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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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McKay Receives Award of Lifetime