Educator of the Year and Memorial Scholarships Presented

Phather Phil’s Prayer

Heavenly Father at times we act like a silly goose. We labor over how and what to say in our prayers. We hesitate because It just doesn’t sound right or it doesn’t sound pretty. We should know by now, You do not judge based on the words we use nor the folly of our tongues. When we come to You in earnest prayer, You already know what our hearts want to convey. Your children just want You to know how much we love You and need your love and guidance. Thanks for all of our blessings. Amen!

Today’s Guests

Guest Guest Of
Tom Brozich Mike Bevis
Chuck Doran Jane Fiehrer
Martin Huffstutler Brandon Barret
Karen Mills Awardee’s Family
Madeline Mills Scholarship Winner
Lisa Reibly Awardee’s Family
Nick Reibly Scholarship Winner
Jonathan Rich Mike Bevis
Sarah Schaade Erin Belangia-Sanchez
Sarah Swan EOTY Peer
Matt Szozda Educator of the Year
Dan Tarpey EOTY Peer
Angela Whitehead Awardee’s Family
Chris Whitehead Awardee’s Family
Emily Whitehead Scholarship Winner
Kevin Whitehead Awardee’s Family
Rachel Whitehead Awardee’s Family

All Photos from the Meeting are Here

Committee Announcements

Brent Richburg, Americana Booth committee, asked people to please sign up to help with the information booth on July 4, 2019 to share with perspective members what we do for the community and how they can join and help.

Bob Burkman, flag committee, said volunteers are needed for flag delivery and assembly.

Bob Lawson thanked all the volunteers that helped make the Fishing Derby a success last weekend.

Jerry Stahley reported that at the Junior Golf tournament yesterday, 94 kids played golf and Jerry thanked everyone who volunteered.

Upcoming Social Events

Beth Duncan, social committee, announced social activities for the rest of 2019 so that you can save the dates.

  • 6/28/2019 – 6:30 PM, Friday, Dinner at Valley Vineyard
  • 7/19/2019 – 6:30 PM, Friday, Euchre party at TBD
  • 8/10/2019 – 5:30 PM, Saturday, Cookout, Outdoor games, Monte Carlo Night at TBD
  • 9/24/2019 – 6 PM?, Tuesday, Presidential Installation Dinner at the Presidential Banquet Center
  • October 2019, ALL DAY, Keeneland Horse Racing, there will be a chartered bus
  • 11/8/2019 – 6:30 PM?, Friday, Euchre party at TBD
  • 12/10/2019 – 6 PM?, Tuesday, Holiday Party at Yankee Trace

Bringing out the Best in Kids Award

Gary Smiga discussed the history of the “Bringing out the Best in Kids Award”. Begun as an “Achievement in Education” Award in 2003, it became the “Bringing out the Best in Kids'” Award to honor Margaret Barclay’s theme for her year as Ohio District Governor.  We have had 18 recipients, including public and private school administrators, principals, and teachers from elementary, middle, and high school. Since 2018, our selection process has been to use the CCS Teacher of the Year nominee for Ohio’s Teacher of the Year program as our recipient.

Matt Szozda is the 2019 recipient of the award. Matt is an outstanding, young and successful Art teacher. He currently works at Cline Elementary. He has been with the district for 8 years. Matt is the Centerville City School nominee for Ohio’s Teacher of the Year.

Shirley Kurtz, the principal of Cline, nominated him. She said to us, “Matt Szozda is the teacher you want your students to have. He teaches from the heart and uses self-reflection. He gets students to use creativity to solve complex world problems. Remember these are 2nd through 5th graders. The students become civic minded problem solvers.”

Matt thanked the Centerville Noon Optimist club. He said this is not the crowd he normally speaks to. He mentioned our audience is a just a little bit older than his students. He scanned the room earlier and noticed the Optimist Creed on the wall. He noted one of the key ideas of the creed is believing in yourself and believing in others. These are the key things he tries to teach his students. He said, “Thank you so much for the honor you have given me today.”

