Board is keynote speaker at BHS awards night

Pictured are the Bremen High School students awarded a Woodies Supermarket Scholarship Trust scholarship during the school's academic awards night on Thursday, May 14. The students are pictured with Woodies Supermarket president Charles Schramm.
By: 
Shawn McGrath
Assistant Editor

More than 100 scholarships awarded to graduating seniors

(A listing of scholarship winners, the full text of BHS Principal Bruce Jenning's introduction of keynote speaker Keith Board and Board's speech follow the story.)

BREMEN – A retiring popular Bremen High School teacher was the keynote speaker for the school’s annual academic awards night at Bowen Auditorium, where more than 100 scholarships were awarded to students.
Industrial arts teacher Keith Board, who is also author of “A Walking Tour of Historic Buildings in Bremen,” and an accomplished photographer, told the audience about his keys to success.
“He’s retiring this year,” BHS Principal Bruce Jennings said, “and, though we have already hired the teacher who will be in his classroom next year, the many talents and the huge heart of this man will be impossible to replace.”
Board, who has taught at BHS for 31 years and was named the school’s teacher of the year in 2014, told the audience about the importance of honesty and respect, not just as the senior students continue on to college, but in the rest of their lives.
“My friends, a lot of people spend their life in work and worry and stress, so while you’re young, enjoy your life -- but live a clean life,” Board said. “Be responsible and do the work you are supposed to do. Earn yourself a reputation as honest and trustworthy in the workplace (and) caring and sincere in family and friendship. Treat your parents with honor and respect. They love you more deeply than you can imagine and they worry about you all the time. Don’t hurt them and don’t give them additional stress.”
Along with his teaching, writing and photography, Board is well known for his philanthropy. He donated the earnings from the sales of “A Walking Tour of Historic Buildings in Bremen” to the Historic Bremen organization. He won a poetry contest sponsored by Woodies Supermarket and donated the prize money to the Bremen Food Pantry, Jennings said. Board also operated a small tree nursery for five years, selling trees for $2 and giving the proceeds to Bremen Dollars for Scholars, the principal said.
“Be aware that life will knock you down and beat you down at times, but shrug it off, get back up and keep moving forward,” Board said. “Tell yourself, ‘I’ve got this. I can do this. I am not weak. I’m strong. I am not going to fail. I’m going to succeed. In fact, I’m going to be very successful.’ Tell yourself that until you believe it.”
During the evening, 130 scholarships, including 42 from the Woodies Supermarket Scholarship Trust, were awarded to graduating BHS Seniors.
“Wining any of the … scholarships is such a great accomplishment,” said Trevor Mikel, president of Bremen Dollars for Scholars, which awarded 52 scholarships.

