Two eighth-graders at Vestal Middle School, Connor Hillis and Drew Hudock, became the latest members of Senator Fred Akshar's "All-Stars" team. As part of a student recognition program he began this year, Senator Akshar is traveling across his district, looking for students who have shown great leadership, compassion , school spirit or improvement amongst their peers. On November 27, he surprised eighth-grade students during a study hall in the library to recognize Connor and Drew.
During a can & bottle drive fundraiser for their soccer team in September, Connor and Drew stopped by Betty Gensler's house. The boys, who were former Clayton Avenue Elementary School students, remembered her as their Kindergarten aide. Mrs. Gensler explained that she herself collected cans and bottles for the ALS Association, and so she did not have any to give them. She shared with them that her son, Michael, passed away from ALS. The two boys went home, and then came back, not only giving her bottles for the ALS Association in memory of her son, but bringing her their own money to donate as well.
Nominated by Principal Brad Bruce at Clayton Avenue, Connor and Drew received award plaques, "Akshar All-Star" T-shirts and "Challenge" coins from Senator Akshar. On the back of the Challenge coins, is the reminder to "Work Hard, Dream Big!"
According to a press release from Senator Akshar's office, last month he recognized students at Maine-Endwell Middle School, C.R. Weeks Elementary School (Windsor) and Harpursville Central High School. Also today, the Senator and his Akshar All-Stars' team were visiting Tioga Central High School and Oxford High School to recognize students there.