Below are the March winners of the Atlas Butler Awards. 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.


Dory Cassidy

Junior at Bishop Hartley High School

Nominated by: Andrea Klein

Class with A: Spanish III

Teacher of winning classroom: Andrea Klein

Dory is one of the most selfless and hard working students that I have ever encountered. She has been my student for the last two years and has maintained an A average every quarter. She is currently a member of NHS and honor roll. Dory is also a member of my mentor group and a House Captain for our school. Dory is a strong leader in and outside of the classroom. At our school she is a student tutor and also works at other schools in the area tutoring younger children. She is a Student Ambassador to our elementary schools. Outside of school Dory volunteers with the Appalachian Project every summer, giving over 100 hours of service; she bakes cookies with her mother for the Open Shelter and has been a Girl Scout since the first grade. Dory is by far one of the most giving and dedicated students that I have ever had the pleasure of working with and I truly cannot say enough about her. She never seems to have difficulty balancing all of her extra curricular activities while playing two varsity sports. I know that she would benefit tremendously from this scholarship and it is with great pleasure that I recommend her.

Daniel Fay

Senior at Westerville Central High School

Nominated by: Cindy Fay

Class with A: Biology

Teacher of winning classroom: Mrs. McCormick

Dan is an Eagle Boy Scout, having completed an ADA-Accessible Nature Observatory Platform for the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department. The project consisted of planning the details with a city staff member, soliciting donations and ordering the building materials, managing their delivery as well as organizing over 40 volunteers with nearly 300 hours of volunteer service. He is also a member and soloist of the Westerville Central High School Symphonic Choir and will be performing this spring in a concert with the orchestra, featuring a vocal baritone solo. He serves as Vice President of the Symphonic Choir and will be responsible for the production details of their May end-of-year concert.

Hannah Griffith

Sophomore at Big Walnut High School

Nominated by: Angie Stooksbury

Class with A: English

Teacher of winning classroom: Mitton

Hannah Griffith, with determination and perseverance, has single-handedly started a peer mediation program in her school. Due to her own battle with self-image and encounters with peers, Hannah saw a need to reach out to others. Her main objective is to make sure that all students know that they are never alone. The Peer Mediators are always there for support and to lend an ear or a caring shoulder to cry on. The program was just recently put into place, but it is already receiving much praise. In the four months that the program has been up and running, over 30 students have benefited. In a time when bullying issues are a very real concern, Hannah has stepped up and really made a difference. Joel Windle, a student mediator in Hannah's group stated, "This program is great. It is already helping with the bullying that unfortunately goes on, even in great schools like Big Walnut. Hannah approached me and gave me an application. I immediately knew this was something that I wanted to be a part of. Anything that helps others is a good thing. We have had to go through a lot of training, and the program is set up so well that we are all prepared to help mediate those who need our help."

I can't express enough how proud I am of Hannah. She is truly an example of what we want our young people to be. With the current passage of House Bill 116, also known as the Jessica Logan Act, the state is trying to crack down on bullying. Hannah Griffith is going above and beyond and taking her own stand against bullying. Please show her that her efforts haven't gone unnoticed.

Grant Kirkey

Junior at Olentangy Orange High School

Nominated by: Vicki Williams

Class with A: Computer Science

Teacher of winning classroom: Vicki Williams

Grant Kirkey is an outstanding student who deeply cares about his community. This year Grant led an effort to collect food for the desperately depleted Food Bank sponsored by People In Need of Delaware County. Grant organized a neighborhood campaign. He dropped off grocery bags to all the residents of a sub-division and explained the need for support for the local food bank. He then returned about a week later and collected the bags filled with non-perishable food and household supplies. Grant collected and delivered over 1,300 pounds of food for the food bank. No one who knows Grant would be surprised that he thought of doing this, and that he successfully followed through on his idea. His peers and his teachers know Grant is a thoughtful, caring, dependable, young man. He gives 100% to his studies, Boy Scouts, Student Government. Grant is an outstanding person and truly worthy of this recognition.

Melissa Hurley

Senior at Delaware Hayes High School

Nominated by: Leigh Hurley

Class with A: Marching/Concert Band

Teacher of winning classroom: Mr. Remlinger

Melissa volunteers and works with numerous organizations giving of her time and ability unselfishly. She volunteers with Big Brother/Big Sisters at Conger Elementary most weeks after school. She is an active member of Key Club where they most recently collected "Pennies for Patients". As a Girl Scout, Melissa enjoys volunteering her time, working with younger members at summer camp, leading nature activities and teaching about the environment and safe camping skills.

Melissa has a real passion for teaching and helping others. As an older 4H member, Melissa works with younger members on their projects, encouraging them when they are nervous or frustrated. She worked with them on their project books and gave them ideas for their projects. She makes special attempts to be at their judging to help build their confidence as they prepare. No matter how well they do on their projects, she talks them through their project as to what worked and what may be an opportunity for later. Many club and troop activities collect and sort items for PIN and Humane Society. Her family fosters puppies at the Humane Society, and usually averages 15 puppies in a year, often 3 or 4 at a time. Melissa was awarded the LaSertoma Youth Service Award in 2011.

