Local student wins Billy Michal Student Leadership Award

By: 
DONNA SUMMERALL
Staff Writer

The 2020 school year was a tough one for high school seniors. The cancellation of senior prom and even graduation ceremonies have taken its toll on those who had their final semester of high school cut short.
Kitty Elliott is one of those seniors, and a recipient of the Billy Michal Student Leadership Award.

The Billy Michal Student Leadership Award, from The National World War II Museum, is given annually to one student from each state and the District of Columbia who demonstrates the American Spirit in his or her community.

Elliott is a valedictorian, receiving two scholarships from Mississippi State University, where she plans to major in Agribusiness and Accounting, She received a valedictorian scholarship, one from the Mississippi Cattlemen's Association, one from Farm Bureau and the Dorothy Moye Quinn Memorial Scholarship. .
"I'm very excited to be going to MSU," Elliott said. "I was disappointed about missing the end of my senior year at West Point High School."

As a winner of the prestigious Billy Michal Student Leadership Award, Elliott would have had a trip to the World War II Museum in New Orleans, with a banquet, along with one winner from each state, and Washington D.C.
"We would have been able to tour the World War II Museum," Elliott said. "There would have been a dinner in our honor. But all of that wasn't possible due to the pandemic."
She said in spite of so many exciting events that would have taken place during her senior year, being cancelled, she is trying to stay positive and ready to start classes at Mississippi State.
Elliott said AP History teacher, Bruce Mize nominated her for the award.

"Kitty is shy and very modest," Mize said. "She is a good kid and a wonderful student. I knew she would have a good chance to win the Billy Michal Student Leadership Award for the State of Mississippi."
Mize said the student must be nominated by a teacher fellow of the World War II Museum.

"The student must have a love of history," Mize said. "She fit that perfectly. She was always the one to ask the tough questions during class. She was never content to just sit and listen passively."
Mize said winning the award meant she would be able to meet and speak with veterans and other award winners who shared her love of history.

"Kitty and her grandmother, went with us to Europe on the D-Day Tour," Mize said. "She was deeply appreciative of everything that was done during World War II, to secure our freedoms. She deserved this award."

Mize said this was the second year in a row, the student chosen from Mississippi, was a senior at West Point High School.
"I am so proud of these students here in West Point," Mize said. "It is almost unheard of for students to be chosen from the same school two years in a row. But these West Point kids are something special."

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