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McKay Receives Award of Lifetime

Heather McKay received an award that recognizes her accomplishments as an exceptional woman.

McKay poses with her award and Mallory Kirchhoff who nominated her.

McKay poses with her award and Mallory Kirchhoff who nominated her.

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I think there is so much power in people and helping other people succeed in their dreams and goals.”

— Heather McKay

AHS Adminstrator Heather McKay was presented with the Athena award on Jan. 13 by the Chamber of Commerce in front of her friends and family. During her career, McKay has done so much for this community, this school system and for young women who have gone to her for help when they have needed it most. When hearing that she was the individual receiving the award, she became speechless. “I like to try to stay in the background and let other people shine. It’s surreal that others have the impression of me that I go above and beyond of what my typical duties are.”

According to the Atlantic Chamber website, the Athena is a prestigious award that recognizes an exceptional woman who has done so much for her community, excels in her career and helps young women follow their dreams and push for higher goals. It was given to its first recipient in 1982 at Lansing, MI and has been continuing to find excellent women who are more than deserving of this award. Some locally past winners are, Kathie Hockenberry, Lanette Plamback and so many other amazing women who try to see past themselves and focus on others.

The person who nominated McKay was Mallory Kirchhoff, who is a paraeducator here at the Atlantic High School. “I had spoken to a friend of mine about it and we just agreed that there really wasn’t a better choice for the award.  It was a fun nomination to gather input from various staff members and friends to write.” Kirchhoff attended the ceremony with the unknowing winner and a few other AHS alumni, to celebrate this exciting moment. “The way the award is announced is that last years award recipient talks about what the award stands for. They then begin reading small selections of the nomination letter. McKay was smiling at the speaker nodding as she began speaking. Once she started putting the pieces together her smile faltered and her hand went up over her mouth. It was one of the few times I have seen her speechless.”

McKay’s final words about her accomplishment was, “I just try to do my best for other people.” As we all should aspire to do in our day to day routines and stop to just think, how can I help someone today.

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About the Writer
Charity Williams, Fine Arts editor

Senior Charity Williams is the Fine Arts Editor in the journalism department. She digs up the behind-the-scenes information on both the school newscast “Eye of the Needle” and the school newspaper, AHSNeedle.com. Williams said she is “versatile” when it comes to journalism and she helps when anything is needed. Williams’ favorite story she has written over the course of her three years involved in journalism was the article “Poet to Lead Workshop at AHS.” This was Williams’ favorite because it was featured in a magazine principal Heather McKay sends to other districts. Her favorite aspect of journalism is independent writing. Williams likes this area of journalism because she is able to be self-reliant.

Besides being an editor as part of the Atlantic High School journalism team, Williams is part of the girls track team, the Trojan Guard, and the Speech Department. If that is not enough to keep her busy, she has twelve siblings at home. When asked who inspires her the most, she replied with her dad. “He is one of the nicest and most charismatic people I know. He would give you the shirt off his back,” Williams said.

The person who knows Williams the most is her best friend, senior Cora Zikuda. “We spend too much time together,” Williams said. The lock screen on Williams’ phone is of the pair at Homecoming.

One thing Williams would never change about herself is her personality. She described it as “blunt” and “truthful.” Williams likes this about herself, saying, “I say what’s on my mind. It’s needed at times.” Zikuda described Williams as “funny” and “crazy.”

 

Profile written by: Aly Brockob and Hana Holtz

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McKay Receives Award of Lifetime