The fifth grade recognition assembly is a time to honor the achievements of the graduating class. Students are honored for their participation and accomplishments in the classroom, after school activities, sports and the community.

There were 25 fifth graders who received President's Excellence Awards. The President's Education Awards Program was founded in 1983 and honors graduating elementary, middle and high school students for their achievement and hard work. The President's Education Awards Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. It was developed to help schools recognize and honor students who have achieved high academic goals through hard work and dedication to learning. Each year, thousands of elementary, middle, and high schools participate by recognizing deserving students. To be eligible for this recognition students must meet the following criteria:

Students are to earn a cumulative grade point average of 90 or higher on a 100 point scale in reading, writing and math during  4th grade through the 2nd trimester of 5th grade.

Students must score 90% or higher in national norm rankings in Reading Comprehension or Mathematics 1&2 on the 5th grade ERB administered test this past January.

The award winners were: Vivian Arnold, Davis Bartow, Nathan Blake, Ben Boehm, Jim Bradshaw, Pink Brouillard, Daniel Bruce, Caroline Curtis, Hadley Golden, Willie Howard, Sara Jackson, Hannah Jones, Jake Jones, Luke Jones, Mac Kropff, Nyla Lucas, Kaben Plumlee, Wyatt McDaniel, Max Minninger, Zain Rifai, Piper Ryan, Madyson Sabin, Ryan Sanders, Ella Claire Stalvey, and Trip Yalden.

Each year, the Chief John Ross chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution presents two awards to our fifth graders to recognize their knowledge of history and their appreciation of citizenship. Winners are chosen based on essays they wrote about each subject. The history essay was a response to this prompt: After learning about various wars in which the United State has been involved, how do you think these conflicts changed the lives of some or all Americans? Give specific examples to support your thoughts. The citizenship essay was a response to this prompt: Throughout the fifth grade year, we have discussed many character traits and shared responsibilities that help each of us be good citizens in our school, community and country. Describe a good citizen and some of the character traits he or she possess. Include a personal experience or event when you felt a sense of pride being a citizen of our country.

Each essay was read by independent faculty members, and the essays did not have names on them, only student numbers. We appreciate the faculty judges who read these essays and determined the winners. Willie Howard won the Award for Outstanding Work in American History, and Hadley Golden won the DAR Youth Citizenship Award.

Melissa McKown presented the Helen C. Murray Geography Award, which was established by her family and Bright School in 1998 in honor of Mrs. Helen C. Murray, a teacher at Bright School from 1979 to 1998 and her mother. To qualify for this award, every fifth grade student was given an assessment of their basic geography knowledge including states; continents and oceans; longitude and latitude; classification of cities, states, countries, and continents; reading a world and road map; and vocabulary such as peninsula, desert, and archipelago.

Wyatt McDaniel received the Helen C. Murray Geography Award, and Hadley Golden received Honorable Mention.

Sra. Cindy Avendano recognized fifth graders who participated in Advanced Spanish: Vivian Arnold, Jim Bradshaw, Mia Forato, Hadley Golden, Sophie Jackson, Jake Jones, Luke Jones, Mac Kropff, Petra Lund, Piper Ryan, Madyson Sabin and Kaiulani Sherrow.

Austin Center '85 presented the Center Community Service Award to a fifth grader who demonstrates a commitment to volunteerism, and realizes community service not only enhances our community, but also enriches our lives. Kaiulani Sherrow is this year's winner. She participated in various activities on her own time outside of school. She sponsors a child in Africa by donating one dollar a day. She helped a family decorate for Christmas after all of their Christmas decorations were destroyed. For Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she volunteered at the Baptist Children’s Home. As a member of the Greater Chattanooga Chapter of Jack and Jill, she helped raised money for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank. 

Finally, former board member Mary Kilbride presented the Benjamin W. Kilbride Memorial Scholarship, which was created in 2001 in memory of h er son Ben. 

The scholarship is awarded to a rising fifth grader who is a leader, takes and shows an interest in other students throughout the school, exhibits a contagious enthusiasm for life, and is a student in good standing. The fourth grade teachers described this year’s recipient in this way: This student brings joy to the classroom. She greets teachers with a hug and a smile. She offers help and support to others on campus, not just her classmates and fourth grade teachers, but anyone who can use a helping hand. Her wonderful spirit is contagious. She is an enthusiastic and conscientious student. She is also willing to advocate for others in need. She is well rounded: an athlete, musician, and artist. From playing handbells to running track, we are impressed not just by her involvement in after school activities, but her willingness to give her all to the Bright School community. She brings a positive attitude to all her endeavors. She never hesitates to volunteer for a job or task. She makes sure to check in with friends who might need a boost.  In class, she sets a positive example. She is responsible and organized. This year's recipient is Brodi Headrick.