Below are the February Atlas Butler Award winners. Congratulations.

Atlas Butler Heating & Cooling, White Castle, College Advantage and ThisWeek Community Newspapers are recognizing exemplary students who represent their school and community by demonstrating hard work and strength of service.

Throughout the 2011-12 school year, Atlas Butler's panel of judges will select 10 monthly nominees, who are featured in their respective ThisWeek communities. A $250 award will be provided in the student's name to a local classroom of the teacher of the nominee's choice.

All selected monthly nominees are featured on Over the course of the ninth-month school year, 90 nominees are selected. Each nominee becomes eligible for an annual prize: three Atlas Butler students of the year, $2,500; five first-place winners, $1,000 each; and 15 honorable mentions, $500 each. To read other students' profiles or to nominate your student, visit

Nominations close on the 15th of each month. Help our panel decide winners on Facebook from the 17th to the 23rd of each month.


Michael Pirt
Senior at Hilliard Bradley High School
Nominated by: Colleen Ebert
Class with A: Advanced Media Communications
Teacher of winning classroom: Trevor Torrence

Michael is an Eagle Scout out of Troop 200 and a Brotherhood Member in the Order of the Arrow. The Order of the Arrow is Scouting's National Honor Society. As a chapter chief in the Order of the Arrow, Michael successfully balances his responsibilities with his schoolwork. Being an Eagle Scout is a tremendous accomplishment, because only four out of one hundred boys achieve this rank. Michael has participated in many Eagle projects and executed his own project that has benefitted the cities of Hilliard, Dublin and Upper Arlington. Through the Order of the Arrow, Michael has done many things including restoring environments in metro parks and rebuilding parts of scouting camps. In addition to his community involvement outside of the school day, Michael also gives back to students at Bradley High School. He has been a vital member in the Peer Tutoring Program, STAR Tutors, for the past two years. Michael has put in over 100 hours and has guided these students to academic success. His patience and positive attitude make him a tutor that all the students enjoy working with. He has definitely made an impact in their lives.

Kristen Sellan
Junior at DeSales High School
Nominated by: Rachel Knapschaefer
Class with A: Pre Calculus
Teacher of winning classroom: Angie Windau

Kristen started a program titled "Cuddles from Kristen" in honor of her late Grandmother. Kristen's grandmother had cancer and remarked that the hospitals were cold when she went for her treatments. Kristen made her a blanket, then made more blankets for others that were receiving treatments as well. After her grandmother's death Kristen continues her efforts in making blankets for those who are ill. She has committed many hours to this cause and made upwards of 1,000 blankets. She has inspired students at DeSales to help others by her example.

Tanner Halm
Senior at Dublin Coffman High School
Nominated by: Kathy Bell
Class with A: AP US Government & Politics
Teacher of winning classroom: Carl Reed

Tanner is not only an exemplary student and role model, but a community leader as well. Tanner took it upon himself to collect food donations within his neighborhood for the Dublin Food Pantry. Tanner uses his home as the drop-off location for neighbors to drop food off. Tanner then takes the food to the food pantry and helps unload what he has collected. Tanner has been doing this for the past two years. Tanner has had struggles in his life that he has overcome. He lost his father at age three, his mother had a stroke, and he struggles with a learning disability. Despite all of this, he still maintains excellent grades and participates in sports at school. Tanner is an inspiration to others and shows daily what a great member of the Dublin community he is!

Cassandra Craig
Senior at Central Crossing High School
Nominated by: Melissa Craig
Class with A: Marine Biology
Teacher of winning classroom: Mrs. Freeman
Cassie is an extraordinary person. All her life, her heart has been full of compassion for all living beings. Cassie has been on numerous mission trips with her church family to assist those in need. She has helped the local community by participating in the making of Thanksgiving dinner in a local shelter, to building a porch, stripping and repainting a garage and house for a disabled woman in the Chillicothe area, to further away places in Chicago IL, caring and giving of her time to preschoolers at a day care center. In her studies, she maintains a 3.7 GPA. She holds a part time job to help with her expenditures and saving for college. Cassie was inducted into Jr. National Honor Society in eighth grade and National Honor Society in April of 2010. For the last 3 years, she has received the All Academic Award at CCHS. She is a member of SADD Club (Students Against Destructive Decisions), Renaissance Club and Key Club. Cassie has been a team player in Marching and Concert band for 4 years, with having the honor of being appointed Central Crossing Drum Major last fall. On the social side of Cassie, she had the privilege of being voted Homecoming Queen last fall. She was very gracious in her nomination. Cassie looks anxiously towards college. She is ready to take the next step in life's journey and fully awaits new and greater responsibilities and opportunities to grow in herself and her life's ambitions.

Maria Kahan
Junior at Bexley High School
Nominated by: Patty Kahan
Class with A: Spanish 3
Teacher of winning classroom: S. Rainey

Maria has volunteered countless hours in Girl Scouting the past 11 years. She has been awarded her Girl Scout Gold Award this past year. This award is the highest award in Girl Scouting. It includes over 80+ hours of community service and leadership. Maria designed, created and planted a children's garden and bench area surrounding the new bike racks at Jeffrey Mansion playground in Bexley. She refinished benches in the garden so parents of the children playing could have a quiet place to watch and relax. Maria is continuing to care for this area and hopefully will pass it down to another Girl Scout troop to continue on in its upkeep. Maria has earned the Presidential Award through Girl Scouting and she also volunteers every year for our Service Unit camporees and Thinking Days. She works with younger girls to help them achieve their goals. She has also volunteered to help run softball clinics for girls of all ages. Maria is a member of the Bexley High School KeyClub and volunteers regularly at the local animal shelter and food pantries. She has also led the path for younger Girl Scout volunteers in her area. I believe Maria is a wonderful example of a young lady who helps others and the community around her.

