Duplin Rotary honors Students of the Month


Duplin Rotary recognized Duplin County Schools students as Students of the Month for March at last week’s meeting. Also recognized were Students of the Month for January and February from Duplin Early College High School. Students, along with guests and Rotary members, enjoyed a luncheon at the Country Squire Restaurant in Warsaw before each student shared with the club his or her accomplishments and plans for the future.

John Thomas Avent is the Rotary Student of the Month for James Kenan High School. He is involved in sports and has played four sports each year throughout his high school career including football, basketball, baseball and golf. He enjoys playing sports because he likes to be involved and meet new people.

John Thomas’ favorite teacher at James Kenan is Marley Blanchard because she makes learning fun and interesting. He is unsure of his college and career plans, but hopes to work in the agriculture field in the years to come and coach at a local high school. John Thomas is the son of John and Anna Avent.

Rotary Student of the Month for East Duplin High School is Rachel Brown. She enjoys playing sports and has played volleyball and softball all four years of high school. Rachel expressed her appreciation to her coaches and referred to them as “phenomenal” because they teach lessons not just about how to play the game, but true life lessons that can be taken outside of high school.

Rachel plans to attend East Carolina University and has earned a place in the Honors College. Her plans are to go to optometry school after receiving her undergraduate degree and hopefully open a general practice. The most influential people in her life are her parents, Danny and Carol Brown, because they have raised her in a Christian household and they have instilled in her a strong work ethic.

Nicole Garcia Cortez is North Duplin Jr./Sr. High School’s Rotary Student of the Month. She is passionate about doing her best in life and believes the best traits in a friend are honesty and humility. She has worked since she was 16 at ACE Hardware and Burger King. She has been accepted and will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill next fall to major in biology.

Her plans for the future are to become a medical doctor specializing in pediatric care. The most influential people in her life are her parents and her aunt. They encourage Nicole to have a strong work ethic and do her best in everything. What she likes best about North Duplin is how helpful all the teachers are, including her favorite teacher Kevin Anderson. She said he is honest with the students, but also very strict and expects each student to do their best. Nicole is the daughter of Austreberta Cortez and Daniel Rodriguez.

Eduardo Rodriguez is the March Rotary Student of the Month for Duplin Early College High School. Eduardo is the president of the Beta Club. He enjoys Duplin Early College because everyone knows each other and how students receive more one on one instruction with being a smaller setting.

Eduardo’s favorite teacher is Casey Knowles because he goes above and beyond to make sure students understand the material. Honesty and maturity are the qualities he looks for in a friend. He hopes to attend UNC-Chapel Hill and major in computer science in hopes of having a career as an IT technician. The most influential people in his life are his parents, Miguel and Maria Rodriguez.

Alexandra Zubrowicz is the January Rotary Student of the Month for Duplin Early College High School. She is a member of the Beta Club and is part of a competitive dance team in Wallace. Alexandra, who is currently a junior, plans to attend Georgetown University to major in political science and hopes to be admitted into law school. The most influential person in her life is her grandfather because he is an entrepreneur and is someone who has taught her that it is important to turn every negative situation into something positive.

Alexandra enjoys attending Duplin Early College because it is a small community where everyone knows each other. Her favorite teacher is Ms. Ferguson because she is an optimistic person. In 10 years she plans to have a career in international law. Alexandra is the daughter of Piotr Zubrowicz and Joanna Rogowiecka.

Zack Bryant is the February Rotary Student of the Month for Duplin Early College High School. Zack is a member of his school’s Beta Club, works at Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q, and operates an Herbalife business.

The most influential person in his life has been his school counselor, M.J. Jessup-Sutton. Zack enjoys being a part of the Duplin Early College family because the students exhibit a sense of maturity across all levels. His favorite teacher is Casey Knowles. Zack, who is a junior, plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and major in business and hospitality. His hopes are to attend law school after he finishes his undergraduate degree.

In 10 years from now, Zack sees himself working as an attorney in Washington, D.C. Zach is the son of Miranda Bryant.

“We appreciate all parents and school officials for what they do for our students,” Rotarian JoAnn Stroud said. “It takes a village to raise a child. Each month when we hear from these students. We are always proud of them and hope to see them back here in Duplin County in the future.”


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