Tyler Kent

Senior at Grove City High School

Nominated by: Denise Kovaleski

Class with A: Trigonometry

Teacher of winning classroom: Kovaleski

On Christmas Eve 2005, a drunk driver killed Tyler's brother, cousin and a family friend. Tyler awoke Christmas morning to two deputy sheriff officers telling his parents the devastating news. Since that day, Tyler has been a role model in his community. His family's loss has touched the lives of thousands of family, friends, and community members. Last year, during the excitement of the upcoming prom, Tyler chose to follow in his father's footsteps and share the experience with his peers. Tyler gave his first of many speeches to a group of high school students in a nearby community, discussing the effects of drunk driving and the repercussions of the loss from a brother's perspective. The speech ended with a standing ovation and not a dry eye. If Tyler has made a difference in only one person's decision not to drink and drive, he has achieved his goal. He lives by the belief that his life was meant to influence others to make good decisions, and his loss was the stepping stone to a larger plan. Tyler continues to share his story, and people listen. His life has changed forever since that day as a 12 year old, anxious for the Christmas rush of presents and family celebration, and as a result so have thousands of other lives been altered by the story he as willingly shared.

Hunter Frey

Freshman at Buckeye Valley enrolled in the Delaware Hayes ROTC program

Nominated by: Robin Frey

Class with A: ROTC

Teacher of winning classroom: Colonel Floyd Anible

Hunter has an outreach ministry, Hunter's Hope for the Central African Republic and the World. He began five years ago fundraising and collecting toys for orphans, homeless and needy children worldwide, and the last two years he has raised funds to provide Christmas for needy children in his community. Hunter makes sure that homeless, needy and foster children get gifts for other holidays such as Easter, Valentines Day and Halloween to name a few. He is an ROTC Drill Team member and a Delaware County Sheriff's Explorer member who was recently promoted to Sergeant. Hunter not only raises awareness, he gets his peers involved as well.

Alicia James

Senior at Buckeye Valley High School

Nominated by: DeeDee James

Class with A: Physics

Teacher of winning classroom: Gery Kovatch

My daughter did a fantastic fundraiser that raised over $2,000 for a local mom battling breast cancer. During my daughter's sophomore year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This gave her a passion for the disease and being the soccer captain gave her the platform to do something. She spent many hours planning, calling and collecting donations and organizing a Kick for the Cure event for Buckeye Valley. Playing the game was a team effort, but recognizing the survivors at the game, as well as planning and carrying out the details of the event fell heavily on her shoulders. They were able to give a gift to a local mom to help with her mounting medical expenses.

Heather Miller

Junior at Hilliard Darby High School

Nominated by: Nathan Garrison

Class with A: College Fundamentals

Teacher of winning classroom: Nathan Garrison

Heather has volunteered at Mill Run Garden and Care Center for the past three years. Heather gets to know the residents on a personal level and even though she is involved in many extracurricular school activities she finds ways to participate and make their lives more enjoyable. Heather is involved in a multitude of activities at the center, helping with crafts, cooking, bingo, party set-up and participation, and interior decorating for holidays. She acts as a shopping assistant, and attends off-site outings with residents. She is receptive to anything and is always willing to pitch in. Always with a smile on her face, Heather loves to experience things with residents, whether it is a Tarzan calling contest, cake decorating or the "Night at the Movies" she created, where she offers fresh popcorn, soda, and a variety of movie candy. Wise beyond her years, Heather connects to residents and listens to them. Although she has a severe vision impairment that will ultimately render her blind, she is learning to adapt to these challenges. She allows her impairment to help her connect with residents at the facility, empathizing with their physical conditions and offering renewed motivation to enjoy life in spite of their limitations. She even won the 2011 OHCA Teen Volunteer of the Year for the state of Ohio, due to her positive attitude, great sense of humor, and amazing energy. Heather even finds the time to participate on the Darby Track and Bowling teams, and is a member of Key Club.

Ashley Clark

Junior at Dublin Coffman High School

Nominated by: Kathy Bell

Class with A: Intervention Studies

Teacher of winning classroom: Kathy Bell

Ashley Clark is an inspiration to her community on a daily basis. I have known Ashley for the past two years and she has always been a role model for others. While at school, Ashley strives to do her best and is always willing to help others. Within her community church, she assists with blood drives, helps raise money for Christmas presents for young children in need, and assists with a donation/ drop-off trailer for unwanted items that are donated to the needy. She also has helped at the food pantry by serving meals, as well as handing out food to the homeless within her church. This summer, Ashley plans on going to New Orleans to help rebuild homes still in need. Ashley also gives her time to support our troops. She has helped crate boxes, or care packages, to the troops overseas each month. All of her free time; summer break, spring break, etc., is used to help others. She is selfless and truly enjoys giving to others. I am so proud to know Ashley and know that she makes a difference on a daily basis. I know other students look up to Ashley for her devotion and dedication to our community.