Fort Dale seniors named Achiever Award Winners

Published 9:44 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

The 26th annual Achiever Award committee had a tough decision to make this year. Twenty-two student athletes from Fort Dale Academy, Georgiana School, Greenville High School and McKenzie School were all vying for the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Achiever Award. 

The Chamber held its annual awards dinner on May 2, honoring award nominees and announcing the winners. By the end of the evening two Fort Dale seniors, Maire Scott and Clay Benson, were both named winners and received $3,500 each in scholarship money to go toward their educational goals.

Maire Scott lettered in cheer, basketball, tennis, and track during her time with the Eagles. She is a member of the Scholars Bowl, Math Team, National Society of High School Scholars, Student Government Association, the AISA Student Government Association, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, the Greenville Area Community Tennis Association, and Key Club. 

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Maire said of the win, “I’m just so honored. All twenty two of us have accomplished so much, and I’m so proud of all of us and proud to represent this award and what it means.”                                       

Maire’s mom, Daria Scott, said she is proud of her daughter’s accomplishments.

“We are so excited and thrilled. She has worked hard, like all of them have,” Daria Scott observed. “She has participated in a lot of sports. She loved playing and loved doing for the community and the church.”

Maire’s tennis coach said Maire is a team leader. “She has been our first seeded player for at least three years. She is one of the best tennis players to come out of Fort Dale Academy. She has been such a leader on the team, too,” said Jennie Hamilton.

Clay Benson is a senior who lettered in football, baseball, and basketball with the Fort Dale Eagles. Clay is a member of the Key Club, National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Mu Alpha Theta.

When asked how he finds time for so much activity and volunteering with a host of groups including vacation bible school and summer football camp, Benson said, “It’s truly an honor. It is a great privilege to be recognized for putting in a lot of hard work. Winning this award doesn’t define me as a person. Everyone who was nominated is equally as good. I am just proud of all of the nominees who worked hard and were nominated,” he said.  

His grandfather, Braxton McNaughton, said he always knew that his grandson would work hard.

“I’m so proud. So proud. I bait fish and tackle, and he plays ball,” McNaughton said. Clay’s little sister, Ava Casey Benton agreed, “I’m so very proud of him.” Ava said she wanted to be like her big brother.

There are 22 students who were nominated for the award. The Fort Dale Academy nominees are: Clay Benson, Amelia Gregory, Hannah Huggins, Ty Kenddrick, Brady Long, Maire Scott, Garrett Simmons, Eden Skipper, Brody Stringer, and Lily VanDyke.

The Georgiana School nominees are: Timber Black, Tamaya Hasley, Ireland Nelson, De’Keyah Peterson, and Jakiriah Rivers.

The Greenville High School nominees are: Joshua Boatwright, Christian Hill, Jacob Pryor, and Keelan Taylor.

The McKenzie School nominees are: Kamern Daniels, Lexie Jones, and Hanna Scruggs.

All nominees were considered based upon being top student athletes, high academic achievers, and being active in their communities and faith-based organizations. The nominations from each school were submitted by coaches, guidance counselors, principal/s headmasters from all four Butler County high schools.  The judges were out-of-town participants.