School students honored as December Celebrating Success’ winners by school board


The Switzerland County School Board held its December meeting on Tuesday night, and again the school board honored students from each of the four buildings as the “Celebrating Success” winners for the month.

Students are nominated by a teacher in the building; and one winner is then selected from those nominations by the building principal. Students and parents are then invited to the school board meeting; where each student is recognized and receives a pin of appreciation from the school board.

This month’s winners include:

– At Switzerland County Elementary School, art teacher Michael Berg nominated fifth grader Briana Meli, and that nomination was confirmed by principal Elizabeth Jones.

In his letter of recommendation, Michael Berg wrote:

“If you are looking for quiet enthusiasm then you must be looking for Briana. It is a rare joy to have someone in your room so devoted to learning and to doing their very best. Briana always tries her best and always succeeds in her efforts.

“Briana is also humble about her gifts. She seeks out advice from peers on a regular basis and is always open to suggestions. It should be noted, though, that she does not follow those suggestions blindly. Briana takes the advice she thinks will serve best and uses it to her own ends. She knows how to discriminate between the best and worst decisions.

“I have talked with her teachers in other areas and they say the same things. Briana’s work ethic is so strong that she will often go over and above the assignment criteria to enhance her work.

“Briana Meli is a true example of what children are capable of when they strive to meet their potential. Don’t let it fool you, though; her potential hasn’t nearly been tapped. She will someday make us even prouder as she goes out into the world. A star is beginning to rise and shine brighter than is imaginable.”

– This month’s honored student at Jefferson-Craig Elementary is fourth grader Mark Hall, who was nominated by art teacher Michael Berg and approved by principal Darrell Hansel.

In his letter of recommendation, Michael Berg wrote:

“Passion is a rare characteristic in may of today’s youth. Mark, however, has it in scores. If you catch him in the morning before classes start, you can see that he arrives ready to soak in the lessons of the day, whether they are in class or in life. He portrays enthusiasm, albeit quiet enthusiasm, that rubs off on those around him.

“When I first met Mark a few years back, it was evident that he followed his own direction. At such a young age, it is often hard to find a person that is humble and intent to learn all the time. This is a blessing in schools because all too often it is found that children are happy with just the status quo. Mark, however, makes his own decisions.

“I have seen maybe one or two children with the degree of skill and control that Mark has. He is a rare find, indeed. He is creative, meticulous, and overall well rounded. I know also that Mark excels in his other subjects. Compliments are anything but scarce if you mention his name to those who know him.

“Mark is the kid in the room who is always doing work above what is expected of him. He truly is a great candidate for ‘Celebrating Success’ because I know he will succeed at whatever he puts his mind to. Watch this one. He’s an up-and-coming name that will be echoed in the halls of Switzerland County for many years to come.”

– Carlotta Hamilton of Switzerland County Middle School was this month’s nominee, but was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting. She will be honored at January’s meeting.

– Senior Aaron Deacon was the December ‘Celebrating Success’ nominee at Switzerland County High School. He was nominated by music teachers Tammy Beitzel and Kathy Williams, and was approved by principal Candis Haskell.

In their letter of recommendation, Tammy Beitzel and Kathy Williams wrote:

“Mrs. Beitzel and Ms. Williams would both like to nominate Aaron Deacon for ‘Celebrating Success’. Aaron is a very dedicated musician, both instrumentally and vocally. His high honors started this year as being selected as a bass with the Indiana All-State Choir, performing in January at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

“Next, he learned he was selected as one of three to represent Indiana in the Macy’s Great American Band, and would be marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Aaron also was selected into the Southern Indiana All-District Honor Band that performed in November at Batesville High School.

“Aaron over the past three years has been an active soloist in the Indiana Solo and Ensemble contests, as well as a member of the Praise Band with the Vevay Methodist Church. Both his music teachers feel his dedication and hard work has made him an outstanding music student for Switzerland County High School.”