Spivey Wins Junior Builder's Cup
North Moore High School senior John Spivey II is this year’s recipient of the Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills’ Junior Builders Cup.
Spivey accepted the honor and a $2,500 scholarship at a luncheon at National Golf Club Wednesday. He was one of four seniors — one from each of the county’s high schools — nominated for the award.
“Thank you all so much for this,” Spivey said after receiving the award. “I really appreciate it. To the Kiwanis Club, this means so much.”
The Junior Builders Cup is given to the “outstanding graduating senior in Moore County” that exemplifies achievement in academics, athletics, school activities and community service. It has been awarded since 1962.
The other nominees were Ellen Cowherd from The O’Neal School, Alexis Gibson from Pinecrest High School, and Kayla Lively from Union Pines High School. They each received a $1,000 scholarship.
Spivey is the third North Moore senior to win the award in the past four years. Fellow Mustangs Erik Farrell and Carrie Anne Smith won it in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
Meredith Potter of Pinecrest won the award last year.
Scott Dawson, who emceed the event, praised each of the nominees.
“All of these students that we’ve had are absolutely outstanding,” he said. “They are at the top of the pick this year out of our high schools. It’s been a privilege to have all of you here today. We consider you all winners.”
Spivey, the son of Johnny and Dawn Spivey, of Carthage, is ranked first in his class of 103 students with a 4.67 weighted GPA. Among his many academic honors are nominations for the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, Wendy’s High School Heisman. He is a winner of the NCHSAA’s Scholar-Athlete Individual Award.
Spivey has achieved much on the playing field. He has been a member of the school’s varsity baseball team for four years, winning two conference championships and a selection to the Yadkin Valley Athletic Conference’s all-conference team. He is also an all-conference varsity basketball player.
Spivey is well-known leader at his school. He was class president each of his first three years and now serves as the president of the Student Government Association. He is also president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a three-year member of Future Business Leaders of America.
He is an usher and member at Flint Hill Baptist Church. He has volunteered his time assisting with youth baseball and basketball, as well as vacation bible school and Communities in Schools “Stuff the Bus” campaign.
Spivey will attend UNC-Chapel Hill, where he plans to study political science and enter its public administration program. After college, he hopes to get a Master’s degree that field and pursue a career as a county manager.
“In every way, he exhibits what is best and brightest about young people today,” writes Principal Scott Absher. “So much negativity is focused upon high school students at times, but one look at John’s determination and love of learning lets us know that there are young people of whom we can be immensely proud. He serves as a shining example for all to see.”
Cowherd is the daughter of David and Melissa Cowherd, of Southern Pines. Though O’Neal doesn’t rank its students, she boasts a strong academic record that includes four years of high honors and membership in the prestigious National Honor Society and Cum Laude Society. She was also a semi-finalist for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Morehead-Cain Scholarship.
Cowherd is a standout athlete, playing volleyball, basketball and soccer. She was captain of the volleyball and basketball teams this year, earning all-conference honors in both.
She has kept busy with extracurricular activities as well. She is a two-year president of O’Neal’s Key Club, and is president of the Student Government Association. She’s also been involved with the Student Environmental Action Club, the Student Union and intramurals. Her teachers have praised her leadership abilities, with one describing her as the most effective leader the school has had in her tenure.
Cowherd is an active member of her church, where she has served as an acolyte and vacation bible school volunteer. She has also been on a mission trip to New Orleans and attended HUGS Camp.
Part of a medical family, Cowherd is heading to UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall, where she plans on studying science in preparation to become a medical doctor. She wrote in her application for the award that she fell in love with the profession making rounds with her father as a child.
Lyn Cagle, O’Neal’s foreign language chair, writes in her recommendation for Cowherd, “She is a motivator of people, a consensus builder and a cheerleader for those for whom life has been less kind. With a solid, practical head on her shoulders she, nevertheless, lives on heart, learns on heart, functions on heart and succeeds on heart. She is the head, heart and spirit of our school.”
Gibson is the daughter of Randy and Brenda Gibson, of Southern Pines. An honor roll student, she is in the top 5 percent of her graduating class. She was a junior marshal and was nominated for Governor’s School.
Gibson is a starting outfielder on Pinecrest’s softball team, and also plays for the Phoenix, an under-18 travelling team. She competed on two dance teams while living in Utah in grades 9 and 10.
She has been dedicated to Pinecrest’s student newspaper, The Patriot, during her time at the school. She served as copy editor her junior year and is editor-in-chief this year. She and her staff produce 10 publications a year. She has also been a member of the school’s acclaimed debate team, competing in mock trial as an attorney and in Lincoln-Douglas debates.
Gibson has been a member of two churches and youth groups while in high school — South Valley Community Church in Sandy, Utah, and Grace Church in Southern Pines. She went on a mission trip to the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho. She also coaches for the Special Olympics of Moore County.
She balances all of these activities while working 20 hours a week at Lil Dino’s pizza and sub shop as a cook, dishwasher and closer.
Gibson will attend UNC-Wilmington, where she plans to study special education. After graduation, she wants to earn her master’s in Adopted Curriculum Special Education at Boston University.
“Ms. Gibson’s level of intelligence and her studiousness are exceptional,” writes Principal Joel County. “Teachers respect her abilities in the classroom and enjoy having her in class ... Her responsibility, work ethic and drive for excellence are evident qualities. She is an outstanding student and respectable young lady.”
Lively, the daughter of Robert and Kathy Lively, of Vass, is in the top tier of her class at Union Pines. She is an AP Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society.
Lively has been an all-conference runner on the varsity cross-country team for four years straight. She is also an accomplished soccer player, garnering all-conference and all region-honors in grades 9 through 11. She was selected to an all-state soccer team. She has been captain of both teams and was the Vikings’ female athlete of the year last year.
Lively says her biggest passion is theater. This year, she starred as Dorothy in the school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. She is editor of the yearbook and a member of the International Thespian Society, Student Government Key Club and Senior Mentor Group. She pioneered and coordinated a 5K run to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The event attracted over 200 people and raised almost $6,700.
She is an active member of her church, participating in youth group, volunteering at church suppers. She also attended a mission trip to Charlotte.
Lively will attend N.C. State in the fall, where she plans to major in business, minor in the dramatic arts and study abroad. She plans to seek her MBA after graduation while pursuing a career in business.
“As I have gotten to know her,” teacher Amy Parsons writes, “I have seen what is good, pure and promising about those who will lead us in the coming years. If Kayla Lively can exist — if there are people like her parents who can raise and guide a young lady to make the reasoned, sensible and even dreamy decisions that Kayla does, then all of the talk of how fearful our futures are is clearly misguided. Kayla is, in a word, extraordinary.”
Contact John Krahnert III by e-mail at email@example.com.
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