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SHMS student wins presidential service award

Jayden Alexander also receives congratulatory letter from Obama


by: MARK MILLER - Jayden Alexander (foreground) sits as St. Helens School District Superintendent Mark Davalos (far left) reads a letter from St. Helens Middle School Principal Carol Dowsett (far right) announcing her receipt of the President's Volunteer Service Award on Wednesday, April 23. Alexander's parents sit behind her in the first row of audience seating.An eighth-grade student at St. Helens Middle School received one of the highest honors for volunteer service that can be bestowed in the United States.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award was given to Jayden Alexander this month for her work as president of the Builders’ Club, a leadership group at St. Helens Middle sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.

Alexander was honored at a school assembly Wednesday, April 16, and a St. Helens School District board meeting the following Wednesday.

A letter from school Principal Carol Dowsett, read on both occasions, states in part, “Despite a crazily busy schedule, this eighth-grader remains on the honor roll. She somehow juggles two dance classes, school responsibilities, has been on the girls’ basketball team, participated in local theater, runs on the track team, and helps operate the student store. Teachers see her as the go-to person for any project as she is willing to give of her time and self.”

Superintendent Mark Davalos and members of the school board congratulated Alexander on the award Wednesday, April 23.

“You’re a special student,” said Davalos. “Thank you very much, Jayden.”

Alexander also received a signed letter from President Barack Obama along with her award, Dowsett said.

Chris Robitz, a teacher at St. Helens Middle who is the staff member in charge of the Builders’ Club, nominated Alexander for the honor.