The Washington County Board of Commissioners presented Youth Meritorious Awards to four county middle school students last week for their leadership in their schools, homes and in the community.
Joseph Ernst, an eighth-grade student at Clear Spring Middle, was described in his nomination by counselor Earl Meagher as “a very outstanding young man in many areas.”
Joe carries a rigorous academic schedule and is consistently on the honor roll, Meagher said. He also tutors students after school, has developed into an outstanding soccer player and has been involved in many community activities, including a mission trip to the Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico, Meagher said.
Joe is the son of Steven and Sheila Ernst of Clear Spring.
Emily Gross, an eighth-grade student at Springfield Middle School, was described by teacher Cynthia Gross as “an excellent student and very well-rounded citizen.”
An honor-roll student, Emily is enrolled in merit classes and has been in the magnet program for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math since third grade.
She is involved in a variety of activities, including student government, art club, yearbook, robotics club, BEST club, soccer, basketball, violin and religious education. She also runs a pet-sitting business.
Emily is the daughter of James and Romayne Gross of Williamsport.
Bailey Covington, an eighth-grade student at Western Heights Middle School, is the kind of student “teachers wish they could fill their classrooms with,” counselor Nick Mowen wrote in his nomination.
Bailey takes merit classes, has had a high “A” average throughout middle school, and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, band and the music honor society Tri-M.
Through her church, she has worked with Habitat for Humanity, Soles of Souls, Operation Christmas Child and homeless shelters.
She is the daughter of Darren and Angela Covington of Hagerstown.
Devin Fales, an eighth-grade student at Boonsboro Middle School, works hard and earns good grades in all his classes despite having Fanconi Anemia and having missed a lot of school due to a 2006 bone-marrow transplant, chemotherapy and radiation, paraprofessional Susan Fisher wrote in her nomination.
Devin plays the trumpet in band, is a member of the sign language club and the art club, is a second blue-belt in karate, belongs to a bowling team, helps out at the bowling alley during tournaments and helps younger students at Bible school, she wrote.
He also helps raise awareness and money for Fanconi Anemia research and attends a summer camp to understand more about FA and to educate others about the transplant he went through, Fisher wrote.
When he is older, he would like to become a junior firefighter, she wrote.
Devin is the son of Curtis Fales of Boonsboro.