PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- A social studies teacher in Perryville was one of 10 people from throughout the state recognized as an exemplary leader this week at the 38th annual Missouri Community Betterment conference.
The city also took home second place in youth involvement and third place overall in its population category. First place went to Salem, Mo.; second, Carl Junction, Mo.; fourth, Branson, Mo.; fifth, Dexter, Mo.
Mick Paulus, junior high school coordinator and a social studies teacher at St. Vincent de Paul, was honored for his interest in current events and his ability to get students to recognize the importance in political involvement.
Paulus, an alumni of St. Vincent de Paul, has been a teacher for more than 30 years.
A letter of nomination listed some of Paulus' recent class projects, including a letter-writing campaign that resulted in governors from all 50 states sending state flags that had been flown over their respective Capitols.
The youth award was based on what city has the most active youth population, said Jackie C. Wengert, executive director for the Perryville Area Chamber of Commerce.
"This is the first time we've brought home a teen award," Wengert said. "It was a great day."
Perryville's Teen Council was one of the main reasons for that award, she said.
Teen Council, a group that includes young people from eighth grade through college, is co-sponsored by the community betterment committee, the chamber of commerce and 4-H.
This year the council applied for and received a $10,000 "Youth Philanthropy" grant. The teen council awards $50 to $1,000 grants to Perry County youth organizations for community service projects.
Scott City, Mo., took a fourth-place award in its population category. First place in that category was Lexington, Mo., followed by Louisiana, Mo., and Lamar, Mo. Fifth place went to Palmyra, Mo.
The Missouri Community Betterment Program is administered by the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell gave the awards at a banquet Monday.