Ashley Odell, a senior from Asher High School, has grown up learning the many benefits of hard work and a good attitude. That hard work is paying off and that attitude is plowing the way toward reaching her goals. Now others have publicly recognized those traits — earning Odell the chance to win a car in honor of her achievement.

Ashley Odell, a senior from Asher High School, has grown up learning the many benefits of hard work and a good attitude. That hard work is paying off and that attitude is plowing the way toward reaching her goals. Now others have publicly recognized those traits — earning Odell the chance to win a car in honor of her achievement.

Odell, one of the two September finalists, was named the Shawnee News-Star and Patriot Auto Group Student of the Month for September.

“I never realized just doing good would get me here,” she said. “I'm just being me.”

Through a unique Student of the Year program, Patriot Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram, in May, 2018, will award a new Jeep Renegade to a student from one of 11 participating high schools in the area.

Odell said the love and support she gets from her family has shaped her into who she is today.

“Dad always told us that we should be doing something,” she said. “We weren't going to just sit around and do nothing.”

That work ethic and ambition has propelled Odell to keep her dreams in focus.

“I'm currently taking two concurrent classes at Rose State College,” she said. “I am working to become a dental hygienist.”

Odell's Principal Jeremy Frye said Odell displays all the desirable characteristics of a successful, well-rounded student daily.

“She is a motivated learner who challenges herself academically and personally and models essential qualities that enable her to be successful both inside and outside of the classroom,” he said. “Ashley is an integral member of the Asher Lady Indian Basketball Team.”

Frye touts Odell's influence as a wonderful role-model to all students.

“Odell volunteers many hours of her time (outside of regular school hours) organizing and facilitating Christmas toy drives for needy children in Asher,” he said. “Serving warm meals to needy families in Pottawatomie and Pontotoc Counties and participating in community food drives are just a few illustrations of how Ashley provides leadership in her school and community.”

Outside of volunteering, college courses and basketball, Odell also invests her time as a member of Business Professionals of America (BPA) and as Asher High School's yearbook president.

Frye said Odell illustrates selfless service to Asher school in many capacities.

“Ashley volunteers daily to assist during P.E. with our Early Childhood and Kindergarten students,” he said. “She connects well with, and engages, younger students while mentoring and providing positive leadership to them.”

He said Odell takes great pride in her school, community and family — representing each accordingly.

“She conducts herself with pride, respect and humility in every situation,” he said. She has earned the respect and admiration of her teachers and peers.”

Odell said she was taught to be considerate of others.

“My dad always told me to be nice because you never know what someone else is going through,” she said.

He is very likable, and it made me want to be like that.

According to Frye, she has achieved that goal.

“Daily I witness Ashley make a difference in others lives,” he said. “Sometimes by helping a classmate with their school work, other times by just giving a simple smile and saying a kind word. Her example of selfless service to others is among her greatest qualities.”

Odell attends Asher First Baptist Church.

Her parents are Larry and Tammy Odell; she has an older sister, Haley, who is in nursing school at OCU, and younger brother, Trey, is an athlete.