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March 28, 2013

DHS teachers select Crossman finalists

DUNCAN — The top five seniors at the Duncan High School were chosen by their teachers. And soon, there peers will selected the next Crossman Award winner.

Jackson “Jack” Cortes Braught, Kelsey Danielle Bridges, Caleb Eric Longest, Brittany Joy Toone and Allyson Leigh Wilcox are this year’s nominees for the Crossman Award. The Crossman Award is the biggest award given by the Duncan High School to a student.

The Crossman Award at the high school dates back to 1946, when Wade Koeninger received the award. The 2012 Crossman winner was Amanda Johnson. Each year, teachers vote for students who should be selected as Crossman nominees.

“All of them are good students,” senior counselor Paula Belcher said. “The next 10 kids on the list are just as good.”

State-wide, the award originated during the 1930s, when the Stillwater-based Crossman Insurance Company started the program as a way to recognize a member of the upcoming graduating class.

Crossman Insurance didn’t survive the Great Depression and over the years many participating school systems have dropped the award. However, the award remains significant at Duncan because faculty members select the finalists and students elect the winner.

The winner of the Crossman Award will be announced during the DHS awards program May 17. Traditionally, Superintendent Sherry Labyer opens the envelop to reveal the winner. Labyer makes it a point not to know who the winner is beforehand.

The five finalists said they’re excited to be up for the DHS top award, although each of them experience some shock to be chosen above some of their peers.

“There’s a lot of people who could have gotten it,” Toone said.

Bridges said being nominated is just as good as winning the Crossman Award because only a small number of students ever get to be a finalist. Braught agreed.

“I just feel blessed,” Braught said. “It’s such a big deal at Duncan High School. Like Kelsey said, it’s just an honor.”

All of this year’s nominees are active in the high school.

Wilcox, the daughter of Kimberly Wilcox and Byron Wilcox, participates in varsity cheer, varsity golf, Key Club as secretary, student council as secretary, FCA, SADD as secretary, Jolly Jills Social Club, National Honor Society, Rotary Interact as co-president, Superintendent’s Advisory Council and DHS Leadership.

“We’ve all put in a lot of effort,” Wilcox said about the nominees.

Toone, the daughter of Mike and Susan Toone, takes part in NHS, Key Club as chaplain, student council, Leadership and Reflections Show Choir, She is also active on the varsity tennis team.

In 2009, her older brother, Bradley Toone, was nominated for the Crossman Award.

Longest is also an active members of the Duncan High School populace.

Longest, the son of Kim and Stacey Longest, is active in Leadership, Superintendents Advisory Council and student council. He also participates on the Duncan Demon football team.

He said one of the things that made his fellow nominees and him standout is their presence in class. He said being present in class goes beyond be there physically.

“We communicate with our teachers,” Longest said. “We don’t just sit through class.”

Bridges is the daughter of Darren and Jana Bridges. She takes part in National Honor Society as president, is the Senior Class vice president, student council, Key Club, SADD as treasurer, Student Advisory Council, Leadership, Gear Up and Safe School Committee.

Like the other nominees, Braught is an active participate at the Duncan High School and in the community.

Braught, son of Rick and Barbara Braught, is involved in the student council as president, Superintendent’s Advisory Council, FCA, Leadership, NHS. He is also active in several sports including football, basketball and track.

The nominees said they’re excited to find out who wins the Crossman Award this year. But each said any of them could win because they’re all deserving.

“This is a good bunch of people,” Toone said.

Past Crossman Award winners

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