Justin Smith, an eighth-grader at Palm Harbor Middle, Roy Moore, a senior at Countryside High, and Oulayphone Boutkam, a fifth-grader at Campbell Park Elementary, received the Walt Disney Dreamers and Doers Award at a ceremony April 15 at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando.
The award recognizes students who possess curiosity, confidence, courage and constancy, four characteristics admired by Walt Disney.
Recipients are students who show courage in pursuing their objectives regardless of adversity. They give 110 percent to every effort they undertake and have a positive influence on others.
Justin was selected for his ability to overcome the odds. He was born with Moebius Syndrome, a rare medical condition which causes paralysis of facial muscles. Despite a severe hearing loss and speech problems, Justin is an honor student who excels in language arts and science. He is working on a black belt in karate and participates in archery, snorkeling and swimming.
Roy, a member of National Honor Society and Earth Effects Club, was chosen for his ability to excel despite his family circumstances. He has lived in foster and group homes, shelters and the Florida Sheriff's Youth Ranch since the age of 8. Roy now lives on his own, works part time and maintains high grades.
Oulayphone is a student in the English to Speakers of Other Languages class. Although her English is limited, Oulayphone has worked hard to achieve her goals. Her principal, James Steen, describes her as a creative, talented artist who exhibits leadership skills.
Dunedin boy places in national competition
Adam Springer, an eighth-grader at Dunedin Academy, won second place in the national level of the 1998 Junior American Citizens contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Adam entered a banner design with the topic "A Patriots Plan for the Future."
State winners included seven other Dunedin Academy students. They were Brandon Beattie, Jason Dyrez, Amanda Barrington, Kimberly Harrison, Tiffany Turbeville, Kim Begin and Chris Mishurda.
10 win Jewish War Veterans' contest
The Paul Surenky Post 409 of the Jewish War Veterans presented 10 fifth-graders with savings bonds for their winning essays on patriotism. Winners were Olivia Ayres and Alston Shields, Sandy Lane Elementary; Kelly Makal and Danielle Barrett, Eisenhower Elementary; Matthew Spadr and Kevin Sabia, Bauder Elementary; Thierry Phouthavong and Whitney Davis, Bardmoor Elementary; and Ryan Reilly and Monica Kilmore, Seminole Elementary.