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Williamsport students honored for International Youth Day

Students selected based on academics and the work they perform in the community

August 12, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION
  • Samantha Van Slyke, left, Graylon Wright and Brett Weaver, all Williamsport High School students, were honored Thursday by Williamsport's mayor and town council on International Youth Day.
Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT -- Three Williamsport students were honored Thursday night for accomplishments in and out of the classroom during a ceremony that Mayor James G. McCleaf II said will become an annual event.

Brett Weaver, Samantha Van Slyke and Graylon Wright were honored as part of International Youth Day, which is celebrated by the United Nations to recognize young peoples' energy, imagination and initiatives.

McCleaf said students who were honored as part of the International Youth Day event in town were selected based on academics and the work they perform in the community.

Among the speakers at Thursday's ceremony at Williamsport Town Hall was Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan.

Morgan said events like Thursday's are the one's she especially enjoys, and she emphasized showing students the importance of leadership and teaching them strategies and techniques to master it.

Brett has taken on "mind-bending challenges" as part of the Destination ImagiNation competition, and he worked with an orientation program at Springfield Middle School in which incoming students are paired up with older students, said Bonnie Fletcher, a student intervention specialist at Springfield Middle School.

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"He's been my No. 2 man at Springfield," Fletcher told those attending the ceremony.

Brett will be a freshman at Williamsport High School.

Samantha, who will be a junior at Williamsport High, has been a member of the school's Interact Club, where she worked on a Relay for Life team that raised more than $1,000, according to Brent Bailey of the Williamsport Rotary Club. Relay for Life is the signature fundraising event of the American Cancer Society.

She also worked on Operation Christmas Child, which involved students collecting 110 boxes of school supplies, personal hygiene items and small children's toys so Third World youths would have something to open at Christmas, Bailey said.

Graylon, who will be a senior at Williamsport High, has taken eight advanced placement courses and the corresponding tests, said Sharon Barnhart, a counselor at the high school.

He ranks third in his class with a 4.24 grade-point average and is interested in studying engineering, said Barnhart, who described his engaging conversation.

Graylon is a cross country runner who works at aid stations for the JFK 50-Mile ultramarathon.

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