“Be who you are. You’ll go far in life.”

“Be who you are. You’ll go far in life.”

Those smart words came from Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School senior Carley Clements, who was the recipient of the Student of the Year award.

She wasn’t just the winner from Gulf County, but the entire state of Florida.

Clements received her award during the Florida Association of Student Councils conference held earlier this month in West Palm Beach.

Clements and the rest of the Student Government Council from PSJHS, which includes Nicolette Haddock, Caitlin Godwin and Morgan Butts, attended the annual event to participate in workshops and further develop their leadership skills.

At the close of the FASC conference Clements received the award in front of 600 other students.

“I was crying,” said Clements. “I was so shocked that it was me.”

The winner attributes her win to a positive attitude, outgoing personality, and strong leadership qualities.

She also participates in numerous extracurricular activities including Key Club, Math Club, and Teen Court.

She’s worked with the TV production team for four years and does community service whenever her busy schedule permits.

“Carley is amazing,” said Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School math teacher and SGA advisor, Joni White who nominated Clements for the award. “I can’t wait to see the places she is going to go and the things she is going to accomplish.”

White submitted an application and collected letters of recommendation from the school’s principal and SGA members in addition to the one she wrote herself.

The selection of Student of the Year ultimately rested on the shoulders of the FASC executive board which consists of both students and adults.

After graduation Clements plans to complete her general education courses at Gulf Coast State College and then pursue her degree in radio and TV broadcasting.

As surprised as Clements may have been to receive the award, her peers didn’t seem so shocked.

Her friends in the SGA were proud of her accomplishments.

“I look up to Carley,” said Butts. “She’s the reason why I want to keep doing this.”