High school program honors largest group of students yet

Fifty-six Union High School freshmen were recognized for achieving all A’s and B’s on their third marking period report card during the latest ceremony hosted by the school’s YES program Thursday. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

Fifty-six Union High School freshmen were recognized for achieving all A’s and B’s on their third marking period report card during the latest ceremony hosted by the school’s YES program Thursday. (Leader photo/TED YOAKUM)

A group of bright and motivated students helped Dowagiac Union High School’s Youth Experiencing Success achieve yet another whopper of a milestone Thursday.

The program recognized 56 freshmen during its latest awards ceremony that morning in the high school media center, rewarding the students for achieving all A’s and B’s during the third marking period. The amount of students honored that morning topped the previous record for students recognized, established in November when YES gave out certificates to 51 freshmen for a similar accomplishment during the first marking period.

Once again partnering with the school was the Dowagiac Burger King. Local Store Manager AJ Fitzpatrick and Bill Lee, vice president of operations with Quality Dining (the Dowagiac store’s parent company) spoke with students briefly about the accomplishment before handing out certificates, which included a coupon for a free Whopper meal at the fast food chain.

“These kids deserve recognition for the grades they got,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re happy to reward them for what they’ve accomplished.”

This was the third year that Burger King has partnered with YES to reward students for their academic achievements. With Thursday’s ceremony, the fast food chain has given out 148 coupons for free meals, said Doug Pearson, a student advocate at the school and organizer of the YES program.

Other companies that have participated in the YES program include the local McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Saylor’s Pizza and Little Caesars.

Businesses interested in participating in future YES events are encouraged to email Pearson at dpearson@dowagiacschools.org.

Honored Thursday were:

Cody Anderson

Edward Armstrong

Hessen Ayers

Malainey Belew

Michaela Bjork

Hunter Brackensick

Shaelyn Bundy

Madison Cabrillas

Karmraj Chudasama

Kelsey Crocker

Andrew Davis

Mallory Dodd

Hannah Dodson

Cody Dorman

Joshua Dzakowic

Kameli Eslick

Kailey Fear

Terry George

Manuel Gonzalez Olvera

Nina Gonzalez

Morgan Hamilton

Mae Hartsig

Alyssa Haskins

Alison Henry

Destiny Hickman

Tessa Holz

Mariah Hunt

Peytin Lee

Juan Luis-Hernandez

Alexandria Marquart

Katelyn McClung

Andrew McIntosh

Chalee Miston-Pye

Jada Moraca

Alexia Morales

Abigail Osmer

Jared Peters

Drew Phillips

Nina Richardson

Elissa Roberts

Kade Schreiber

Patrick Sirk

Amiyah Smith

Jennifer Smith

Kaylee Soucek

Juliana Stanger

Jared Stilwell

Jonathan Stockwell

Madeline Stockwell

Carrie Strauss

Shane Strom

Donovan Sullivan

Michael Symonds

Tania Warren

Jacquelynn Winchester-Jones

Ashley Woolsey

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