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Bright Future: Local students honored as DAR Good Citizens of Year

Submitted photo — Recipients of the Daughters of the American Revolution good citizen awards were, front row, from left, Caitlyn Upton, Brandi Norwood and Maggie Lee Ray; back row, Jacob Sandrock, Adrian Madison and Devin Voorhies.
Submitted photo — Recipients of the Daughters of the American Revolution good citizen awards were, front row, from left, Caitlyn Upton, Brandi Norwood and Maggie Lee Ray; back row, Jacob Sandrock, Adrian Madison and Devin Voorhies.

NATCHEZ — Six high school seniors from local schools who displayed leadership, community service, dependability and patriotism were honored last week as the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Good Citizens of the Year.

Maggie Lee Ray of Adams County Christian School, Adrian Madison of Natchez High School, Caitlyn Upton of Cathedral High School, Jacob Sandrock of Trinity Episcopal Day School, Brandi Norwood of Wilkinson County Christian Academy and Devin Voorhies of Wilkinson County High School were named DAR’s Good Citizens for 2013-2014 at a luncheon hosted by the Natchez and William Dunbar DAR chapters.

The award is given to one senior from each of the area high schools.

Guidance counselors from each school prepare a list of nominations, and students vote on who they think should be selected.

Ray said being selected out of all the seniors at ACCS was truly an honor.

“I have great respect for everyone at the school and all the other students who were selected, so I was so honored to be chosen,” Ray said. “I think a good citizen is someone who takes pride in their school and their community and just does whatever they can for them.

“I don’t think I try to do that, it’s just who I am.”

Ray plans on attending Mississippi State University in the fall to study elementary education with the goal of becoming a principal at ACCS.

“ACCS has meant a lot to me, and I just feel so welcomed here,” she said. “It’s going to be heartbreaking leaving Natchez, but I think every senior needs to leave their comfort zone a little and then bring back what they’ve learned to make Natchez even better.”

Ray is the daughter of Dee Ray and the late Mike Ray.

Madison said the nomination and selection as a DAR Good Citizen came as a complete surprise to him, because he didn’t know he was in the running until the day his peers were selecting the finalists.

“It was really cool to be nominated, but I just had no idea,” Madison said. “For my name to even be considered was just great.”

Madison plans to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta or the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall to study nursing.

Leaving Natchez will be difficult, Madison said, but necessary for him to grow as an individual.

“It’s going to be tough, because I don’t want to separate from all my classmates,” he said. “But it’s all about closing one chapter of my life and starting the next.”

Madison is the son of Duchess Hudson and the godson of Robert and Jacqueline McNeely.

Upton said the characteristics she feels represent a good citizen include responsibility, dependability and loyalty — all things she attempts to exhibit every day.

“I felt very honored to be selected,” Upton said. “It was kind of an unexpected thing, but I was thankful to be nominated and then be selected.”

Upton plans to attend USM in the fall to study biology with the goal of becoming a dentist.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here in Natchez, but I think I’m ready to leave,” she said. “I’ll probably miss it a little afterward.”

Upton is the daughter of Sonya and Jeff Upton.

Sandrock said a true good citizen is someone who always puts others first and is willing to help anybody.

“It’s somebody who goes out of their way to help others and doesn’t expect anything from them in return,” Sandrock said. “I don’t think I try to do those things every day, but it just happens.”

Sandrock plans to attend Louisiana State University in the fall to study petroleum engineering after taking an interest in science and math.

“It was an honor to be selected,” he said. “It felt good to be selected out of all the students at Trinity.”

Sandrock is the son of Stephanie LaRavia Sandrock and Chris Sandrock.

Norwood is the daughter of Keisha Norwood and Jerry Norwood.

Voorhies is the son of David and Bonnie Voorhies.