A drum major, a drama class role model and a religious affairs officer are the three January Manhattan Beach Students of the Month as honored by the Manhattan Beach Coordinating Council.
The three students received their awards at the Coordinating Council luncheon held at Verandas on Jan. 17. The speaker for the luncheon was Dr. Greg Allen, the director of Freedom 4U, an organization that works with families to try to prevent risky behavior by teenagers.
The drum major is Isaac Siegemund-Broka, a student at Mira Costa High School. The school’s marching band director, Joel Carlson, introduced Isaac by noting that when he came for his drum major audition he, unlike other students, did not talk about why he should be the drum major. Rather, Isaac stated he was going to talk about cars and then gave a thoughtful and appropriate explanation of why he admires Henry Ford. Carlson commended Isaac for his consistent excellence, his hard work and his ability to take lessons beyond the marching field.
The drama class role model, Emma Nerad of Manhattan Beach Middle School, got off to a rocky start by forgetting a line during her 7th grade audition for drama class. However, she persevered and finished and then waited for later to break into tears. She made it into the class and now that she is in the 8th grade, she mentors the 7th grade drama students. Her drama teacher, David Levy, praised her for her abilities to help others and said all the 7th graders were eager to congratulate her for her Student of the Month award.
The religious affairs officer, Joe Kelly, prepares the prayers each day for American Martyrs School. The teacher who introduced him, Jeff Lee, mentioned not only the high quality of the prayers but also Joe’s positive attitude, his self-motivation and his friendly, easy-going manner. Joe participates in a number of sports including surfing, basketball, biking and baseball. He also is a member of Friendship Circle, where he works with developmentally disabled children. In addition, he maintains high grades.
In discussing at-risk teens, Dr. Allen noted the importance of families getting together for various activities, such as eating dinner. He also stressed the role parents have in listening to teens. His organization operates a facility that provides teens with healthy weekend alternative activities, many of them related to art and music.
The luncheon was chaired by Nancy Hersman. Manhattan Beach Police Officer Stephanie Martin led the pledge of allegiance and Rev. Msgr. John G. Barry gave the invocation.
The next Coordinating Council lunch will be Feb. 14.