In its efforts to promote student achievement, the Arlington Rotary Club recently honored a local educator and presented county high-school student scholarships totaling $18,000.
Laurie Dodson, a counselor at Key Immersion Elementary School, was named “Educator of the Year.” Arlington Rotary is a partner with Key School, supporting it with special activities throughout the year.
Dodson was commended for helping Key School-Escuela Key, the county’s bilingual Spanish immersion K-5 elementary school, to achieve national recognition from the American School Counseling Association as a model for its data-informed counseling program.
Dodson also coordinates the school’s “Adopt a Child and Family” holiday-gift campaign that matches community donors with more than 60 families in need.
Emma Newman, a Washington-Liberty High School senior, is the recipient of a $10,000 scholarship over four years to attend Virginia Tech. She plans to major in psychology and hopes to pursue a career helping people who live with mental illness.
Sarai Joya Argueta, a graduate of Arlington Community High School, is the recipient of the $8,000 Audra Rafter Scholarship. She begins studies at Northern Virginia Community College this month to study information technology, and hopes for a career in the medical and pharmacy field.
“The awards reflect Arlington Rotary’s ongoing commitment to education,” said the club’s interim Education Fund president, Steve Klemp. “We are proud to honor a leader of the present and two leaders of the future. They are assets for our community.”
The club presented the awards on April 22 in an event held “virtually” because of the pandemic. Lisa Fikes, acting president and CEO of Leadership Center for Excellence, was the keynote speaker.
Linking Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” to education, Fikes noted that “taking the time to listen and learn is a form of civic engagement” and promoted taking what you learn “to make a difference.”
During a time of isolation and fear during the pandemic organizations, businesses and individuals came together to meet community needs, she said.
“Creativity will continue [and] Arlington has a right to be proud,” she said.
Klemp voiced appreciation to all whose support make the Rotary Club’s scholarships and service projects throughout the year possible. Event sponsors included AHC Inc.; Art-Eclectic, a subsidiary of the Lott Family, LLC; MESH/Masonic & Eastern Star Charities; Carol Sutfin, broker, MCM Realty; Claude Moore Charitable Foundation; Embassy of the United Arab Emirates; John P. and Priscilla C. Becker; Kim and Dave Durand; Steve and Karen Klemp; Gary and Janice Long; Steve and Nancy Silcox; and Phil Traina.