Youth honored for being themselves

Marianne Gillespie
Teacher Mary Ann Shatto stands with Ava Ressler April 22, who she nominated for the Optimist Club's “Unsung Hero Award.”

Ninety-six students, ages 11-18, were recognized April 22 for essentially just being themselves.

Take Josey Allison for example.

Chillicothe Optimist Club member Mark Kosinski called her up to the IVC High School auditorium stage and read teacher Kristin Rickey’s nomination.

Her reason for being honored at the Youth Appreciation Night was because Rickey said she set the bar high for character.

Almost all of the honorees were in attendance and were called at least once to the stage.

As the nomination form said, they are considered “unsung heroes.”

Kosinski said the idea for the night came from another Optimist club in the Chicago area.

This the fourth year for the event, with about 40 students being nominated the first year.

Kosinski’s wife, Cyndi, checked in the students as they came with their families.

“They were nominated because of good works, service, helping someone out — they’ve been recognized because they’ve done something cool,” she said.

After Kosinski read their nomination form, club member Eric Greskoviak handed them a certificate and two movie tickets to Town Theatre, which the club owns.

“There’s going to be such a wide variety of why these students were nominated,” Kosinski told the crowd.

Carie McIntyre of Pearce Community Center nominated Josey Allison, Sarah Daum, Mercedes Granados and Jacob Murphy for being camp counselors at Pearce for their before and after school programs. They lead the children and serve as mentors.

Many students who are part of Chillicothe Elementary Center’s Team TRRFC were nominated as well.

Those students are known as leaders exemplifying good character in the school.

Some teachers nominated students who assist them in the classroom.

CEC teacher Troy Webb nominated Alex Merlo for being one of the “most respectful young men” he had met.

Others were nominated for things they do that others may not see. IVC teacher Laura Campagna nominated IVC Soap Club members for their work in collecting recycled paper before school each week.

A couple students were so humble about their work that they attempted to leave the stage before Kosinski could finish reading their nominations.

“Don’t leave. I’m not done talking about you,” Kosinski said with a chuckle.

Mayleigh Crutcher was one of those students, nominated by two people for her volunteerism at Heritage Health where she assists with serving meals and playing games with the residents.

“The residents just love you,” said one of her nominators, Missy Herridge.

Some of the students serve as inspiration for their nominators.

IVC teacher Sheila Gribble wrote that student Kyle Fouts was enthusiastic about her chemistry lectures.

“He encourages me to be the best teacher I can be,” Gribble wrote.

Youth Appreciation Night honorees

Those awarded as 2014 Youth Heroes are:

Josey Allison, Faith Bannister, Mitch Baron, Arieyll Boling, Amanda Bowen, Abby Boyle, Jared Brabant, Jonah Brabant, Tucker Brisbin, Jason Brodbeck, Chris Bryant, Kyle Callahan, Bella Camp, Adam Carrier, McKenzie Childers, Ashlyn Claycomb, Colton Colwell, Mitchell Connor, Alayna Cox, Kylsea Cox, Alison Crew, Mayleigh Crutcher, Sarah Daum, Kayla Dossett, Bailey Ehringer, Colin Ehringer, Alicia Fisk, Kyle Fouts, Shaylee Fritzinger, Shelbie Fritzinger, Kelsey Gaskins, Mercedes Granados, Briana Gray, Ria Greer, Erica Grekoviak, Jake Grochowsky, Cora Habeger, Alison Hartman, Katherine Heth, Tyler Hoffman, Raena Holloway, Sara Horn, Ashley Horn, Katelyn Hying, Alec Janes, Chase Kirlin, Hunter Kohler, Olivia Koll, Becky Kosinski, Justin Kuhlman, Taylor Larson, Taylor Layton, Josh Lew, Zach Lew, Bryce Mack, Paige Mack, Cat McClure, Isaac McCorkle, Jordan McIntyre, Mitch McIntyre, Derek Meeks, Alex Merlo, Logan Mitchell, Josh Moore, Penny Moore, Jacob Murphy, Trevor Nigus, Jeremiah Noar, Sarah Noar, Matt Noland, Cody Ohlmann, Willie Ohlmann, Lydia Pierson, April Pitts, Wade Pollack, Ben Rashid, Brooke Ratcliff, Ava Ressler, Daniel Rusk, Cooper Russell, Hannah Scherer, Addison Schmidt, Zoe Schmidt, Evan Schoenbein, Kaci Smith, Travis Spencer, Grace Stanley, Tyler Streitmatter, Tim Swanson, Emily Terpstra, Kacie Thurman, Shayna Van Ostrand, Olivia White, Nolan Wiedeman, Hannah Williamson and Jacob Yarbrough.