Wicks, Climenti are ‘Hometown Heroes’
Published: Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Two local Custer High School students have been selected as 4-H Hometown Heroes of Character. Junior Billie Wicks, daughter of Tim and Tami Wicks of Custer, and senior Paul Climenti, son of Shirley and Ken Climenti of Hermosa, were chosen. They were nominated for this award by administrators, teachers and coaches.
Hometown Heroes celebrate “The Six Pillars of Character” from the Character Counts Program. Those traits are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.
Wicks and Climenti were challenged to produce a “Super Hero” video to present to Custer Elementary. They debuted the video to Eve and Casey Trandems’ fourth grade students. Students were introduced to their alter egos of “Mighty Billie” and “Macho Paul.” They interviewed fellow students about what character meant to them, as well as high school math instructor, Kathy Bradeen.
Fellow actors Israel Parsons, T.J. Zerbe and Logan Burns lent a hand by reenacting a bullying situation. Burns was defended by his perpetrators with the help of Macho Paul. The production proved to be a big hit with the students.
On hand for their first classroom presentation were Susie Geppert, resource development director for the South Dakota 4-H Foundation, and local 4-H liaison Brad Keizer. Keizer has has spent many hours at Custer Elementary helping children learn about character, celebrating Character Counts Week and flying around as the school’s “Captain Character.”
Wicks wrote about character: “As leaders, when we show others we care, they will begin to follow. The leaders in my life have said to me never give up and always give 100 percent. I also realize if no one cares, nothing will get better.”
Climenti wrote, “Sup-porting your fellow classmates and leading the way, always stopping to help those in need. Showing pride toward your school and community. Pushing your limits and breaking new boundaries shows your determination as a leader.”
Both shared about some of the failures in their lives as well. Climenti shared how he used to be a bully when he was younger. He did not like what he had become and decided to change. Wicks shared about being a team captain this year, how she handled the pressure of showing a positive attitude as a leader and how her attitude affected her teammates.
Elementary school officials talk to students about character and how a true test of character is the choices you make when you think no one is looking.
Wicks said, “Being a leader is a full time job. You have to lead the way even though you may think no one is watching.”
Climenti added, “Show-ing your leadership skills sends others a message that you are willing to take charge and that you are not willing to settle on the word ‘no’ as a solution.”
Climenti is considering joining the military upon graduation. Wicks plans to attend college.
Both Climenti and Wicks will continue to do classroom presentations and serve as role models to both their peers and younger students.
To view the video the two made, visit the Custer School District website at csd.k12.sd.us/Domain/10.
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