Avery High Key Club Wins Several Awards at the Carolinas Key Club District Convention in Durham
By Jesse Wood
Just like the past couple of years, the Avery High Key Club and its members brought home several awards from the Key Club District Convention at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham this past weekend.
For one, the Avery High Key Club was named a Distinguished Club. Only one other club out of 241 in the Carolinas received this award. The following is a list of the other awards won during the district convention, and note that the first place awards are eligible to be entered into the 2017 international competition held in San Antonio in July.
Club Digital Poster- 1st Place
Oratorical Competition- 1st Place to Garrett Dellinger
Club Video – 2nd place
Single Service Award- 3rd Place
Kiwanis Family Relations – 3rd place
The Avery High Key Club is sponsored and supported by the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk. Referred to as DCON, the District Convention of the Carolinas District of Key Club International, is held, for one, to recognize regional Key Clubs and the individuals providing outstanding service in the community.
Teresa Shadoin, Avery High School faculty advisor of the Avery High Key Club, noted that the students were “great ambassadors” for the school and Key Club International while in Durham.
Shadoin said the success of the Avery High Key Club is a group effort from the “great kids to the support of the Kiwanis family,” including Jim Swinkola, Kiwanis Key Club Advisor, and Mary Jo Brubaker, Gov.-Elect for the Carolinas District.
“The Key Club has provided the opportunity for a lot of students to assume leadership roles that they normally might not have had the opportunity to undertake,” Shadoin said, noting that one of her first Avery High Key Club presidents happened to be Josh Dobson, a representative in the N.C. House.
Shadoin cited the three domains of the Key Club: a heart to serve, a call to lead and the courage to engage. She noted that the Avery High Key Club – as a group, not counting individual service – provided more than 3,000 hours of service and participated in nearly 50 service projects during the last year.
“It’s such a privilege to be able to work with kids and young people and watch them grow and figure out what their passions are. One of my mantras is when much is given, much is expected,” Shadoin said. “I expect a lot. I push them to do their very best and you don’t grow if you feel comfortable.”
Brubaker also attended the District Convention over the weekend. Speaking of the awards, Brubaker joked, “We cleaned house.”
Brubaker noted that Avery High Key Club isn’t a huge urban school with 200 members. It’s a smaller, rural club with about 30 kids, but “year after year after year, our kids win awards due to their dedication to service, commitment and they just have an awesome faculty advisor.”
Brubaker praised Shadoin for “encouraging them and driving them to be the best that they can be. I am just so proud of everything they do. It’s just unbelievable what our kids do from giving back to community through service to raising funds through UNICEF.”
Brubaker said that she’s watched some of the members, such as Ellie Kitchen, the outgoing Lt. Gov. of Division 2 within the Carolinas District of Key Club, and Madeline Barinowski, Lt. Gov.-Elect of the same, come into the club as “timid freshman” and grow into “confident, young woman, who are ready to step up and be leaders in the larger Kiwanis family. ”
Speaking of all the Avery High Key Club student-members, Brubaker said, “They are engaged and are our future leaders, kids that Avery County and the High Country can be proud of. I am just bursting with pride.”
Check out some photos below that are related to the recent District Convention in Durham: