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May 9, 2012

Editorial: Meet 7 local kids deserving of your congratulations

The media are sometimes accused of focusing only on the bad kids who get in trouble with the law or with school authorities, ignoring the good kids doing good things for their schools and community.

So we want to call your attention to some stories in today's Gazette about some local teens who deserve recognition for their accomplishments.

Let's start with Steve Quimby, a junior at Whittier Regional High School who is building a career for himself brick by brick, literally.

Quimby last month won a gold medal in a competition against other young masons from vocational schools around the state, building a 4-by-3-foot wall to exacting standards. The victory earned him a trip to a national competition next month in Kansas City. Quimby, an Amesbury resident, is also demonstrating his masonry skills at Whittier, building a wall for a baseball dugout and helping to build a ramp for the handicapped, among other things.

"He's a special student," masonry teacher Ray Morneau told reporter Alex Lippa. (See story on Page 1.) "He's really driven. Anything you tell him to do, he'll do. He just jumps all over it. He's a pleasure to work with.''

Two other Whittier students — Emiliano Rodriguez and Andrew Slejzer — are also Kansas City-bound after teaming up to win silver in 3D Design Visual and Animation at the statewide SkillsUSA competition.

Also winning kudos in a statewide contest: Brett Johnson of Haverhill. She finished second in the vocal category at the Massachusetts State Granger Talent Contest and third in the Public Speaking Contest last month in Bolyston. (See story on Page 2.)

Then there's Nathaniel Vazquez, the Haverhill High lacrosse star who is bidding to repeat at the MVP in Division 2 of the Merrimack Valley Conference and is profiled in today's sports pages.

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