The inaugural year of The First National Bank’s Student of the Month program concluded April 30 with a reception at the America’s Best Value Inn conference room in Vandalia. Beginning last September, staff at Vandalia, Ramsey, Patoka, Mulberry Grove, and Greenville high schools nominated students for the monthly award. The last winners for this school year were selected in March. Twenty-six of this year’s recipients were in attendance along with parents, nominating teachers, and Student of the Month committee members.
Alex Miller, FNB junior loan officer and founder of the Student of the Month program, gave a brief synopsis on how the project took shape. She commended the students on their many accomplishments and their willingness to take on extra-curricular activities.
Guest speaker was Sherry Schaefer, owner of 3-Point Ink publishing in Greenville and a world-renowned expert on Oliver tractors. Schaefer is also a pilot and recently has become friends with Col. Gail Halvorsen, best known as the “Candy Bomber” for dropping candy to children during the Berlin Airlift of 1948 and 1949. Schaefer said she has learned from Halvorsen the philosophy of “attitude, gratitude, and service before self.” Schaefer told the high school students, “With the right attitude, you can achieve anything. If you aren’t grateful for what you have, you don’t deserve it. And always put service of others before yourself.”
Schaefer drew from her own life experiences to explain the importance of taking chances which can often create opportunities.
To qualify for Student of the Month, nominees must be a junior or senior, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, display leadership skills, demonstrate good moral character, be active in extracurricular activities, and express future goals and/or college plans. Winners are selected by a panel of First National Bank employees representing each branch. Students had previously received a $50 check and a certificate.