When the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners bestows one of its student achievement awards, it’s a happy occasion for the town officials, the student being honored and his or her family – sometimes teachers get involved, too.
During the most recent town meeting Monday night, the town board honored Graham Arrison, an eighth-grader at Harford Day School, who was recognized for, among other things, exemplifying “the sincerity, kindness and dignity of the ideal Harford Day School student,” according to the wording of his award, which was read by Mayor Susan Burdette.
“The traits become clearly evident Graham leads tours for parent and prospective student – a true ambassador for the school,” Burdette continued. “Graham continually displays compassion in all of his interactions — conversations with friends, discussions in class and contributions to the greater community.”
As she typically does when presenting student achievement awards, the mayor asked Graham who he had brought with him to help him celebrate, and he replied: his mom and dad, his sister, his grandfather, his aunt and his teachers.
Actually, a half dozen Harford Day teachers were present to share in the occasion, and it meant for an unsually large and lively group filling up the front of the town hall meeting room for a celebratory photograph.
Graham’s student achievement award also notes that he maintains “an admirable balance in his life, achieving excellence in his academic persuits, while also developing athletic prowess in ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse – not to mention his artistic gifts.”
The latter included playing the lead in last year’s school production of “The Sound of Music.”
“Everyone loves working with Graham – teachers and students alike are enlivened by his infectious positivity,” the award states. “He is a leader in the best sense of the word, inspiring the respect of his teachers and his peers through his honesty, integrity and his wonderful buoyant personality.”
Burdette later said what never ceases to amaze her is how the young people who receive these honors “find the time to do all the things they do.”