Carriere and Hicks named Students of the Month

Amanda Carriere from Orangefield High School and Matt Hicks from Bridge City High School were honored as Students of the Month for April.

Carriere is the daughter of Neil and Juleen Carriere. She is ranked 22 in a class of 118 and has a grade point average of 3.90 on the college 4.0 system. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Future Career and Community Leaders of America. Carriere has been on the A-B honor roll every six weeks and has been the recipient of “Big O” awards (given to the highest ranking student) in Algebra I, Biology, BCIS and Algebra II.

“Amanda is an amazing, smart young lady. She is very outgoing and has a great personality,” said Elizabeth LeBoeuf, Carrier’s National Honor Society sponsor. “She is also a hard worker and I have no doubt that she will be very successful in the future.”

Her English teacher, Ronald Chevalier, said, “Amanda is a respectful, brilliant young lady who shows dedication to her work and a desire to assist others in succeeding in the classroom. She is modest and yet confident in her abilities to accomplish her work successfully. She always has a smile!”

Carriere is involved in the community with Relay for Life and Blue Santa with the Salvation Army. She has recycled paper in the FCCLA “Going Green” project, sold calendars and sponsored dances at school to help raise money for children’s hospitals. Carriere has also held a part-time job at Burger Town since August of 2008.

She plans to take care of her basics at Lamar State College-Orange, then transfer to a pharmacy school in Houston for training to become a pharmacist.

Hicks is the son of Tom Hicks and Marianne Petry. He is ranked sixth in a class of 163 and holds a grade point average of 4.59. Hicks is a member of the Student Council and an officer in the National Honor Society. He has been named the 21-3A Defensive MVP (2007), All-District pitcher (2008) and Co-District MVP (2009). Hicks was also named on the 2010 Rawlings All-Region Team. Hicks has also helped at the Bridge City Baseball Camp and is an instructor at Hitters, Inc.

“I had the pleasure of teaching Matt in advanced placement U.S. History his junior year at Bridge City High School,” said Cheryl Royal, director of student activities at BCHS. “He proved himself to be an outstanding student with the ability to be a very creative thinker. He is also a member in good standing of the National Honor Society and serves as its historian. He is active in service projects and plays a vital role in implementing meetings and activities.”

“Matt is a wonderful young man. He is always a gentleman with impeccable manners,” said Hicks’ math teacher, Faye Parish. “Matt is an excellent math student with a great mind.”

“He has maintained excellence on and off the field while he still maintains a top 10 percent ranking in his senior class,” said Royal.

Hicks has received a scholarship to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he will play baseball.

“Without reservation, I know that Matt will carry his work ethic and strong character into the collegiate setting,” said Royal. “I am confident that whatever Matt chooses to do, he will excel. Bridge City High School is proud to call him one of our own.”

Achord named Employee of the Month

Janna Achord of Firestone Community Federal Credit Union has been named as the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce’s Employee of the Month.

Nominated by Charlee Walling, Achord has been the CEO of Firestone Credit Union for two years.

“She had a very challenging first year losing two offices thru the hurricane and had to place 13 employees in a very small trailer and in the Mauriceville office,” said Walling in her nomination letter. “She had several employees that lost their homes and she also suffered damages at her home and never complained.”

Achord previously served as CEO for Port Arthur Credit Union for 15 years.

She lives in Winnie with her husband, Garrett. They have three daughters and one handsome little grandson. She enjoys hiking, spending time with her family, reading, helping Garrett with their cattle, working and spoiling her grandson.

She has 16 employees between the Bridge City, Orange and Mauriceville offices.

“As you can tell she stays very busy both at work and at home,” said Walling.

St. Mark named Business of the Month

Bridge City Chamber of Commerce has named St. Mark Lutheran as Business of the Month.

The small church began in 1954, when several local women, including Betty Caldwell and Leona Eastman,polled the community to see if there was enough interest to begin a church in Bridge City.

At first, they worshipped in various places: the original firehouse and a local reataurant at the corner of W. Roundbunch and Texas Ave. In 1958 they officially organized as St. Mark Lutheran Church and built the present church building at 945 W. Roundbunch Road in 1959. As the years passed, additions were made to original building. Like the surrounding community, it too suffered major damage from Hurricane Ike, but renovations are complete and the congregation is ready for the next 50 years. Pastor Paul Zoch has served in the church for almost 13 years and graduated from Bridge City High School.

St. Mark is active in the community. Many barbecues, bazaars and garage sales have taken place. The church is particularly proud of its participation in the annual holiday parade of the chamber of commerce and has several thophies honoring past floats.

It’s the “little church with the big heart.”