Friday, March 3, 2006

WRHS students earn Congressional Awards

Express Staff Writer

Wood River High School students Sophia Dilley and Anneka Preston earned congressional medals for achieving personal goals.

Four Wood River Valley students received recognition last weekend for their exceptional commitment to public service, physical fitness and personal growth.

During the Congressional Award ceremony held Feb. 25, nearly 50 young adults earned medals at the O'Leary Junior High School in Twin Falls. State officials gathered to honor Wood River Valley students Anneka Preston, Sophia Dilley, Abby Fairman and Max Durtschi for their achievements.

"Participating in the Congressional Award program taught me many things, perhaps the most important being how to set goals and meet them," said Durtschi, an eighth-grade Wood River Middle School student. "One of the goals I set for my Congressional Bronze Award was to better myself as an athlete."

Durtschi did not attend the ceremony. Instead, he was training for the Junior Olympics to be held in Michigan this weekend.

Like Durtschi, young adults participate in the program to set and achieve personal goals. Congress created the Congressional Award as a program to challenge students and award achievement. The award carries six levels of achievements, the gold medal being the highest level of cumulative accomplishments.

Durtschi earned the bronze medal for his achievements.

Preston, a Wood River High School senior, collected a silver medal. During the ceremony, she performed the national anthem for the congressional delegation and sang with the Wood River High School Colla Voce Choir, directed by Max Stimac.

Dilley, Wood River High School's 2005 homecoming queen, received a bronze medal.

"I have learned how to contribute to my community and gained useful organizational skills," she said. "Through all my musical endeavors I have learned how much time, effort and practice it takes to accomplish and perform something that is worthwhile."

Fairman, a Wood River High School senior, also earned the bronze medal.

Amy DiFrancesco of Ketchum called the commands for the flag ceremony. She is the Boy Scouts of America National Venturing President. Amy received the Congressional Award Gold Medal in Washington, D.C., in June 2005.

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