Student of the Month
The Stewart County High School (SCHS) faculty has started implementing a new Student of the Month recognition award for outstanding seniors. Each month of the school year a senior student will be named Student of the Month for SCHS. These students are selected by the faculty for their outstanding character, citizenship, academic credentials, student involvement in activities/organizations, and because they serve as positive role models for underclassmen.
March Student of the Month—Chayann Vanzant
The Stewart County High School (SCHS) faculty is proud to announce that Chayann Vanzant has been selected as March Student of the Month for her outstanding academic achievement, student involvement, and for serving as an exceptional role model for underclassmen. Following high school, she plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with the hope of eventually studying abroad. Her long range goal is to become a doctor and travel the world helping people in need.
Vanzant, the Salutatorian of the Class of 2017, is known for her strong work ethic and devotion to academics. For her scholastic achievement, she has been honored with Black and Gold Awards in Anatomy & Physiology and Computer Applications. Spanish teacher, Rhonda Link, affirms Vanzant’s attention to academics remarking, “Chayann tackles the tasks she is given with everything she has. Whether that be a simple homework assignment or an important project, teachers should only expect her very best. Her competitive nature, whether on the basketball court or in class, causes her to better herself every day. That quality is difficult to find in people her age. Students like her make my job worthwhile.” Selected as a 2016 Tennessee American Legion Auxiliary Volunteers Girls State Delegate, Vanzant spent a week on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville. This experience gave her the opportunity to engage in activities, which offered instruction in state government, and how to be an active and informed citizen.
She is a four-year member of the Lady Rebels Basketball team. Social studies teacher and girls basketball coach, Gilbert Harper, affirms Vanzant’s diligence stating, “Chay has a great work ethic in the classroom and on the basketball court. She has been a joy to coach the past four years. Her work effort definitely transfers to basketball. I've enjoyed watching her turn into a team leader the past few years. I look forward to watching her and the rest of my senior basketball players do great things.” Involved in a variety of activities and organizations, Vanzant is a three-year member of HOSA: Future Health Professionals, a four-year member of Future Business Leaders of America, a two-year member of Family Career and Community Leaders of America, a two-year member of the Building Every Asset Right from the Start (BEARS) Team, and a member of Beta. Additionally, she is a two-year member of the Math Club, a two-year member of the Spanish Club, and on the 2016 Bonanza Yearbook Staff. Math teacher, Marcia Joiner, also affirms Vanzant’s diligence in all things remarking, “Chayann is a hard worker both in the classroom and on the court. She stays on top of her classes as well as her extracurricular activities.”
Vanzant is already an active citizen in her local community through her volunteer service. For three years as a member of the BEARS team, she has assisted with the assembling of supplies for the Backpack Program, which provides children in the school system with healthy food over weekends and breaks. Through her church, Faith & Grace Nazarene, she has been an active participant in the Angels on Duty program, where she has helped to deliver meals to the poor and elderly in the community. For the past year on Saturdays, she has given of her time to referee basketball games for the Stewart County Athletic Association. Vanzant has also worked at several health fairs working the Tennessee Quality Homecare booth.
Vanzant is appreciative of her SCHS journey noting, “My time at Stewart County High School has prepared me for my future by teaching me to be myself and be independent no matter where I am. Being different and creative can take you anywhere in life. I am thankful for SCHS and everyone who has helped me throughout this experience.”
Chayann is the daughter of Michael and Winona Vanzant.
February Student of the Month—Jacob Goldsmith
The Stewart County High School (SCHS) faculty is proud to announce that Jacob Goldsmith has been selected as February Student of the Month for his outstanding academic achievement, student involvement, and for serving as an exceptional role model for underclassmen. After high school, he plans to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to study business and marketing.
Goldsmith is known for his natural and dynamic leadership style. The development of this quality began his freshman year when he was elected class president, a role that he continued in his sophomore and junior years. While serving in this capacity, Goldsmith did an excellent job of leading his class to outstanding results in competitive homecoming activities. His dedication to the group, his ability to lead, and make everyone feel valued, has earned him the respect of his peers, as they respond positively to his leadership. Currently, he is serving as Student Council President, which is testimony to the trust and esteem he has garnered. Library Media Specialist and Class of 2017 sponsor, Lora Black, gives testament to Goldsmith’s leadership acumen stating, “Without a doubt, Jacob is one of the most talented individuals and strongest leaders to ever grace Stewart County High School. He is ambitious in all the right ways and willing to do the work of an army to reach personal and team goals. It has been a great honor to be on his team and witness his rise to success. I am excited to see what the future holds for this remarkable young man.”
