IJHS student honored in name of late classmate

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 22, 2004

"I was really shocked," the petite, blonde teenager said.

"I didn't think I'd be the one to get it. There were a lot of people I thought would get it, but not me."

She underestimated herself. This week, Ironton Junior High School teachers chose eighth-grader Brooke Markel as the second-annual Shane Jones Virtue Award recipient. The award is given to a student who " has strength, courage and a spirit of moral excellence." The award was presented Wednesday at the school's annual end-of-the-year assembly.

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The award is given in memory of the late Shane Jones, an IJHS student who died of

leukemia Oct. 2, 2002. Teachers nominate students for the award and then select a winner from the list of nominees. The name of the winner is kept secret until the school's awards assembly. Markel was one of approximately 10 students nominated this year.Teacher Lee Ann Mullins called the selection of Markel "a wise choice."

"She's a dependable young person. She's conscientious. She is all those things that are important," Mullins said.

Patty Jones, Shane's mother, agreed. She said she had the opportunity to meet Markel earlier this year when the teenager knocked on the door of her house and asked to use the telephone. Markel was sent to get help when family members discovered an uncle, who lived in Jones' neighborhood, had died unexpectedly.

"She brought her two little cousins and stayed there until the ambulance left. She stayed calm, she kept the kids calm, she did everything she was supposed to do," Jones said. "I was proud of her that day and I'm proud of her now."

Jones and her daughter, Sara, also a student at the junior high, presented the plaque to Markel. Gear Up provides the plaque for the annual award.

Brooke Markel is the daughter of David and Karen Markel.