A Shining Example of T-Bird Excellence and Service


Molly Gjervold

Congressional Award Winners Meg Pachniak, Emme Jordan, and Dominique Thomas.

Hannah Lewis, Entertainment Editor

Fifteen East High students were recognized by the United States Congress for their accomplishments in the areas of volunteer community service, personal development, physical fitness, and exploration into new areas and cultures. The Congressional Award is a program that awards scholarships to students who want to better themselves, as well as their communities.

The award was created in 1979 to recognize outstanding students who have shown initiative in improving their communities and themselves to better the world around them. Each year, students can register for the program and record their efforts in each area.  After seven months of work and over 100 hours of volunteer work, a bronze medal is awarded. Students can then progress to the silver medal and finally the gold medal award, which offers a free trip to be congratulated by the President of the United States.

Over the course of the program, East High students contributed over 2,760 hours of community service and over 1,600 hours of physical fitness. They volunteered with multiple organizations such as FFA, Boy Scouts, the local library, and Boys and Girls Club. Many of them also volunteered to tutor struggling students. The program has had a large impact on the winners.

“I learned how to be a better person and how to better my community by community service,” said Meg Pachniak, a senior recipient of both the bronze and silver medals. “My goal is to get the gold medal and get to meet the president!”

Congratulations to all of East High’s Congressional Award winners!

Bronze Medal Winners:

Alexandria Rinne

Avalon Skinner

Constantine Pappas

Emme Jordan

Gabriela Dodgson

Maxwell Bockmann

Sara Brennecke

Bronze and Silver Medal Winners:

Anh Huynh

Beth Kassel

Daniel Garcia

Devrrae Russell

Dominique Thomas

Lily Joslin

Megan Pachniak

Silver Medal Winner:

Anthony Pappas