Masons honor outstanding juniors

Masonic Junior Boy and Girl of the year honorees are, from left, Sarah Mullen and Braxton Jessup, both from Waterville, and Ian Minatani and Samantha Trull, both from Mansfield. (Empire Press photo/Suzanne Robinson)


By Suzanne Robinson
Empire Press Correspondent

The Masonic Outstanding Junior Achievement Awards ceremony, sponsored by Badger Mountain Lodge No. 57, was held May 15 at the Masonic Lodge in Waterville.

All juniors at Waterville and Mansfield high schools are eligible to apply for the awards. The awards program provides each applicant the opportunity to practice the scholarship application process for his or her upcoming senior year of high school.

Twelve juniors were acknowledged and received certificates of achievement.

This year’s junior Boy and Girl of the Year from Waterville were Braxton Jessup and Sarah Mullen, and Boy and Girl of the Year from Mansfield were Ian Minatani and Samantha Trull. All four received scholarships.

The other students honored were Riley Voie, who is also a freshman at Wenatchee Valley College through the Running Start program, Kayden Browning, Tristen Marden, Anthony Bron, Gannon Gormley and Jose Velasquez, all from Waterville High School; and Abbigale Smith and Presley Avenell, both from Mansfield High School.

Along with the Junior Achievement Awards each year, the Mason’s honor educators and award Teacher of the Year for both schools. Staff at each school are given the opportunity to vote on who they think is the most deserving of this award. This year’s Teacher of the Year recipients were Stacey Biram, second grade teacher at Waterville; and Ric Bayless, mathematics teacher and graduation specialist at Mansfield. Both have many years of experience teaching and working with students.

The ceremony began with the Pledge of Allegiance followed by words of wisdom from Pastor Seth Normington, of the Federated Church in Waterville, to the junior students in attendance. The advice he shared included steps to success such as “interrupting negative thoughts, remind yourself of your strengths, focus on the positive process, use affirmation phrases and to keep a positive mental mind set.”

Refreshments were served after the ceremony.