by Lisa Tome
Mackenzie Shephard carries what she learned at Christmas with her all year long.
Shephard, a fifth grader at Rising Sun Elementary School, has been a volunteer with Cecil County's Shop With a Cop for three years. Her family is active with the cause. Shop with a Cop pairs deserving children with police officers at Christmas for shopping, wrapping, and a celebration of the season.
"With Shop with a Cop, I walk around with a kid and a cop and help choose gifts. It's actually really fun," said Shephard.
Her service and her grade point average of 3.9, has earned Shephard the distinction of being named a Carson Scholar for the second time.
Dr. Ben Carson served as presidential candidate, professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and has directed neurosurgery at John's Hopkins Children's Hospital. Each year, the Carson Fund honors the best and the brightest. Carson Scholars must have a grade point average of at least 3.75. They must also display humanitarian qualities by performing community service.
Shephard also adopts a family at Christmas as part of a softball team on which she plays. She is also a member of band and All County Chorus.
"We are very proud to have her represent our school. A lot goes into being a Carson Scholar. You have to have the grades and give to the community.
They really look at what you do for the community and she has done a lot," said Cindy Fitzpatrick, principal at Rising Sun Elementary. Sarah Schmook was Shephard's teacher in fourth grade. She is also her fifth grade teacher. "She is one of my most responsible ones. She is caring, attentive, accepting, and kind. She is a very nice, genuinely caring kid. I can't say enough about her," said Schmook. "I'm excited that she got the Carson two years in a row. She worked really hard for it."
She is the daughter of Joe and Tiana Shephard of Rising Sun.
She and her family will attend a Carson Scholars banquet where she will be honored along with others who earned the honor this year.