He has also earned a solid reputation for his video and editing skills. He was instrumental in the successful production of the 2016 edition of Spread the Word to End the Word video, and he is currently in the midst of creating the 2017 video edition. Goldsmith was approached last spring to film and produce a video entitled “2016 SCHS Graduation Walk” which chronicled the Class of 2016 visits to the elementary and middle schools. This past fall he produced another video that promoted the countywide Read 20 initiative using students from North Stewart Elementary School. He also filmed the “Good to be Alive” production which was shown at the 2016 Football Homecoming celebration. His interest in video production began in his Digital Business Communications class. He was recognized for his outstanding work in this course, as he was the recipient of the Digital Business Communications Black and Gold Award.
Goldsmith is a member of the 2016-17 Bonanza Yearbook staff and presently holds the position of Video Editor. He is also a four-year member of HOSA: Future Health Professionals and the Creative Problem Solving team. This team has earned two second places and one third place finish at the State Leadership Conference during the last three years. He is a one-year member of Future Business Leaders of America, and a member of Beta. Lisa Luton, English teacher, affirms Goldsmith’s notoriety as a well-rounded individual and leader stating, “Jacob Goldsmith is a rare mix of raw talent, determination, and humility. He was never a student I really needed to teach so much as just give him the job and stay out of his way. His posture and proficiency command respect from peers and teachers alike without him ever having to ask for it, but never once have I seen his adept competency go to his head. He’s wicked smart, and with his level-headed personality and genuine willingness to help, I am confident we’ll be reading about his successes in the not-too-distant future.”
In regards to his time at SCHS, Goldsmith offers this enthusiastic and positive assessment remarking, “My time at SCHS has built me into a self-learning, independent leader who boldly stands up to face any challenge before me. My time involved in CTSOs, school clubs, and other student led organizations is a blessing I will cherish forever. My future will be stamped with the great memories and lessons I have receive from SCHS. The students, faculty, and staff, have impacted my life in the biggest way possible.”
Jacob is the son of Ryan and Chrissi Goldsmith.
January Student of the Month—Grant Bumpus
The Stewart County High School (SCHS) faculty is proud to announce that Grant Bumpus has been selected as January Student of the Month for his outstanding academic achievement, student involvement, and for serving as an exceptional role model for underclassmen. After high school, he plans to attend college and pursue a degree in engineering.
Bumpus is a four-year member of the Rebel Golf team and was a member of the 2014 and 2015 District Golf Championship teams. In 2015 he was named to The Leaf Chronicle All-Area Boys Golf First Team. At the conclusion of the 2016 season, he was named to The Leaf Chronicle All-Area Boys Golf Second Team. Bumpus was also a two-year member of the Rebel Baseball team. He is also a one-year member of Future Business Leaders of America and a member of Beta.
Academics are important to Bumpus, and he is well known for his diligence in the classroom. In acknowledgement of his academic competence, he was awarded a Black and Gold award for U.S. History. His character and his serious approach to academics resulted in his selection as a 2016 Tennessee American Legion Boys State Delegate. This honor resulted in a week spent on the campus of Tennessee Tech University. The Boys State program allows each participant to become a part of the operation of his local, county, and state governments operated by students elected to the various offices. Math teacher, Nicole Douglass, praises Bumpus’ classroom performance saying, “I have had the pleasure of having Grant in class for two years and quickly noticed that he is a delightful, intelligent, and dedicated student. He is always eager to learn and encourages others to do well with his exceptional work ethic. Grant displays a remarkable strength in character by providing support and help to his peers and others, both academically and socially. Grant’s exceptional character also shows through in his ability to be a team player, whether it is in the classroom or during school activities like homecoming.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Bumpus is his character and compassion for others. Science teacher, Allen Ralls, remarks, “Grant Bumpus is the example. He is the example of a fine young man. He is the example of a hard worker. Most of all, he is the example of what one should do to succeed in college. Grant is also one of the most humble students I have ever had. He doesn't stand out in my classroom because he doesn't boast about his accomplishments. But, because of his work effort, he stands tall among others with his knowledge and abilities. I look forward to seeing him grow as a young man and achieving whatever he desires.” This quality earned him the opportunity to serve as a 2016 Focus on Your Future mentor, a role which allowed him to help prepare eighth graders for the transition to high school.
He also enjoys giving back to the local community. Bumpus helps coach young golfers through a program sponsored by The First Tee of Nashville. Through his affiliation with Cross Creek Baptist Church, he volunteers his time to assist with community service programs such as The Good Samaritans.
