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Do The Right Thing Student Recognition Awards named

By Staff | May 14, 2008

SPECIAL TO THE BREEZE, “mailto:news@breezenewspapers.com”>news@breezenewspapers.com

The Cape Coral Police Department hosted its Do The Right Thing Student Recognition Awards ceremony for the month of May on Tuesday at City Hall. The following students were recognized for their positive attitudes toward school and family, their healthy decisions regarding drugs and violence, as well as their good citizenship.

Overall winner

— Morgan Hunter, fifth grade, Oasis Charter Elementary, daughter of Louise and Edward Zoller and Chris Hanners

Morgan is being awarded for the integral part she played in the safety and well being of several toddlers during the tragic Jan. 25 shooting at Bobby Noonan’s Child Care Center. Morgan and her mom visited the school near dismissal time when they walked into an escalating situation. They found Morgan’s little sister hiding in a bathroom with her teacher, Ms. Christy, and the rest of her class as Ms. Christy’s estranged husband wielded a gun. Morgan’s mom sent Morgan in the bathroom in an attempt to keep her 3-year-old sister calm. Morgan and the toddlers witnessed Ms. Christy’s death as she was fatally shot by her estranged husband.

As the gun shots were fired and the children reacted, Morgan remained calm and found strength to tell the children in the bathroom “everything will be OK.” Even watching her mother struggle with the gunman, Morgan, while admittedly scared, she stayed calm. When the gunman left the bathroom, Morgan instructed the children to stay where they were, as she didn’t know where he went and if he still posed a threat. When the police apprehended the gunman, Morgan reassured the children that the police were there to help. One of the bravest and most touching acts Morgan performed that day was leading the children out of the building. Not knowing where her mother was, she maintained her composure, holding the children by their hands and telling them everything would be OK.

— Stephanie Garcia, sixth grade, Challenger Middle, daughter of Hilda and Carlos Garcia

Peer pressure in middle school is stronger than it has ever been. Everyone wants to fit in, so sometimes it is easier for a student to look the other way. Stephanie was witness to some of her school mates destroying the water valves in the bathrooms causing the water to be shut off in the school. Stephanie came forward to report the vandals resulting in disciplinary action for the students and restitution for the damaged property.

— Matthew Worst, fifth grade, Patriot Elementary, son of Christopher and Shelly Worst

Matthew is being awarded for acting quickly in an urgent situation. Matthew was at a birthday party at a friend’s home where he and his buddies were in the pool. He noticed his friend’s 4-year-old brother pulling a wagon around the deck of the pool and possibly because he, himself, has three other siblings who look out for each other, he kept an eye on this little boy. Before Matthew could warn him, the child backed into the pool and sank to the bottom. Matthew, whose parents were lifeguards and taught Matthew lifesaving skills when he was young, dove down to the little boy and pulled him to safety.

— Jack Maglione, 12th grade, Mariner High, son of Lisa Maglione-Chenault and Brand Chenault

Jack has been doing the right thing all of his life. His family, peers and teachers know that because they’ve seen him on other occasions as a “
Do The Right Thing” winner. Jack stood out this year at Mariner because of the effort he put toward Mariner’s Games Day, an event which brings the Life Skills classes from all of the area high schools to one location for a day of games, fun and camaraderie. The Mariner students work hard to make this a memorable day for those who can’t often blend in. Jack did an amazing amount of fund raising for the event and truly enjoys being with the life skills students. His teacher states, “Jack shines above the rest and he is an inspiration to others as a hard worker and a caring young man.

— Edwin Gutierrez Jr., ninth grade, Island Coast High, son of Amaralis Carrero and Edwin Gutierrez Sr.

Over the last year, Edwin has, according to a teacher, grown in character as well as in academics. Ms. Chance teaches language arts at ALC West and first encountered Edwin during the 90 days which he spent there. She writes, “
One of my proudest moments as a teacher was when I was able to witness Edwin as he had an epiphany … an ‘aha!’ moment. I brought in my high school yearbooks to show pictures of classmate Tony Dungy. Suddenly Edwin said, ‘Ms. Chance, do you mean one of US in here could be famous?’” I replied, “Sure with hard work and discipline.” Edwin then began to point at each of his classmates and decree what he saw each of them being famous for.

A few months later, Ms. Chance was diagnosed with cancer. When she was going through surgery and radiation, Edwin had already been released from ALC. Even so, he volunteered to help out at her house — cutting the grass, mopping floors and moving anything over five pounds. He was paid for his efforts but had offered to do it for free. Edwin’s grades continue to improve, and while he is ineligible to play spring football, he shows up to practice daily, giving it his “

— Loree Brown, 12th grade, Mariner High

Loree has been nominated for the help she has given to some of the faculty and student body at Mariner High. Loree assists the students in the Life Skills program by working one on one with them in their academics. She escorts them to their elective classes and works with them in that class.

To aide the faculty, Loree goes to school early each day to volunteer in the school store. She sells food and school supplies to the students, and assists the customers with their purchases. This store is run through the PBS, Positive Behavior Support Program, a national program in the schools to promote and reward positive behavior in all the students. Loree has taken her retail skills outside of the store as she fills in the gaps in her busy schedule by working at Publix.