Eagle Award Winner: Citizen of the Year plans to attend Kansas State

Natalie Johnson
Social Media Manager

Senior Thomas Putnam is this year’s Eagle Award winner. He was nominated by band teacher Dane Williams. Photo by Caroline Fellows

“There are two types of people: There are spoons, and there are casseroles,” said band director Dane Williams, and Thomas Putnam is more definitely a casserole.

There are the people who volunteer to bring the utensils to the gathering, and those willing to put the work into cooking. When the marching band percussion had practice at 5 a.m., Putnam showed up with enough breakfast casseroles for everyone.

“In band he is always present, always willing to help somebody. It’s never about him trying to give himself an advantage… he sees the idea of the group,” said Williams.

Williams nominated Putnam for the Eagle Award because when he looked at the criteria, he thought, “Thomas.”

A member of band, leader in cross country, president of National Honor Society, recruitment officer for Amnesty International, president of Tea Club, the Remind Committee of History Club, and Honor Guard Captain of the Eagle Scouts, Putnam is incredibly dedicated to his school and community. About the rumors of his perfect cross country attendance, Putnam is quick to debunk their falsehood: “No, no, I missed one.”

As a senior patrol leader in Boy Scouts, Putnam leads a group of around 60 middle school to 18 year olds in Scouting activities.

Williams noted some students have an academic component of their lives and a service side, but “when you look at the way he (Putnam) puts his life together, they all overlap.”

Putnam recently won the 2018 Missouri Award for Outstanding Achievement in Citizenship. Nominated by experiential learning teacher Julie Burchett and principal Dr. Jon Clark, Putnam collected letters of recommendation from teachers and wrote an essay to apply for the award.

Putnam emphasizes applying should all be one thing: “Your personality shouldn’t change when the setting changes.”

Putnam will attend Kansas State University next fall and major in architecture.


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