Gary Smiga gave the name plate with Matt Szozda’s name to Superintendent Tom Henderson. The plate will be added to the permanent plaque on display in the front foyer at the Central office for Centerville Schools’ on Virginia Avenue.

Additional guests to witness the award presentation today from Centerville Schools were Dan Tarpey (Directory of Human Resources) and Sarah Swan (Community Relations Specialist).

Educational Assistance Awards

Gary Smiga presented the 2019 Educational Assistance Awards. Most of this article comes from the notes Gary prepared for this presentation.

From Gary:

It is my pleasure to be able to introduce this year’s Centerville Noon Optimist Club’s Memorial Educational Assistance Award winners.  The award is given in the memory of the individuals that have passed away while active members of our club.  The following individuals exemplified what it meant to give back to your community with their service and character:

  • Tom Frazier- 1994
  • Tom Craig- 1994
  • Denise Goeckel- 1998
  • Dick Lewin- 2002
  • Corwin Robinson- 2005
  • Steve Fisher- 2007
  • Dave Petree- 2007
  • Jim Hawley- 2010
  • Margaret Barclay- 2010
  • Tom Gravlin- 2013
  • Terry Blair-2014
  • Dave Milam- 2014
  • Ken Bluhm- 2015
  • John Hughes- 2015
  • Mike Hayes- 2015
  • Wes Hamdan- 2016
  • Tim Gibson- 2017
  • Linda Fisher- 2017
  • Brent Moore- 2018
  • Chuck Dickerson- 2018

Please join me in a moment of silence as we remember these fine individuals.

The qualifications for our Educational Assistance award are as follows:

  1. Be a graduating high school senior that will be attending a college/university offering a two/four-year degree upon the completion of an accredited program;
  2. Be a resident of Centerville/Washington Township;
  3. Have a strong record of participation in community service activities; and
  4. Possess a financial need as affirmed by the FAFSA.

Before I introduce this year’s winners, I would like to recognize the committee who read the applications and made this year’s selections: Gail Aiken, Will Cale, Bob Duffy, and Roberta Taylor.

I would also like to thank the CNO Board of Directors for budgeting funds to support this scholarship program, as well as the entire Centerville Noon Optimist Club membership for having worked in the various fundraising activities to allow for this program and many of the others that we do to be a reality.

This year we have 4 award recipients, 3 of them were with us today.

Madeline Mills

Madeline brought her Mother, Karen Mills.

Madeline attended Centerville High School and she is ranked 28th in a senior class of 647 students with a GPA of 4.56.

Madeline’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • Tennis
  • Speech and Debate
  • French Club
  • Model UN
  • Poetry Club
  • Chem Buddies
  • Key Club
  • Lunch Buddies
  • Church Youth Group
  • National Honor Society

Madeline currently works at Mathnasium of Centerville. She will be attending Purdue University and her major is Chemical Engineering.

She told us about Chem Buddies. If you are taking AP chemistry, you can volunteer to participate. They go to Centerville elementary and middle schools and present experiments to students and explain the science.

Excerpts form Madeline’s essay:

Youth is the future of society. It will be the youths who make the decisions of the future. Providing youth services is necessary to make sure they are capable of being our future leaders. She is member of Lunch Buddies and she said one of the rolls of a high school student is to improve the community.

Nicholas Reibly

Nicholas brought his mother, Lisa Reibly.

Nicholas attended Centerville High School and he is ranked 293rd in a senior class of 647 students with a GPA of 3.6082.

Nicholas’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • Varsity Football
  • Senior Captain
  • 2018 Sonny Unger Award
  • Elk Pride Award
  • Lunch Buddies
  • Leadership Academy
  • Centerville Baseball Umpire
  • Centerville 7th grade Football Assistant Coach
  • Centerville Kids Football Camp

Nicholas currently works at Home Depot. He will be attending the University of Findlay. He will continue to play football at college. After college he would like to teach in a high school.

