NMMI cadet Joshua Pinon reads from his essay during Chaves County’s Character Counts! Super Celebration, Thursday night. Ilissa Gilmore Photo
The Chaves County Character Counts! program recognized winners of a student art, poetry and essay contest Thursday during the annual Super Celebration at Roswell High School.
Character Counts! teaches the importance of character, which include six pillars: trustworthiness, caring, responsibility, citizenship, respect and fairness.
“Your example will be followed by others, so it’s important that you follow the pillars of character,” said Judge Freddie Romero, the event’s keynote speaker.
With the theme of “timeless truths of everyday living,” students presented works that reflected issues in their personal lives.
Inspired by his own experience as a cross-country runner, Joshua Pinon’s winning essay “The Big Race” tells the story of “a kid in contradiction with himself over what is morally right.”
The message of the story, he said is “it is better to fail with honor than to succeed with dishonor.”
“Cheating is never the way to go,” said Pinon, 14, who wore his New Mexico Military Institute uniform and stood with bone-straight posture.
Winners for art drawings were: Jude Jones, All Saints Catholic School, for first grade; Jayci Ervin, Dexter Elementary for second and third grades; Emily Delgado, Dexter Elemenary, for fourth and fifth grades; Hunter Abernathy, Valley Christian Academy, for sixth through eighth grades; and Natali Morales, Valley Christian Academy, for ninth and tenth grades.
Winners for essay writing were: Wesley Gallegos of Valley View Elementary School, for first grade; Asher Harper of All Saints Catholic School, who won for grades second through third; Jazmin Moreno of Dexter Elementary School, for grades fourth through fifth; Regan Bradford of Immanuel Lutheran for grades sixth through eighth; Joshua Pinon of New Mexico Military Institute for grades ninth through tenth; and Zachary Larson of New Mexico Military Institute, who won at the college level.
Winners for poetry included: Olivia Martinez of All Saints Catholic School for first grade; Elizabeth Garcia of Pecos Elementary for grades second through third; Zena Duran of Pecos Elementary for grades fourth through fifth; Crystal Theimer of Valley Christian Academy, for grades sixth through eighth; Seneca Luna of Valley Christian Academy, for grades ninth through tenth; Lucias Lehr of New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Academy for grades eleventh through twelfth; and Bryant Kunkel with New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Academy, who won at the college level.
The celebration also honored principals and organization winners with plaques.