DECATUR – Education was the theme as students, faculty and community members were honored at Richland Community College.
The Partners in Education and Richland Community College luncheon honored an outstanding community leader, outstanding business partner, outstanding educator and outstanding high school graduates.
The Outstanding High School Graduates included Valedictorians from many different local schools in the county.
Christopher Hein from St. Theresa High School was one of the honorees of the day. He says going to school at St. Theresa has prepared him for a future in education.
“St. T has an excellent array of teachers,” says Hein. “I just feel like I could talk to any of my teachers about anything. I feel like they really encouraged me as a person and student to just really achieve and reach for the highest branch I can.”
Hein says he’s applied for schools like Northwestern, Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt. He wants to major in Physics. He was one of four Valedictorians this year at St. Theresa.
Another student honored was Cerro Gordo’s Jordyn Eads. Eads is a dual credit student going to Richland Community College as well. She says education is definitely something that people should value.
“Education is everything I’m a very big advocate of education,” says Eads. “I think I always push my friends and family to do education, to try harder, because I think it’s done so many things for me. I think that I’ve had some amazing opportunities through my teachers and Richland.”
Eads says that she hopes to study business or marketing at Illinois State.
The Outstanding Educator award was given to Melissa Downs of Garfield Montessori Magnet School.
Finally, Wegi Stewart, President of the Community Foundation of Macon County, was honored as the Outstanding Community Member. Stewart says a lot of what drove her efforts in Macon County stems from education.
“I think the thing that has linked all the activities I’ve been involved with in Decatur for many years is they all touch on the importance of education,” says Stewart. “Without an education the homeless can’t become not homeless and without a good education people that want to take good care of their health can’t do it.”