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4th Quarter 2014 Outstanding Citizen Award Winners

Posted: January 20 2015

4th Quarter 2014 Outstanding Citizen Award Winners

Bentonville, AR – January 20, 2015…Mayor McCaslin is pleased to announce the 4th quarter winners of the Outstanding Citizen Award.  The 4th quarter winners are: Caitlyn Slaton, Brian Louis and NWA Aquatics (Sharks).  Chick-fil-A of Bentonville will sponsor the breakfast to honor the citizens and organization selected for this award. 

Ricky Manes, who teaches at Fulbright Jr. High nominated Caitlyn Slaton.  He wrote, “From day one in my class Caitlyn stood out among her peers as she went out of her way to help those in need.”  Mr. Manes is a history teacher who has several English as Second Language (ESL) learners.  It is Caitlyn’s dedication to helping ESL students that prompted Mr. Manes nomination.  Too, Mr. Manes sought out the opinion of his colleagues at Fulbright.  One teacher said, “Caitlyn does more for our ESL students that we can ever hope to do.”  Mr. Mane provided this example:  “We do many presentations in our class, and for someone who does not speak our language it is very scary and difficult to stand in front of a class of 8th grade students.  For one presentation, Caitlyn recorded herself speaking and presenting the ESL student’s part and then gave it to the ESL student to use.  She then helped her practice her part daily.  There is not a day that goes by that I don’t see her helping someone else in class. There’s no doubt that Caitlyn’s efforts have helped the ESL students’ grades increase.  But more than that, her efforts have surely given them the confidence they need to succeed in their studies as well as their community at large.” 

William Bush nominated Brian Louis for his dedication to a mentorship program he organizes for students at Mary Mae Jones Elementary School.  Mr. Louis rallies his colleagues at Kraft Foods to become mentor volunteers at the school. Currently, there are twenty mentors. The mentors help with reading, math and other assignments throughout the school year.  Mr. Bush, a counselor at Mary Mae Jones said, “The program continues to grow each year largely because Mr. Louis’ commitment to the kids and the community.  He is a great role model in showing the meaningfulness of placing others above ourselves.”   

Ms. Kathleen Breed nominated the fifteen members of the Northwest Arkansas Aquatics (Sharks) Swim Team.  Ms. Breed’s nomination detailed the “Swim Night for Athletes with Special Needs” program which was designed to give special needs kids an opportunity to swim, play pool games and share an evening out with their families. This event was held on December 5, 2014 at the Walton Life Fitness Center. The event was hosted by Bike Bentonville, Bentonville Public Schools and the Walton Life Fitness Center.  It is part of a series of programs for athletes with special needs and offers one event each month specifically for these promising athletes.  Past events include Bike Night and Student Fitness Festival.  Ms. Breed said, “The Sharks partnered with special athletes and showed them how to use a kickboard.  They raced each other from one end of the pool to the other.  They high-fived, congratulated and laughed with new found friends. We know what a unique community Bentonville is.  Opportunity, reward, achievement, recognition, and accomplishment seem to meet our kids at every corner.  And yet this group of young athletes, these members of Northwest Aquatics Sharks Swim Team, showed up without the promise of any of these things.  They showed up to make a difference.  Mission Accomplished.”

The Outstanding Citizen Award program was initiated in January 2011 to recognize the exceptional volunteer contributions of Bentonville residents.  There are three award categories: adult, youth and community group.  First quarter 2015 nominations will be accepted until March 20th.  Winners will be announced during National Volunteer Week, April 12-18, 2015. To obtain a nomination form and additional information, please click here.