Battle Ground Academy 2021 graduate Georgia Link has been named this year’s Franklin Noon Rotary Award recipient for her display of school citizenship.
Every year for over two decades, the Franklin Noon Rotary Club has been partnering with the school to grant this award to a student chosen by school faculty as “the most outstanding school citizen,” according to Tom Evans, BGA director of advancement.
“At Franklin Noon Rotary, that’s our focus,” said Mark Tumblin, the current president of the club. “Especially this past year, we focused on the community almost completely. It’s important for us to support the local schools.”
This year, the school faculty recognized Link, who was surprised to receive the medal during her graduation ceremony.
“They were giving different awards out like the art award and the spirit, … and I could kind of guess which of my classmates were going to get which award,” Link said, noting that she couldn’t guess who would win the citizenship award, as it could have been so many students. “And then I heard my name, and I was like, ‘Did he just say Georgia?’”
Link served in student council this year and has been involved in the school’s honor council, which conducts student hearings for those who break the school’s honor code, for three years, acting as the president of the council this year. As president, she was able to make some changes to make these hearings less stressful and more of a friendly, “relaxed environment” for those who have broken the code in minor ways.
“We changed the tier system so that students could receive warnings or tier 1 or tier 2 instead of everyone having the same sort of punishment,” she said. “So, I really think that that has changed the way that the honor council has (heard) students, and I think it’s been for the better.”
She explained she has been blessed by BGA and has made it her goal to give back to the BGA community.
“Through every leadership position I have and through everything I do, I’m really just trying to give back to BGA for all that they’ve done (for) me,” she said. “I definitely try to do it in silence; I don’t do it to get an award, but it was amazing to be recognized for that.”
Link said the award was especially meaningful to her because she has relatives in Rotary — her uncle is in the Franklin Noon Rotary and her grandfather was in another Rotary club in Johnson City, Tennessee — who have instilled in her the club’s values: service above self.
“My family was very emotional about it because my grandfather definitely preached giving back to your community, and he really taught his children and his grandchildren that,” she said. “It made it really special.”