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MCPSS names Learning Leading Award winners

Mobile County Public Schools is pleased to announce the district-level Learning Leading Award winners for the 2023-2024 school year: Stella McWhorter of Mary B. Austin Elementary School, Justice Nodd of Orchard Elementary School, Sara Lovelace of Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies, and Summer Evans of Mary G. Montgomery High School.

Each of the 90 MCPSS schools selected a Learning Leading student representative. These students all have a few things in common: They are kind, they go out of their way to help others, they are unique and talented, and they have the utmost character and integrity to represent their schools with honor. After receiving information on all the school representatives, a committee reviewed information about all the extraordinary students, and selected the best of the best to be the district-level award winners.

Stella McWhorter, a fifth-grader at Mary B. Austin Elementary School, is a compassionate leader whose intellectual curiosity and passion for learning inspire her peers and educators. Stella is an honor roll student and an active participant in the school’s PACE program for gifted students. She is a member of the Mary B. Austin Morning Buzz Tech Team and serves as historian and public relations coordinator for the Student Council, positions that put her strong organizational skills to good use and highlight her dedication to serving her school community. Stella’s initiative in organizing events such as “See You at the Pole” demonstrate her ability to bring people together in meaningful ways. She has a true gift for fostering a sense of unity and belonging among her peers. 

Justice Nodd, a third-grader at Orchard Elementary, was selected because of her leadership skills in the face of incredible adversity. As a young child, Justice was terribly injured in a house fire that took the life of her younger sister. Her scars and health issues are a constant reminder of the tragedy, but Justice is not only resilient; she is always thinking of others and trying to be a good example inside and outside of the classroom. Justice and her mother have written a book, “True Beauty,” which describes her struggles and triumphs and seeks to inspire people to rise above their difficulties. One of her favorite sayings is, “People are beautiful just the way they are.”

Sara Lovelace, an eighth-grader at Barton Academy for Advanced World Studies, exemplifies servant leadership with her positive attitude and is revered by her classmates as a compassionate leader who offers tutoring and encouragement whenever anyone needs a helping hand. Sara is an A student; serves as a student leader on the Barton Scholars’ Bowl team; participated in MCPSS Honor Band and was accepted into All-State Band; and is a leader on the Barton soccer team. Recently, she organized a volunteer activity with the German Honor Society in assisting the Port City Pacers at the Azalea Trail Run. She also participates in community volunteer events. 

Summer Evans, a senior at Mary G. Montgomery High School, is a scholar-athlete who offers positive leadership in and outside of the classroom. One of her biggest leadership responsibilities has been as a class officer, a role in which she is part of a leadership team for a class of nearly 450 seniors. She is an Azalea Trail Maid, a member of the National Honor Society, and a Crittenton Youth Ambassador. “Summer thrives in her position with each of these organizations because she truly wants to help others,” writes her principal, Chip Menton. Among her projects this year was a shoe drive to help Soles for Souls, an organization that works to fight poverty. Summer collected more than 400 pairs of used shoes from her peers and from the community to benefit this worthy cause.



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