someone’s day.”
Farrell believes the award represents not only Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for civil justice, but also the kindness he showed towards people,
“That’s partially what MLK Jr. was about, not just equal rights, but who was someone who cared about everyone,” said Farrell.
Looking Glass Community Services is a social services organization, that was granted the community MLK awards for representing the work and principles of MLK Jr. Looking Glass offers a wide range of services aimed toward solving issues related to educational deficits, mental health issues, drug addiction, and homelessness.
Unity Week created initiatives at CGHS that have worked to create a togetherness in the school and has brought topics to light that may have been neglected in the past, like depression and rough family lives in high school students. The MLK Awards as well have shown recognition to important members of the school and the community and brought light to people who give their all for CGHS.