Cherokee Nation names Trail of Tears Awards for Excellence winners

April 20, 2012

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation has named this year’s Trail of Tears Awards for Excellence winners from a pool of high school seniors who are tribal citizens.

“Our goal was to identify those students who score just below the valedictorians and salutatorians and honor them for their achievements and encourage them to continue on to higher education,” said Patrick Hill, a Cherokee Nation special projects officer and awards coordinator. “The selection committee is confident the students selected will go on to make Cherokee Nation very proud.”

A panel of Cherokee Nation employees determined 13 winners in seven categories. Award recipients were each given an iPad and a certificate.

The categories and winners are:

Academics: Amber Michelle Morgan, of Talala, and Christy Joy Kingfisher, of Tahlequah

Athletics: Derrick Wayne Young, of Tahlequah, and Justin Allen Bailey, of Hulbert

Community Involvement: Brian Thomas Barlow and Madison Jean Carey, both of Tahlequah

Art: Christian Layne Asbill, of Stilwell

Music: Christin Lynn Woodall, of Vinita, and Darien LeeAnne Calicott, of Stilwell

School Involvement: Joshua Austin Mease, of Grove, and Kelsey Nicole Plank, of Muldrow

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Readiness: Jeffrey Thorval Calhoun, of Sallisaw, and Trevor Bickford, of Claremore

To receive Trail of Tears Awards for Excellence consideration, students must have a minimum 3.75 GPA, be in the top 10 percent of their class and be a Cherokee Nation citizen living within the tribe’s jurisdiction.

Cherokee Nation News Release

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