When asked to give an evaluation of his time at SCHS, Bumpus responded, “Throughout high school I’ve learned many valuable lessons, thanks to the great teachers and staff of Stewart County High School. They really do care about the students, and the teachers have a great impact on them. I’m thankful for my time here.”
Grant is the son of Todd and Amy Bumpus.
December Student of the Month—JayLynn Gafford
The Stewart County High School (SCHS) faculty is proud to announce JayLynn Gafford has been chosen as December Student of the Month for her outstanding academic achievement, student involvement, and for serving as an exceptional role model for underclassmen. After high school, Gafford plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science in education at Austin Peay State University.
Gafford is a two-year member of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and is part of the local chapter’s officer team. She is also a two-year member of the BEARS (Building Every Asset Right from the Start) Team, an arm of the FCCLA organization that focuses on youth character building. Additionally, Gafford is a member of the Reading Team. Through her BEARS and Reading Team activities, Gafford has spent a significant amount of time working with elementary students teaching positive character traits and assisting with reading instruction. In FCCLA Star Events, she has earned first place at the Regional and State Leadership Conferences. In recognition of her academic success, Gafford was awarded the Black and Gold Award for Fundamentals of Education. Nancy Myers, family and consumer science teacher, shares these thoughts about Gafford’s exceptional qualities remarking, “JayLynn is a wonderful choice for the Student of the Month award. Her joyous, loving personality is contagious and brightens any group or situation. She is so mature and has unique people skills that make everyone around her more enthusiastic and optimistic. JayLynn is intelligent and a true team player. I have been fortunate to work with JayLynn in my classes and as a member of the BEARS Team. The BEARS Team is a group of specially chosen students who serve as quality character role models for their peers and for younger children. JayLynn uses her charming personality to encourage others to strive for excellence in their behavior like she does. Knowing and working with JayLynn is a pleasure.”
Moreover, she is a multi-faceted individual who is not only a dedicated student but a true team player known for her character and compassion for others. A talented singer, Gafford recently played the role of Galinda in the school district’s production of The Wizard of Oz. The cast of this production included elementary, middle, and high school students. She was the oldest member of the cast and was an exceptional role model to the younger actors. Gafford is a two-year member of the Bonanza Yearbook Staff and is currently a Design Editor. As a leader, she has the ability to truly listen to the ideas of others and make sure all members are respected during the production process. Gafford is also a member of Beta. Library Media Specialist and Beta Advisor, Lora Black, offers high praise for Gafford stating, “JayLynn is an exceptional student. Her charisma is contagious, and she finds joy in all her academic and extracurricular activities. As a leader, this makes her easy to follow in the face of some of the most challenging endeavors, and the mutual respect of her peers is unrivaled. Most of all, she is a genuinely kind person that will continue to make us proud as she continues her journey beyond SCHS.”
Gafford is an active member of Dover First Church of the Nazarene where she regularly demonstrates her care and consideration of others. As a member of the youth group she volunteers to aid with community trash pickup, to care for children in the church nursery, and to work at the annual fish fry.
When asked to state a takeaway from her time at SCHS, Gafford replied, “Stewart County High School has helped me grow and mature as a person and a student. The teachers here have pushed me to do my best, so I will be prepared for college.”
JayLynn is the daughter of Jamie and Becky Gafford.
November Student of the Month—Riley Nolen
Riley Nolen has been selected by the Stewart County High School (SCHS) faculty as November Student of the Month for his outstanding academic achievement, student involvement, and for serving as an exceptional role model for underclassmen. He plans to attend Austin Peay State University.
Nolen is a four-year member of the Rebel golf and basketball teams. Recently, he was recognized for his success on the basketball court as the newest member of the 1,000 point club at Stewart County High School. Nolen has received numerous accolades for his basketball skill as he is a three-year member of the District All Tournament Team, two-year member of the All District Team and was a member of the The Leaf Chronicle 2016 All-Area Boys Basketball team. In golf, he is a two-time member of the District Golf Championship team and was named to The Leaf Chronicle All-Area Boys Golf Second Team. Nolen is also a two-time member of the Golf District Championship team. Nick Wallace, Rebel basketball and golf coach, commends Nolen for his character remarking, "It's easy to only focus on Rye's amazing athletic abilities. However, what has always impressed me more than that is his devotion to TEAM success. He relishes in other peoples successes more than his own, has always sacrificed whatever for the team, and has been a shining example of how to represent your county, school, and self."
