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Duplin Rotary Honors January Students of the Month


Students of the month stand together

Duplin Rotary Honors January Students of the Month

Duplin Rotary recently recognized Duplin County Schools students as Students of the Month for January.  At the January 9th meeting, students along with their guests and rotary club members enjoyed lunch at the Country Squire before sharing their accomplishments and future plans after high school.  

Tatiana Bell is a senior at East Duplin High School. Next year, Tatiana plans to attend either UNC-Charlotte or UNC-Wilmington to study social work.  Her favorite extracurricular activities include cheerleading and being involved in journalism. Tatiana is a member of SGA, FCA and is very active in her church. Tatiana says that her godmother has been very influential in her life because of her strong faith and kindness. Tatiana says that her favorite teacher is Ms. Katy Hunter because “she has always pushed me and set high expectations that she knew I could reach”. The qualities Tatiana looks for in a friend is someone who is honest and kind to those around them.  In ten years, Tatiana would like to be working in a counseling role and impacting the lives of others.

Melissa Smith is a senior at North Duplin Jr/Sr High School where she is involved in leadership roles with Beta, FCA, and FFA. After high school, Melissa is planning to study history education at either NC State, UNC-Wilmington, UMO or ECU. One of the most influential people in her life has been her mom. She says that her favorite thing about being a student at NDJS is the closeness of the community. Melissa could not pick just one teacher to call her favorite but acknowledged Mr. Allen Dupree, Ms. Debbie Rose, Mr. Kevin Anderson and Ms. Dianne Canuette for being very influential in her academic life as a student at NDJS. In ten years, Melissa sees herself coming back to NDJS to either pursue a teaching career or to work as a school counselor.

Lauren Brown is a senior at Duplin Early College High School where she is a member of the Beta Club and FCA. She also enjoys dancing and playing the piano.  After high school, Lauren plans to attend NC State University or UMO and major in Agriculture Science. One of the most influential people in Lauren’s life has been her teacher, Dr. Phyllis Blackmon. Lauren says that what she loves most about Duplin Early College High School is being able to complete a 2-year Associate's Degree during high school, the small environment and how the teachers and administrators take the student's wants and needs into consideration when making decisions. Lauren’s favorite teacher is Mr. Brandon Hill and in 10 years, Lauren sees herself as a college graduate making decisions to be proud of and continuing on the path to finding her true self.

Leslie Hernandez Escobedois a senior at James Kenan High School. After graduation, Leslie plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill to major in biology and minor in business. Outside of regular school activities, Leslie likes getting involved with social issues and she also enjoys painting.  One of her favorite teachers at James Kenan is Ms. Darlene Quinn. Leslie says, “Ms. Quinn has always been there for me. She has always taken the time to help me through my ups and downs and encourage me to remain positive in challenging situations”. The most influential people in Leslie’s life are her four brothers. She says they have always set the bar high for her and that motivates her to reach anything that she sets her mind to.  She also says her brothers motivate her to be a better person and their kindness and belief in God continue to inspire her to be the best that she can be. In ten years, Leslie sees herself working as a Physician’s Assistant.

Congratulations on your accomplishments and recent recognition as Duplin Rotary's January Students of the Month!