2018 PACES Award Winners
2018 PACES Award Winners
By Mike Robertson

Kemper County Messenger

Last Thursday night was one Zabia Burton will long remember.
     The Kemper County High School senior stabled a first in the history of PACES, as she walked way with most of the top honors at the annual banquet, which was held in the student union building on the Scooba campus of East Mississippi Community College.

Achievement Awards (3.25 GPA or Higher); Excellence Awards (ACT Score 18 or Higher); Community Service Awards; Military Service Commitments; 2018 Senate Page Participants.

In 2018, for the first time ever, one student, Burton, topped the list in Achievement Awards ((3.97 GPA), Excellence Awards (26 ACT Score) and Community Service Awards (66.5 hours).

One of the highlights of the evening was hearing from guest speaker, Alexandria Drake, a 2009 KCHS graduate who was a senior during the first year of PACES and was the first student ever to sign up for the program.

Concerning PACES, Drake said, “What this program has accomplished since its inception is incredible.” She added that students in Kemper County already have everything they need to succeed.

She recounted how she had always wanted to be a teacher, but during her first several years of school in Southern California she saw very few African-American teachers. It was only after coming to Kemper County that she encountered a significant number of them.

It was at KCHS that she saw a dormant band program brought back to life with only 15 members; she walked down the hallway looking at past graduating classes, and saw photos of family members. She added that at KCHS she felt that her teachers really noticed her and her work ethic and encouraged her to do her best.

Drake received a full scholarship to Jackson State University, and now teaches at William B. Murrah High School in Jackson.

“You come from a long line of individuals who took what was given to them and made it multiply," Drake said. "Show folks that you come to win, and that your success belongs not only to you, but your family, to your neighborhood, to your community and to your country. You will give folks a run for their money in the classroom, on the job, or in the organization.”

Award winners by category are as follows:

— Achievement Awards (GPA 3.25 or Higher): Ty’dashia Little, Ka’lyn Dale, Chytionna Lyons, Jarious Love, Edward Holliday, Clara Darden, Alliyah Rogers, Asianeka Little, Emmanuel Smoot, Frebria Henderson, Alantra Lewis, Alexis Spencer, Nakiya Davis, Jada Marshall, Bendarius Winston, Labrielle Baylor, Jaquariah Holliday, Zabia Burton.

— Excellence Awards (ACT Score 18 or Higher): Ka’lyn Dale, Clara Darden, Chytionna Lyons, Labrielle Baylor, Nakiya Davis, Jakayla Houston, Alantra Lewis, Jada Marshall, Recrdre Moore, Alexis Spencer, Edward Holliday, Emmanuel Smoot, Zabia Burton.

— Community Service Awards (Top Four): Zabia Burton, Adrian Moore, Kadasha Boyd, Alantra Lewis.

— Military Service Commitment: Emmanuel Smoot, Army National Guard.

— 2018 Senate Page Participants: Alantra Lewis, Jaquariah Holliday, Jarious Love, Emmanuel Smoot.