Juvenile judge encourages students to ‘live with integrity’

Logan County Family Court Judge Dan W. Bratka encouraged Logan County high school seniors during his speech at Monday evening’s 38th annual Bellefontaine Rotary Club honors dessert to live with integrity, to serve their communities and to strive for excellence.


ABOVE: Riverside High School senior Evan Downing, second from the left, was one of about 110 Logan County high school seniors to be honored during the Bellefontaine Rotary Club’s annual honors dessert Monday at Bellefontaine High School. Also pictured are, from the left, Riverside High School Principal Andy McGill, Rotary President Dr. Brent Swartz, Riverside Superintendent Scott Mann and Ohio Hi-Point Career Center Superintendent Jeff Price.

FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Logan County Family Court Judge Dan W. Bratka speaks Monday evening at the Bellefontaine Rotary Club’s 38th annual honors dessert for Logan County high school seniors in the Bellefontaine High School auditorium. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | MANDY LOEHR)

During the event at the Bellefontaine High School auditorium, approximately 110 students were honored for their scholastic achievements, with their parents and a number of school officials in attendance.

Judge Bratka, a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a former Logan County Sheriff’s deputy, told students that integrity is “doing what’s right even when no one’s looking.”

“Integrity is the most important value to pursue in whatever occupation you pursue.

“In court, we swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In training law enforcement officers, I tell them that the biggest thing they have is their integrity.”

Relating to the Rotary International’s motto of “service above self,” the juvenile division judge promoted a similar idea of “service before self” through involvement in service groups, churches or other avenues to better the community.

“Once you get into your chosen profession, strive to leave this community better than it was given to you,” he said to students.

Interact Clubs from Bellefontaine, Benjamin Logan and Riverside schools assisted with the presentation of the event, and the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center outdoor career program donated plants that decorated the auditorium.

Desserts were provided by the Whitmore House.


Students who were honored by the Bellefontaine Rotary Club at the annual honors dessert Monday evening include the following Logan County students:

Bellefontaine High School — Jonathan Dalton Bensman, Shantelle Michaela Binfet, Kelsie Lee Blair, Destiny Ruthanne Brown, Kyle Grant Brunner, Nicholas Andrew Burton, Nicolas John Burton, Blake Robert Carnes, Danielle Nikole Champion, Kylie Marie Croston, *Kierston Ciara Daum, Samantha Jo Nichole Davis, Sean Michael Davis, Jordan Matthew Fox, Kameren Nicole Haley, Hannah Andrea Hall, Nicholas Todd Heydinger, Kylee Brooke Jenkins, Devin Wesley Legge, Erin Eileen Levine, Kelley Alexis Lewis, Olivia Mackenna Martin, Chelsea Dawn McLaughlin, Corey Patrick McLaughlin, *Samantha Danielle Metz, Emily Kathleen O’Connor, Jessalyn Mariel Oppy, Drake Barclay Roebuck, Stefanie Rene Salyer, Casey Lynn Scott, Steven Dakota Sheeley, Cole Garrison Shroyer, Cody Allen Smith, David Alexander Stafford, Carley Michelle Strzalka, Brooke Kaitlyn Turner, Hannah Rae Vance, Shelby Nadine Joesphine Wenger, Keith Wisecup, Derek Ryan Yoesting.

Benjamin Logan High School — Austin Kenneth Ahle, Brianne Patricia Bowers, Miranda Marie Batton, Jeremiah James Brisson, Rachel Maria Chiles, Sydney Jeanelle Evans, Ashley Nicole Gearheart, Haley Rose Gibson, Kylee Marie Gill, Bryce William Gray, Dalton Allen Greene, Caitlin Marie Johnson, William Michael Kennedy, Alexandra Jamuna Lois Lietzke, Sally Joan Mally, Jaclyn Mae Melvin, Julie Ann Melvin, Kaci Danae Oswalt, Casey Danielle Peyton, Jennifer Leann Poling, Emily May Sater, Jodie Leigh Schmieder, Ashley Elizabeth Wilson.

Indian Lake High School — Tarrah Diane Berg, Megan Grace Bingaman, April Dawn Bryant, Chase Allen Derrer, Ethan Scott Downing, Ashton Danielle Faler, Brianna Denise Fry, Daniel James Fry, Christian Michael Grider, Randall Stephen Henson II, Stephanie Annette Huber, Jacob Douglas Hulbert, *Blake Chandler Johnston, Erin Kathleen Jacobs, Brennon Michael Lump, Sean Meredith Pusey, Luke Anthony Rode, Kimberly Velvet Scheiderer, Skylar Nicole VanHoose, Benjamin John Scott Wahl, Ashley Luan Wall.

Ridgemont High School — Amber Nicole Creviston, Katelin Marie Furer, Aaron Michael Shepherd.

Riverside High School — Silas J. Augsburger, Aubrey Kristian Courter, Rachel Lynne James, Jessica Leann Davis, *Evan Richard Downing, Cahlina Patricia Castallante, Christyn Rachelle Wietholter.

Upper Scioto Valley High School — Sabrina Lee Daniels.

West Liberty-Salem High School — *Nicholas Erick Davis, *Kaylin Nicole Frederick, Elizabeth Keenen Hance, Keara Ryanne Henry, Jacob Allen Hunter, Gabriel Joseph Lawson, Rachel Kathleen Loffing, *Carrissa Suzanne Magnuson, Anna Rose Naderer, Levi Andrew Spencer, Darby Leigh Thomas, Justin Lloyd Varner, *Dustin Alan Wooten, Rose Delight Yoder.

Ohio Hi-Point Career Center — Matthias K. Abke (home school).

* Denotes Ohio Hi-Point Career Center students.