He is a dedicated student. In recognition of his academic achievement he has been conferred Black and Gold awards in Biology and Economics and is a member of Beta. An involved member of the SCHS community, Nolen is a three-year member of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). He is also a three-year member of the Building Every Asset Right from the Start (BEARS) team and a member of this year’s inaugural Reading Team. Family and Consumer Science teacher, Nancy Myers, offers this appraisal of Nolen’s qualities, “Riley is a model example of good character, intelligence and has the unique people skills that make everyone around him feel important and included. I have been fortunate to work with Riley as a student in my classes and as a member of the BEARS team. The BEARS Team is a group of specially chosen students who serve as quality character role models for their peers and for younger children. Riley exemplifies those outstanding character qualities. Whether in class, on the court, or working with younger students, his commitment to excellence is apparent. He always works hard to be the best.”
Nolen’s exceptional character is also seen in his desire to serve the community through his volunteer work. On Saturdays, he volunteers as a coach and referee for the Stewart County Jr. Pro Basketball program. For the past three years he has helped with the Stewart County Middle School summer basketball camps. During the SCHS literacy night, he read to younger children in the Read with a Rebel booth. Nolen has also assisted with the Children’s Church program at Dyers Creek Church of God.
When asked to look back and comment on his SCHS journey Nolen replied, “Stewart County High School has challenged me academically, and the teachers have motivated me to go the extra mile. I have learned that hard work pays off, and I know this will benefit me in the future. I’m very thankful for the great teachers at SCHS.”
Riley is the son of Steve Nolen and Sharon Williams.
October Student of the Month—Thomas Littleton
The Stewart County High School (SCHS) faculty is proud to announce Thomas Littleton has been chosen as October Student of the Month for his outstanding academic achievement, student involvement, and for serving as an exceptional role model for underclassmen. His plans after high school include attending school at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with the goal of becoming either a pastor or evangelist.
Littleton is a three-year member of HOSA: Future Health Professionals. As an involved member of this organization, he most recently was a member of the cast of the Suicide Awareness Program: The Semicolon Project. This production performed in front of the student body delivered a powerful message in a heartfelt and poignant manner. He has also worked many HOSA chicken dinner fundraisers where he served as a cook. Cheryl Wooten, Health Science teacher and HOSA Adviser had this to say about Littleton, “Thomas is one of the finest young men I have ever taught. I don't believe I've ever seen him without a smile on his face, a kind word on his lips, or love for others in his heart. I'm more than privileged to be his teacher and look forward to his many accomplishments on his journey to immortality.”
Known for his character, Littleton has played a vital role as part of the leadership team for Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). He has served in the capacity of Vice President and currently holds the position of President. Under his leadership the organization has sponsored outreach activities including a successful tailgating event during a home football game. Becky Grasty, math teacher and FCA Sponsor, affirmed Littleton’s leadership remarking, “I have had the privilege of knowing Thomas for three years, as a student in Honors Geometry, SCHS FCA Vice-President last year, and this year's FCA President. His work ethic in Honors Geometry proved to be top in his class. He has also proven to be exemplary in his duties of leading our students in Bible study and sharing his joy and love of God to his classmates. He leads our meetings with enthusiasm for sharing God's Word, and genuinely loves his fellow man. I believe Thomas is an excellent leader and a well-deserving 'Student of the Month' of SCHS.”
In recognition of his academic excellence, Littleton has received two Black and Gold Awards in Biology I, and Spanish I. A 2016 Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation (CEMC) essay contest winner, Littleton earned an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. Selected as a 2016 Tennessee American Legion Boys State Delegate; Littleton spent a week on the campus of Tennessee Tech University. The Boys State program allows each participant to become a part of the operation of his local, county, and state governments operated by students elected to the various offices. Littleton was elected as a State Representative.
When asked to reflect on his time at SCHS, Littleton replied, “My time here has prepared me for my future in that Stewart County High School is more than just a school. Just look at the way all the staff at the school treat the kids. They don’t prepare their students for a higher education, but for life. It’s clear to see it’s not just a job for the staff; they care for their students and want to make a difference. My time here has prepared me for whatever career God leads me to. I don’t want it to be just a job. I want to make a difference, just like SCHS.”
Thomas is the son of Steve and Susan Littleton.
September Student of the Month—Miranda Parker
Miranda Parker has been selected by the Stewart County High School (SCHS) faculty as September Student of the Month for her outstanding academic achievement, student involvement, and for serving as an exceptional role model for underclassmen. After high school, Miranda plans to attend either Murray State University or the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to complete a degree in chemical engineering.
