New Billy McKee Award plaque honors winners


Mia Ford, writer

In early April, a brand-new plaque that honors student recipients of the Billy McKee Award and Scholarship—an award based on character—was installed in Collegedale Academy’s front hallway.

Director of Alumni and Development Dan Jensen, along with Deborah Zirakian, have been working hand in hand to create the plaque, and the process was sped up to be ready for alumni weekend.

“As I spoke with Rick Stern [founder of the Billy McKee Award], his vision for the plaque was to really embody the spirit of our school. Character development is an essential part of it. The plaque shows people how much we value character,” Jensen said.

Jensen took the inspiration for the plaque from a Bill Mack sculpture of an eagle. It represented the symbol of character development that he wanted to emulate at our school.

The display turned out just the way it was planned. The bronze background was definitely the biggest part of the project and took a tremendous amount of work. The channel lighting on the plaque is still in need of repair.

Jensen and Stern share the opinion that “We want this display to speak about not a few individuals but the group as a whole. We want this for all of them. We hope it will speak to the student body [on] how important character development is.”

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