TOP STUDENTS & ATHLETES: From left are Student of the Year Amanda Hoover, co-Victor Marshall Award winners Riley Westfall and Rosalie Westfall, and Principal’s Award winner Trevor Cox. Then female Athlete of the Year Polly Brown and male winner Airk Cochran. Photos by Jeff Brady.

Students honored at awards ceremony after hearing wise words from Jo Trozzo


Jo Trozzo spent years teaching kids how to work hard and have fun doing it. It was almost like participating in sports, but that’s where she drew the line.
“You see these peanut M&M’s on this fake shirt,” she said. “They had a better chance of making a sports team than I ever would. I never even made it to this (turned around where the back of the shirt said ‘BENCHED’).”
Trozzo, the guest speaker at the annual Skagway School Awards night, said she was well versed in academics but knew “almost nothing” about sports.
She went to her kids’ games, recording them all like other parents. She said she was amazed while listening to her husband, Gary, talk about players and how one might be close to fouling out. She assumed he was a genius, but when she asked him how he knew all that stuff, he responded, “’It’s on the scoreboard…underneath the score’” she said. “And to this day, I’ve never seen a foul, never heard one, and that’s what I know about basketball.”
She gave up understanding wrestling, but enjoyed the aspect of the chute at the finish of a cross country race, because it represented the fact that kids had finished a race. And she liked that, as it transitioned into her message.
She took the audience back to kindergarten and spiders climbing water spouts, and said she admired how students rise to the challenge in any activity.
“Just like the spider, each student started from an unknown,” she said, and then gave a litany of all the “what if’s” that could challenge them. Yet they pushed on to see what it was all about.
She said everyone was proud of them for trying their best, but issued several more challenges such as: don’t lose basic values instilled by parents and teachers; have faith; accept responsibility; don’t be afraid to admit your’re wrong; and “most importantly, live a balanced life.”
Then it was on to the awards. The top awards of the night went to:
Principal’s Award (most improvement): Trevor Cox; Victor Marshall Award (highest GPA): Rosalie Westfall, Riley Westfall; and Student of the Year: Amanda Hoover; Female Athlete of the Year: Polly Brown; Male Athlete of the Year: Airk Cochran; and George Thiel Award (best student athlete): Airk Cochran.
Inducted into the Don Hather Wall of Fame were long-time Skagway School supporters Boyd and Jean Worley.

Boyd and Jean Worley are now on “The Wall.”

Other awards, listed by category:
Attendance: Madison Cox, Shane Sims, Micah Cook, Airk Cochran.
Honor Roll: Wyatt Belisle, Danny Brady, Madison Cox, Shane Sims, Micah Cook, Kara Whitehead, Colton Belisle, Denver Evans, Hailey Jensen, Trevor Cox, Hannah O’Daniel, Zack Wassman, Polly Brown, Airk Cochran.
Superintendent’s Honor Roll: C.J. Dormido, Kiara Selmer, Alexandra Weber, Rosalie Westfall, Amanda Hoover, Riley Westfall.
English: Zoe Wassman, Al Weber
History: Amanda Hoover, Airk Cochran
Student Council: Amanda Hoover, Hannah O’Daniel, Rosalie Westfall, Polly Brown, Riley Westfall, Al Weber, Trevor Cox, Kiara Selmer, Hailey Jensen, Micah Cook, Kara Whitehead.
State Spirit of Youth: Hannah O’Daniel, Amanda Hoover, Rosalie Westfall.
FLL Robotics (region and state champion): Danny Brady, Shane Sims, Madison Cox, Jessica Whitehead, Micah Cook, C.J. Dormido, Dawson Clem.
FTC Robotics (region champion, third in state): Rosalie Westfall, Riley Westfall, Al Weber.
Junior High Boy’s Basketball: role player Wyatt Belisle, most improved Micah Cook, offense Alex Ackerman, defense Colton Belisle, MVP Nathaniel Leggett.
Junior High Girl’s Basketball: role player Denver Evans, most improved Kiara Selmer, offense Kara Whitehead, defense Dainean Teeluk, MVP Hailey Jensen.
Wrestling: Trevor Cox
Cross country/track: MVP female Al Weber, MVP male (region champ in track) Airk Cochran, spirit Trevor Cox, most improved Colton Belisle
Junior high track: red batons: Hailey Jensen, Nathaniel Leggett.
Varsity basketball: captains Nick Ackerman, Airk Cochran, Polly Brown; 6th man Hannah O’Daniel, defense Trevor Cox, MVP female Polly Brown, MVP male Airk Cochran.