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GDRMS 2015 Scholar Leaders

GROTON — Each year, the Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School participates in the Massachusetts Middle Level Schools Scholar Leader Awards Program, selecting two students, one female and one male.

Steven Silverman initiated the school’s participation when he came to the district as principal, eight years ago.

Silverman said he is delighted to announce this year’s recipients, Naomi Young, from Dunstable, and Charlie Peterson, from Groton. Both are 14.

“The eighth-grade teachers used criteria to choose six top students,” said Silverman, “then the administration, along with in put from the guidance counselor, made the final choice.”

“I was most impressed with the maturity of Naomi and Charlie,” said Silverman, who will retire from his position in June.

Although decisions concerning selection have a certain subjective element, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Middle Level Educators and the New England League of Middle School set recommended criteria for schools to follow. Procedures used must be fair, nondiscriminatory and consistently applied.

Students must demonstrate academic achievement, provide service to classmates and school, and be positive role models to peers. “They must demonstrate integrity, honesty, self-discipline and courage,” according to the recommended criteria.

“I always try to lead the group in my class by being a positive example and try my best to get others to, said Young, who added, “I always do my homework.”

Young is secretary of the Middle School Student Council, participates in school drama productions, was winner of the 2014 Spelling Bee, plays piano and is a member of the middle school band, playing the flute.

Peterson said he tries to promote kindness and understanding. “If students feel others respect them and treat them well, it makes them feel better about themselves and do better in school. I always lend a hand to help others understand if they’re struggling.”

Peterson, also a member of school band, playing tenor sax, said he gets “the ball rolling” to encourage participation in group situations. “I always incorporate other people’s ideas.”

“I’ll often take the lead in group projects too but always ask others’ opinions to be fair and make a plan,” said Young.

Both Young and Peterson have exemplified positive attitudes and inspired positive behavior in their peers, according to Silverman.

“I honor others’ ideas as if they were my own and encourage others with positive feedback; I always show respect for my peer’s beliefs and opinions,” said Young.

Peterson, who participates in middle school cross country and lacrosse teams, said, “I help with team leadership and motivation, cooperation. I learned a lot about that from my older brother.”

Positive role models in their community, Young, through Student Council, helped raise funds for the American Cancer Society and Peterson regularly volunteers at Loaves & Fishes and causes to benefit the environment.

Both Young and Peterson look forward to attending Groton-Dunstable Regional High School in the fall where they hope to continue being positive role models to their peers.

But for now, both are just a couple of regular kids waiting to enjoy summer vacation.