Humanitarian concern, honesty, integrity, positive decision making and heroism were recognized Jan. 17 at the Lee County Sheriff's Office's "Do The Right Thing" awards ceremony.
Each month throughout the school year, the LCSO honors the positive actions of the community's students through the recognition program. The goal is to reinforce positive behavior among youths and to establish students as role models for their peers.
"Do The Right Thing" partners law enforcement, government, the business and Lee County educational community together in an effort to make a lasting positive impact on the community's youth.
Some of the children honored:
- Makayla Reeve, of Fort Myers, a fifth-grade student at G. Weaver Hipps Elementary School.
G. Weaver Hipps Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Becky Silcox wrote in the nomination letter that, "Makayla was visiting a restroom at school, when she found a ring sitting on the counter next to the sink. She picked it up and immediately turned it in to me, her teacher. The ring was a family heirloom of one of the students in the fourth grade. It had a diamond in it and was very valuable. Makayla did a great job by turning it in."
- Aybre Morris, of Alva, a fourth-grade student at River Hall Elementary School.
River Hall Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Luke Welling wrote in the nomination letter that, "Aybre is a very compassionate student who identifies with those who have hardships that result from being bullied. Seeing a need for students who have fallen victim to bullying, Aybre had an idea to create a support and prevention group. After presenting the idea to the school's administration, the school took action, and adopted the plan. As a result the 'Caught Being Good Club' - an anti-bullying program - was established. The Club is used to instill self-esteem into its members and teaches methods and strategies to deal with, and prevent bullying. This is the school's very first club. Due to this achievement, Aybre should be recognized for doing the right thing."
- Jocelin Ortiz, of Lehigh Acres, an eighth-grade student at Varsity Lakes Middle School.
Varsity Lakes Middle School security specialist Tony Hayes wrote in the nomination letter that, "Jocelin noticed that two of her peers were going to get into an altercation. Jocelin got involved and stepped in and helped defuse the tense situation. As a young lady she made the right decision to step in and help with this situation."
- Analisa Lopez, of Lehigh Acres, a seventh-grade student at Lehigh Acres Middle School.
Lehigh Acres Middle School SRO Deputy Jevon Matthews wrote in the nomination letter that, "Analisa found a $100 bill in the school cafeteria, and immediately turned the money in to a faculty member. The money was returned to its rightful owner, who was a fellow student. When I, as school resource officer, asked this fellow student why she had brought such a large sum of money to school, she responded, 'My 70-year-old grandmother sacrificed money she uses to pay her bills, in order for me to go on a school trip.' Thanks to Analisa's honesty and integrity, a student will be able to attend the school trip."
- Calynn Stamm, of Lehigh Acres, a seventh-grade student at Lehigh Acres Middle School.
Lehigh Acres Middle School SRO Deputy Jevon Matthews wrote in the nomination letter that, "A stray canine came on campus and disrupted the morning routine of the students entering school. The dog's demeanor actually frightened some of the students. Calynn took it upon herself to use her experience as a pet owner and kept the dog calm in its unfamiliar surroundings. Calynn then assisted me in quarantining the dog, in a fenced location, away from students until Animal Services arrived. Calynn was very calm during the entire incident, while other students were afraid of the dog and ran away, she maturely took charge and responded. Calynn is a Cadet at Lehigh Acres Middle School and went above and beyond what was expected of her to resolve this incident."
- Sarah James Dodson, of Lehigh Acres, a ninth-grade student at Lehigh Senior High School.
Lehigh Senior High School SRO Deputy Chris Poppalardo wrote in the nomination letter that, "I am impressed by what Sarah continues to accomplish in her life. She has helped in a public safety concern at school. She is active in a number of ways at school and in the Cheerleading program. She is also a role model to all students. She reflects what a 'Lehigh Scholar' should be like - a true honor to have as a student."
- Antonio Hernandez, of Fort Myers, an eighth-grade student at Oak Hammock Middle School.
- Angel L. Rivera, of Fort Myers, a sixth-grade student at Oak Hammock Middle School.
- Katelynn Deleon, of Fort Myers, an eighth-grade student at Oak Hammock Middle School.
- Tara Pickering, of Fort Myers, an eighth-grade student at Oak Hammock Middle School.
- Susan Rios, of Lehigh Acres, a seventh-grade student at Oak Hammock Middle School.
- Samantha Rodriguez, of Lehigh Acres, an eighth-grade student at Oak Hammock Middle School.
Oak Hammock Middle School assistant principal Wallace wrote in the nomination letter that, "Antonio, Angel, Katelynn, Tara, Susan and Samantha collectively and individually have helped make their school a safer place to learn. They, over time became aware of safety concerns at school and took the time to get involved and make a difference. Their courage and dedication to their school is to be applauded. They have gone above and beyond to make safety a priority at school."