The first students to be honored since Troy School District 30C beefed up its selection process for students of the month were recognized at Wednesday’s monthly school board meeting in front of a standing room-only audience.
Troy Middle School baseball players and cross country team athletes who competed at state also were applauded at the meeting.
Students of the month for September are Troy Middle School seventh-graders Gina Guzman, Giselle Pasillas, Katelyn Steg and Faith Bonds and eighth-graders Daisy Campos, Megan Rateike, Taylor Sveda and Sarah Gusewelle; and William B. Orenic Intermediate School sixth-graders Ana Sophia Abelelalhaleem, Allyson Bennett, Skylar Ciamprone, Clarissa Mason and Rachel Layne.
“These students have great work ethic and get a lot of support at home,” Orenic Principal Rob Baughman said.
Each student gave a short speech and was presented with a certificate from the Lions Club.
“I believe Troy is a special place because of all the teachers who have helped me reach my goals,” Campos said. “They have high standards that push you to do your best. I have gone to Troy for some time now and my old school would not have gotten me this far.”
While some speeches brought tears to the eyes of proud parents and grandparents in attendance, Layne scored big on laughs for saying how social studies teacher Scott Kaciuba “crushed” her dreams of becoming a rock star.
“He said only one out of 200,000 people in the world make it as a rock star, which is only 0.0005 percent,” Layne said. “I figured with those odds I’ll never make it! When I grow up I want to be an entrepreneur … go to college for four years, get a major in business and a minor in music, or vice versa. I want to own my own store named Layne’s and Co. and it will be half grocery store, half pawn shop. But my rock star dream is still out there.”
School board President Anthony Andreano also got a few laughs when referring to the obvious – an honoree lineup without a single boy.
“This board said we were going to tighten the reins and we are raising the bar,” Andreano said in congratulating the girls, adding jokingly, “although we might have to relax the discipline (aspect) ‘cause we might not be getting any boys.”
The revamped process for selection of student of the month starts at the district level with a look at the nominees’ achievement, discipline and attendance. Teachers as a team then make a final recommendation based on academic achievement and participation in the classroom, behavior and compliance, and citizenship, the latter referring to levels of respectfulness, peacefulness and responsibility.
“The board wanted to make sure the students are deserving of a high level of recognition,” Supt. Don White said in the board’s decision last year to rethink the criteria for students of the month.
Star athletes also were honored at the meeting.
The Troy Middle School cross country team finished second in the sectional and took 20th in the state, longtime coach John Davis said.
Team members who qualified to compete in state are Daylen Foster, Ali Mondrella, Amanda Long, Maddie Blaauw, Taylor Sveda, Jessica Newby, Jordan Knapp, Hannah Bebar, Isabelle Bohanek, Katie Gibson and Rachel Macdowell.
The Troy Middle School boys’ baseball team took second in the IESA State Series Sept. 28 and 29 in East Peoria and won regional for the third consecutive year.
Dressed to impress in ties, baseball team players are Austin Poch, Cole Alstott, Neil Messino, Simon Herold, Dylan Gorski, Breven Daugherity, Zach Lauras, Jordan Long, Mike O’Brien, Christian Rios, Easton May, Hayden Iaczynski, Jeremy McGoldrick, Zac Shultz, Noah Plundge and Devin Smith.
“The boys represented the school with first class,” Coach Tom Knapczyk said, “and will learn a lot from it moving forward.”