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2013 Star Leadership Award presented to David Hardesty Jr. of Harvue Farms
June 4, 2013

David Hardesty Jr., a versatile sports star in football, basketball and soccer,  was named the 2013 Star Leadership Award winner from Clarke County High School  at the school’s Senior Recognition Night on Sunday.

The event was held  for the first time in the auditorium of the new high school on Mosby  Boulevard.

Hardesty, 18, said he was surprised when his name was  announced by Thomas T. Byrd, publisher of The Winchester Star.

He said  the three other candidates — Elizabeth Blight, Allison Crandell and Michaela  Rohde — are students who he has known for years.

“They are all really  bright and intelligent,” Hardesty said after the ceremony. “I thought it could  have gone to any of them.”

He will use the $10,000 Star Leadership Award  toward his tuition at Bridgewater College, which also awarded him a $21,000  scholarship Sunday night.

Bridgewater — a private school south of  Harrisonburg — is “pretty expensive,” he said.

Hardesty, the son of David  and Debra Hardesty of Berryville, carries a 4.8662 grade point average and ranks  sixth out of his 183 classmates.

Graduation for him and his class is set  for 2 p.m. June 9 in Wilbur Feltner Stadium.

On the playing field,  Hardesty led his school’s football team in rushing yards — 1,454 in 183 carries  during the season — and earned 25 touchdowns rushing and 30 overall. He returned  11 kickoffs for 350 yards and 11 punts for 94 yards, picked off three passes and  recovered two fumbles. He was picked for the first team in the All-Bull Run  District and the second team in All-Region B.

Following the award  presentations, Hardesty’s grandfather, John D. “Jack” Hardesty, former chairman  of the county’s Board of Supervisors, laughingly commented that his grandson was  an example of “continuous improvement” in the family.

“I told him I was  so proud I popped a button on my jacket,” the elder Hardesty added.
During  the presentation, Byrd told the audience that David Hardesty was the 60th Star  Leadership Award winner at Clarke County High School since the creation of the  scholarship program in 1954 by his father, former U.S. Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr. of  Winchester. The elder Byrd was editor and publisher of the paper when he started  the program.

Including this year, the Star Leadership Award program has  presented 242 students with more than $722,000.

Currently, the award is  presented to one graduate in each of the five high schools in the newspaper’s  coverage area: John Handley High School in Winchester, Clarke County High  School, and the three high schools in Frederick County, James Wood, Sherando and  Millbrook.

The student chosen to receive the award “best exemplifies a  combination of excellence of character, qualities of leadership and devotion to  duty,” Byrd said.
The management of The Star does not chose the recipient. A  panel of local citizens, chosen by the publisher, interviews four students from  each school and chooses the winner.

The 2013 Star Leadership Awards  Committee, which was chaired by Cary Brubaker of Winchester, consisted of  members Miles Davis and Charlie Fish (Winchester), Walter A. Barr Jr. and  Katrina Smith (Frederick County) and Sue Scarborough and Joseph F. Myer (Clarke  County).

Recipients of the Star Leadership Award can use the money to  further their education or pursue a career.

At the conclusion of the  awards presentations, where local civic and educational organizations,  individuals and colleges announced scholarship grants to members of the Class of  2013, CCHS principal Jeffrey C. Jackson told the seniors he was proud of what  they had accomplished.

“You are the first class to leave this new school,  and you’ve done it with class,” Jackson said.

Source: The Winchester Star


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