LHS Gives Out Annual Good Citizen Award


Matt Smith

Christopher Haidvogel and Jenna El Ghatit won the citizenship award for their constant willingness to help people, such as picking up papers that fall in the hallway.

Maya Trott, Staff Writer

Seniors Jenna El Ghatit and Christopher Haidvogel received the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Good Citizen Awards, respectively, during the third week of September.

According to the DAR website, the DAR Good Citizen Award is given to one senior girl “who possess the qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism in their homes, schools, and communities.”

Even though both of the organizations are fairly similar, the awards have slightly different criteria. Mrs. Jennifer Lund, a College Resource Center Secretary, annually sends out an email to the LHS staff outlining the awards. In this email, the SAR Good Citizen Award was described as an award that focuses on patriotism, outstanding citizenship qualities, and respect for the United States and its symbols.

In addition to the slightly different criteria, the awards themselves both offer something a little different. The SAR Good Citizen Award offers the recipient a pin and a certificate, but does not allow any further advancement.

On the other hand, the DAR Good Citizen Award allows recipients to move up in the ranks and potentially earn state and national acknowledgements if they decide to progress with the process. If the recipient wishes to continue with the process, they need to fill out an application.

Mrs. Lund described the application process as “kind of in depth. You have to write an essay, a timed essay that you don’t know the prompt [for] in advance.”

The selection for the DAR and SAR awards is quite different than other awards; it has been described as a “behind-the-scenes” award since it is voted on by staff, which includes every adult who works at the school, not just the teachers.

Although El Ghatit ended up leaving early the day they were notified that they had received the awards because she was feeling sick, she recalls receiving the award made her feel “a little less sick after.”

Both El Ghatit and Haidvogel were very happy to receive these awards, although for different reasons. Haidvogel has family who is part of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW).

“It meant a little bit to me that I was getting recognized by an organization that really takes care of veterans,” Haidvogel expressed.

El Ghatit had different reasons for being happy about receiving the recognition. “I’d say it was pretty special, it made me realize that my work at LHS has been recognized, and that when I try to be a good person and when I try to help my classmates and stuff teachers notice that, so it is a good feeling knowing that your character is being noticed,” said El Ghatit.

Mrs. Lund said that she really likes this method of selection because any adult who has “had a wonderful interaction with a student or [has] respected something the student has done here [is] able to recognize them.”

The selection process for this award starts early in the school year when Mrs. Lund receives information on the award for that year from the chapter’s local representatives. From there, she will send out an email to all staff that gives the guidelines and a list of seniors. The staff is given about a week to vote for one senior girl and one senior boy before the two are called down to the CRC to be notified that they received it.

LHS has been giving these awards since 2006. Both El Ghatit and Haidvogel will be recognized at Honors Night in May.