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Near the end of the day on Friday, everyone gathered together in the school’s atrium, including all the fifth-grade teachers and Crook’s parents, for the special presentation.
“(Crook) was against all the students in the 10 elementary schools in the West Chester Area School District,” said Christine Hubley, of Keystone FCU, who presented the award to Crook. “It’s pretty amazing.”
The annual Shining Star Award, which is in its ninth year, is given to one student in elementary school, one in middle school and one in high school who is recognized for noticeable improvement in the West Chester Area School District.
“He didn’t win this award – he earned it,” Hubley said. “He’s getting this award because he worked so hard and he deserves it. In order to get it you have to make big improvements in academics, classroom conduct and attendance.”
In order to be considered, the student must be nominated by a teacher, who fills out a nomination form rating the four main categories – academic, classroom conduct, attendance and extra-curricular activities – from before to now.
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They also submit a short essay on how the student has improved and to what extent.
Maryann McEvoy, the special-education teacher at Starkweather, nominated Crook.
“She said (he) inspired her and that she is very, very proud of (Crook),” Hubley said.
While his classmates cheered Crook on with chants of “Thomas! Thomas!” he received a trophy, a certificate and a letter to open a $200 share certificate at Keystone FCU.