PIQUA — Sidney High School junior JaVon Purk, of Sidney, was named one of five students of the year by the Xi Iota Iota chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity during its 24th Achievement Week Celebration at Edison Community College Saturday.
Purk, son of Tamica Petty, was awarded a $1,000 savings bonds by the chapter.
The event, which also celebrated the 104th anniversary of the fraternity, was attended by mayors, several school superintendents and other local dignitaries, as well as area fraternity members.
Scholarships were awarded to students from Lima, Troy and Piqua, as well as to Purk.
Purk attends the Upper Valley Career Center in Piqua and studies electrical trades. He plans to attend Ohio State University to study engineering.
He has been a two-year starter in football and wrestling. He was all-conference his freshman year and all-conference varsity and Rookie of the Year as a sophomore in wrestling. Purk is a member of link crew and has sung in the symphonic choir at Sidney High School for two years.
Purk also was a tutor at the Sidney Salvation Army.
Antonio Knox, of Raleigh, North Carolina, was the guest speaker during the dinner. The deputy administrator of the NC Credit Union Division, Knox is a graduate of North Carolina State Univesity and attend the University of North Carolina School of Banking. He is a certified state credit union supervisor. His office is responsible for egulating the industry that has more than 2 million members and $30 billion in assets in North Carolina. He has been in the financial industry for 33 years and a member of Omega Psi Phi for 36 years.
He holds the position of 40th grand basileus in the fraternity. Knox has coached youth ports for 30 years, served on the boards of directors of many organizaiton and task forces for the city of Raleigh and North Carolina State University. He was the chairman of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee at the university and of the Garner Road YMCA (now the Garner Road Community Center) in Raleigh.
Knox has been honored by Omega Psi Phi, Carolina Panthers, Cary, North Carolina Jaycees and North Carolina State University.
Knox spoke about the history of the fraternity and discussed issues facing the black community, including questions surrounding police actions across the country and black-on-black crime.
Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
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