Boyne City High School 2014 People’s Choice Awards honors special students

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Numerous dignitaries, honorees and local officials attending the annual NLEA luncheon are pictured here with Gov. Rick Snyder at last Friday’s event.

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Chris Faulknor


“This evening is about you,” read several teachers on an introductory video as Boyne City High School held their annual People’s Choice Awards on the night of April 17.

This event was designed to honor those students who exemplify what the teachers feel is the “heart of Boyne City High School.”

“My nominee is someone who I feel personifies what this award is all about,” said Cindi Place. “I am in awe of this student’s talent and energy, and proud of who this young woman is growing to be. I am proud to present my people’s choice award to Miss Ann Durbin.”

Chris Ames talked about Durbin’s sense of humor and positive attitude, and her participation on their trip to Rome, Italy, and her good attitude during and after a walk of several miles to see the catacombs and her willingness to dive in to the new experience.

“The last day, it was 90 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms and we were supposed to be outside the whole time, and she said to me like five times, ‘Well, there’s a 10 percent chance it’s not going to rain.’

Ames presented his award to Katelyn Skornia.

“This student has impressed me in many ways over the years, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this person,” said Linda King, who honored Ryan Carson. “I am continually impressed by the positive attitude, hard work, and continuous smile of this person.”

She added, “There are many words I could use to describe this student. A very few would be hard working, determined, courteous, mature, and humble.”

Pam McDowell honored Carl Rasch for meeting new challenges.

“Against all the odds, not only will this student graduate, but they will graduate with honors and plan on pursuing an engineering degree,” she said through tears and with a hug for Rasch.

“The reason why I chose this student is that they do everything correctly,” said Andy Bryant. “They get straight A’s, very determined, very driven, but very under-the-radar. Nobody really knows a lot about this student, and I figured this was the perfect chance to show her off to the community and how she has made an impression on me.”

Bryant presented his award to Katelyn Stolt

“My student has faced a lot of adversity, and I know that a lot of time, adversity makes you that much stronger, and that is definitely the case with the student I’ve chosen this year,” said John Hertel. “Every day, this student comes into the classroom with a positive attitude.”

Hertel presented his award to Skyler Davis.

“This student has never been prone to drama, even when faced with some tough situations,” said Kevin King of honoree Sydney Massey. “This person has continued with a level of grace that I find inspiring. This student is smart, resourceful, and has a great smile.”

“Too often, students who make good choices and do what is expected of them are overlooked,” said Amy Hertel of honoree Trevor Day. “I want this student to know how much he is appreciated and how much of a difference he makes in our school.”

Don Nohel honored Hailey Judkins-Ladd.

“You don’t always know when the kids walk in year-to-year which kids you’re going to connect with, that’s kinda what makes teaching fun,” he said. “This person came to my class and didn’t really want my class, but I’m glad they stuck it out.”

Michele Deming honored her student for being intelligent, witty, tolerant, creative and knowing who she is and what she stands for.

“When she speaks in class, everyone listens,” said Deming. “Her thoughts challenge the students and staff to see other viewpoints. I love that about her. I am a better person and teacher because of my interactions with her. Thank you for being you, miss Amanda Rowland.”

David Hills honored student Kylie Hicks.

“She is blazing fast, she can jump out of the building, and when she hits a ball, you probably don’t want to be on the other side of it,” he said. “But if that’s all you know about her, you’re missing out. Kylie Hicks is caring, thoughtful, positive, and generous. She is funny, hard-working, passionate about life, and really likes gummy vitamins.”

Hills added, “She has achieved much because she has pursued success through countless hours of practice and preparation.”

Dale Thomason honored Olivia Tackett.

“My peoples choice award for 2014 is always responsible, always thorough, and always prepared for algebra class,” he said. “This student sees details as important and excellence as achievable. This student asks for help when needed and is always willing to help others.”

Thomason added, “They are the kind of student who makes a teacher look good and feel good whether looking good and feeling good are deserved are not.”

Pat Klooster honored Jacob McLeod.

“This student, what I admire the most, is what separates him from the other people,” Klooster said. “I see him walking his little brother home hand-in-hand every single day, and I love it.”

Nick Redmond honored Nicholas Hertz.

“The person I am honoring tonight is a very unselfish person,” Redman said. “They did a lot of things behind the scenes to help our team be successful without really any recognition for it.”

