Student Silent Servants

Students Who Serve – Kayla Dearman

Kayla Dearman is an Air Force JROTC Cadet at Southern Wayne HS in Dudley, NC. She joined this program for the fellowship and the opportunity to serve her local community. She has been involved in numerous service projects throughout the years. Given the many challenges throughout this past year, it has been difficult to serve the community in any organized manner given personal contact restrictions.

However, this didn’t stop Kayla from providing a needed boost to her local community this past holiday season. She went to her Principal concerned about the need to help struggling families in the surrounding area and laid out her plan to provide food packages and gifts to those in need. She organized a crew of helpers, went out to local businesses, and managed to collect enough food and toys to assemble a dozen food boxes for the holidays, and presents for more than 40 local children.

Kayla organized a drive though pickup area and notified the families in need. All the families picked up enough food and presents to ensure they had one of the best holiday celebrations in recent memory. Kayla did all of this without help from the school staff.

Throughout her school career, she has been involved in helping others and improving the lives of the citizens of her community. Just this past year alone, she participated in 3 local parades (Veteran’s Day Parade, Christmas Parade, and the Black History Unity Parade). Kayla led 4 school campus cleanup and beautification projects, a Memorial Day flags on graves posting at the Mt. Olive Cemetery and participated in a flag raising over Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

In nearby Mt. Olive, Kayla created a dinner for the elderly held at the American Legion building, where she cooked a meal for more than 20 senior citizens. She also spearheaded 5 fund-raisers that raised enough money to ensure 27 students could go on a field trip without incurring any costs of their own. This is just a look at one year’s worth of projects. Kayla has been doing this for 4 years straight and never once brought attention to herself or her accomplishments. Kayla Dearman is an exceptional young lady!

The Peter R. Marsh Foundation recognizes that students who selflessly and quietly serve others within their communities are some of the most valuable citizens. Therefore, we have established the Silent Servant Award to honor them.

To nominate a student or for more information contact us at:

About Jim Warford

Jim Warford is the author of, The Chemistry of Culture: Strategies You Can Use to Create a Culture of Learning. For 15 years Jim Warford was Senior Advisor and Keynote Speaker for the International Center for Leadership in Education. Jim is an author, speaker, Leadership and Instructional Coach. He was named in March 2003 as Florida’s first Chancellor of K12 Public Schools. He stepped down in September, 2005 to become Executive Director of the Florida Association of School Administrators, representing over 10,000 Florida school leaders. As a Senior Advisor for the International Center for Leadership in Education, he works with states, districts and schools to provide coaching and executive training and support to school leaders and their staffs. As Florida’s Chancellor, he led the creation and state-wide implementation of Florida’s Continuous Improvement Model, FCIM, which resulted in that state’s dramatic gains in student achievement and an 80% reduction in the number low-performing schools. FCIM remains Florida’s required intervention for all low-performing schools. As Superintendent of the Marion County, Florida Public Schools, he first implemented the Continuous Improvement Model district-wide. As a result, school grades went from three “F”, eight “D” and only one “A” school in 1999 to twenty “A”, 16 “B” and no “F” schools in 2003. Under his leadership the high school dropout rate was cut in half. He taught applied technology courses at the high school level for 17 years and created a Computer Graphics/Video Production program that won many national and state awards. He was named Vanguard High School Teacher of the Year three separate times.
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