The Rome Noon Optimist Club honored local students in three categories at their annual Student of the Year banquet at the Hampton Inn: the Fernando Guzman-Ambriz Life Hero, Community Involvement and All-Around.
Contestants were invited from each high school in Rome and Floyd County and each applicant submitted a personal essay, letters of recommendation and biographical information.
Three finalists were chosen in each category. A first-place winner and two other finalists were announced in the All-Around and Community Involvement categories, and, in tribute to their success in overcoming personal or physical challenges, all three Life Hero finalists received equal recognition.
Cash awards were given to each honoree, according to Priscilla Watkins and Jenny Reeber, co-chairpersons for the event.
Maggie Whitehead of Unity Christian School, received the top award for All-Around. Brady Jacobs of Coosa High School and Kayla Hutcherson of Armuchee High School were finalists for the award.
Brooke Dellis of Armuchee High School received the top Community Involvement award. Marissa Joseph of Darlington School and Taylor Carles of Pepperell High School were finalists for the award.
The three Life Hero winners were Amanda Taft of Armuchee, Madaline Knight of Darlington, and Avery Sutton of Pepperell.
Cash awards totaling $4,600 were presented to the students.