Dublin City Schools has many programs in place to recognize students who achieve academically and in extracurricular activities. The Community Champion Awards is a different type of recognition ceremony.

Dublin City Schools has many programs in place to recognize students who achieve academically and in extracurricular activities. The Community Champion Awards is a different type of recognition ceremony.

The program recognizes students and staff members who exhibit caring, kindness, and a sense of community spirit. Do you know a student goes the extra mile to make our community a better place? Do you know a student who volunteers his or her time on weekends or in the evenings? Do you know a staff member that exhibits a gentle and caring attitude toward students?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, I encourage you to submit a nomination before the Feb. 11 deadline.

Nominations may be made on online today at www.dublinchamber.org/cca.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the Community Champion Awards is how students react to receiving the award. The sense of accomplishment and pride is evident on students' faces when they walk across the stage at Dublin Jerome each April.

Here are a few snippets from past nominations to provide you with some examples on what type of nominations the committee is seeking.

• Junior, Jerome High School—This student was recognized for her integrity and compassion when helping others. She took a leadership role when planning fundraising activities for her school's Latin Club and choir.

• Eighth-Grader, Davis Middle School—This student was recognized for his participation in the Ohio Reads Program and for volunteering to help younger students with their reading skills.

• Fourth-Grader, Chapman Elementary—This student was recognized for helping start a service project involving the creation of animal trading cards. She helped research different animals and launched a sales campaign to benefit animal charities.

The more detail and thought put into a nomination, the better chance it has of being accepted, and your nominee invited to the ceremony. The above examples are from much longer nominations. The chamber's board of directors and school district personnel review the nominations and select the winners. All nominations are carefully scrutinized and verified.

The program has become a Dublin institution in only four years of existence and has been the recipient of both Ohio and national public relations awards.

The program is open to Dublin City Schools students in grades 4 – 12, as well as all staff.

More than 200 students and staff members were nominated for last year's event. Those who are nominated will not know they are nominated unless notified by the chamber that they have been selected for the awards program.

Each Community Champion Award winner will receive a limited edition medal. In addition, one senior from each high school will receive a $500 cash scholarship, one student from each grade 4-11 will receive a $100 savings bond, and one Dublin City Schools staff member will have a $500 donation made in their name to the school project of their choice.

For more information about the Community Champion Awards or to make a nomination, please visit www.dublinchamber.org/cca. Questions? Call (614) 889-2001.

One of the most special aspects about this program is that it truly involves our entire community. I would like to thank the following corporate sponsors for their generous contributions to the program: Dublin Chamber of Commerce; Dublin Chamber Civic Foundation; Dublin City Schools; City of Dublin; Dairy Queen Dublin; Energy Systems Group; Celmark Development Group, Inc; OCLC; Smiley Dental Group; Dublin Methodist Hospital–OhioHealth; Duke Realty Corp.; Fifth Third Bank; Kinetics Noise Control, Inc.; Nationwide Children's Hospital; PNC Bank; Underwood Orthodontics; Emerald Bank; Performance Printing; Squier Photography; Red Blossom Flowers & Gifts, Inc.; Roush Hardware; and Union Rural Electric.

David Axner is the superintendent of Dublin City Schools.