Corinthian Barthelmess - Spirit
Recipient: Corinthian Barthelmess, Class of 2021
This Legacy of a Legacy has been defined as such largely for her unwavering school spirit, which has manifested itself in just about everything that she has done during her four-year tenure at Rolesville. As a 3 season athlete (Cross Country, Swim, and Lacrosse), Rambassador, Servant to Student Government, Junior Marshall, and active contributor to several clubs and organizations, this graduate’s energy, enthusiasm, and service represent Rolesville to the core.
It was evident early on in this student’s time that school climate, student life, and a positive reflection of the Rolesville HS community at large was her primary concern and goal. She has served with Youth Leadership Rolesville, volunteered at Rolesville Elementary on a weekly basis, has planned activities for homecoming, pep rallies, organized food drives, and even added her creative touch to the Sophomore rock. She is certainly one of the original members of the Rolesville Riot, attending almost all if not all football games in her time here. An infectious smile, an inclusive attitude, and an eagerness to put Rolesville on the map have been a focus of this Ram, to the extent that she has appeared on local media outlets to share the great pieces of which we all at The Farm have reason to take pride in. While both the classes of 2020 and 2021 have suffered the loss of many in-person events and celebrations, this student worked tirelessly and in creative collaboration with Administration and other school personnel to maximize the Senior year experience and minimize the effects of the pandemic. Her actions are appreciated and her energy will be missed, but we are certain that the good folks at the University of Arizona will be most pleased with her contributions.
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.”
~ William Shakespeare
Tjaden Bridges - Service
Recipient: Tjaden Bridges, Class of 2021
This RHS 2021 graduate was a popular choice for Legacy recognition this year, receiving multiple nominations. The descriptors used regarding this young man include: poised, focused, self-driven, accountable, proactive, multifaceted, and other-oriented. He has actively participated in and contributed to Key Club, National Honor Society, STEM, History Club and performs as a percussionist with our Marching Band. He assiduously maintained his GPA of 4.41 despite a global pandemic and remained on the A Honor Roll throughout. While the distinctions above certainly identify our honoree as a standout, more impacting were the characterizations shared by the faculty. He is described as mature beyond his age and keenly aware of and sensitive to his peers. He was described by Mr. Myers as an individual who leads and joins missions of hope. He played an essential role in the Key Club fundraiser for diabetes awareness, and as a leader in that organization contributed to several other initiatives that will result in increased student engagement and community. Just down the hall with the National Honor Society, this student continued to serve. Replying to a fellow faculty´s request for tutorial help, Mr. Buffkin recommended this student, who not only dedicated considerable personal time to help a peer with Math1 but actually personalized and differentiated the learning experience for him. Mr. Buffkin observed that he gave so freely of his time that the 2 of them would work on his own homework until late into the evening via Google hangout. These attributes of adaptability, flexibility, and service in an uncertain and uncomfortable environment distinguish this young man as not only possessed of the necessary skills to thrive in a 21st Century world but suggest that he will lead it. Probably a very strong indicator as to how and why this pride of Rolesville is headed to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after graduation.
¨That´s what I consider true generosity: you give your all and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.¨ ~Simone de Beauvoir
Tam Truong - Community
Recipient: Tam Truong, Class of 2022
This Legacy recipient is the first underclassman to have earned this recognition, so strong is his service and concern for his fellow Rams and beyond. In just three years of attendance at Rolesville High School (one and a half of which has been remote), this student has served with distinction as a Rambassador, is serving currently as Vice President of the Rolesville Coalition for Equity, is the Vice President of ECO Club now and served as Secretary during his sophomore year, is the Vice President of the National Achievers Society, and serves in membership with Key Club, the Science Honor Society, the Technical Student Association and finally, National Honor Society. Coincidentally, he is also completing his term as President of the Junior Class.
The staff member who nominated this legacy termed him as extraordinary, possessed of the ability to lead and serve while maintaining academic integrity and excellence, and added that while he sustained this strongest of ethics, worked fervently on behalf of the student population. His participation in “The Great Reset”, an initiative of the Wake County School Board of Education was tangible, and the contributions that he and his committee members made in the RHS Wake Up Call presentation served to lay the groundwork for the promotion of a climate of long term inclusivity and equity at our school.
In consideration then of all of the accomplishments listed prior, it is not surprising to learn that this Ram has just been identified as a Quest Bridge College Prep Scholar, an incredibly competitive scholarship, this year awarded to less than 4,000 of the more than 15,000 applicants. Affiliated with Yale University, this intensive 2-week summer academic program will incorporate studies and discussion related to international politics, economics, STEM topics, and of course, the humanities. Our legacy recipient was a clear choice, and we believe that his participation with this elite group will result simply in fueling his desire to continue to serve others.
“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” ~Booker T. Washington.
Ashleigh Vilga - Leadership
Recipient: Ashleigh Vilga, Class of 2021
Leadership & vision characterize this 2021 RHS graduate. The accomplishments listed across her four-year tenure at Rolesville are simply inspired and define legacy to its core.
