The Turn Around Achievement Awards are presented annually to students who have overcome challenges to become better students.

The Turn Around Achievement Awards are presented annually to students who have overcome challenges to become better students.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Students awarded for turning themselves around

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published May 24, 2019

 Center Line High School junior Jaden Davis was nominated by Timothy Ossman for all his accomplishments this year.

Center Line High School junior Jaden Davis was nominated by Timothy Ossman for all his accomplishments this year.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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CENTER LINE — “It’s OK to fail.

“The real test out of failure is what you should do to make it up. I learned what it meant to fail. I also learned what it meant to get out of a failure. Every failure is a good opportunity to learn and reflect on.”

That was a piece of advice that 2016 Center Line High School graduate Ken Alyass offered to a group of 16 Center Line Public Schools students who were recipients of this year’s Turn Around Achievement Awards.

The awards are presented annually to students who have overcome challenges to become better students academically, behaviorally and/or socially. Teachers, counselors, principals and support staff nominate a new group of students each year who are deserving of the accolades.

Alyass was a Turn Around Achievement Award recipient when he was at Center Line. He admitted that he didn’t always get the best grades, but really found his motivation when he got to college. Alyass was recently accepted into Harvard University.

The 2019 awards ceremony, for which Alyass was the keynote speaker, was held on the morning of May 21 inside the CLHS media center. District Assistant Superintendent for Human Services Shannon McBrady facilitated the event. The students’ family members, school board members and central administrators attended, and everyone enjoyed breakfast before the ceremony began.

The students were recognized one at a time. Each student received a plaque and some kind words from the person who nominated them.

“Students, we are so very, very proud of you. It’s so fun to see and hear the stories of growth,” McBrady said. “We appreciate all the hard work you’ve done.”

Peck Elementary School Principal Meghan Evoy recognized fifth grader Audric Halagarda, while Crothers Elementary School fifth grader Omar Troncoso was nominated by Nathan Landoski.

“I just want to thank you for this award,” Halagarda said. “I’m very happy for this.”

Roose Elementary fifth graders Shellbie Montgomery and Malik Thomas were nominated by Dori Babcock. Eric Gauthier recognized eighth grader Flynn Bosley.

“I’m super proud of Flynn,” Gauthier said. “Flynn is independent. She trusts in herself. She thinks for herself. She’s also insanely caring. She’s always willing to help. She’s self-motivated. That’s really hard to find at this age. I’m just excited for the future for her.”

“I want to say thank you to all the staff for helping me this year and thank you to my parents,” Bosley said.

Half of the staff at Wolfe Middle School nominated eighth-grade student Christian Knox. Laurie Panfalone and John Daley spoke on his behalf.

“I met him when he transitioned to Wolfe. We didn’t hit if off very well, did we?” Panfalone said. “He had a new school. He had a new teacher. He struggled with a lot of anger and anxiety. It impacted his day.”

Panfalone said Knox’s mom worked with the school and other professionals, which had a positive effect on Knox.

“He’s able to see things from other people’s perspective,” Panfalone said. “He really wants to be successful in all areas.”

Joseph Martin and Michael Szymanski honored Wolfe eighth grader Logan Mogg. Martin also recognized Wolfe eighth grader Emilee Schienle. Jen DeSmet recognized eighth-grade student Eddie Olson.

“I nominated him for the academic changes he has made,” said DeSmet, who said that Olson’s  grades have improved so much this year that he’s on the honor roll for the first time. “Congratulations, Eddie, on turning it around.”

Wolfe eighth graders Andre Micou and Ava Robb were nominated by Ron Howery and Amber Basso, respectively.

Academy 21 students Jamie Daugherty and Alauren Rodgers were nominated by the program’s staff. Academy 21 is a hybrid virtual learning environment that combines online learning with in-person instruction from teachers. The coursework is delivered online, and students work individually at their own pace.

Timothy Ossman shared CLHS junior Jaden Davis’ story.

“Jaden was a full year behind in school,” Ossman said, adding that the student was able to get caught up on his credits. “I’m proud to say he is on time to graduate.”

Iman Jaradi and Paulette Nantais honored CLHS senior Troy Lett, and Jessica Yeakel and Lesley Harris recognized CLHS senior Ryan Bowers.

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