Photo caption: Neelie Relph and Jack Charlton. [Photo courtesy of Bri Henderson Photography]

The Grand County High School December students of the month are Jack Charlton and Neelie Relph.

Jack Charlton is a junior at Grand County High School. Steve and Gari Swift are his guardians.

Jack’s current favorite class is honors math. But, he says, “in all classes I’ve taken, I would have to say that Physics has been my favorite class. It was challenging as a sophomore to take it but I made some great friends and learned a lot!”

He is a member of D.E.C.A., Science Olympiad, and the debate team. He has also been a part of Upward Bound, a federal program designed to support students in preparation for college, since his freshman year.

Outside of school, Jack does a lot for his community: he makes sleeping pads for the homeless, maintains mountain bike trails, works with the elderly, helps set up events at USU-Eastern and so much more.

Jack participated in the work-based learning program at GCHS and, because of that, he has received a paid position at city hall.

Teacher Carrie Strecker, who runs the internship program and is also the debate coach, said, “Jack was impressive even as a freshman. He is determined, even completing college programs over one summer. As a junior, he has been a welcome addition to the Speech & Debate team. He has also been a dedicated intern for the city’s Sustainability Department and plans to start a new internship with the Bureau of Land Management soon, working with their Engineering Department. Every conversation with Jack involves meaningful topics and laughter. He has faced and overcome serious obstacles in his life. Many students would let that deter their academic engagement and attitude; Jack does not. He perseveres, not achieving despite the obstacles but achieving to build a happy life for himself. He very much deserves this recognition.”

After high school, Jack plans to continue his education in Montana. He hopes to study petroleum engineering or plantology.

The other November recipient is Neelie Relph. She is also a junior, and she is the daughter of Josh and Annie Relph.

Neelie’s favorite class is honors math because she likes “the challenge, and Mrs. Rogers is great at helping us understand.”

Teacher Bryce Rogers weighed in on what impresses her about Neelie in the classroom.

“Neelie’s encouragement of her fellow students is invigorating. It is delightful to watch her curiosity and zeal for learning, but her willingness to help and encourage others is what truly sets Neelie apart as a stellar student,” she said.

Neelie is a centerpiece of school culture and school events as the junior class president, whose largest task is to create a memorable prom experience for over 100 juniors. Also, she is an athlete and is involved in swimming and soccer. She was the captain of the latter this year. She is involved in Honors Society, too.

Outside of school, she serves free hot chocolate at the hospital every year during their yearly event, and she is also part of GCHS’s beloved “tech squad” which helps with the lights, sound and more at events at the high school. In addition, she works as a lifeguard.

After high school, Neelie intends to go to Colorado Mesa University and get a degree in physical therapy.