Nicholas is a 2018 recipient of the Sonny Unger award, which is presented to a CHS outstanding football athlete. The Sonny Unger Foundation was established in 1966 to honor the memory of a true American hero, Lester E. “Sonny” Unger. He was killed in Vietnam. The Sonny Unger Foundation keeps alive the memory of Sonny by awarding two scholarships to Seniors on Centerville High School’s Football Team. The recipients are deemed most like the character and dedication of Sonny.

Excerpts from Nicholas’ essay:

The youth of the today will be the leaders of tomorrow. Services for youth are important. The future of a town is dependent on its youth. Employment, volunteering, and sports give students a since of purpose.

Emily Whitehead

Emily brought her mother, Angela, her father, Chris, her brother, Kevin and her sister, Rachel.

Emily attended Centerville High School and she is ranked 4th in a senior class of 647 students with a GPA of 4.9455.

Emily’s Extracurricular and Community Service Activities include:

  • Varsity Soccer
  • Scholar Athlete
  • Student Council
  • Piano Instructor
  • Band- Alto Saxophonist and Pianist
  • Model UN
  • Elk Connectors
  • Junior Leadership Dayton
  • TOP Soccer
  • Safetyville Square
  • Elks for Seniors

Emily currently works at Mathnasium in Centerville. She will be attending the University of North Carolina.  She would like to go to graduate school to study International Business or attend Law School.

Emily discussed Elks for Seniors. It was recently created by students at CHS. They volunteer at St Leonard’s once a week.

Excerpts from Emily’s essay:

Her mother taught her to take care of your mind, body and soul each day. We need to help youth be properly clothed, fed and given opportunities to help the community. High school students can be significant role models for younger students. She set a good example for young students and talked to the student councils at all the Centerville City elementary and middle schools. Give youth a chance to help make the future better for the community.

Tonja Kaissieh

Tonja Kaissieh was not able to join us today and she will be introduced to the club at an upcoming meeting.

Award Presentation and Summary

Gary introduced CNO President Donna Huss who presented the awards to the recipients. Each of our recipients will receive a $1500 check that they can use towards the cost of attendance at the university they have chosen.

This award is renewable for a second year with a continued financial need, continued involvement in school, community or faith-based activities, and a freshman grade point average of at least a 3.0.

We often hear a lot of negative stories about today’s youth that you might begin to wonder if there is any hope for their future and our future.  Today these young individuals have hopefully dispelled those concerns, as they exemplify the qualities that will allow them to move forward and be the leaders and shakers of tomorrow.

Madeline, Nicholas and Emily, we are all very proud of you and we wish you the best at the schools you have chosen to attend.

Fellow Optimists, please join me in a round of applause for these fine individuals.


Member Birthday
Jim Marker May 23
Don Skelton May 25
Cristlyn Johnston May 26
Casey Wyckoff May 30
Mike Witt June 01
Shawna Hatton June 01

Membership Anniversaries

Member Month Day Joined # Years
James Schumacher May 22 5/22/1991 28
Pete Rife May 22 5/22/2013 6
Bob Clements May 25 5/25/2005 14
Paulette Novak May 25 5/25/2005 14
Amy Barker May 26 5/26/2008 11
Cheryl Reichel May 26 5/26/2008 11
Debe Dockins May 26 5/26/2009 10
Bob Burkman May 31 5/31/2003 16
Carol Burkman May 31 5/31/2003 16
Gary Aiken June 1 6/1/1982 37
Wayne Christie June 1 6/1/1988 31

New Member Readings and Inductions

Name Sponsor 1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Mary Ann MacKenzie
Carolyn Taylor Induction
Karin Gilstrap Cindy Harris 2nd Reading

Sergeants at Arms

No time for Sergeants this week.

 Happy Bucks! 

No time for Happy Bucks this Week.

Scroll to Top