By Chris Faulknor, Publisher
Boyne City High School held its annual Peoples Choice Awards on April 24. The ceremony presented teachers and staff with the opportunity to recognize one student for anything they wish. Some were recognized for academic performance or athletic achievement while others received recognition for simply being a good person and helping others.
Following are comments by each nominator about the person they chose.
Social Studies Teacher Michele Deming recognized Ethan Hills.
“I could impress you with his GPA, his service hours, or his accolades,” said Deming. “What you really need to know about my nominee … he is a role model every parent would want as a friend to their child.”
Art Teacher Jim Beckering recognized Kailin Spaulding.
“She’s made tremendous growth as a student, as a person with all of her friends, and I’m proud along with all of her teachers to give her this People’s Choice Award.”
JOHN PAUL MOODY
Math Teacher Pam McDowell nominated John Paul Moody.
“This student didn’t just say ‘thank-you … he sent me a thank-you note for all of the things I thought went unnoticed,” said Deming. “I would like to thank him for being kind and respectful and always giving his best effort.”
Athletic Director John Hertel nominated Eleri Giem.
“My student is a National Merit Scholar, a finalist for the MHSAA scholar athlete award, a marching captain in the band, a state qualifier in track; but the real reason why I’ve nominated her … is that I saw her coach the elementary basketball team this year … and she did a marvelous job with the girls,” he said.
English Teacher Jeanne Heath nominated Dominik Weaver-Weidlich.
“This student greets me every day, this student fills me with interesting information … and this student is always kind and always friendly—he rescued my Charlie Brown Christmas tree … and I’ll tell you what, he’s very much appreciated.”
Spanish Teacher Amy Hertel nominated Katie Harmeling.
“I appreciate your can-do attitude and how you keep everything in perspective,” said Hertel. “You have a magnetic personality that draws everyone in, and I’m so excited to see what’s in your future.”
Band Director Brandon Ivie nominated Noah Lockman.
“My nominee is a take-charge person. For years, he’s done a lot for the band program and has always lived up to doing whatever needs to be done whether he wants to do it or not … which landed him the duties and responsibilities of being the Drum Major of the marching band this year, and he was great,” said Ivie. “But I got to see these same skills in a whole different arena this year in the arena of the Robotics world as he took on all the responsibilities and duties of being the president of that program, and again he was great.”
Principal Karen Jarema nominated Emily Mansfield, noting that unlike each teacher, she has over four hundred students to choose from.
“I selected my nominee for the tremendous amount of commitment that this student puts forth in the things they are involved in,” said Jarema. “This individual has always been a quality student—one who works hard and has great academic ability and has always been a great leader by example. I would like her to know that she has made a positive difference in the halls at Boyne City High School.”
Special Education Teacher Pam Crouch nominated Emmy Washburn.
“This student is a team player, responsible, caring, respectful and kind,” said Crouch. “This year, she has been very busy with auto and welding and has already passed her certification for welding.”
Special Education Teacher Dave Willson nominated Courtney Peariso, who he described as polite and kind.
“This is the first person I’ve ever run into who says ‘hello’ to me every single day,” said Willson. “This person has an outgoing personality, a positive spirit, and I’ve never seen or heard a mean act or mean word ever.”
Yearbook Adviser Ellen Dart nominated Toby Turner, who originally aspired to be part of the video and broadcasting crew but found his way to the yearbook.
“This student jumped at the opportunity to help where help was needed, and they were enthusiastic with creative ideas and very quickly learned the technology,” said Dart.
Dart further described Toby’s willingness to take on additional graphic design projects, not only for the yearbook but for school-wide events as needed.
“This student proved themselves to be a self-starter with all of the projects, always staying one step ahead of me,” she added.
English/Drama Teacher Nicole Seymour nominated Peightyn Valentine
“My nominee has a big workload, both here at school and at home,” said Seymour. “She wants to help everyone around her no matter the cost of time or energy, and she comes to my class each day with the willingness to learn and consistently reaches out to other students when they need help, but she’s also the first to step back when she knows someone else wants to take the lead, yet is willing to bear the burden if no one does.”
English Teacher Katherine Palmer nominated Katie Burley for her overall attitude.
“I’m honoring a young lady for the People’s Choice Award whom I rarely see without a smile,” said Palmer. “She’s the student who’s always respectful and attentive in class and then always willing to help out another student who didn’t pay attention and just needs some extra help.”
Volleyball Coach Mallory Slate honored Brooklyn Fitzpatrick.
