Bishop Donahue Memorial High School conferred diplomas on the Class of 2016 at the Fr. Raymond Jablinske Gymnasium on Tuesday evening, May 17th.
Among the highlights of the Graduation celebration were the addresses of the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of the Class of 2016. Sommer South achieved the highest grade point average in her class and is the 2016 Valedictorian. She is the daughter of Ron and Lori South of Wheeling, WV, where she is a member of Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church. Sommer will attend West Virginia University this fall and plans to major in Nursing. Coleton Berletch earned the second highest GPA among his classmates to become the Salutatorian of the class. Coleton is the son of Rick and Becky Berletch of Benwood, WV and is member of Our Lady of Peace Parish. He will matriculate to West Liberty University where he will study Finance.
The special awards for the BDHS Class of 2016 include: Kaitlyn Harris was presented a Bible by the Knights of Columbus Council 1907 for being this year’s Aquinas Medal winner. Samantha Zimla also received a Bible by the Knights of Columbus Council 1907 for being this year’s St. Sebastian Medal winner.
Zachary McCoy received the Fred Calissie Memorial Award. This award is given annually in memory of Our Lady of Peace and Bishop Donahue Class of 1980 graduate, Fred Calissie. Fred illustrated the ideals of a parochial school education being respectful, honest, unselfish, sincere, and industrious. Though Fred’s life was short, he touched the lives of many. This award goes to the graduate who best exemplifies Fred’s character.
The Religion Awards are bestowed on one female and one male graduate. Our Lady of Peace Parish in Mt. Olivet, WV presented a Bible to the male and female student with the highest Religion 12 grade point average. This year, Sommer South and Andrew Rush are the winners.
Being a school in the Marist Tradition, Bishop Donahue rewards those graduating seniors each year who emulate the founder of the Marist Brothers, St. Marcellin Champagnat, by going above and beyond the service requirement of the school in serving the least favored among us. The following graduates were awarded the Champagnat Award for logging in excess of 100 hours of service: Shelby Davis, Kaitlyn Harris, Abigail Mele, Adrienne Rulong, Andrew Rush, and Kyle Swann.
Finally, 94.4% of the Class of 2016 has been accepted to college or university and head off to schools all over WV in August. This year, 88.2% of the BDHS Class of 2016 have been offered a full or partial scholarship to continue their education. They have been offered in excess of $730,765.00 over the next four years. This amount will continue to climb as scholarship offers continue to arrive. This is a testament to the scholarship, leadership, dedication, character, perseverance, and service of this class.
Congratulations to Mackenzie Gillis and David Coleman, our May Students of the Month. The Student of the Month program is generously sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Each month, two students are recognized for their outstanding academic performance, attitude, character, and service to the school or community.
Sommer South……B.D.H.S. Female Sportsmanship Awards…….The B.D.H.S. Female Sportsmanship Award is presented annually to the Senior Female Student-Athlete who best displays the values of sportsmanship, teamwork and character.
Andrew Rush…….George T. McCulley Sr. Memorial Award……..The George T. McCulley Sr. Memorial Sportsmanship Award is presented annually to the Senior Male Student-Athlete who best displays the values of sportsmanship, teamwork and character.
Samantha Zimla…..Chester Zimla Award…….The Chester Zimla Award is presented annually to the Bishop Donahue Senior Student-Athlete who dedicates their whole self to B.D.H.S., its athletic programs and its community through service.
Abbey Mele……Msgr. Benjamin Farrell Female Scholar-Athlete Award……The Monsignor Benjamin F. Farrell Award is presented to the Senior Female Athlete based on Scholarship, Leadership, Character and Athletic Participation.
Coleton Berletch……Richard “Dick” Kerwood Male Scholar-Athlete Award……..The Dick Kerwood Memorial Award is presented to the top Male Student-Athlete in the senior class based on Participation, Scholarship and Character.
On Wednesday, April 27, Jody Miller (Ohio County MADD) and Christy Conley (CORE – Center for Organ Recovery and Donation) came to speak to the students about the dangers of underage drinking, drinking & driving, distracted driving, as well as registering to be an organ donor. Jody Miller lost her daughter Heather in a drunk driving crash in 2008 and she shared her real life story. Heather was also an organ donor who saved multiple lives with the gift of organ donation, so Ms. Conley spoke to that aspect of Heather’s story as well.
The BDHS Jr.-Sr. Prom is slated for Saturday, May 7 at Stratford Springs in Wheeling. The efforts to raise awareness of and commitment to safe, responsible decisions when celebrating this rite of passage for all of the students attending Prom this year are in full swing. First of all, every student attending this year’s prom is required to sign a PROM PROMISE Contract promising to not participate in destructive behaviors like drinking or taking drugs before, during, or after Prom. Also, the Junior class parents have planned an “After-Prom Party” with a Luau Theme.
On May 4 the students and faculty had the opportunity to learn about and experience what happens at the scene of a crash first hand. A MOCK CRASH demonstration was conducted largely through the efforts of Sheila Davis RN, BSN and her husband John, who are the parents of BD senior Shelby. Mrs. Davis is a nurse for the Air-Evac Lifeteam. She enlisted the assistance of local police, fire, sheriff, and rescue personnel.
The presentation began in the Fr. Raymond Jablinske Gymnasium at the school with a skit that portrayed BD students at an “After-Prom” party that included drinking and some kids deciding to drive while under the influence. The story concluded at the Icehouse Field in McMechen where the MOCK CRASH demonstration was staged. The life-like reenactment graphically showed the results of a drunk driving accident. The Air-Evac helicopter arrived to life flight one of the few survivors.
Also as part of the presentation, senior Andrew Rush dressed as the ‘Grim Reaper’ and throughout the day picked out a representative number of students from classes as drunk driving fatalities to show how real the statistics are. Also, teachers shared alarming statistics and facts about the dangers of drinking and driving and distracted driving, and the recitation of the poem Death of an Innocent, recited by junior Mady Keller about a girl who did not drink at a party, but was killed in a crash by someone who did.
We extend our thanks to the many individuals and agencies that made this a life altering experience for our students.
BD Culinary Arts students received some international cooking lessons courtesy of Said Leghild, Professor of Communications at WVNNCC and Fr. Bekeh Utietiang, pastor of SS James and John parishes.
Said, who comes from Morocco, shared his passion for cooking by creating authentic Moroccan dishes such as chicken with apricots and prunes, steamed couscous and roasted pepper salad.
Fr. Bekeh, who comes from Obudu, Nigeria, shared information on the health benefits of following a vegan diet and prepared a wonderful and spicy dish of curried tofu, peppers, and onions cooked in coconut oil.
The students enjoyed these multicultural cooking experiences and hopefully, both Said and Fr. Bekeh will return next year to our BD kitchen!
Congratulations to Caroline Brannan and Johne Stocklask, our April Students of the Month. The Student of the Month program is generously sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Each month, two students are recognized for their outstanding academic performance, attitude, character, and service to the school or community.