Central students honored—virtually

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By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

In what doubled as an awards ceremony and game day, Central Community School once again hosted a virtual assembly on May 4, this time for the high school students who have braved the uncertainty of their COVID-19 futures with an admirable reverence. Led by high school principal Aaron Reinhart, it started with a message about prom. The coming of age ritual that once passed as just another night has regained significance. It’s become more than a night of teenage hi-jinx, awkward slow dancing and intrusive chaperones, but a symbol of resilience and pride in the face of coronavirus adversity. The graduating class will not be denied, so prom is tentatively scheduled for June 13 at Old School Celebrations. 

The assembly then moved into the awards portion, beginning with the Student Athlete of the Month, who now becomes eligible for a $500 scholarship provided by Browns Sales and Leasing. For the month of March, Noah Carolan and Jasmine Mueller were the recipients. 

Next, art teacher Cathy Recker announced that Rebecca Suhr was the Art Student of the Month for improvement and perseverance throughout the school year. Typically, this student would have their art displayed in the high school hallway. Unfortunately, under the circumstances, this won’t be possible.

Carolyn Yanda followed with the all-state nominations for the speech program. While the state speech competition was supposed to take place back on March 14, it was canceled because of COVID-19, which led Central to host its own event where every student in the program performed in one event. Those participants included Hannah Erickson, William Moser, Maci Kluesner, Brayden Finley, Sean Wilwert, Alivia Keppler, Brandy Beatty and Alice Gifford. Maci, Brandy and Alice earned all-state nominations for acting, storytelling and solo musical theater, respectively. 

The awards finished with the Positive Post-It, presented to students who exemplify caring, commitment and safety. These are written by staff members when they notice a student meeting those qualities. The recipients have their names placed in a drawing for a prize, typically a gift certificate. The following students were awarded a Positive Post-It for the month of March: Luke Tuecke was nominated by Miss French, Nate Shirbroun was nominated by paraeducator Lisa  Bente and Grace Kuehl was nominated by science teacher Brian Ungerer. 

The virtual assembly finished with a 30-question game of “Who Done It?” led by teacher Allison Burkle, where random facts about teachers were asked of the 57 participants. In the end, Spanish teacher Kelly Erickson won, followed by Mark Wiley, social studies, and Brandon Douglas, vocal music teacher. 

Reinhart closed by discussing distance learning and thanking the teachers and staff for making it happen. He acknowledged all their hard work and effort to continue to educate and inspire during this difficult time.

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