Moore family awards annual student honors


From left, James Moore, Jamal Townsend and John Milliner-Williams stand Tuesday at J. W. Parker Middle School.


Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Reminiscent of Santa Claus, James Moore returns to Rocky Mount about this time every year with a sack full of trophies to distribute to good boys and girls at two local schools.

The Moore family has been giving out the awards at Baskerville Elementary for the past 15 years and recently began recognizing one student athlete at J.W. Parker Middle School with recognition and a trophy, as well. The annual awards presentation started in 2004 when Moore and his six siblings established the event to honor their mother, Christanna Dancy Moore. Moore and his siblings all grew up in Rocky Mount and attended Baskerville Elementary and J.W. Parker schools.

Moore started off his week of recognizing area students at J.W. Parker Middle School. He presented eighth-grader Jamal Townsend with the Jimmy Jones Outstanding Achievement Award at Parker Middle School’s end-of-year awards ceremony Tuesday in the school gym. Townsend was a shooting guard on this year’s basketball team. The team won the 2018-19 Tri-County Basketball Championship.

The Jimmy Jones Outstanding Achievement Award is given to a J.W. Parker Middle School basketball athlete who exemplifies the kind of athlete Jimmy Jones was when he was growing up and playing sports in Nash-Rocky Mount schools. Moore said Jones, one of his classmates at Parker School, was a gifted athlete, a dedicated scholar and looked out for others. He graduated from Booker T. Washington Senior High School in 1968. Jones passed away several years ago.

“Jimmy played sports in Nash County and in college,” Moore said, “He was a really gifted athlete and is one of the best basketball players to come out of Nash County.”

Parker Middle School principal John Milliner-Williams said he is honored Moore makes the trip from his home in Atlantic City to honor students in Rocky Mount, especially one of his students with the Jimmy Moore Award.

“I’m a past athlete, so I know the importance of recognizing students that put in the hard work to balance sports and scholarship,” he said.

When presenting the almost 5-foot trophy to Townsend, Milliner-Williams said he was envious of such a substantial trophy.

“I never got a trophy that big,” he said with a laugh.

The Moore family will be attending Baskerville Elementary School’s awards ceremony on Thursday, where they’ll give out four more special awards.

Christanna Moore passed away in June 2017. She had attended all the award ceremonies until then and her son said it was a highlight for her to meet the students.

The awards to be given out Thursday at Baskerville Elementary include the Christanna Dancy Moore Academic Excellence and Humanitarian Award, which comes with a trophy and a cash prize of $200. This award is given to the Baskerville student who has few absences, demonstrates an altruistic concern for other students and willingly assists others in their efforts to learn. Baskerville students in all grades are eligible for this award.

The Citizenship Award is given to a student who has shown exceptional citizenship throughout the current school year. The award goes to the most deserving student regardless of grade and includes a trophy and a $125 cash award.

The Otto Moore Valedictorian Award is named after James Moore‘s brother, who died in 2005. Otto Moore was a valedictorian at Baskerville Elementary School in 1962, Moore said. The award for valedictorian goes to a fifth-grader and includes a trophy and a cash award of $150. The Salutatorian Award is awarded to the fifth-grade student who has the second-highest grade-point average. The student who wins this award receives a trophy and $135.