Seventh-grader Erica Eaton gets award for her citizenship, service to others

August 5, 2011

By Christopher Huber

Erica Eaton, of Newcastle, wouldn’t go out of her way to tell you she won an award.

But her teachers at Seattle Country Day School might.

Erica Eaton holds her Doug Glenn Memorial Award for outstanding citizenship and sportsmanship. Contributed

Erica finished her seventh-grade year on a high note when she received the school’s Doug Glenn Memorial Award for her standout citizenship and sportsmanship, according to the school and her family. The special recognition is considered one of the highest honors for students there and is usually given to an eighth grader. She received a plaque to commemorate her achievement and her name will be engraved on the Doug Glenn Memorial trophy.

“I really wasn’t expecting it at all,” Erica said. “It felt really good.”

Erica received the recognition after teacher Susan Ellis noticed her jumping at every opportunity to help out, particularly during the school’s six-weeks of community-service Fridays. While the point of the service projects was to get the students out in the city helping people and learning about various causes, Ellis said Erica helped out without anyone ever asking. She was the oldest student in the group each Friday and would lead the younger students by example. During their Winterim program, Erica intently helped the younger students as they learned to ice skate.

“You could always count on her,” Ellis said. “She is a student who was always sitting in class ready to go.”

She quietly considered how she felt in the moment her name was called in front of the whole school at an end-of-year ceremony.

“It makes me feel special because mostly eighth-graders get the award,” Erica said.

In addition to going above and beyond at school, Erica can be found around the Meadowview Park neighborhood selling cookies, trick-or-treating for UNICEF, and selling lemonade to raise money for charities like UNICEF, Mary’s Place, Heifer International and the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti, said her father, Rodney Eaton.

“I thought it was great that someone else besides ourselves recognized her,” said her mother, Lillian Eaton. “She’s a very caring individual.”

While Erica was humble about being recognized for serving others, she said she will probably keep doing a lot of the things she did.

“It taught me that you really have to be grateful for what you have,” Erica said.

While she likes school in general, Erica noted that technology is her favorite subject. She thrives in the creative aspects of using technology.

“I just love learning all the different programs and getting to be really creative in you what do.”

Ellis reasoned that she nominated Erica for the award because at an age when most youth make it known they’re serving or doing something good, she didn’t.

“She does it in such a quiet way. She has a good sense of what’s going on around her, whether she expresses it or not. She’s not self-absorbed,” Ellis said. “I just really admire that, when a student can do that and not make a show out of it.”

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