Three Granbury students and a teacher were
recognized for their personal achievements by the Granbury Masonic Lodge No.
392 during a presentation at the Granbury ISD school board meeting on April 17,
Representing the Masonic Lodge, Gary
Merritt praised the four recipients of the Mirabeau B. Lamar
Award. Named for one of the presidents
of the Republic of Texas, the honor is bestowed on outstanding achievers
who have overcome personal difficulties or hardships as well as those who
accept the challenge to excel in helping make our communities, state, and
nation stronger. Merritt was joined for the presentation by Lee Shifflett.
Honored were Granbury High School
students Payton Holmgreen and Samantha Reiner, Acton Elementary School student
Christian Garcia, and Granbury Middle School teacher Atyka Ditto.
Holmgreen suffered a swim injury
earlier in school year. She worked hard
to overcome her injury, according to social studies teacher Cindy Leatherman,
who nominate. The senior class
president, Holmgreen is a student leader and respected by her classmates
through involvement in a number of activities, including student council, Key
Club, Environmental Science Club, and StoneWater Church youth group.
The other GHS nominee, Reiner, carried
a twenty-pound bag of rice as a way to bring awareness to the cause of hunger
in Africa. Through Lakeside Baptist
Church, she is raising money by selling homemade baked good to buy a goal to
send to the continent. Reiner plays the
viola in a Fort Worth youth orchestra and hopes to major in music and later
become a medical missionary, according to health science teacher Sonya Byrd.
Garcia, an AES third grader, was born
without the ability to see but is blessed with a dynamic personality. His positive attitude and strong academics
led teachers Paula Adams and Katie Agor to nominate him for the honor. Garcia shined at a Braille competition
earlier year, plays the piano, and can occasionally perform a rap song to a cheering
A sixth grade English/language arts teacher
at GMS, Ditto helps make a positive school climate each day. She singlehandedly started the school student
council, which organizes a number of campus activities and community service
projects. Co-worker Aubrey Allen praised
her colleague, stating that Ditto once gave the shoes she was wearing to a
student in need. “She cares for her students
to an outstanding degree,” Allen commented.
Merritt praised each honoree for their
accomplishments, as he awarded each of them a certificate and medal.