He added, “His two biggest assets, in my opinion, are his great personality … and his sense of humor. He always had the whole team laughing, and that’s important.”

Art teacher Jim Beckering honored Alison Burnell.

“I think we can all see the picture being painted tonight that the students we have make a wonderful portrait in our community,” he said. “My student fits into this picture wonderfully. She is kind, hard-working, and intelligent.”

Kristy Wisson-Powell honored Veronica Johnson for her dedication.

“She is extremely well organized, which I envy,” said Wisson-Powell. “She doesn’t just want to get her work done, she wants to know the reason behind the answer. But it’s not just her academic focus that prompted me to nominate this student—she is just an overall stellar individual.”

Chuck Day honored Alexandra Archer for being trustworthy, caring and compassionate towards her classmates.

“One of the things she’s made a big improvement on is that she’s learning the material to learn the material, not just to get things done,” said Day. “I’m more impressed with the kid who’s tough and the kid that works hard when things don’t always come easy, and that pretty much sums her up.”

Erin Bybee honored Jered McBee for his resilience.

“He has overcome many obstacles, and continues to remind me of the Energizer Bunny: he just keeps going,” she said. “I have been reassured through his actions that he will not let a tough time get the best of him.”

Principal Karen Jarema honored Brendan Heath for his dedication, leadership and humor.

“I’m extremely proud of this young man and would like him to know that his many successes at Boyne City High School and at other places is through the triumph of a great loss,” she said.

Aaron Fritzsche honored Payton Bauman.

“When this kid grows up and goes out into the real world and people recognize who he is, he’s going to be something special,” Fritzsche said. “He is polite, he works hard, and I’ve never seen him be negative for one second—and I know that’s going to be recognized in the real world.”

Band Director Brandon Ivie honored Alex Stutzman, as an “unspoken” student with potential.

“That’s what I like about him, because I don’t think the world needs leaders, they need great leaders,” said Ivie. “The world needs people who lead by example, and if you want to know what we’re supposed to be doing in class someday, come in and watch what Alex Stutzman is doing, and you’ll know exactly what we’re supposed to be doing in class.”

Tony Cutler honored Alie Culver for her artistic ability.

“I don’t know how she does it because I don’t have that creativeness,” he said. “But she does a great job.”

Randy Calcaterra honored Connor Beebe though he has only shared four words with him and isn’t his student.

While carrying a large piece of equipment after a Pop Warner practice, Calcaterra was helped by a student who had just completed a practice of his own despite the unwillingness of others helping.

“I turned around, and it’s not any of the 20 Pop Warner students or parents, it was a student who sprinted and ran after his practice to see if I needed help,” said Calcaterra “And so I knew two weeks before school even started who my award would go to.”

Drama Director Michael Houser honored Wyatt Long for his quiet leadership.

“I am incredibly proud of Wyatt Long,” Houser said. “He has been there with the drama program all along the way, and we are really gonna miss his quiet leadership.”

Ryan Ringle honored Jared Fleming.

“He’s one of those young men who, when you meet them, you know you’ve met someone who is truly destined for greatness,” said Ringle. “He’s always smiling, having a great time, and always working hard. Outside of his work ethic and good-will nature, he has the ability to build lasting friendships and is always fighting for the underdog.”

Dennis Crissman honored Andrew Davis for his humor and good attitude.

“This person has been a big help to me in class this year, and has a great attitude, a big heart, a big smile, and is always very helpful,” said Crissman. “I wanted to tell him how much I appreciate him not only for what he does for me, but publicly say what a nice young man you are and how much fun I’ve had having you as my aide this year.”

Mark Pontoni began by describing Cody Crain as a student who began quietly in class.

“He mumbled answers to himself in class without getting credit, at which point he was appointed, with several like him, to the class’s ‘Council of Elders,’” said Pontoni. “Every time we came to a problem in class, I’d turn to the Council of Elders and ask for a ruling, and he is honestly one of the reasons I love coming to school.”

Sandra Clausen honored Jill Solomon.

“She’s a great student,” Clausen said. “You don’t see her on the athletic field, but where you do see her is at Robotics. She is an asset to the drama program, an asset to the Robotics program … and in the classroom, she is a phenomenal student.”
Clausen added, “She cares about her learning and cares about the process. She is just a great kid, always comes with a smile, and even keeps me on track for student council meetings.”