Highland News Leader

Highland area Girl Scouts, volunteers honored at regional event

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois honored some of its brightest stars at its annual All That Glitters Award Ceremony on April 7 at Doubletree in Mount Vernon. The banquet recognizes Girl Scouts from across Southern Illinois who achieve significant accomplishments in leadership and community service.

Award recipients included 19 recipients of the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, as well as 107 recipients of the Girl Scout Silver Award, which is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette (grades 6-8) can earn. Girl Scouts who earned both of these awards, as well as the Girl Scout Bronze Award, were also presented with GSSI’s Trifecta Award.

In addition, two Madison County Girl Scouts were named Outstanding Graduating Girl Scouts and received $500 scholarships.

Approximately 300 Girl Scout members — adults and girls — from throughout Southern Illinois also elected board of director members and received a “State of the Council” report from Linda Manley of Highland, GSSI Board of Directors outgoing chair, and Loretta Graham, GSSI chief executive officer.

Adult volunteers were also honored at the meeting.

“Girl Scouting in Southern Illinois is strong and growing stronger, but we couldn’t provide outstanding programs and services to our girls without our dedicated Board of Directors,” said Graham. “These dedicated and talented professionals help GSSI achieve its mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.”

Gold Award

The Girl Scout Gold Award recognizes leadership and positive impact that Girl Scout Seniors (grades 9-10), and Girl Scout Ambassadors (grades 11-12) demonstrate through a large scale community service project that takes a suggested minimum of 80 hours to complete. Only about 5 percent of eligible girls take the rigorous path towards earning this prestigious award, but those who complete the journey change the lives of others, as well as their own, in significant ways.

This year’s Girl Scout Gold Award recipients included Katharine Housewright of St. Jacob, Lane Sedlacek of Troy and Lydia Fulton of Worden. All three girls were also a Trifecta Award honorees.

Silver Award

The Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn, is symbolic of accomplishments in Girl Scouting and community activities as a girl becomes her best self and builds the world around her. The Girl Scout Silver Award project benefits a girl’s community and can be earned as an individual or as part of a group.

This year’s local Girl Scout Silver Award recipients were Angela Nicklin of Aviston; Julia Beil of Highland; Kaylee Garner of Livingston; Hope Sampson of Maryville; Anja Mills of St. Jacob; Gabrielle Gibbs of Trenton; Meagan Blanton, Karsyn Braasch, Allison Dempsey, Makayla Jenkins, Shauna Maher, Ella Manso, Randallynn Nungesser, Jessica Sager, and Katie Schaffer, all of Troy; and Victoria Hester of Worden.

Scholarship winners

Kaitlyn Barnett of Troy and Lydia Fulton of Worden were selected as its 2018 Outstanding Graduating Girl Scout Scholarship winners.

The scholarship is awarded to the Girl Scouts who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in the Girl Scout movement, in school and in their community.

Kaitlyn is a Girl Scout Ambassador who has been a Girl Scout for 13 years. She has earned her Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards, making her a Trifecta recipient. She has also received her Counselor-In-Training, Volunteer-In-Training, Service to Girl Scouts, and Community Service awards.

Kaitlyn is currently a senior at Triad High School in Troy and plans on attending Southeast Missouri State University, where she would like to complete a double major in historical preservation and biology, with a focus in Environmental and Ecological studies. Her dream job would be working as a park ranger for the National Park Service.

“Even though, all these awards are something to be proud of, it is not the pin that I am proud to earn. It is the skills and the empowerment from others in the Girl Scout community, that makes me feel proud to be a Girl Scout,” said Kaitlyn.

Lydia is a Girl Scout Ambassador who has been a Girl Scout for 12 years. During her Girl Scout career, she earned her Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards, also making her a Trifecta recipient. She also served on the GSSI Board of Directors as an ex-officio member for two years and as a mentor for one.

Lydia plans to pursue a biology major, with a focus on cognitive science. Her long-term plan is to become a physician.

“Because of my experiences as a Girl Scout, I feel well-equipped to face my future. I want to do great things, and Girl Scouts has given me the tools to do just that,” Lydia said.

Board of Directors Installed

Deanna Litzenburg of Trenton was elected the new incoming chairperson. Her term will run through 2021.

Litzenburg is an attorney and shareholder with Mathis, Marifian & Richter Ltd. and focuses her practice in a variety of areas, including civil litigation, commercial litigation, workers’ compensation and employment law. She also brings to Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois a tremendous background in human resources and finance. She attended law school at Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale.

She serves as the secretary of Hope Lutheran Church in Highland, and is vice president of the Highland High School Football Boosters. She is a graduate of Leadership Belleville and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Shagbark Council.

She lives in Trenton with her husband, Dean, and two children. Litzenburg currently serves as first vice chair on GSSI’s Board of Directors, and on the HR Task Force, Bylaws Task Force, and Finance Committee.

Manley, the outgoing chair from Highland, will continue to serve GSSI as a member of the Board Development Committee.

Manley is a financial adviser with Edward Jones Investments. A Girl Scout Lifetime Member, she has been involved with Girl Scouting for 40 years, first as a Girl Scout through high school and later as a troop leader, service unit cookie chair and service unit treasurer. She brings outstanding skills and knowledge in fundraising, finance, business and technology. Manley also serves on the St. Paul Education Foundation Board, Jarvis Township Senior Program Board and the Troy/Maryville Chamber of Commerce Board.

Other directors elected were P. Anne Haltenhof of Columbia, first vice chair; Steven Bushong of Waterloo; second vice chair; and Dr. Micki Weaver of Carbondale, Rachel Ruettgers of Mount Vernon, Tracy Fiscus of Centralia, Phil Climaco of Carbondale, Richard Huntington of Mount Vernon, James Sabella of O’Fallon and Beth Freeburg of O’Fallon, members at large.

Other Board Development Committee members elected were Diane Siemer of Teutopolis, Amber George of Herrin, Megan Biggs of Granite City and Carla Nilson of Herrin.

Volunteers honored

Top Girl Scout volunteers were also recognized at the meeting. GSSI’s nearly 4,550 Girl Scout volunteers play an important role in providing leadership programming and opportunities for over 11,300 girls in Southern Illinois.

Volunteer of Excellence Award winners included Jenny Campbell, Sarah Hulbert, Ellie Saboff, Judy Stewart and Mandy White, all of Service Unit 7 in Bond County.

Appreciation Pins went to Jennifer Batek, Mary Beil, Dena Davis, Jessica McMillen, Michele McPhillips, and Stephanie Nicklin, all of Service Unit 110 in Highland.

Debbie Workman of Service Unit 110 also received an Honor Pin.