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Westminster High School graduate Anna Ruby marks fourth generation of Rotary Award winners

Anna Ruby, a graduating senior from Westminster High School, is this year's female recipient of the Rotary Award. She's the fourth generation in her family to earn the honor.
Anna Ruby, a graduating senior from Westminster High School, is this year's female recipient of the Rotary Award. She's the fourth generation in her family to earn the honor. (Photo courtesy of Anna Ruby)

When Anna Ruby’s name is engraved among the students listed for the Rotary Award on a bronze plaque at Westminster High School, she’ll join the ranks of decades of graduates who have shown distinguished character and school involvement.

She’ll also join several members of her family.

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Unlike the more than 100 students who received it before her, she’s the fourth generation in her family to earn the honor.

Her great-grandmother, Betty Mae Yingling, received it in 1941; her grandfather, David Geiman Jr., received it in 1965; and her parents, then Sandra Geiman and Mark Ruby received it in 1995.

The award, which the Westminster Rotary Club gives to a male and female recipient each year, has been around since 1925 to recognize students who best exemplify the club’s ideals through “participation in school activities, loyalty to the school, outstanding scholarship, character and conduct,” said James Lightner, the chairman of the awards committee from the Rotary Club. The school’s faculty chooses the winners; Ruby is this year’s female recipient, and Jarrett Walton is the male recipient.

Other families have had multiple generations receive the award in years past, such as the Billingslea and Herr families — but this is the first time four generations of a family have received it, Lightner said.

The awards ceremony on Tuesday night, couldn’t have come on a more appropriate date: Ruby found out she won the award on what would have been her great-grandmother’s 95th birthday.

“It’s very special,” Ruby said. “She was very close with all of us and very present in our lives.”

Though her family has distinguished, long-standing roots in the community on both sides, Ruby, 18, has made her own mark at Westminster High School. The two-sport athlete bounces from one activity to the next while maintaining straight A’s — she serves as vice president for her class executive board, and is involved with Special Olympics and Fellowship of Christian Athletes in addition to the national, math and science honor societies.

Even though the award is based upon her work with the school, her service doesn’t stop when she exits its doors. Ruby is also a volunteer coach for Westminster Area Lacrosse, the local recreational program, an assistant coach for Check-Hers Elite Lacrosse Club, and is a part of Young Life and Young Life Capernaum, which is aimed toward young people with special needs. And she volunteers at her church, Covenant of Grace, in Reisterstown.

“Her drive — to be a really, truly good person — is what stands out to me. There really is no one that dislikes her,” said Katie Baker, her great aunt. “She’s a very good Christian, and, in my opinion, just epitomizes what goodness is all about. She really is, you just meet her and you love her.”

Her grandfather, the male recipient in 1965, noted her academic success, community involvement and role on her lacrosse team, which snagged the past two Class 3A state championships. Ruby will attend Loyola University on a lacrosse scholarship.

“I’m very honored that she got it,” said David Geiman Jr. “She’s worked very hard throughout her whole life, and especially her high school career.”

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