News-Star/Patriot Auto Group Car Finalists: Drew, VanDenBrand

March Students of the Month

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star

Student of the Month: Bethel High School senior Noah Drew

Best of Preps March Student of the Month, Noah Drew, of Bethel.

Senior Noah Drew is a leader at Bethel High School with a 4.327 GPA.

He has been selected as one of The Shawnee News-Star and Patriot Auto Group Students of the Month for March and is now in the running to win a car.

“(Noah) is one of the most gifted students I have taught in my career, and also one of the most humble,” Bethel High School teacher Brianne Johnson said. “I don't know that I have taught one as naturally gifted in English.”

His giftedness, work ethic and excellence is not singular to English, she said.

“Every one of his teachers would say he is the curve setter, the model student,” she said. “Noah has been recognized as a National Merit semi-finalist, a College Board AP Scholar, has received the College Board's National Rural and Small Town Recognition, placed first in two different subjects at academic meets, was awarded All-State and Alternate All-State titles in Band during the past three years, received Best Drum Major at various band competitions, and won numerous awards in all his subjects at Bethel High School.”

Johnson said Drew is an excellent role model to his peers and lower classmen.

Johnson said Drew is the type of student who can be found picking up trash as he walks to each of his classes, never being asked, just doing it because we all should.

He is the student to greet all others with gentle words and a kind smile, she said.

“He's also the student who sets the curve on every assignment, who has challenged me to always help find ways of growth for my students, in turn forcing me to grow as an educator,” she said. “He is always striving to be better, to grow, to learn more, to write better.”

His success is not due to his giftedness, she said, but instead his stellar work ethic and positive attitude.

“In addition to being a huge help to his parents at home, he also co-heads a community garden with his grandfather, serves food at the community center, and has been a volunteer oboe instructor,” Johnson said.

Parents are Brian and Becky Drew.

Student of the Month: Chandler High School senior Hannah VanDenBrand

Best of Preps March Student of the Month, Hannah VanDenBrand, of Chandler.

Senior Hannah VanDenBrand is a leader at Chandler High School and maintains a 4.0 GPA.

She has been selected as one of The Shawnee News-Star and Patriot Auto Group Students of the Month for March and is now in the running to win a car.

“I have coached Hannah for six years now, and in this time I have watched her grow into an outstanding individual who is very deserving of recognition,” Chandler High School coach Rodney Trent said. “Hannah volunteers in many school and community programs.”

Trent said she is active in PSI (Postponing Sexual Involvement), Positive Peers, BancFirst Student Board of Directors and Rotary Club.

“She is also active in basketball, track, and FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), Student Council reporter and class treasurer,” he said.

He said VanDenBrand has volunteered and helped in various activities, such as Christmas toy drives, Girl Power, Halloween carnivals, Stamp Out Starvation, and basketball camps.

Trent said she is on the Superintendent's Honor Roll, is a Regional STEM Standout, and has received the Patriot's Pen Award and a Rotary Leadership Award.

“Hannah is honest, trustworthy and reliable,” Trent said of his student. “Hannah takes initiative and leads by example.”

VanDenBrand's mother is Edna Rogers.

Best of Preps 2020-21: Fourth year for new Jeep prize

For the fourth year, Patriot Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Chandler is going to provide a brand new Jeep Renegade for the Patriot Student of the Year to a student from participating high schools in the area.

The Patriot Auto Group is teaming up with The Shawnee News-Star to recognize the area’s best student.

During the school year, two students of the month will be selected by an impartial panel of judges based off nominations from administrators at the school. Those 16 students will be finalists to win the Patriot Student of the Year award and one will drive home in a new car after the News-Star's fifth annual Best of Tri-County Preps banquet at FireLake Arena in the spring. The remaining 15 students will win scholarships.

Each month administrators at participating area high schools will submit a nomination for a senior who has an excellent grade point average, displays community leadership qualities, is an active volunteer and displays high moral integrity.

Additional sponsors of the program include Communications Federal Credit Union, Pioneer Library System, First National Bank and Trust Co., and the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

There will be 16 finalists total, two each during the months of September through April; so far, finalists include:

• September — Callie Roberts, of Prague, and Kulson Yates, of Tecumseh

• October — Daniel King, of Shawnee, and Kylee Greenwalt, of Dale

• November — Kaycee Babek, of Meeker, and Chandler Wilson, of Bethel

• December — Isaac Mohr, of Bethel, and Haley Kidney, of Bethel

• January — MacKenzie Steele, of Shawnee, and Cale Richardson, of Dale

• February — Conner Benn, of Meeker, and Paisley Sturgill, of Bethel

• March — Noah Drew, of Bethel, and Hannah VanDenBrand, of Chandler

Watch for April finalists, coming soon.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at