Emily Ann Addair
Senior at Briggs High School
Nominated by: Andrea Timple
Class with A: Business Management
Teacher of winning classroom: Andrea Timple
Emily Ann is an extraordinary student every day of the week so that is why I am nominating her. I do not have one "big" accomplishment to report about Emily Ann, but rather her work ethic along with her desire to be successful is what I find extraordinary about her. It is rare that you see a child who consistently puts 110% effort into everything they do. Youth these days have a hard time or do not have the motivation to go the extra mile. Emily Ann is faced with challenges outside of the classroom that most students will never face their entire life time. What makes Emily Ann extraordinary is that she doesn't let these challenges pull her down or stop her from achieving her goals. She always has a smile on her face and is ready to learn when she walks in my classroom. The classroom is an escape for her and it treats her well! She treats her grades as a direct self reflection of her character and will do anything she can to keep that positive, not just for others, but for herself. I feel Emily Ann would make an excellent addition to Atlas Butler's February winners. Please consider verifying Emily Ann's efforts for her so she can see first hand that hard work pays off and is worth continually striving to be the best she can be!

Donald Lisa
Senior at Pickerington High School North
Nominated by: Justin Kuhn
Class with A: AP Physics
Teacher of winning classroom: Doug Forrest
Donald took on the challenge of leading a project to remodel an undeveloped church space into a teen room. Our congregation's previous teen room was always in poor condition, and it was important to him to make the new room be a place where the youth group could worship comfortably and be excited to bring their friends. This Eagle Scout project would massively test his leadership abilities. Expecting it to be an easy 300 man-hour project, he quickly realized that the room would require much more effort than that. With a tight budget, he had to find creative and cost effective solutions to the many problems that the room required. To do this he broke the project down into the components of planning, demolition, electric work, the HVAC, sheetrock work, flooring, plumbing, and finishing. In the end, the project took 700 man-hours over the period of a year to complete. His budget management skills and his interaction with people who were willing to donate supplies allowed the project to come in 28% under budget. This freed up funding to purchase furniture for the room. After these purchases, the project still came in 15% under budget. For this project, his Boy Scout district recognized Donald for best Eagle Scout project of the year. Even though the district award was welcomed, the real reward of the project was the appreciation and constant use of the room by the church's youth group.

Hayley Shaw
Senior at Delaware Hayes
Nominated by: Colleen Shaw
Class with A: American Lit
Teacher of winning classroom: Mr. Heffernan

Hayley has Crohn's disease and wants to make a difference for others who have this disease worse than she does. She was diagnosed at age 9. She has hosted Hayley's Hope Skate-a-thon for the past 3 years, (the first year she raised $10,000), Friends 4 a Cure with 3 other families who have various illness's, Cystic Fibrosis, Cancer and MS and has participated in Take Steps Walk for Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. She was the Honored Hero for Take Steps a few years ago. She has raised money for CCFA to help find a cure and has also raised awareness for Crohn's. That is the most important thing to her – Raise awareness. She will tell anyone who will listen about Crohn's disease. She wants everyone to know about Crohn's. She does not let the fact that she feels sick to get in the way of anything. She is taking college courses at Marion Tech through the PSEO program and works part time for a Podiatrist in Delaware. She is an inspiration. She is planning on going into the nursing program at Marion Tech. After all the time she has spent in the hospital she wants to give back and help others. She goes to Children's Hospital every 6 weeks to get Remicade infusions to keep her Crohn's under control. Even though she misses school, she keeps her grades up! We are very proud of Hayley!

Nicole Jackman
Senior at Olentangy Orange High School
Nominated by: Stephanie Forney
Class with A: Jewelry I
Teacher of classroom: Forney
Nicole is an amazing student that works hard every day. She volunteers three periods a day with the special needs unit at OOHS. One of the periods she volunteers to help teach the special needs students about art. She has about 8 students on average that she works with during the Adapted Art class. Nicole's students love her dearly and they are creating some amazing artwork. Nicole will be majoring in Special Needs Education at Ohio University next year and spends the majority of her free time volunteering and helping out in the special needs unit classrooms working with all types of children and assisting them in daily activities, homework, reading, art, and social skills.

Andrew Hoy
Senior at Hartley High School
Nominated by: Dan DeCrane
Class with A: American Government
Teacher of winning classroom: Dan DeCrane
Andrew depicts the label of "global citizen" with his work both in and out of the classroom. Andrew has achieved top academic success through his studies in American Government throughout his senior year. It is a privilege to not only teach Andrew, but also watch him scaffold his fellow students on a daily basis – a true sign of leadership amongst his peers.
Students, teachers, faculty, and staff alike seem to not only enjoy working with Andrew, but also become better community members from interacting with him. His efforts in school and community is unbelievable, as he holds leadership positions in Student Government, Parish Youth Group, Campus Ministry, Drama Club, various academic clubs and teams, and the National Honor Society. Andrew constantly extends a hand to all who he cross paths with, demonstrated by hundreds of hours of service in a multitude of non-profit organizations including Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Camp Yelidim, Wesley Ridge Retirement Home, the Diocese of Columbus, Shepherd's Corner Community Farm, and the School Employee Retirement System. Young and old, Andrew has put thousands of smiles on the faces he has served throughout his senior year. Andrew defines what a leader should be – dedicated to helping others and doing the right thing when no one is watching. Through his humble approach, he has constantly placed the needs of his classmates, family, friends, and the Greater Columbus community before his.