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Awards inspire students

Selma Mayor George Evans speaks to Selma City School administrators Monday on new methods to encourage students to achieve their goals. -- Desiree Taylor

Selma Mayor George Evans met with various administrators and teachers from the Selma City School System Monday to discuss future plans of rewarding students for their academic excellence, punctuality and community service.

The “Inspirational Achievers Awards” kicked off inside the St. James Hotel to encourage private and public school principles in the area to single out a total of 64 students hailing from the third trough 12th grades who demonstrate excellence in such areas as grades, conduct, attendance and test scores. Those students will be honored at a future banquet and four finalists will receive such gifts as iPods, laptops, specially marked backpacks and a Mayor’s medal for their achievements.

L. Dale Bryant, who emceed the event, said Mayor Evans wants students across the board to be recognized.

“The mayor feels more positive recognition should be given to students in our city, through plaques, awards and scholarships,” Bryant said. “Graduating seniors will compete for (the) top award. I believe the mayor is helping to provide opportunities for our young people.”

Evans said informational packets will be sent out to local schools in January for administrators to peruse. A committee will select one boy and one girl, who exemplify the best achievement, from each school.

“This is a work in progress, we want to get your input too,” Evans said as he looked at each principal. “We always recognize athletes (and) we sometimes forget about students who succeed academically. We want well-rounded students. There will be a third through sixth grade group, seventh and eighth grade, ninth through 11th grades and 12th grade.”

It’s all about the children, Evans said, and together the school system can make a difference.

The idea is to keep moving and make this a benefit for our children,” Evans said. “Let’s make it better and better … I see this as an instrument where we could make a difference; there’s a lot of things we’re trying to do to change Selma’s image. This is something our city — our young people, deserve.”

Administrators will meet several times in the new year before the actual awards ceremony.

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