Churchill School hosted its Never Give Up Awards ceremony for a group of third, fourth and fifth grade honorees who went above and beyond the required effort in the classroom during the second trimester.
Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti, the scheduled guest of honor for the program, was called out of town on Feb. 27, but families didn’t seem to mind. Being there to recognize their children and grandchildren with applause made it a special evening.
“There’s nothing better than honoring our kids,” said Churchill Principal Cece Coffey. “This award is for persistence. When something’s hard, you never give up.”
Coffey named the award after a segment of a 1941 speech given by Sir Winston Churchill, British prime minister for whom the Homewood school is named: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
There was excitement in the Churchill auditorium for each student whose name was called.
Third grade teachers recognized Cassidy Cage, Jordan Washington, Keri McElroy, Kylie Blasgen, Jylon Stephens, Mia Gutierrez, Cole Klimczak and Daniel Kimble.
Fourth grade teachers recognized James Troche, Sean Truesdale, Sawyer Fogarty, Kyla McAlister, Michael Winfield, Kaden Kabat, Laniya Smith and Paris Whalum.
Fifth grade teachers recognized Emiya Gardner, Morgan Mollett, Abigail McConnaughay, Simon Howard, Aubrey Ooms, Shakiah Vantrease, Audrey Zirbel and Aaliyah Anderson.
Teachers with special instruction in math, reading and music recognized Benita Robinson, Josh Riner, Angelena Alborn, Leah Robonson, Josiah Animashaun, Jordin Bates, Raena Kaminski, Daniel Kimble, Angelique Angulo-Garcia, Tamera Gill, Tamra Gill.
Also, Adan Gomez, Trevor Kossak, Jack Spiros, Micaiah Abramczyk, Kimora Delaney, Kaila Jackson, Vinicios Dias de Souza, Chloe Cleland, Khalis Muhammad and Syndney Valentine.
Afterward, several students spoke of the honor.
Raena Kaminski, a fourth grader, said her award was from her reading teacher. She’s in the accelerated reading group that requires reading in class which Raena enjoys, but she also is enjoying the book “Connect the Stars” that she’s reading on her own. She said the book taught her to not just rely on knowledge and facts, but to also rely on each other.
Third grader Cassidy Cage said, “I try hard, but once I get the hang of it, it just gets easier.” He got his award from his classroom teacher.
Vinicios Dias de Souza is a fifth grader who plays violin with the orchestra. His music teacher recognized his efforts in learning new pieces.
Trevor Kossak, a third grader, is doing fourth grade math in a Challenge Math class. His teacher recognized him for his work on new materials.