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Press Release

U.S. Attorneys Booth Goodwin And Bill Ihlenfeld Recognize High School Juniors As Ambassadors For Justice

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of West Virginia

Third annual ceremony lauds students for exceptional character, commitment to social justice

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorneys Booth Goodwin, Southern District of West Virginia, and Bill Ihlenfeld, Northern District of West Virginia, today recognized 88 high school juniors from throughout West Virginia as U.S. Attorney’s Ambassadors for Justice.  The afternoon ceremony to honor the recipients took place at the Culture Center in Charleston.  The U.S. Attorney’s Ambassador for Justice program is an initiative co-sponsored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern and Northern Districts of West Virginia.  It honors high school juniors who have shown outstanding leadership skills and a commitment to social justice. 

Today’s ceremony marked the third time that U.S. Attorney Goodwin has recognized leaders from high schools in the Southern District of West Virginia.  This year, U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld joined to recognize students from the Northern District of West Virginia as well.

“I am very pleased to honor these remarkable high school juniors from throughout the state of West Virginia as Ambassadors for Justice,”  U.S. Attorney Goodwin said.  “These 88 students have each demonstrated a powerful ethical compass and have shown tremendous leadership.”  Goodwin continued, “ Their ideas and perspectives are invaluable in helping to identify and resolve common and important issues.  These are students who are willing to step forward and do something if one of their peers makes a self-destructive decision or bullies someone else.” 

Goodwin said that he and U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld share concerns about problems facing young people in West Virginia.  “This isn’t just an award or a title.  This is an ongoing mission for us, for our offices, our communities and for each of these Ambassadors for Justice.  Together, we can exert positive influence in our schools and communities,” said Goodwin.

The U.S. Attorney’s Ambassadors for Justice program was created by U.S. Attorney Goodwin two years ago in response to rising school bullying and social media threats involving young people.  The program was also spurred by a February 2012 school shooting at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio, in which a student opened fire on his classmates, killing three and wounding two others.  Other episodes involving planned violent attacks by young people that were prevented due to the swift actions of students and school Prevention Resource Officers here in the Southern District of West Virginia have also encouraged U.S. Attorney Goodwin’s initiative.

Nominations to be U.S. Attorney’s Ambassadors for Justice are made by school principals and administrative leaders.  Goodwin said that outstanding character, devotion to citizenship, and a commitment to serving others are fundamentals for nomination.  This year, 87 high schools in 46 counties in West Virginia nominated 88 outstanding students to be Ambassadors for Justice. 

The 2013 U.S. Attorney’s Ambassadors for Justice are as follows (by county/student name/high school): 
Please note:  Individual photos of each student are available at:

Barbour County
Karlie Smallwood, Philip Barbour High School Complex

Berkeley County
Jacob Orlando, Martinsburg High School
Tyler Brewster, Musselman High School

Boone County
Cortney Belcher, Van Jr./Sr. High School
Lindsay Collins, Sherman High School
Michael Miller, Scott High School

Braxton County
Logan Frame, Braxton County High School

Brooke County
Paraag Gupta, Brooke High School

Cabell County
Chantz Gould, Cabell Midland High School
Robert Senior, Huntington High School

Calhoun County
Erica Jones, Calhoun Middle/High School

Clay County
Cayla Black, Clay County High School

Doddridge County
Wyatt Ford, Doddridge County High School

Fayette County
Tyler Brandstetter, Meadow Bridge High School
Kaitlyn Akers, Valley High School
Aaliyah Sears, Oak Hill High School
Cody Zackoski, Midland Trail High School

Grant County
Brandon Streets, Union Educational Complex

Greenbrier County
Jordan Tincher, Greenbrier West High School
Allegra Browne, Greenbrier East High School

Hampshire County
John Seldon, Hampshire High School

Hancock County
Brennan Smith, Oak Glen High School

Hardy County
Bekah Mongold, East Hardy High School

Harrison County
Bryan Van Norman, Liberty High School
Joseph Ellis, Notre Dame High School
Megan Talbott, South Harrison High School

Jackson County
James Curry, Ravenswood High School
Matthew Groves, Ripley High School

Kanawha County
Maura James, St. Albans High School
Ian Perry, Riverside High School
Hanna Fuller, Nitro High School
Aric Taylor, Sissonville High School
Logan Shomo, South Charleston High School
Joshua McClung, Herbert Hoover High School
James Lares, George Washington High School
Sarah Clifford, Capital High School

Lincoln County
Mark Neace, Jr., Lincoln County High School

Logan County
Jonathan Collins, Man High School
James Frye, Logan Senior High School

Marion County
Colton Moor, East Fairmont High School
Morgan Pethtel, North Marion High School

Marshall County
Matthew Vucelik, Bishop Donahue High School
Jacqueline Gellner, John Marshall High School

Mason County
Mary Workman, Point Pleasant Jr./Sr. High School
Ja’nae Cundiff, Wahama High School
Charles Mayes, Hannan Jr./Sr. High School

McDowell County
Cody Adair, River View High School

Mercer County
Hayley Parnell, Montcalm High School
Cody Goins, Bluefield High School
Lindsey Masters, PikeView High School
Caleb Robinette, Princeton Senior High School

Mineral County
Micah Beachy, Frankfort High School

Mingo County
Chase Justice, Mingo Central High School
Hayden Sturgell, Tug Valley High School

Monongalia County
Dominic Muttillo, Morgantown High School
John Kolar, University High School

Monroe County
Dillon Bradley, James Monroe High School

Nicholas County
Rebecca Passarella, Nicholas County High School
Shanley Amick, Richwood High School

Ohio County
Colin Kelly, Linsly School
Maria Miller, Wheeling Central Catholic High School
Megan Chacalos, Wheeling Park High School

Pendleton County
Autumn Smith, Pendleton County Middle/High School

Putnam County
Brandon Stone, Winfield High School
John Hathaway, Winfield High School
Daria Seccurro, Hurricane High School
Christian Buckley, Poca High School

Raleigh County
Emily Fedders, Woodrow Wilson High School
Julie Castle, Liberty High School
Josef Heller, Shady Spring High School
Sean Worix, Independence High School

Randolph County
Linsey McCollam, Elkins High School
Luciano Casillas, Pickens Elementary/High School
Hannah Currence, Tygarts Valley Middle/High School

Ritchie County
Nicholas Tate, Ritchie County High School

Roane County
Aaron Roberts, Roane County High School

Taylor County
Athena McMillen, Grafton High School

Tucker County
Morgan Moss, Tucker County High School

Upshur County
Mikinna Poling, Buckhannon Upshur High School

Wayne County
John Newman, Tolsia High School
Taylor Ward, Spring Valley High School

Wetzel County
Soren Shade, Magnolia High School
Craig Allen, Paden City High School
Victoria Smallwood, Valley High School

Wirt County
Elizabeth Adams, Wirt County High School

Wood County
Jessie Pratt, Parkersburg South High School
Jordan Lallemont, Parkersburg High School

Wyoming County
Aerial Deskins, Westside High School

Updated January 7, 2015