Special to The Leader
The Better Business Bureau in Southeast Texas held its first ever “Laws of Life” Awards Banquet on Oct. 2, at the Holiday Inn & Suites Beaumont Plaza. The event honored eight Southeast Texas students who submitted award-winning essays in the BBB Consumer Education Foundation's educational initiative, “Laws of Life,” which is an ethics and character-based essay contest.
The room was filled with educators from all over Southeast Texas including Dr. Tim Chargois, Superintendent of Schools BISD; Dr. Jay Killgo, Superintendent of Schools Vidor ISD; Roger Pricer, Legacy Christian Academy Director; Marcia Stevens, Superintendent of Schools Diocese of Beaumont; Dr. Silvia Martinez, Assistant Superintendent West Orange Cove CISD; Jim Baxter with Region Five, who also served as keynote speaker, and many, many others.
The evening was highlighted with awarding the “Laws of Life” Student winners for the 2011-2012 school year:
• 1st Place - Elizabeth Clark, Vincent Middle School $200
• 2nd Place - Jamey Graham, Vidor Middle School $150
• 3rd Place - Cal Zackary, Legacy Christian Academy $100
Superior winning students, each receiving $50 - Alizabeth Buhler, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School, Raven Edwards, Vincent Middle School, Travis Farias, Legacy Christian Academy, Reanna Panelo, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School, and Joshua Smith, Vidor Middle School.
Elizabeth Clark, Jamey Graham and Cal Zackary, top “Laws of Life” award recipients, were invited to share their winning essays by reading them to the banquet guests.
The teachers who encouraged their students to participate in “Laws of Life” were honored for promoting character and ethics in the young people entrusted to their guidance and care. These teachers are: Melissa Chapman, Vincent Middle School; Michelle Reynolds, Vidor Middle School; Kristen Odom, Vidor Middle School; Rob Harris, Legacy Christian Academy; Edna Earney, Legacy Christian Academy; and Haidee Todora, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School.
Two school campuses with highest participation were each awarded $200. Vidor Middle School for having the highest number of students participating, and Legacy Christian Academy for having the highest percentage of campus participation.
The BBB launched the “Laws of Life” program in early 2012 as a means of promoting character development for southeast Texas youth. The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for young people to reflect on and write about the guiding principles in which they should strive to live. Forgiveness, compassion, love, fairness and appreciation are some of the topics students write about in their essays.
Over 450 students participated in this regional contest, which is open to all sixth, seventh and eighth grade students in Southeast Texas. A judging panel made up of Southeast Texas leaders read essays and chose eight finalists.