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.”
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.