20140212-220251.jpgThe Punta Gorda Police Department recognized five Charlotte County students on Thursday, January 7th, 2016 for doing the right thing. The students from Port Charlotte High, Charlotte High school, Kingsway Elementary, Deep Creek Elementary and Neil Armstrong Elementary schools were recognized for their good deeds

To get us started for the new year of 2016, the Punta Gorda Police Department Jaquavis Lee, better known as Coby. Coby is the son of Yolanda Haynes and he is in the 5th grade at Neil Armstrong Elementary School.

The person nominating Coby had this to say. I am a fifth grade teacher at Neil Armstrong Elementary School. On Friday, November 13, 2015, due to a meeting, I had a 1/2 day sub for the afternoon. The following event happened under the care of my substitute teacher and Coby’s quick thinking kept many students safe in my absence. My students have been taught what to do in the case of an emergency, which is basically to run to the teacher next door. One of my students, a young man with severe ADHD and some issues will telling the truth told his classmates that he brought a knife to school. The knife stayed in his backpack all morning with no mention of it during the time I was in the class. Once my sub took over the class, this student began to again brag about having a knife. Most students at this time did not believe his comments, due to his past embellishments, and continued with their instruction with the sub. To prove to the students he truly had a weapon, he began to show the boys around him the knife. At this time, Jaquavis (Coby as we call him) responded quickly, implementing what I taught him, and ran to my co-teacher next door yelling “knife” at the top of his lungs. This may have saved many students and staff from further proof that this student DID have a weapon. I am very proud of Coby for his quick thinking and willingness to run for help in time of need. SRO Langston and Mrs. Taillon were able to contain the situation quickly, make sure kids were safe, and detain the young man who was disciplined. Coby is very popular at Neil Armstrong, and also in his community. He is already a budding football player and many students look up to him and his positive influence.

Not only is Coby a budding football player, he also loves trains and video games.

The next recipient of or DTRT award is Taylor Morris a freshman at Charlotte High. Taylor is the daughter of Debbie and Bill Morris.

Here is what the person nominating Tylor had to say. I had the pleasure of getting to meet, know and adore Taylor through her volunteer work as an assistant coach for the Punta Gorda Jammers. At a young age of 14, Taylor is a very giving young lady. She was very involved with the inaugural first year of the Jazzy Jammers cheerleaders. Taylor also gives so much of herself, volunteering at Punta Gorda Middle School and Trunk or Treat. She is a true leader who always chooses to do the right thing.

In addition to lots of volunteer activities and spending time with family and friends, Taylor keeps herself  busy as a member of the Charlotte High JV Volleyball team where she received the Coach’s award this year. She is also on an AAUU volleyball travel team, the CHS weight lifting team, CHS Student Government and the Punta Gorda Police Department’s Jammers Cheerleading Squad. She loves dancing and gymnastics as well and was a junior dance assistant for the Elite Dance Studio out of West Palm Beach. She also volunteered time to raise money for the Tip a Cop Guatemala Mission fund raiser and assisted with the UPS team for United Way. In her spare time, she works as a wrestling team statistician.

Our next recipient for January 2016 comes to us via the Deep Creek Elementary School. He is Howard Nuzum IV, a second grader at Deep Creek. He is the son of Kristin Preston and Howard Nuzum III.

Howard is a model student and exemplifies what it means, to Do The Right Thing. He over-extends himself to help others, including myself, no matter the size or difficulty of the task at hand. Howard demonstrates self-awareness beyond his years and sets an example at all times for others to follow. His personal character is extraordinary and ever present. His values, morals, and integrity are beyond compare. Howard deserves recognition for all that he does because Howard  ALWAYS does the right thing without fail, and does it without being asked. Howard is an incredible citizen at school and outside of school. I have never nominated a student for this award before, but I can’t imagine any child who would be more deserving than Howard. I hope this honor will be bestowed on Howard because he earns it every single day.

Howard was a Cub Scout and loves the outdoors. He gets outstanding grades in school. He likes to ride his bike, swim and play with his Xbox.

Nicholas Torres is our next January 2016 nominee. Nicholas is a sophomore at Port Charlotte High School and is the son of Kristen Torres.

On Sunday afternoon, Nov 15 , while at the port Charlotte mall, Nicolas was with my son and his friends when he noticed an elderly gentleman trip and fall face forward onto the ground. His elderly wife was struggling to pick him up and Nicolas ran over to the couple and immediately was able to pick the man up off the ground and helped him get back on his feet. He made sure the elderly man was ok and then noticed he was wearing a U.S. Veterans hat. He immediately thanked him for his service and shook his hand. From what I was told, the elderly man was very moved and almost brought to tears.

In his spare time, Nicholas likes to play football, Lacrosse, and is involved in Young Life. Nicholas also likes to fish. Basically, he likes anything to do with sports. He has also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity.

The last young man we would like to recognize this month is Jovani Montinat who is a third grade student at Kingsway Elementary School. Jovani is the son of Danielle Haid and Mark Montinant.

At Kingsway Elementary we follow the Seven Habits precept by Stephen Covey. One of the habits students follow is to “Begin with the End in Mind”. It talks about doing things that have meaning and make a difference, contribute to your school’s mission, or look for ways to be a good citizen. One of our students here at Kingsway, Jovani Montinant, displayed this habit beautifully a couple of weeks ago. His third grade class was taking their turn at the RP store, a place where students can cash in their reading points from tests they have passed, or the books they have read, to shop for a reward. His teacher and the Media Specialist verified that he used his RP points to buy a reward for another student in his class who does not speak English, thus would not have read any books or have any of his own points. I was so proud of this third grade boy to have considered what his classmate may have felt like not having any points and to buy him a reward. It was the embodiment of the above habit and I felt it should not go unnoticed as it was an act of kindness, compassion, and followed this particular habit when doing something that made a difference for a student in his class.

Jovani has a lot of interests including basketball, fishing, reading and computers. Obviously, he also loves to help others. His likes video games and hunting as well. In the past he has helped gather food for the homeless through the Boys and Girls Club. We are also told that he does get excellent grades.

We always like to hear about all of the wonderful things our youth are doing in our communities.

If you know of a youth in Charlotte County doing good deeds please nominate them for a Do the Right Thing award at www.puntagordapolice.com or call the Executive Director of Do the Right Thing of Charlotte County, Tony Pribble at 941-639-4111.

Prepared by:
Tony Pribble
Executive Director – Do the Right Thing of Charlotte County
Punta Gorda Police Department
(941) 639-4111