The King Chamber of Commerce will recognize a student from each of Stokes County’s high schools as 2012 Future Business Leaders of the Year for their respective schools.
The students will be recognized at the Chamber’s annual banquet on Thursday. The student honorees are selected by their schools’ business faculty for their achievement in business classes, interest in business pursuits and leadership roles in the school and community.
Meadowbrook Academy’s Future Business Leader of the Year is senior Andrea Vernon. The daughter of Sandra Settlemyre of King, Andrea will graduate this December. She has taken a number of business and marketing classes while attending Meadowbrook Academy, and she plans to further her education at Forsyth Technical Community College following graduation. Andrea’s goal is to become a licensed massage therapist.
Kristen Smith, daughter of Chris and Dana Smith of Westfield, has been named the award winner for North Stokes High School. A senior, Kristen is involved in Beta Club, Renaissance Club and the National Honor Society. She has completed six computer and business courses during her career at North Stokes and she is currently working toward certification in Microsoft Office programs. After graduation, Kristen plans to pursue degrees in business and nutrition at New York University.
South Stokes senior Marcus Ford has been selected as the school’s 2012 Future Business Leader of the Year. A resident of Walnut Cove, Marcus is the son of Selena Ford. He is currently enrolled in both marketing and entrepreneurship classes and according to his teacher “soaks up business information like a sponge.” Marcus is a member of the South Stokes track team, an honor roll student and an active member of Bethel Baptist Church. He enjoys his youth group activities and plans to further his education at Grace Bible College. Eventually, Marcus would like to own his own heating and air conditioning business.
Paige Hawkins, the daughter of James and Patricia Hawkins, will be honored as the Stokes Early College Future Business Leader of the Year. Paige will graduate from high school and complete her Associate of Arts degree from Forsyth Technical Community College in May 2013. Paige has served as secretary and vice president of the Stokes Early College Student Government Association. She has also held leadership roles with the Outdoors Club and initiated the campaign to secure a flag pole and flag for Stokes Early College. Through her participation with Wake County’s Hearts from Home project designed to raise funds for North Carolina National Guardsmen, Paige decided to enlist in the National Guard and will begin basic training in May 2013. She plans to enter Appalachian State University in January 2014.
Taylor Grace Bonds of King will represent West Stokes High School as their Future Business Leader of the Year. Taylor, the daughter of Michael and Sandi Bonds, participates in Interact Club, HOSA, Mu Alpha Theta, and is an editor on the annual staff. Also an athlete, Taylor was a member of the swim team her freshman year and is a four-year starter on the varsity soccer team. Taylor received All Conference Honorable Mention and All Region player for the 2011-2012 soccer season. She also plays on a travel soccer team every fall and is a member of Bethany Baptist Church. Even though she works a part-time job at the Stokes YMCA, Taylor manages to volunteer at her church’s Free Health Clinic, tutor third grade students at Poplar Springs Elementary School and take AP classes. Her future plans include attending Appalachian State University next fall and double-majoring in business and accounting.
The annual Chamber Awards Banquet will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Jefferson Church of Christ on Thursday, November 1.