Severn School grad wins Optimists' $1,000


July 11, 2002|By Joni Guhne | Joni Guhne,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE SEVERNA PARK Optimist Club Foundation has awarded its second annual Ken Allor Volunteerism Scholarship to 2002 Severn School graduate Clayton S. McCarl III.

A National Merit finalist and Maryland Distinguished Scholar finalist in academics and the arts, the 18-year-old son of Clayton and Lisa McCarl of Millersville graduated last month with top departmental honors in science, math, technology and music.

Clayton's awards include being named a Capital-Gazette Academic All-Star, receiving a computer science award from the county Board of Education and winning a Maryland Merit Scholastic Award for being in the top 5 percent of his graduating class. He will be able to put the $1,000 Optimist award to good use this fall as a freshman at Cornell University, where he has been named a Presidential Research Scholar.

The research scholar award carries a grant that allows a recipient to work one-on-one with a faculty member on a topic of the student's choosing. Winners are students "who are willing to go the extra mile," says Clayton, who plans to conduct his research in addition to working on a double major in computer science and music.

A baritone, Clayton began singing in church choirs. "Then I just started singing all the time," he says. He starred in musical productions at Indian Creek School and Severn and last year was named by the Maryland Music Educators Association to the All Eastern Chorus, an honor given every other year, he says. Nominees come from the top 10 percent of the state's high school juniors and seniors.

Between studies and singing, Clayton played varsity soccer at Severn.

The awards are wonderful, but they don't define who Clayton is, says his mother. He's just returned from his fourth stint with Appalachia Service Project, a homebuilding ministry, and hopes to become a project staff member and spend the entire summer supervising other volunteers. He's preparing to teach vacation Bible school this summer.

Clayton and his brother, Drew, 17, and sister, Ashley, 16, also students at Severn, all teach Sunday school and substitute for one another, says their mother.

The young volunteer appreciates the man for whom his Optimist Club scholarship was named. "The award is a fitting tribute to Mr. Allor," says Clayton. "He was a wonderful role model."

Allor, who was president of the Severna Park Optimist Club at the time of his death, found time during and after his career with the U.S. Department of Defense to be a volunteer firefighter, Scoutmaster, mentor of young children and volunteer at his church, where he produced the church newsletter, videotaped services and taught Disciple Bible Study classes.

He and his wife, Alice, participated in church-sponsored mission projects around the country. Until now, the foundation has given one scholarship a year, but Jim Hubbard, vice president and treasurer of the Optimist Foundation, says the group hopes to be able to give more than one next year.

"It's really exciting," he said. "Rather than increase the amount of the scholarship, we'd rather help more kids."

For scholarship information, call 410-647-6966.

`Stuart Little' on screen

Who remembers the last time you could drive down the street to a gala movie premiere and the whole shebang was free?

Tomorrow night, area residents may enjoy the area's first showing of Stuart Little 2 at Kinder Farm Park's second annual Friday Night Flicks.

The event, which has the financial backing of Fox 45 and BGE, gets under way at 6:30 p.m. at the park, 1001 Kinder Farm Park Road, Millersville, with dozens of games and activities for adults and kids, pony rides and food, including hot dogs, fried chicken and pizza. The movie begins at dusk, about 8:45 p.m., said park Superintendent Bill Offutt. He also said there will be plenty of parking and assistance from the park staff.

Information: 410-222-6155.

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