Woodies Scholarship winners
Kaitlyn Ahlenius, Morgan Anderson, Selena Andrade, Brooke Bahr, Chandler Bamburg, Branson Beeson, Gabrielle Buck, Dakota DeBaets, Grace Enamorado, Karis Fanning, George Filchak, Brooke Fitch, Sabrina Gilley, Roberto Gonzalez, Sarah Hawkins, Krent Hueni, Nicole Hueni, Kerygan LaVine, Madysen LaVine, Jaclyn Lawmaster, Camden Lindsey, Alexander Lowe, Lexie Meister, Lacey Miller, Regan Murphy, Amanda Napier, Zaccarry Rickets, Brison Shorter, Dylan Shumaker, Diane Stichter, Andrea Strehler, Amber Swint, Gina Thornton, Taylor Vermillion, Victoria Weldy, Kristopher Wickens, Ashlyn Wilcox, Breann Wilson and Luke Wonnacott.
Dollars for Scholars scholarship winners
Bowen Medical Scholarship, Madysen LaVine; Bremen Alumni Scholarship, Brooke Bahr; Bremen Elem/Mid School “Pennies from Pupils” Scholarship, Zaccarry Ricketts; Bremen School Board Scholarship, Dakota DeBaets; Community Hospital of Bremen Auxiliary Scholarship. Tayler Vermillion; Lloyd Cabiness Memorial Scholarship, Hannah Rupert; Frank DeSantis Scholarship, Lacey Miller; David (Davy) Dunkin Scholarship, Jaclyn Lawmaster; Karen Neeley Memorial Scholarship, Andrea Strehler; Dollars For Scholars Scholarship, George Nolan Filchak and Gina Thornton; Dr. John Edel (Class of 1968) Scholarship, Sarah Hawkins; George Hampe Memorial Scholarship, Nicholas Bonebrake; Neil Germann Memorial Scholarship, Krenten Hueni; Golden Girls Scholarship, Morgan Anderson; John and Lillie Graverson Scholarship, Marisa Browning; Don C. Harrison Scholarship, Camden Lindsey; Ryan M. Heintzelman Scholarship, Diane Stichter; Ivan Kelley Family Scholarship, Alexie Meister; Dean/Gretchen Kimble Music Scholarship, Karis Fanning; Daniel Koontz Memorial Scholarship, Evan Davenport; Gregg LaFree Memorial Scholarship, Kerygan LaVine; John and Ruby Leman Scholarship, Roberto Gonzalez; Rue Dee Marker Scholarship, Amanda Napier; Ray Martin Memorial Trust Scholarship, Kristopher Wickens; Masonic/Eastern Star Scholarship, Brooke Tolle; Mildred Tyler “Miss T” Memorial Scholarship, Kristine Gingerich; Frederick “Fritz” Niestre Scholarship, Sabrina Gilley; NISCO Scholarship, Samantha Posani, Kaitlyn Ahlenius, Evan Wilson and Selena Andrade; Peterson Family Scholarship, Nicole Hueni and Regan Murphy; Jean Pfeiffer Memorial Scholarship, Amber Swint; Ritter Memorial Scholarship, Jeffery Zellmer; Jake Spaid Memorial Scholarship, Jelayne Griswold; Jane Stillson Memorial Scholarship, Brooke Fitch; Tri Kappa Scholarship (Academic), Gabrielle Buck; Tri Kappa Scholarship (Vocational), Alissa Gregory; Mary Margaret Trice Scholarship, Alexander Lowe; Quincy A. Troup ’40 Scholarship, Luke Wonnacott; Ryan Unsicker Memorial Scholarship, Melissa Aguayo; Linda Weaver Memorial Scholarship, Dylan Shumaker; Robert and Helen Widmar Scholarship, Clayton Thornton; Phon-a-thon, Selena Andrade, Gracie Enamorado, Kristine Gingerich and Gina Thornton.
Local scholarship winners
Beatrice I. Goss, Gracie Enamorado; Jordan Family, Evan Wilson; Burger King, George Nolan Filchak; VFW Good Citizenship Award, Gabriel Fear; Ounce of Prevention, Dylan Shumaker; Laura A. Zeiger Educational Trust, Melissa Aguayo, Gabrielle Buck, Gracie Enamorado, Sabrina Gilley, Roberto Gonzalez, Wendy Gonzalez, Nicole Hueni, Austin Ingle, Pahola Jimenez, Brison Shorter, Andrea Strehler and Kristopher Wickens; Roaring Lambs, Sarah Hawkins; Three "C's" Memorial, Branson Beeson, Sabrina Gilley and Breann Wilson; Purdue Alumni of Marshall Co., Gabrielle Buck and Gracie Enamorado; Samuel Elliott Perkins IV Memorial, Gabrielle Buck, Gracie Enamorado and Regan Murphy; Indiana 4-H Foundation, Sarah Hawkins; Doll Mikel Memorial, Selena Andrade and Roberto Gonzalez; Nicholas Vogeler Memorial, Roberto Gonzalez, Pahola Jimenez, Regan Murphy and Dylan Shumaker.

Bremen High School Principal Bruce Jenning’s introduction of keynote speaker Keith Board, retiring BHS industrial arts teacher
“Tonight, I have the privilege of introducing the keynote speaker – one of the most influential teachers in the history of Bremen Public Schools – not only impacting the lives of his pupils but also his peers.
“Mr. Keith Board grew up in The Region, and he found his way to Bremen through his lovely wife, Patty, a 1979 Bremen High School graduate, whom he met at Ball State University.
“Those of you who know Keith, know that he is a multi-talented man:
- He is an amateur botanist, and he ran a small tree nursery for five years, selling hundreds of native trees for only $2.00 and donating all of the proceeds to the Bremen Dollars for Scholars Organization.
- He is an avid photographer of wildlife, especially wildflowers, and his photography has been published in numerous books and magazines on botany and forestry, including “Outdoor Indiana,” “The Michigan Botanist,” and on the covers of the South Bend and Fort Wayne Yellowbooks.
- He is an expert in woodworking, woodcarving, and computer drafting. He has published many articles on teaching design and engineering in the magazine called “Tech Directions,” and he recently wrote a book entitled “A Walking Tour of Historic Buildings in Bremen,” and he donated all of the proceeds to the Historic Bremen Organization.
- He’s even a poet, recently winning a poetry contest sponsored by Woodies’ Supermarket, and guess what, he again donated all the money to charity – this time The Bremen Food Pantry.
“After teaching for one year at River Forest, his high school alma mater and one more year at Lowell High School, Keith finally found Bremen, A Good Town, and Bremen High School, A Great School, where he has been for 31 years.
“In 2014, Keith was selected as Bremen High School’s Teacher of the Year, a year in which he literally save the life of one of his students by using the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge an object from the student’s throat during lunch time.
“He’s retiring this year; and, though we have already hired the teacher who will be in his classroom next year, the many talents and the huge heart of this man will be impossible to replace. Please welcome to the podium Mr. Keith Board.”

