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Brunswick Optimist Club lauds police officers and students

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    Brunswick Optimist Club President Dean Holman introduces Brunswick police Chief Brian Ohlin, Brunswick Animal Control Officer Michael Kellums, Brunswick Hills police Chief Tim Sopkovich and Officer Nichola Bali Wednesday during the annual Respect for Law and Youth Appreciation Day event. Kellums and Balli were recognized for their work for their departments and community.

    ALYSSA ALFANO / GAZETTE

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    Logan Earley and Alaina Bark, fifth-graders at Brunswick's Crestview Elementary School, pose for a photo with their awards Wednesday after members of the Brunswick Optimist Club presented them in front of guests at the annual Respect for Law and Youth Appreciation Day event.

    ALYSSA ALFANO / GAZETTE

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    Gideon Kortan and Isabelle Heignbaugh-McCroskey, fifth-graders at Brunwick's Huntington Elementary School, posed with Principal Kesh Boodheshwar after receiving their awards Wednesday at the Brunswick Optimist Clubs annual Respect for Law and Youth Appreciation Day event.

    ALYSSA ALFANO / GAZETTE

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    Brunswick High School juniors Kevin Gabriel and Kennedy Robinson were recognized Wednesday at the Brunswick Optimist Clubs annual Respect for Law and Youth Appreciation Day event. In total, 22 students were lauded this year.

    ALYSSA ALFANO / GAZETTE

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    During Wednesday annual Respect for Law and Youth Appreciate Day event, 22 students two from each school in the Brunswick Schools district, were recognized by the Brunswick Optimist Club. They each received an award and gift bag as they were recognized on stage in front of family and friends.

    ALYSSA ALFANO / GAZETTE

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BRUNSWICK –– Kids and cops got top honors Wednesday when the Brunswick Optimist Club welcomed community members and parents to its annual Respect for Law and Youth Appreciation Day event at the Brunswick Recreation Center.

“Every year, it’s been our privilege to honor our officers from the city of Brunswick and from the township of Brunswick Hills for their service and dedication to public safety,” said Dean Holman, president of the Optimist Club.

The club recognizes one officer each from Brunswick Hills and the city of Brunswick for their work in their communities.

Brunswick police Chief Brian Ohlin recognized Animal Control Officer Michael Kellums, who was also recognized as the department’s Officer of the Year for 2018.

“Officer Kellums consistently operates with an enthusiastic and optimistic attitude and passionately takes care of any issue that arises during his shift regardless of whether it should be his responsibility,” said Ohlin.

Brunswick Hills Police Chief Tim Sopkovich recognized one of Brunswick Hills’ newest and youngest officers, Nichola Bali, who has been in the field for about a year and a half.

“Bali, being the youngest guy in the department, there are a lot of demands put on him over this last year and a half and he always rises to the top,” Sopkovich said.

“He leads the department right now in OVI arrests, which we are really trying to crack down on.”

These students were recognized:

Applewood Elementary School
  • Caden Galloway
  • Kaelyn Shoens

Crestview Elementary School
  • Logan Earley
  • Alaina Bark

Hickory Ridge Elementary School
  • Travis Corniello
  • Caidence Sparks

Huntington Elementary School
  • Gideon Kortan
  • Isabella Heinbaugh-McCroskey

Kidder Elementary School

  • Jacob Yanke
  • Cadence Satow

Memorial Elementary School

  • Anderson Mitchell
  • Adriana Thomas

Towslee Elementary School

  • Kayden Draiss
  • Anna Halfhill

Edwards Middle School

  • Jordan Dye
  • Morgan Kinney

Visintainer Middle School

  • Chase Buchner
  • Maeve McGinnis

Willetts Middle School

  • Trevor Parker
  • Cecilia Till

Brunswick High School

  • Kevin Gabriel
  • Kennedy Robinson

After the Optimist Club recognized local police officers, they lauded 22 students from across the Brunswick Schools district. Two students were recognized from each school.

“Well, what happens is, you know, a lot of kids get recognized for straight A’s or they’re the top athlete at their schools but there are a lot of kids behind the scenes that are doing a lot,” said Tim Smith, Optimist Club member. “Maybe they are B students, maybe they are C students. We seem to recognize just the top level of people, those kids miss out.

“We came up with this idea to have the principals and the leaders of this school nominate two kids who they thought really contributed a lot but weren’t that top tier of straight A’s or top athletes.”

Teachers and peers were able to write a short description of each student and the work they’ve done at school, whether it was related to academics or support of their fellow students.

“I’m just so proud of him when I see that he’s a good boy in school and that it’s recognized and that he has a good heart,” said Amanda Corniello, whose son Travis Corniello is a fifth-grader at Hickory Ridge Elementary School.

He said it felt good to be recognized and his favorite part was hearing what his teachers had to say about him.

“To know Travis Corniello is to love,” said Holman reading a letter from an unnamed teacher. “Besides his high work ethic, the does an amazing job working with his peers. This is indicative by the way his peers consistently seek him out to work with him.”

“It’s nice to know what your peers and teachers think,” said Morgan Kinney, an eighth- grader at Willetts Middle School.

Contact reporter Alyssa Alfano at (330) 721-4063 or aalfano@medina-gazette.com.
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