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National Principal's Leadership Award

Competing against nearly 7,800 school winners from throughout the United States, Steven Boyd, an Ontario High School senior, has won a national Principal's Leadership Award scholarship.

Shirley Vendrell, OHS principal, nominated Boyd for the award, which includes a $1,000 college scholarship. A total of 150 Principal's Leadership Awards were presented as part of National Student Leadership Week, April 21-27, by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and Herff Jones, Inc.

Both the terms "leadership" and "award" are familiar to Boyd.

He was recently a semi-finalist for the prestigious Mark O. Hatfield Award given at Willamette University. In March of 2001, he received the University of Oregon's College of Education Alumni Society Student Achievement Award for Eastern Oregon.

He made history by being the first student east of the Cascades elected as president of the Oregon Association of Student Councils, after serving as Eastern Region Representative. Last June, he was elected Secretary of State at Oregon Beaver Boys' State. He was twice elected president of his class and served as Associate Student Body vice president his junior year and is the ASB president for 2001-2002.

"Hatfield himself would love Steve," according to John Taggart, one of Boyd's leadership advisors at OHS. "Gentle, honorable, honest, and a leader based upon moral standards and work ethic."

The son of Bob and Tobi Boyd also was one of the very first teens elected to the vestry or governing body at St. Matthews Episcopal Church.

"Because of his extensive community service, Steve has impacted our patrons, the OHS student body and staff," Principal Vendrell said. "He participates in many projects, including ones sponsored by the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Help Them to Hope and additional locally initiated projects."

Vendrell added that Boyd has "has read to elementary students, visited nursing homes and volunteered for the City."

"He has picked up trash, planted trees and flowers and planned and participated in recognizing students and teachers," Vendrell said. "Steve is a viable, effective role model for his fellow students, and I was more than happy to nominate him for an award recognizing student leadership."

Another leadership advisor, Laurie Grim, had the pleasure of seeing Boyd named OASC president at the 2000 state convention in Seaside.

"Steve Boyd is by far one of the most enjoyable young men I have ever had the pleasure of working with," Grim said. "He cares deeply about his peers, his school, and community, and has given countless hours to all three to make Ontario a better place to live. "

With his dedication to school leadership, his community service projects and his participation in track and cross-country, Boyd still maintains a 4.00+ grade point average. His SAT scores total 1220, and his ACT composite is 26. Knowing this, it comes as no surprise he ranks within the top 2 percent of his graduating class.

A term not so familiar to Boyd is "spare time." But he has been known to play the guitar and listen to music when he isn't involved in a school-related activity and isn't working at the Red Apple. Catching him for a few minutes to offer a comment is a difficult thing to do.

"I'd like to thank Mrs. Vendrell for nominating me for this award," Boyd said. "I was pleasantly surprised to find out I'd won."

The high school senior who now looks forward to being a University of Oregon freshman, credits a strong leadership program at OHS with giving him the skills he needed.

"I can thank Mrs. (Laurie) Grim, Mr. (John) Taggart and Mr. (Harold) Sanner for their support and guidance in the leadership program," Boyd said. "We have a great program at OHS."

Boyd said that although many high schools allow only the officers of school organizations the opportunity for leadership classes, at OHS, all students are eligible.

"I'm glad our school isn't like that," he said. "We have a nice program with strong, dedicated people as advisors."

Boyd's favorite academic subjects in school - not surprisingly - are history and American Government. These, combined with his leadership activities reflect his proposed major in college: political science.

"Steve Boyd is a well-rounded young person who represents the best of Ontario High School," Vendrell said. "I was delighted to recommend him for the Principals' Leadership Award, and am thrilled he has been chosen to receive a scholarship."