Keith Board’s Academic Awards Night speech at Bremen High School
“My friends, a lot of people spend their life in work and worry and stress, so while you’re young, enjoy your life but live a clean life. Be responsible and do the work you are supposed to do. Earn yourself a reputation as honest and trustworthy in the workplace; caring and sincere in family and friendship. Treat your parents with honor and respect. They love you more deeply than you can imagine, and they worry about you all the time. Don’t hurt them, and don’t give them additional stress.
“If any of you kids are getting nervous about going to college, relax. You are going to love it, but only if you give it an honest effort. Tonight the people of Bremen are investing in you seniors. Please, don’t let them down!
“I’d like to make a few predictions about college:
- When you get there, everything will be new and different. Enjoy the changes!
- Some of you might find that the school work in college is pretty easy. But take it seriously every step of the way. It will only be easy at first.
- You will meet new people from all over Indiana, the United States, and the world, and you will make a lot of new friends -- if you are friendly and outgoing, and if you talk with people. If you are shy, people might mistakenly think you are snobbish, stuck up, or boring, so just talk with people and learn to listen when they are talking. This will dramatically improve the quality of your life.
- You might make friends with people and then discover they are not serious about education, or they might be bad influences in other ways. Surround yourself with really good people. Remember that bad attitudes are contagious and if you catch one, it can damage your life and it can be difficult to cure.
- Around your third year of college, some of your friends might begin to drift away from you. Some will move away or drop out or transfer to other schools. Now this is important: About the same time, your classes will start to get more difficult. It won’t be nearly as fun and exciting as it was during your first year. You might start thinking, ‘I don’t like this anymore. I think I’d like to drop out and just get a job.’ But please kids, please stay in school, learn all you can, and get your college degree. But don’t just get the degree – get some useful knowledge along the way. Our country and our world need well educated young people to bring fresh ideas and knowledge to the problems we are facing. You are those young people.
“I have a few more recommendations that I’d like to share with you… not just for college, but for life in general.
- To be successful, work hard at everything you do. Give it your best effort, do the best you can, and pay attention to detail in your work.
- Earn yourself a reputation as a reliable worker with a good attitude who will always show up.
- Care about yourself enough to get a good education. Learn all you can in all subjects. The more you know, the more you will want to know, and the easier it will be to learn. Even in the age of Google, knowledge is still very, very useful.
- Always treat people decently and don’t pass up a chance to improve someone’s day or make someone happy.
- Always give more work than you are paid for, and always do the work better than anyone expects.
- Guys: Don’t act like a tough guy. Be a gentleman.
- Girls: Don’t depend on a man for everything. Get your own college degree, and get your own career.
- All of you: Take care of your health always! Eat healthy, stay active, and develop fun hobbies that get you outside and moving.
“Be aware that life will knock you down and beat you down at times, but shrug it off, get back up and keep moving forward. Tell yourself, ‘I’ve got this. I can do this. I am not weak, I’m strong, I am not going to fail, I’m going to succeed; in fact I’m going to be very successful.’ Tell yourself that until you believe it!”
“I want you kids to keep in mind Board’s Axiom #1, which says, ‘Hard work always pays off, sooner or later.’ So go out there and work hard; learn to feel satisfaction at the end of each day, knowing that you gave an honest effort to your work, your family, your community, your education, and really did your best. You will love that feeling.
“Bremen High School has dedicated teachers and we try to help kids learn a lot. We want our graduates to be truly decent people and make the world better. Please make the world better – every one of you!
“In closing, I’ve talked a lot about work, but please keep your faith and your family first in your life. I wish everyone here a life of health, happiness, prosperity, and love. As we say at BPS, ‘Be strong, and never give up.’ And in the words of my favorite singer, Neil Young, ‘Long may you run.’
“Thank you!”

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