BCHS students recognized at VIP Breakfast

BROWNSTOWN — Brownstown Central High School Assistant Principal Mark DeHart recently pulled Dalton Wood out of class.

The senior’s first thought?

“I thought I was in trouble for doing something wrong. I was like, ‘Aw great, what is this now?’” he said.

He, however, learned he had been selected by a staff member to attend the VIP Breakfast. The purpose of the event is to recognize students with their guardians present for accomplishments or efforts that demonstrate excellence in attitude or achievements that have enhanced the classroom, school or individual student.

“I was like, ‘Well, this is a big deal,’” Wood said. “I went home and I told my older sister and my brother-in-law and they were like, ‘Well, you are going to it. We’re dragging you.’”

Selection can be based on academics, but a letter grade should not be the only criterion. There should be “something more,” like leadership or participation in class, significant academic improvement or a project superior in quality or effort.

Selection also can be based on nonacademics but should recognize the student has contributed significantly to his or her growth or the welfare of the teacher, other students or the school. That could include attitude or effort that makes the class run more smoothly, helping the teacher or other students, new ideas offered, club leadership or significant club involvement.

Anything within the conduct of school that a staff member considers worthy of special recognition qualifies a student, too.

Each staff member can only choose one student, and the student doesn’t know who selected them until the VIP Breakfast, which this year was conducted April 21 in the school cafeteria.

Thirty-six students and their parents or guardians enjoyed breakfast with the staff member who chose them as a VIP.

When he walked into the cafeteria, was told his table number and made his way there, Wood was greeted by Principal Joe Sheffer.

“I did not even expect it,” he said. “Knowing that I didn’t really achieve a lot throughout my life, being recognized that I have now means a lot.”

Wood and the other 35 students received a certificate and a copy of the comments written by the staff member who chose them, and DeHart read those comments.

“Dalton may not be an honor roll student at BCHS, but Dalton will graduate and be a productive member of society,” Sheffer wrote. “Dalton is always very polite and a pleasure to chat with in the lunchroom or hallways. Dalton, I hope that choosing you as my VIP makes your day a little better, and I wish you all the best in the future. Well deserved.”

So what were his thoughts after hearing that?

“I didn’t expect to hear that,” Wood said, smiling.

Hunter Horton also was surprised to be recognized during the breakfast. The sophomore said he had never heard of the VIP program, and that’s understandable because it hasn’t been conducted the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is only his second year in high school.

He was selected by English teacher Melanie Preston.

“She was my first and second trimester teacher. I thought it was going to be from this trimester, but it wasn’t,” he said.

Apparently, he was a memorable student.

“Everything was pretty easy to figure out, simple,” Horton said of Preston’s class. “We had everything on the computer, and it was just all laid out really nice.”

Another sophomore, Jenna Bracamonte, was chosen as a VIP. She took Josie Hackman’s biomed classes the first two trimesters and made an impression.

“I thought there could have been a variety of teachers, but I wasn’t sure which one,” Bracamonte said of who chose her. “It makes me feel really good, and I appreciate it a lot.”

She said she enjoyed taking Hackman’s classes.

“She’s very organized, she always had everything ready for the class and it’s a very hands-on class, so we got to do a lot of experiments and projects, and she was very helpful with all of us,” Bracamonte said. “I have no idea what I want to do in the future, and I’ve never been a big fan of science, but having her as a teacher made it more fun and interesting.”

Courtney Rose is a senior who has been in the Jobs for America’s Graduates program for three years, and she was selected as a VIP by JAG Specialist Ashley Shoemaker.

When she was told about the honor, Rose said she knew who chose her.

“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do yet, so I (joined JAG) and I quickly figured out that I wanted to go into child care,” Rose said. “(Shoemaker) put me in the Lutheran day care because I said I want to do something with kids, and it gave me the chance to work with them. It meant a lot. She is an amazing person. She’ll help you with anything you need help with, and she’ll be there with you through every step of the way.”

Shoemaker must think Rose is pretty amazing, too.

“I guess so,” Rose said, smiling. “I don’t think I’m that amazing of a person, but I guess I am. It means a lot.”

DeHart said it was a really special morning because some of the school’s finest students were recognized for a variety of contributions they make to the staff, classrooms, school and community.

“Sometimes, we doubt that the younger generation is going to be able to carry up and when we retire provide for us and make good decisions in the future that makes our country a good place, but I think what we see here this morning is evidence that we’re going to be in pretty good hands,” he said.

“There are some great kids out there, and these guys, they make our school just like they are going to make our communities and our country in the future,” he said. “I have no doubt with these guys carrying the load.”

DeHart closed the program by recognizing the students’ supporters who attended.

“I think this is so important to reinforce what your child has done here at our school,” he said. “Being here for them, getting up early and making the commitment to come in and support them only shows that’s why they are here. They are here because you care, and you fostered those kinds of things in those kids, so thank you all for coming. Have a great and blessed day.”

At a glance 

2021-22 Brownstown Central High School VIP Breakfast 

Student honored;Staff member who nominated them

Dylan Minton;Richard Branaman

Kaitlynn Robinson;Stephanie Brock

Briana Barker;Catherine Caudill

Thad Goecker;Maria Conklin

Spencer Penn;Barry Cutter

Logan Baker;Mark DeHart

Gavin Anderson;Sharon DeHart

Hannah Hackman;Randy Greene

Lily Abdulbari;Alisha Griffin

Rebecca Edwards;Kevin Gwin

Sam Schepman;Blake Hackman

Jenna Bracamonte;Josie Hackman

Madison Singleton;Stephanie Hackman

Eli Reynolds;Duane Higgs

Cameron Day;Derrick Koch

Samantha Kellogg;Nancy Manuel

Eli Wischmeier;Reed May

Colton Hallow;Tawnya Ollmann

Jo Brittain;Brittany Neal

Madison Stuckwisch;Colton Patriquin

Landrey Pace;Andrea Pendleton

Taylor Loudermilk;Robin Perry

Hunter Horton;Melanie Preston

Emily Singleton;Kasey Proehl

Sawyer Horton;Robb Reynolds

Andrea Bair;Karla Rieckers

Aidan Schroer;Dan Schwartz

Dalton Wood;Joe Sheffer

Courtney Rose;Ashley Shoemaker

Stephanie Sunderman;Angie Sibrel

Presley Hampton;Lee Ann Silence

Chesney Johnson;Emily Sommers

Nick Minton;Sandra Warren

Morgan Branaman;Sara Welden

Grant Elliott;Paula Workman

Bella Brown;Jeanette Yoder