Michael Phipps, 13, son of Linda L....


Michael Phipps, 13, son of Linda L. and Roger Phipps, Perry Road in Mount Airy.

School: Seventh-grader at Mount Airy Middle School.

Honored for: Winning first place out of 50 applicants in the Miss Lillian Shipley Heritage Education Program at the Historical Society of Carroll County.

The contest was open to all Carroll County seventh-graders. Winning second and third place and honorable mention were Michael's classmates, Caron Culver, Caroline Rogers and Mike Harrison, respectively.

All are the students of Paul Engle, social studies teacher at Mount Airy Middle.

The contest had two parts. Students had to do research on materials such as newspaper articles and the county's master plan, then answer questions about Carroll County history and write an essay on "The Past, Present and Future of Carroll County." Their comments and recommendations have gone to the county commissioners. Commissioner Vice President Elmer Lippy was on hand last week to congratulate Michael and accept the comments from the students.

The Lillian Shipley award is named after the Historical Society's first curator, who was active in history and education projects until her death in 1989, said Joe Getty, executive director.

Of Michael Phipps, Mr. Engle says, "He's a very conscientious student, very concerned about his work and the detail he puts into it. We don't always see that in middle school students.

"One of the things that helped him do well in this contest was the strength of his essay on how the decisions we make today impact the future."

Goals: Michael would like to work with animals and also be a part-time writer, probably of mysteries.

"I've got some woods by my house, and I like nature a lot," he said. He has a particular interest in saving endangered species.

Comments: In the essay, he said that "we should concentrate on industry that will preserve agriculture. It makes a lot of money for the county and it supplies a lot of jobs. I said they shouldn't build too many houses on agricultural land."

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