A 3-season athlete, this Ram participated in Cross Country, Track, and Women’s Soccer and Captained these teams as well. On the soccer field, she is a daunting athlete, having been identified as the team’s lead scorer in both her Junior and Senior seasons, and selected for All-Conference recognition her Junior season. Coach Daniels refers to her as “a lock” for the same honor this year. In track, she was named the Most Outstanding Runner for XC in both 2018 and 2019 and was a multiple All-Conference selection. She holds the school record for the 3,000-meter race and, is the first distance running Ram to commit to run in college on scholarship at Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina. It is uncommon that a student-athlete as dedicated as this one is to competition and precision in sports would also have time enough to contribute elsewhere at Rolesville but she does. She served Student Government in the role of Class President during 3 of her 4 years, has been an active member of the National Honor Society since her sophomore year, and is currently serving as President. The capstone to this student’s resume however is her founding, serving, and leading the Rolesville High School Coalition for Equity. Her keen awareness and sensitivity to her fellow Rams inspired this student in her sophomore year to request permission and support to establish this critical organization, and she has never looked back. Beneath her leadership and guidance, the Rolesville HS Coalition for Equity has made numerous presentations at which both School Board members and high-level Wake County officials are present. She has worked hard and succeeded in earning recognition within the county for the RCE and has been invited by the Wake County Office of Equity Affairs to participate with their own organization. She has served Rolesville High School and beyond, and indeed represented to the larger community just who we are, and who we can be.
“Think of yourself as an athlete. I guarantee you it will change the way you walk, the way you work, and the decisions you make about leadership, teamwork, and success.” ~ Mariah Burton Nelson
Jeanne Gillen - Integrity
Recipient: Jeanne Gillen, Rolesville High School teacher, 2013 - current
This Ram is truly an original. She was a member of the 2013-14 inaugural staff of Rolesville High School. She also reared a Ram graduate that was also a recipient of the Rolesville High School Legacy Award in 2019.
She has held many leadership positions over the course of her tenure at Rolesville High School. She coached boys and girls tennis for many years. She has been an invaluable member of the graduation committee and honors all of us by reading the names of every graduating Ram during graduation ceremonies. This job is a priority to our recipient as she wants each student to feel pride and honor on this special day.
Our Legacy winner established the first World Language Honor Society at Rolesville High School, the El Camino chapter of the Spanish National Honor Society. Subsequently, she encouraged her colleague to establish a Rolesville High School chapter of the French National Honor Society.
This recipient is a mighty force with which to be reckoned. She will stand up for what she believes until the end with admirable fortitude. Undoubtedly, integrity is her hallmark. Colleague Amy Hodge says of her, “She runs the show and is a real gem!”
This Ram believes deeply in her students and in the vision of Rolesville High School by encouraging all of her students to reach their full potential on the pathway to productive futures.
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast and easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” Brene Brown
Dhedra Lassiter - Compassion
Recipient: Dhedra Lassiter, Rolesville High School Principal, 2016 - current
There isn't enough time, nor are there enough words to completely describe the dedication and service that this individual has given to Rolesville HS and the community at large. This nominee is noted for her patience, passion, and her unrelenting pursuit of excellence on behalf of our students, school, and stakeholders. Her optimism, balanced perspective, and compassion are simply unmatched, and as a result, we here have been blessed with the fruits of that long-term experience. She connects with students personally and is empathetic to their concerns and circumstances. This became overwhelmingly apparent with the onset of the global pandemic; in the midst of seemingly hundreds of “nos”, this administrator has worked tirelessly and creatively to find the yeses and actively sought out solutions to make our students’ experience not just tolerable but memorable. She does not work to graduate students, rather, she works to grow young adults and remember graduates, long after the tassel turns. And they remember her.
Coach Tommy Moore, a Rolesville Legacy from 2019 said that the obvious qualities she possesses, intellect, work ethic, and demeanor certainly contribute to the creation of the leader, but that which distinguishes her among the best with whom he has ever worked is what he described as her servant´s heart and just how deeply she cares for those she serves.
Her best friend and spouse said of her: ¨upon meeting her it didn't take ten words to realize that she is a very special person. She is such a positive and influential force in people's´lives.¨ We here at Rolesville say amen to that and count our own blessings in calling her a Ram.
“Teach them the quiet words of kindness, to live beyond themselves. Urge them toward excellence, drive them toward gentleness, pull them deep into yourself, pull them upward toward manhood, but softly like an angel arranging clouds. Let your spirit move through them softly.” ~Pat Conroy, from The Prince of Tides
Rachel Morris - Guidance
Recipient: Rachel Morris, Executive Director Rolesville Chamber of Commerce
Key terms associated with this community partner are investment, guidance, and action. This individual has served both the Rolesville community and our high school students since September of 2017 with an enviable energy and matchless passion. She has been responsible for planning activities for RHS Youth Leadership and during the past 5 years has grown the program to be among the most competitive, as well as most sought-after opportunity by students looking to hone their leadership skills. Within this group, our honoree challenged students to learn about community service, team building, and budget-balancing… and despite the onset of a global pandemic, never allowed the program or its activities to falter. She maintains a very active presence on our campus, attending Rolesville Business Alliance meetings, participating in the Reality of Money events, and helping with middle school mock interviews. She has assisted in placing student interns with local businesses and is largely responsible for creating an open, vibrant, and mutually supportive network between Rolesville High School and its business partners.
The nominator for this individual adds that beyond the training and knowledge offered by this professional, she seeks to establish relationships and create rapport with our students by her active engagement and participation in their personal lives. She is often seen at workplaces and extracurricular events, attends honor society inductions, and continues relationships with our graduates after they depart. She was invited to be the keynote speaker at Rolesville High School´s National Technical Honor Society’s last induction ceremony, a clear indication that she not only serves but participates, and that our students not only value and esteem her engagement, but also seek out her presence and affirmation. It is for these and other reasons surely that she was selected by Wake County Public Schools as the recipient of the prestigious School to Career Council Outstanding Volunteer Leadership Award, and we at Rolesville High School would like to honor her further by bestowing on her our deepest appreciation and our highest recognition.
¨Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it; to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other.¨ Maya Angelou