Of the nearly 570 students at Brownstown Central High School, each of the 38 staff members could select one to recognize.

The selection could be based on school involvement; academics, but a letter grade should not be the only criterion, there should be “something more”; non-academics, but should recognize that the student has contributed significantly to his/her growth, the welfare of the teacher, other students or the school; or anything within the conduct of school considered worthy of special recognition.

The staff member then describes the student in 80 words, explaining what makes him or her a very important person.

Those comments were shared with the students, staff members and family members attending the eighth annual VIP Breakfast on April 20 in the school cafeteria.

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The purpose of the program is to recognize students for accomplishments or efforts that demonstrate excellence, attitude or achievements that have enhanced the classroom, school or individual student.

Students don’t know who selected them for the honor until they arrive at the event.

They get to eat breakfast with the staff member. Then when their name is called by emcee Blake Hackman, they go up to receive a certificate, a copy of the staff member’s comments and a handshake from Principal Joe Sheffer, and Hackman reads the comments aloud.

A variety of words were used to describe this year’s honorees. They included “a bundle of enthusiasm,” “not only an outstanding student-athlete but a great leader,” “considerate of others,” “respectful, honest and responsible” and “great work ethic and a great heart.”

Senior Ethan Parr said the event was a good opportunity to see what other students at the school have accomplished.

Tawnya Ollmann, a permanent substitute teacher at the school, chose Parr for the honor.

“I was surprised,” Parr said of being selected for the first time. “I’m thankful.”

Senior Sam Noblitt was Sandra Warren’s VIP. Noblitt is in Warren’s Advanced Placement calculus class.

“She was on my mind as being one of the teachers that nominated me, so I was happy about it,” Noblitt said.

That was confirmed when he walked into the cafeteria and found his VIP name tag at the same table as Warren.

“It meant a lot because her class is so accelerated,” Noblitt said. “I felt really privileged to actually be chosen by her.”

Of the math classes he has taken in high school, Noblitt said Warren’s has posed the biggest challenge, but he has been up for it.

“She takes a lot of time with the students,” Noblitt said. “She opens time after and before school that you can go in and ask questions. I really like that part about her.”

For the remainder of the school year, Noblitt said he can brag about being Warren’s VIP.

“I most definitely will,” he said with a big smile.

Senior Megan White was selected as Stephanie Hackman’s VIP. This is White’s first year taking Hackman’s English class, and she said they became close since she was Hackman’s teacher’s assistant.

As soon as she learned she was a VIP, White said she knew the nomination came from Hackman.

“I enjoy going to her class. That’s the one class that I was excited to go to every day,” White said. “She’s a very fun teacher. Everything that we do, she finds a way to make it fun.”

Thinking of all of the other students Hackman could have chosen, White said it made her feel good to be honored.

“It’s really crazy, honestly,” she said, smiling. “It feels good to be acknowledged for what I try hard to do.”

Both White and Noblitt said it’s great to have an event like the VIP Breakfast.

“I think it’s really cool. It kind of helps the students feel like, ‘Oh yeah, what I’m doing is important,’ and they don’t feel like they are doing this for nothing,” White said.

“I think it’s very nice because some students don’t know how much they mean to every teacher,” Noblitt said. “It’s really nice to be represented here like that and just to show how much they do care about you.”

At the end of the breakfast, Assistant Principal Mark DeHart congratulated the students and thanked their supporters.

“Congratulations to you on what you’re doing. Keep doing that,” he said. “Parents and friends and family who came to celebrate this with your kids, that is where it started is at home. All of those wonderful characteristics these kids bring to this school every day, we see that. That starts at home with you, so thank you so much for what you’ve done in raising such wonderful kids.”

At a glance

Brownstown Central High School conducted its annual VIP Breakfast on April 20 in the school cafeteria. The staff members and the students they nominated are as follows:

Staff member;Student

Dave Benter;Cameron Eggersman

Richard Branaman;Suzzanna Kramer

Brandon Briner;Brooklyn Snodgrass

Stephanie Brock;Nick Marling

Jerry Brown;Joe Barnes

Maria Conklin;Alexis Koch

Barry Cutter;Ethan Carlin

Mark DeHart;Andrew Murphy

Sharon DeHart;Jordan Statzer

Taylor Eagan;Chandler Day

Randy Greene;Jessica Isaacs

Alisha Griffin;Kellie Burchett

Kevin Gwin;Jami Bryant

Blake Hackman;Nathan Mann

Stephanie Hackman;Megan White

Rock Hurley;Sy Zickler

Carolyn Ira;Tamara Mikels

Judy Johnson;Miranda McClusky

Derrick Koch;Cherokee Scott

Peggy Kovert;Lauren Wood

Rex Kovert;Erik Hackman

Reed May;Kyle Kramer

Tawnya Ollmann;Ethan Parr

Andrea Pendleton;Matthew Garland

Robin Perry;Bridget Hall

Melanie Preston;Emma Zabor

Karla Rieckers;Leah Stidam

Kallie Roller;Logan Jackson

Kristina Samples;Laken Reynolds

Katlynn Schnitker;Mackinzey Warren

Dan Schwartz;Zach Howell

Deb Schwartz;Shelby Jester

Joe Sheffer;Harold Temple

Angie Sibrel;Montana Stout

Jami Stuckwisch;Laysha Daulton

Jamie Walker;Seth Krieger

Sandra Warren;Sam Noblitt

Paula Workman;Jordan Cobb

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.