Some of Middle Georgia's brightest and most talented students were rewarded Tuesday for their hard work and excellence in school.
The Telegraph's 41st annual Golden Eagle Awards included 184 students from 22 schools in seven midstate counties. Twelve winners received a Golden Eagle trophy and $1,000, and honorable mention recipients received $300.
“These students are the total package,” Telegraph publisher Rodney Mahone said to hundreds in the Grand Opera House theater Tuesday evening. “It’s a distinct honor just to be nominated.”
Hannah Strudwick, a senior at Howard High School who won a Golden Eagle for drama, had nothing but gratitude and praise for her teachers. “To bring this home, especially for Howard, is huge,” Strudwick said. “I’m so excited and I’m so thankful for my teachers.” Strudwick helped change the structure of drama classes by pushing for an audition to be a requirement for its students.
“There was a lot of what I call, ‘fine arts dumping,’ ” Strudwick said, adding that about 15 in a class of 50 truly cared to learn. “There were a lot of kids who needed fine arts credit who came to the class and just took it as ... an easy ‘A.’ It wasn’t conducive to a positive learning environment for the 15 that wanted to be there."
2018 Golden Eagle winners
Art: Olsen Jones, First Presbyterian Day School
Athletics: Asia Laconico, Mount de Sales Academy
Citizenship: Caroline Gowan, Veterans High School
Drama: Hannah Strudwick, Howard High School
English Literature: Maddie Jackson, Howard High School
Foreign Language: Madelaine Kinnebrew, The Westfield School
Industrial/Vocational: Charley Lollis, Perry High School
Journalism: Adam Chalmers, The Westfield School
Mathematics: Nischal Bandi, Stratford Academy
Music: Micah Johnston, Central High School
Science: Tejas Athni, Stratford Academy
Technology: Akshay Rannabhotu, Stratford Academy
Mercer University Scholarship: Sarah Spalding, Warner Robins High School 2018 Honorable mention recipients
Honorable mention recipients
Art: Aimoni Walker, Warner Robins High School
Athletics: Jacob Cook, Bleckley County High School
Citizenship: Antoneshia Knighton - Hutchings College & Career Center
Drama: Nia Robinson, Warner Robins High School
English Literature: Scott Cummings, Warner Robins High School
Foreign Language: Gabriel Medlin, Mary Persons High School
Industrial/Vocational: Garrett Wurdeman, Veterans High School
Journalism: Sarah Harvin, Howard High School
Mathematics: Dalton Ford, Tattnall Square Academy
Music: Janelle Dulin, Mount De Sales Academy
Science: John Drinkwater, First Presbyterian Day School
Technology: Bryan Arnold, Warner Robins High School