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Rockdale News Community Spirit Award: A career in giving back to the local community

Sixteen-year-old Aubree Anderson has grace and poise beyond her years. The sophomore divides her days between the Rockdale Career Academy in the Teaching as a Profession pathway and Heritage High School. During that brief time, she has made a big impression on her teachers and students.

In nominating her for the Community Spirit Award, RCA instructor Chris Mays said, "Aubree is a pillar of consistency in the classroom and a role model for her classmates. She sets a positive example for the youth of our community and should be admired for her intelligence, kindness and humility."

Though starting off at RCA on a nursing pathway, Anderson encountered Teaching as a Profession instructor Carol Ingle. "I love Mrs. Ingle. She's a really great person. I begged the counselor to switch pathways," she said of her inspiration in exploring the education field.

The feeling is mutual. "She goes beyond the call of duty with every project and teaching lesson," said Ingle. "She is an exceptional young woman with wonderful character and moral integrity that's expressed in her daily life. My favorite thing about Aubree is her real success comes from helping others be successful."

Besides having a schedule chock full of AP classes, Anderson is a HHS cheerleader and is active in Beta Club and Future Educators of America. To fulfill some Beta community service hours, she helped stage a school play at Lorraine Elementary, where her mother teaches second grade.

As part of her pathway instruction, Anderson works with RCA's pre-school children too. This has been a rewarding experience for her. "Watching them grow and learn from the world around them is amazing," she said.

One of her students, 4-year-old Larkin Arnold, likes to "play and make earth people with Miss Aubree." She explains an Earth Day project she did with her students attaching arms, legs and accessories to the planet. "She's wonderful with the kids, and they all love her," said Mrs. Montgomrey, an RCA pre-school teacher.