“I remember watching this athlete and just being super excited to be able to work with her. There was just something about her. Stealthy is the word that comes to mind,” said Slate. “She isn’t the loudest or biggest player on the court but, when the girl touches the ball on a serve or a hit, watch out.”
Math Teacher Lisa Rintala nominated Raeann Watkins for her growth.
“I have seen this student grow from a somewhat reluctant math student who quietly observes to one who voluntarily participates, someone who checks her work, asks questions that show increased depth of understanding, and someone who now helps others make the kinds of gains that she has made despite occasional difficulties and setbacks,” said Rintala. “She does not give up, and I really admire her perseverance and her grace.”
Andy Bryant nominated Aidan Brehm, presenting the award with the assistance of his son and going so far as to say that when considering nominations, he looked for any type of flaw in his nominee and couldn’t find one. He told a story about a youth basketball match where Aidan was helping. A small child needed a “pep talk” and Aidan knelt down and made the child feel better.
Long-Term Substitute Teacher Collin Kruzel nominated Logan Zipp.
“Every day he comes in with just a great attitude,” said Kruzel. “He comes forth with his best effort, best work, and fantastic input—whether it’s about the answers we were looking for or just a debate that came up that day.”
Visual Imaging Teacher Randy Calcaterra nominated Xander Napont who came up with the idea for a school podcast and saw it to fruition.
“This student grabbed onto a vine and swung, and most importantly, dropped seeds that will cultivate the forest long after they’re gone, and that’s the real power of what I want them to do,” said Calcaterra.
Hospitality Teacher Dennis Crissman nominated Brandon Herrick for his talent for the job.
“This person has been a great asset to our program as a hard-working, honest individual always ready to participate,” said Crissman. “Whether they’re working on their own or in a group, this person has a great attitude, is polite and very respectful to others, and is always ready to help out with a class function or help another student with a project and enjoys taking care of our guests and has a passion for hospitality.”
Shelly Byra nominated Elizabeth Turnbull for breaking stereotypes and being herself.
“They aren’t afraid to be their own person, even if that means ignoring gender stereotypes, and what I mean by that is this person was on the varsity football team and the only female on the high school wrestling team,” she said. “Three words describe my nominee for People’s Choice: tough, determined, and fearless.”
Chuck Day nominated Aidan Towne—who he has had an ongoing bowling rivalry with—for asking about his day and listening to the answer.
“My nominee is someone I look forward to seeing every day in school,” said Day. “He kind of brightens my day every day.”
Industrial Arts Teacher Don Nohel nominated Anna Carpenter, going so far as to say he picked her for this award months ago.
“My nominee is a worker who consistently gives her best effort day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out,” said Nohel. “I’ve had her for several years…. She is the calm in the storm, never seems to get rattled, seems comfortable with who she is, and she’s the yin for all the yangs I get in my classes.”
Physical Education Teacher Ryan Brubaker nominated Josee Behling for her work ethic.
“My nominee is probably the hardest working individual I have ever met in my life,” said Brubaker. “I’ve had the opportunity to be around NFL players, college players; I’ve worked with high school state championship teams, and this young lady is the true definition of Boyne Tough—she brings her positive outlook, her commitment, great attitude, and work ethic.”
Science Teacher Elizabeth Hemming chose Keagan Anderson for her nomination.
“I have had the pleasure of having her as my peer tutor and working with her this year, and she is self-directed and has been so helpful by keeping me organized, taking attendance, writing small notes as to what I need to do each day, filing papers, collecting and passing out students corrected assignments, keeping my desk clean and organized, and I often wonder what I ever did without her help,” said Hemming.
Basketball Coach Nick Redman nominated Blair Smith.
“My nominee has earned respect from all of his teammates—anyone that knows him—and I admire him because anything that’s thrown at him in life, he takes it all with a smile on his face,” said Redman.
Drama Director Mike Houser nominated the entire cast of Newsies, their spring musical.
Houser described the battle that ensues when a tremendous number of snow and ice days cut much of their rehearsal.
“We picked a group of kids who we knew were amazing—each and every one of them had amazing talents and skills that they brought to the table,” said Houser “We put on a high school show that was at a caliber and a quality that colleges can’t match, and they did it in a time-frame that is almost impossible to do.”
Keeping with the tradition of going last and speaking through tears, Math Teacher Sandra Clausen nominated her son John.
“He’s become such a leader in Robotics and takes pride in what they build; he’s also a leader in the 4H club but not by title but by what he does—he’s a great example of what you need to do when you’re with people,” she said. “I could not be more proud of the young man you have grown to be and the role model you are for your siblings and any young person.”