Fairmont students win prestigious Triple A award

FHS students Tony Joseph and Lauren Carlson feel honored to have won the 2016-2017 Triple A award. The award recognizes their extraordinary acheivements in academics, the arts, and athletics.

FAIRMONT — Hard work is usually something to be proud of. When we put in the effort, the sweat, and the tears, it’s nice to see things come to completion. Even better is to know that we enjoyed the work, and entered in with a cheerful attitude and a desire to do it well.

That positive attitude and can-do spirit is what led to Fairmont Area students Lauren Carlson and Tony Joseph’s receipt of the 2016-2017 Triple A award at Fairmont High School.

“The big thing with winning this award is that it’s probably the most prestigious award we give out at our high school,” stated Activities Director, Phys-Ed Teacher, and Head Football Coach Mat Mahoney. “It represents everything from athletics, to arts, and academics. Both of these kids are very active and very deserving, and it’s tough to get in and be selected.”

Upon learning about their achievement the pair were both excited, but state that they really weren’t focusing on or expecting it.

“I was excited and grateful, because it’s a great honor,” said Carlson. Joseph shared that he was genuinely not expecting it, stating that he could think of a lot of other people that it could have gone to. “It was humbling,” he said.

“It didn’t really feel like work. It was more like a journey, and I thought it was more about making those memories and just being involved with all the different people. I got to see different perspectives and be a part of so many activities and, to me, that never felt like work.”

Meanwhile, Carlson notes that getting recognition was also the last thing on her mind, as she prefers to keep a busy schedule.

“I like to be busy, and everything I’m involved in I do because I enjoy doing it, not because it will look good on college applications or because other people are telling me to do it,” she said. “I do it because I enjoy staying involved.”

Along with Joseph, Carlson also notes that a large part of their success is due to the opportunities provided to them by living in the Fairmont community.

“If we lived in a bigger city, we would not be able to do everything we do here in Fairmont,” she said. “We are so fortunate to be able to be in everything.”

“I don’t think, if we went to a bigger school, we’d be able to be two or three sport athletes and be involved in speech and knowledge bowl and math league, and all the cool things that we get to do here,” said Joseph. “That’s what makes Fairmont great.”

The students also mentioned that they are grateful for all the support they’ve received from family, friends, and school staff. Joseph stated that his family is a large part of his success.

“A lot of credit has to go to my family,” he said. “My mom and dad have always supported me in doing what I wanted, like when knowledge bowl came up and they just said “go ahead” and they had me in tennis and soccer since before I can remember. Then we also have some amazing coaches and teacher.”

That sentiment was shared by Carlson.

“I think in Fairmont, we have a lot of great coaches and teachers, and they all support us with whatever we want to do. The same goes for my family, who’ve never said no to my crazy schedule, and were willing to support whatever I decided to do.”

With a bright outlook and a spirit of gratefulness, the pair seem ready to take on the future, even if they don’t quite know all the details.

Carlson stated that she is not sure what the future holds, noting that while she knows she wants to go into pre-med, she’s not sure what college she’ll end up in. Likewise, Joseph has received several acceptance letters, and is thinking he would like to end up in the field of science, or working with the English language.

Both were also eager to share some of the lessons they’ve learned, and leave some advice behind for the students who will come after them.

“Don’t worry about being too busy,” said Carlson, “because this is the one chance you have in your life to experience everything, especially her in Fairmont where you can take advantage of the opportunities of living in a small town. The hard work will pay off, even if you’re not the best at what you do.”

“These are the times you make the memories,” said Joseph, “and you make memories by getting involved. You never make memories sitting at home on the couch playing video games. So I say do as much as you can while you can, and it turns out alright.”