Brooke considers hall of fame

WELLSBURG – Brooke school officials on Tuesday discussed a proposed Brooke High School hall of fame to recognize graduates who have gone on to distinguish themselves in various ways outside of athletics.

Toni Shute, principal, said she prefers not to call it a hall of fame because that implies inductees must be famous or well known, which wouldn’t be a requirement.

While the endeavor was promoted initially as an academic hall of fame, Shute said that really wouldn’t be accurate, either, because the goal is to recognize individuals not only for academic accomplishment but also for distinguishing themselves in professional fields or community service.

She suggested the Brooke High School Hall of Excellence might be a better title for the honor.

Shute and a six-member selection committee of faculty and committee members also planned to make induction open to faculty or others who aren’t Brooke High School alumni but have aided the school above and beyond their ordinary responsibilities.

Board member Frank Ujcich questioned that, saying the school board has its own hall of fame, for which past and present Brooke County school employees with at least 10 years’ service may be nominated by anyone.

Board member Chad Haught expressed concern the criteria is too broad and suggested limiting the wall of fame to Brooke High School graduates or people who have assisted the school in some way.

He questioned how the committee can measure success, saying a single mother who raises her children while working full time may be successful in her own right.

“My concern is a lot of feelings are going to be hurt,” Haught said.

Shute said a single working mother could be considered, particularly if she also has provided service to her community. She said the committee would consider a variety of criteria in determining inductees.

Shute said like the school’s athletic hall of fame, unselected nominations could be kept on file so they could be revisited in later years.

She said an appeal for nominations has yielded about 20 Brooke graduates of various professions and accomplishments.

Kathy Kidder, superintendent, said Shute should submit to the board a formal policy, establishing criteria for the honor. She added the move would protect the committee because the policy couldn’t be changed under future administrations without action by the board.

The issue was among several discussed at a work session of the board Tuesday. The board also heard from:

Nick Taylor, director of the Brooke High School Madrigal Choir, who said the group has raised about $18,000 of $45,759 lent by the board for the group’s trip to Italy last year for performances in the Vatican City.

Taylor said the amount was raised through various contributions and fundraisers. They included donations at 31 churches and civic group meetings for which the choir performed in December, and $6,000 raised by Allietta Ford as part of the Ford Motor Co.’s Drive 4UR School Initiative where Ford donated $25 for each person who test drove a vehicle from the dealership.

He said the group is selling candy and will apply a portion of proceeds from its spring musical in May to repay the loan.

Before requesting the loan, the choir and several members of the school’s art club, had raised $70,000 for the trip but fell short of the amount needed after already committing to participate.

Sean Blumette, head football coach, asked the board to consider purchasing a video software program he said would enable him and coaches of other sports to more easily compile and share footage of the school’s teams and athletes.

Blumette and Jackie Robinson, athletic director, said it’s expensive and time-consuming to provide video discs to competing schools – required by state policy for school sports – and college recruiters.

The software would allow video footage to be transmitted digitally and accessed, via the Internet using a code, at home by coaches and athletes, he said.

The request will be considered at the board’s next regular meeting, to be held at 6 p.m. on April 8.