Wheeling Middle School eighth grader Jake Brozowski has no problem with being in the spotlight.
He’s been in it often this year. Brozowski has been interviewed on television, he presented his Future City Project to Ohio County Schools Superintendent Kimberly Miller and Board of Education member Christine Carder, and he traveled to Charleston in February to discuss healthcare and education with elected officials during the West Virginia Youth and Government Conference.
Brozowski said he wasn’t born with the oratory skills he now displays as a Wheeling Middle School class officer and as the Future City team captain. He said he learned those skills as a sixth grader in the history class of teacher Michele Strope. Brozowski said Strope’s classroom discussions regarding history and current events prompted him to ask questions and voice his opinions.
“I wasn’t always this comfortable,” he said. “There are a lot of interesting discussions in her class, and that is where I found that I was a good speaker. I love speaking…
“And, of course, I love arguing,” he added.
Wheeling Middle School Principal Rich McCardle has been so impressed with Brozowski’s public speaking ability that he believes the current Wheeling Middle School student will find an important niche as a Wheeling Park Patriot.
“He’s the future captain of the Wheeling Park High School Speech and Debate Team,” McCardle said. “He’ll be great in ‘Original Oratory.’”
History is Brozowski’s favorite subject, but he also enjoys music. He’s in the Wheeling Middle School band, and he plays trumpet, viola, steel drums and piano. Brozowski plans to continue to be involved in music at Wheeling Park High School. He is an excellent student and maintains a 4.0 grade point average.
“I’m not the perfect student,” he said. “I don’t get an ‘A’ on every test. I do well in math, but it’s not my favorite subject. I find science challenging.
I like it, and I do well in it. But, I love history.”
Brozowski said the reason he loves history is because of Strope. He considers her to be his favorite teacher. Brozowski said Strope makes history interesting because she doesn’t simply take history lessons straight from the text book. She applies history lessons to current events.
Strope said she believes Brozowski’s classroom involvement has made history more interesting and appealing to his classmates. She said it has been a pleasure to have been his teacher for three years.
“We have a mutual passion for history,” Strope said. “Jake is always completely invested in learning as much as he possibly can. I’ve been fortunate to have him as a student.”
Brozowski is looking toward the future. Not only has he considered the courses he will pursue at Wheeling Park High School, he has narrowed his college selections to West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh. In fact, Brozowski already has an idea of what he will be doing 20 years from now.
“I could probably be a state-level politician at that point,” he said. “But, I may be an attorney. I could see myself in the courtroom.”
Photo 1: Wheeling Middle School student Jake Brozowski and teacher Michele Strope discuss stories on the current events board.
Photo 2: Wheeling Middle School student Jake Brozowski presents his Future City project to Ohio County Board of Education Member Chris Carder and Ohio County Schools Superintendent Kimberly Miller.