These Eagles are Golden

Thirteen seniors nominated for prestigious Golden Eagles award


Gazebo Photo by Stratford Academy

Front Row (L-R) Maddie Fackler, Sabina Ajjan, Jocelyn Tang, Sarah Pyles, Claudia Pope, Evie Tharpe. Back Row (L-r) Nathan Dummitt, Om Patel, Harmony Nagle, Haaris Ahmed, AJ Stevenson, Nora Jorgenson. Not Pictured Danny Zhao

What do Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Lady Gaga have in common with Claudia Pope, Maddie Fackler, and Sabina Ajjan? 

They all were  nominated for a prestigious award to honor their extraordinary accomplishments.

The Golden Eagles recognizes local high school seniors for their scholastic achievements and community service.

The Macon Telegraph sponsors the Golden Eagles. This year is the 43rd year of Golden Eagles.

Teachers nominate students who have done impressive work in their field. After being nominated, students go on to interview for the award.

Stratford seniors were nominated in 13 of the 14 categories. The nominees are Claudia Pope (Art), Harmony Nagle (Athletics), Haaris Ahmed (Citizenship), Sarah Pyles (Drama), Maddie Fackler), Industrial/ Vocational (Om Patel), Journalism/Marketing & Communication (AJ Stevenson (English), Jocelyn Tang (Math), Nora Jorgensen (Music), Sabina Ajjan (Science), Nathan Dummit (Social Science), Danny Zhao (Technology) and Evie Tharpe (World Language). 

The winners earn a $1,000 dollar scholarship and recognition at the awards ceremony, while the 14 people named honorable mentions receive a certificate and a $300 prize.

Senior Maddie Fackler was nominated in the subject of English. She has done considerable work in English outside and inside of the school, and last year she even won a spot in the prestigious Governor’s Honor Program for her English accomplishments.

“Well, I just have a huge passion for English Literature,” Maddie said. “I have always  worked hard in my English classes, read a lot, and had an interest in the subject, and at the end of the day, all it takes to be good at something is a sustained interest.”

Fellow Senior Nora Jorgenson also agrees hard work is the key to a Golden Eagle nomination.

“I have done music since the fifth grade. I have always been dedicated to doing better on my instrument and helping other people learn,” Nora said. “Overall, I think they chose me for my dedication, the way I am always working to improve, and because I have made it into honor and regional bands.”

Although, being nominated for a Golden Eagle is an honor, earning a golden eagle is a whole other journey. 

Before the judges decide if Nora shall win the Golden Eagle for music, she has to present a three minute piece to present to the judge. 

The Golden Eagles are normally held every spring at the Grand Opera House in downtown Macon. Because of COVID, the May ceremony will be virtual for the second straight year.