Math teacher Colleen Garrett told the 48 latest Very Important People at St. Clair High School that two words she finds most fitting for them are “influential” and “necessary.”
Garrett said a few words of praise for the students as SCHS conducted its fourth-quarter VIP ceremony on Monday morning in the auditorium.
“What does it mean to be a VIP, a very important person?” Garrett said. “Well, I looked up the meaning of ‘important’ in the dictionary and this is some of what I came across — ‘significant, mattering much, influential, exceptional, necessary and standout.’
“The two words that I find particularly fitting for each and every one of you are ‘influential’ and ‘necessary.’”
Garrett then went on to say why those two words fit the bill in regard to these students.
“You each obviously influenced someone or you wouldn’t be here,” she said. “The thing is I am not sure if you all realize that your influence goes much farther than the person who nominated you.”
“I was speaking with a stranger a month or so ago, and we were discussing my profession as a teacher. When I told him how at the end of the day, month and year my students are the ones who influence and teach me, he kind of chuckled and found it hard to believe.
“Never underestimate the power of your words and actions. You are the kids who make someone’s day a little brighter and better. Whether it be through a smile, a friendly hello or a kind gesture, you are impacting and influencing us all every single day.
“You all are a necessary and a vital part of St. Clair High School. You help make this a great place to be. If sadness and strife try to bring us down, you are the ones constantly lifting us up.”
Four times each academic year, the SCHS Renaissance Club conducts a VIP ceremony to honor students who are nominated by their teachers for the recognition. Each quarter, every teacher gets to nominate one student.
Students can be in any grade. They receive a certificate, T-shirt and pizza lunch.
Renaissance Club sponsor Melissa Krimmel has called these students the “best of the best.”
St. Clair High School Principal Kevin Hillman said the Renaissance Club’s VIP program is “about something great, about being great about doing great things.”
“Each year every teacher is allowed to select four out of the hundred-and-something students they teach and know for VIP,” Garrett said. “Do the math and you see what an honor it is to be sitting here today. ...
“A lot of people look at today’s teens and worry about the future. I look at you and see people who are filled with compassion and are already making a difference at such a young age. I see kids who are destined to be leaders, who contain a multitude of greatness inside of them.
“With the hustle and bustle of the school day we sometimes forget to thank you for all you do for our school and community. I know a lot of you, and each of you has made me a better person.”
Fourth-quarter VIPs are Ryan Alsop, Laura Bardot, Ben Bardot, Brittney Barns, Adam Brott, Emma Buffer, Holly Clonts, Hannah Crecelius, Hannah Dierker, Kelly Dockery, Brianna Downey, Mikaela Drewel, Kelsey Duncan, Ben Feddersen, Johnny Fenner, Ray Fryer, Charlie Fuchs, Devin Gayler, Kyle Gebhard, Johney Gossage, Austin Gotway, Hannah Hampton, Brenden Hargraves, Josh Haynes, Ivy Jones, Rebecka Jones, Matt Jones, Hannah Kierns, Audrey Kornucik, Sydnee Landing, Morgan Manning, Gavin Martin, Cameron Metz, Abbi Montgomery, Toni Mullaney, Dylon Nappier, Nick Pehle, Faith Pelton, Jacob Pendegraft, Evan Powell, Bethany Quigley, Robbie Rodgers, Abigail Ruck, Noah Smith, Terrance Stahlman, Rebecca Steelman, Scott Tweedy and Alicia York.