KO seniors win American Legion’s Academic Award
Eleven of Keystone Oaks Seniors were nominated and won an academic award from the American Legion this past month. The recipients were Geeta Acharya, Vivi Besteman, Rebecca Enright, Emily Kalanish, Allie Lasko, Richard Novak, Halee Porter, Lauren Ragan, Michael Shanahan, Diana Tallon, and Alexa Valforte.
Each were awarded a copper medal along with a certificate naming the award. Some also attended the dinner held at Soldiers and Sailors, where they were awarded the aforementioned entities in person. Each gave a short thank-you speech, and watched as multiple other awards were also given out by the Legion. At the end, many of the veterans present and the directors of the American Legion spoke a few words, while the dean of CCAC gave a heart-felt speech touching on the character of the students present and the effort that they put in to be nominated for those awards.
The American Legion has held this banquet for 19 years, and this is the first time many of the KO seniors have actually heard of it -many were wary of the possibility that it was a hoax. Principal Dr. Hartbauer, however, personally nominated each student, and it was indeed not a fallacy; there was even a monetary scholarship given out at the very same ceremony. This platform may be new to KO students, but it is no doubt an honorable and relatively well-known award -especially considering that it was given by a community of military veterans and the recipients ranged from all across Southwestern Pennsylvania. Therefore, this can only foretell KO’s rising prominence in the community and the ever-evolving capability of its students.
The awards also gave a vote of confidence to its recipients, as it is not everyday you learn that you have been nominated for an award. Awardee Vivi Besteman commented on this, as she stated it was “nice a lot of people were nominated, and as a senior it’s a good way to feel as though you’ve accomplished something in your years here.” The students all certainly appreciated this acknowledgment of their academic accomplishments, and it is sure to promote a new wave of higher standards and performance amongst the student body.