CHESTERTOWN - North Warren Central School seniors Kyle McKenzie and Jena Allen have been honored by school faculty as Chestertown Rotary's "Student of the Month" for November and December respectively.
Jena has accomplished notable achievements in academics, athletics and the arts, as well as having outstanding character traits, according to school faculty members. Jena Allen is daughter of Maria and William Allen of Chestertown.
"Jena is an intelligent, insightful and determined young lady," North Warren school counselor Joan Phelps said, observing that Jena is dedicated to making a difference in the world. "Jena has a passion for justice and fairness and she is willing to advocate for people in need whenever possible."
Academically, Jena is at the top of her class, Phelps said. noting she takes challenging classes and earns outstanding grades.
"Her teachers love her inquisitive mind and her diligence, and Jena loves learning," Phelps said, adding that Jena has been a member of National Honor Society since 10th grade.
Jena's academic achievements include winning the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award in 11th grade from the University of Rochester, for demonstrating exceptional promise in the sciences.
Music and drama are also important elements of Jena's life. She has actively participated in school chorus and has played clarinet in the high school band for four years.
Jena has also been active in the Town Theater productions and has participated in two variety shows at North Warren. Writing is another talent of Jena's. Two of her poems have been published, one in "Who's Who in International Poetry" and the other in "Timeless Voices," for which she won the Editor's Choice Award.
Athletics and extracurricular activities are both interests of Jena's. She has played Field Hockey and Softball and has also participated in Student Council. She was the editor of the school newspaper and has served as a volunteer peer tutor. In 11th grade Jena attended a Youth Leadership Conference, and attended Design Your Future Day at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
After high school, Jena would like to pursue a college degree in Chemistry or Paleontology. So far, she has been accepted at Siena College, Drexel University, Kettering University, SUNY Potsdam, and Fordham University. She has yet to make her final decision.
The North Warren Rotary Student of the Month for November is Kyle McKenzie. Kyle lives with Joann Paulson and Roger Gibbs of Chestertown.
Phelps said Kyle has volunteered countless hours to the school, working to improve the audio/visual capabilities for the school's auditorium, plus put in many hours of volunteer work in the community.
"Kyle is an outstanding leader who is fun, positive, responsible, enthusiastic, and kind - North Warren is a better place because of Kyle." Phelps said.
Kyle has offered technical support for performances and programs, and has trained others on stage and audio-visual equipment, and has made upgrades to the school sound booth, Phelps said.
"He was technical director of the musical Annie last year, and this year Kyle was the first to conduct the 100 person chorus at the recent concert, receiving rave reviews," Phelps said.
Kyle has been a member of National Honor Society since 10th grade and has participated in Student Council for three years. In 9th grade, he served as Class President. For years, Kyle has received numerous awards for leadership, good character, and academics.
One of Kyle's top accomplishments was earning his Eagle Scout award by renovating the American Legion Hall in Chestertown, a project which he planned and orchestrated. The project included renovating the lobby and setting up a museum.
Kyle has also worked at the Henderson Scout Reservation for the last three years, teaching classes, and has been Quartermaster of his Boy Scout troop for several years, Phelps said.
"Kyle is extremely conscientious and takes everything he does seriously while maintaining his wonderful sense of humor," he said. "He makes people happy with his positive, humorous, and kind personality - Kyle's determination and perseverance are an inspiration to all."
Kyle He plans to pursue studies in Broadcasting or Technical Work with Theater.