Known as a dedicated student, Parker has maintained a 4.0 grade point average. In acknowledgment of her academic ability, she has been awarded Black and Gold Awards in World History, U.S. History, Computer Applications and Geometry. Lisa Luton, English teacher, affirms Parker’s commitment to educational pursuits stating, “Miranda is a great example of the balance between determination and compassion. Her work ethic sets her apart from her peers; she is always striving to learn more—more than what her teachers and what the curriculum at SCHS have to offer. Her determination and success, though, have never once clouded her down-to-earth kindness. She doesn’t hesitate to offer a helping hand to anyone, and she genuinely celebrates the success of those around her.”
Parker is a four-year member of FFA where she has served as Reporter and currently holds the position of Secretary. Brandon McMillan, Agriculture teacher and FFA Adviser, explains why he nominated Parker for Student of the Month honors saying, “I nominated Miranda because she shows great leadership qualities in everything she does! She gives 110 percent in every class and club in which she is involved. And, one of her best qualities is she never meets a stranger!” An active member of the SCHS community, she is also a four-year member of HOSA: Future Health Professionals, a four-year member of the Spanish Club, a three-year member of the Math Club, a two-year member of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), and a member of Beta. Parker is also well liked and respected by her peers as she has been twice chosen as Class Favorite as a freshman and junior. Additionally, she was voted Homecoming Attendant her junior year and was the 2016 Football Homecoming Queen.
Serving her community is also important to Parker. Through her affiliation with FFA she has worked as a Farm Day volunteer. With FCCLA, she has assisted with elementary school trips to the pumpkin patch. Parker is very involved at Dyers Creek Church of God where she has helped with the Completely One Ministry soup kitchen. She is also part of the Creative Ministries team and has performed with the group at community outreach events.
Parker has found her time at SCHS meaningful, remarking, “Stewart County High School has taught me that hard work will always pay off. It has taught me to do my best at everything I do, and that it’s never too late to fix things. Most importantly, I have learned that being a good and nice person is the most rewarding thing in life.”
Miranda is the daughter of Donnie Parker and Joy Coy.
August Student of the Month—Makayleigh Lackey
Senior, Makayleigh Lackey, has been chosen by the Stewart County High School (SCHS) faculty as August Student of the Month for her outstanding academic achievement, student involvement, and for serving as an exceptional role model for underclassmen. After high school, Lackey plans to attend a four-year university.
Lackey is a four-year member of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), serving as a local officer for three years and currently serving as chapter Co-President. Connie Baggett, business teacher and FBLA adviser, offers high praise for Lackey remarking, “Makayleigh is very goal oriented and productive in all the areas of her life. Makayleigh has gone above and beyond in every business class she has taken. She has competed in Future Business Leaders of America contests for the last three years. She has excelled in speaking and presentation. Makayleigh competed at the national level in Chicago and in Atlanta this past year. She has been a spokesperson for our local and state FBLA organizations and makes a positive impression every time she speaks to groups. As a junior, Makayleigh designed a logo for the Stewart County Chamber of Commerce. This was an outstanding experience and one she has expanded into being a liaison between FBLA and the chamber. In addition to her leadership and competitive roles in FBLA, Makayleigh has been a strong voice for community service projects. They include: March of Dimes, Ronald McDonald House, Lights of Love, and our annual canned food drive. She is a well rounded person who will excel in anything she sets out to do.”
Lackey is a four-year member of the Lady Rebels Basketball team. Social studies teacher and girl’s basketball coach, Gilbert Harper, offers this assessment of Lackey remarking, “Makayleigh is a great example of the student athlete. She excels in the classroom and expects nothing less than perfection. I think the competitiveness in the classroom transfers to the basketball court. She is an excellent player and is a player who is a joy to coach. I know when she is in the game she is going to do whatever she can to help us win. She is a leader on the court and our players look up to her and she helps our younger players adjust to the high school game.” Involved in a variety of activities and organizations Lackey is a three-year member of Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), a two-year member of the Spanish Club, and a member of Beta.
In recognition of her academic excellence, Lackey has received ten Black and Gold Awards in Biology I, Algebra I, World History, Computer Applications, Geometry, Digital Business Communications, English II, Algebra II, Introduction to Business and Marketing, and English III. A 2016 Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation (CEMC) essay contest winner, Lackey earned an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. Lackey was also selected as a 2016 Tennessee American Legion Auxiliary Volunteers Girls State Delegate, and spent a week on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville. This program allows young women to learn about state government, as well as how to affect their local communities positively through active citizenship and informed voting.
Lackey is grateful for her tenure at SCHS stating, “My time at SCHS has given me countless skills and experiences that have prepared me for my future. The teachers and staff at SCHS do their best to ensure that students are prepared for the future. I am thankful to attend this great school.”
Makayleigh is the daughter of Eric and Chasity Lackey.