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Plant Celebrates Achievements of Vanguard Award Winner During Special Assembly

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Posted on January 23, 2013

The Vanguard Award Selection Committee was thrilled to present the December Vanguard Award to Plant High School student athlete, Caroline Gibson, this morning, January 23rd. Vanguard Attorneys, a Florida personal injury law firm, created the award program in recognition of the hard-work, drive and discipline necessary for student athletes to have a positive impact in athletics, academics and the community. Gibson was honored during a special assembly which included the Vanguard Award Presentation and a Safety Presentation put on by the Tampa Police Department.

Gibson, a Plant High School Senior, was nominated by Plant High College and Career Counselor, Ms. Erin Grady. Ms. Grady selected Caroline to participate as a Board Member for Plant’s PEERS Mentoring Program—a program which matches successful 11th and 12th graders with every 9th grade student entering the school in order to help students with the transition from junior high to high school. In explaining why she selected Gibson to serve on PEERS board, Grady explains, “she has so much enthusiasm for the program and truly cares about the students.” Gibson is also a standout athlete on Plant’s cross country and track teams and volunteers at The Human Society of Tampa and The Children’s Cancer Center.

Members of the Vanguard Award selection committee honored Caroline in an overflowing gymnasium packed with over a thousand Plant High School students, teachers and administrators cheering her on. Caroline received a plaque and a $1,000 check in recognition of her outstanding achievements. The poised student athlete was delighted to receive the recognition and took time after the ceremony to thank the members of the committee and to discuss her future college plans.


The mission of the Vanguard Award is to celebrate the outstanding achievements of local student athletes. These students provide a strong example for fellow peers and positively impact the school system as a whole.

Each month of the school year, The Vanguard Award Selection Committee recognizes the “Student Athlete of the Month.” The winning student receives an award recognizing his/her achievements as well as a $1,000 check that is donated to their school’s athletic department in honor of their outstanding performance. Student Athletes of the Month are also eligible to be named the overall “Student Athlete MVP” at the end of the year and receive a check that is applied towards their college tuition.

The Vanguard Award also recognizes outstanding coaches. At the end of each school year, two coaches – one male and one female
coach –are recognized for their remarkable contributions, both on and off the field. Each Coach of the Year is presented with $1,000 as a way of thanking them for their commitment to making a positive impact in the community.


  • The student athlete’s name and year (juniors and seniors only);
  • Current overall GPA (GPA of 3.0 or above);
  • Sport and athletic achievements (open to student athletes who compete in their nominated sport during the nomination month or the previous month – for example, the April Vanguard Award will consider student athletes who compete in March or April);
  • Community involvement;
  • Any hardships overcome by the student athlete; and
  • Plans for continuing education.

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