'We’re really proud of them'

Stacey Hartley • May 22, 2019 at 3:00 PM

The Rotary Club of Norwalk honored four seniors from Norwalk and St. Paul high schools Monday afternoon, recognizing their academic excellence, athleticism and service to others.

Before introducing the guests of honor, Rotary Club member Kim More briefly shared some of the non-profit organization’s philanthropic projects — including Pizza Bake-Off, Stuff the Bus, Weekends Without Hunger to name a few — and its current goal to increase access to fresh water for people in developing nations.

The Citizenship Athlete Award recipients at St. Paul were Lauren Chandler and Gavin Starcher.

Currently serving as a Eucharistic minister and Mass coordinator at her church, Chandler has been a school ambassador and member of the National Honor Society (NHS) for two years, a class officer for three and is ranked first in her class with a 4.139 GPA. The four-time ACE Academic Award winner is also active in basketball and volleyball. She’s earned six varsity letters and was named the All-Conference and All-District Player, in addition to participating in the All-Academic First Team Firelands Conference for the entirety of her high school career.

The daughter of Will and Tiffany Chandler plans to attend Walsh University in the fall, where she’ll major in nursing and play volleyball at the collegiate level.

Starcher, the son of Jamie and Vickie, is also a Mass coordinator at St. Paul, a Kairos Team member and was a participant in the Knights of Columbus Squires program.

The former student ambassador also has been an NHS member for two years, and like Chandler, has earned the ACE Academic Award four times. While maintaining a 4.048 GPA, Starcher lettered in football for three years, earning the First Team All-Conference, First Team Northwest District and All Ohio as a defensive back. He lettered in baseball as well. For the last three years, he earned First Team All-Conference and First Team All-Academic Firelands Conference honors in the sport.

Next year Starcher plans to attend and play baseball for Owens Community College.

NHS seniors Anna Little and Austin Brown also received the Citizenship Athlete Awards.

Little has been on the academic Principal’s List for her entire high school career, was a Franklin B. Walter Award winner and is a member of Teen Leadership Corps (TLC). She helped the TLC recently with its “mini-Dance Marathon,” which raised over $7,000 for the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.

Little was also involved in Teens for Christ and school musical productions, is the president of her chapter’s National Honor Society, the captain of the Firelands Challenge Team, a student board member of the United Fund and the valedictorian of the graduating class of 2019. While holding a GPA of 4.6, the daughter of Jeff and Amy Little also has played on her school’s golf, swimming and track teams. Little earned eight letters and was named MVP in swimming and golf.

She is looking to major in computer engineering at the Air Force Academy in the fall.

Austin Brown was the last to be recognized at Monday’s event.

He was honored for making it on the Principal’s List all four years, earning four academic letters and a 4.14 GPA, for starters.

The son of Dustin and Jennifer Brown maintained four varsity letters for tennis. He also lettered in basketball and soccer. Brown earned First Team League and qualified twice for districts, even after suffering an ACL tear his junior year.

Brown will attend Ohio University, where he plans to major in exercise physiology.

St. Paul football coach John Livengood expressed his pride in the students’ effort and hard work adding, they’d “done a great job” in the school and community.

“We’re really proud of them,” he said.

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