Abby Smith chosen for youth tour

By April 27, 2016 July 25th, 2017 Academic









From left, Abby Smith, EA Headmaster David Walker, Paolo Gorme Most of Escambia Academy’s students will be able to put school out of their minds during the summer, but Abigail “Abby” Smith won’t be afforded that luxury. Abby, who is slated to enter her senior year at EA when the 2016-17 term begins in August, will spend at least one week participating in (what else?) an educational program.

The 16-year-old EA majorette was recently tabbed as one of the area high school juniors who will participate in the annual Southern Pine Rural Electric Membership Cooperative’s Youth Tour, which consists of a week of fun and learning in the nation’s capital. The program is designed to help young people develop leadership skills.

“I’m very excited,” said Abby, daughter of Allen and Pam Smith. “I didn’t think I would get it, and that’s how I acted in Montgomery. I’m glad I didn’t think about it, because I would have psyched myself out.”

The trip to the state capital she referred to was the second leg of a two-part process during which the final selections were made as to which teens would be a part of an all-expenses-paid, week-long trek to Washington, D.C. in June. The trip itinerary includes visits to and tours of several national monuments, along with the opportunity to meet some of the state’s and the nation’s political leaders.

The 11th-grade applicants lucky enough to make the final cut must meet several criteria. Each must be the son or daughter of a Southern Pine member; he or she must compose an essay on a topic chosen by the electric cooperative’s communications staff; and each must survive a one-on-one interview.

EA was also represented in the initial phases of the competition by Paolo Gorme, 18, who is a member of the school’s football and golf teams and who will be Abby’s escort to the upcoming junior-senior prom. Paolo’s parents are Manuel (also known as “Ditto”) and Kharina Gorme.

Sheilah Sawyer, who teaches computer science and finance at Escambia Academy, said the duo – each of whom is also a member of the Beta Club and is involved in the EA Student Government Association and in Youth Leadership Atmore – helped make the choice of school reps a fairly easy one for the faculty honors committee.

“Both are very strong academically, and both are well-rounded,” Ms. Sawyer said. “They are extremely active members of their churches and their community.

They are the cream of the crop, and that’s why they’re honored the way they are.”

Abby attends Flomaton First Baptist Church; Paolo attends St. Robert’s Catholic Church in Atmore.

EA Headmaster David Walker praised both students. He and Ms. Sawyer said they had no doubts that Abby would serve as a more than capable ambassador for the school and the community.

“There’s no doubt about that,” Mr. Walker said. “I know she’s looking forward to the trip, and we’re all looking forward to her making it.” Ms. Sawyer said Abby was destined for even greater things next year – she’s on track to be the valedictorian of her senior class. – See more at:!prettyPhoto