Los Alamos High School junior Caleb Langenbrunner was honored May 24 as a Distinguished Student of Service by the Rotary Club of Los Alamos. Here he accepts a certificate from Rotarian Vincent Chiravalle as his parents, Rebecca Tredway and James Langenbrunner, share the moment with teacher Stephanie Mitchell, second from right, at Cottonwood on the Greens. Photo by Sandy Tobin
BY VINCENT CHIRAVALLE
AND LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
The Motto of Rotary is Service Above Self. To support this, in each academic year, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos honors “Distinguished Students of Service” in their junior year of high school. Students are first nominated by their teachers who are asked to select those who:
- have given positive contributions to their high school and/or in the community,
- have a good attitude toward learning,
- are good citizens, are respectful of their peers and teachers,
- and have good grades, attendance, and classroom participation.
The Club then selects students based on demonstrated spirit of service and exemplification of the Rotary 4-Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos recently selected Caleb Langenbrunner as a Distinguished Student of Service.
Langenbrunner is indeed one who has made service part of his life and is also a well-rounded student. He is a member of both Natural Helpers, a peer-helping organization offering support to fellow students, and Interact, a Rotary organization that develops youth leadership skills through service. He is an active member of Nuestra de Señora de Guadalupe Church in Santa Fe and sings with the St. Anne’s Parish choir. In other musical outreach, Langenbrunner plays violin in the Los Alamos High School Symphonic Orchestra and in the orchestra of Teatros Paraguas performance arts theater in Santa Fe. He is also a founding member of the Los Alamos Youth Orchestra.
While keeping a focus on academics, Langenbrunner plays on the varsity soccer team at the high school and volunteers as a referee for the Pojoaque Valley Youth Soccer program. Based upon an impressive application, Langenbrunner has been selected to study in France the entirety of his senior as part of the Rotary International Youth Exchange program. He is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Los Alamos and Rotary District 5520.
In excerpts from his Rotary essay, Langenbrunner shared one of the challenges facing today’s youth: namely, “the mental health and suicide of K-12 students.” He writes that “this is probably the largest problem that faces children today, and that’s why I’m doing my research project on mental health and suicide in K-12 and what schools can do to help. If I can get an idea of what needs to be done for kids and teenagers, then I can start advocating to the school about what needs to change to truly and properly address this mental health issue.”
Langenbrunner adds that he has already begun his research and his outreach to educational leaders in Los Alamos County. “Once I get a real hold on mental health in schools, I’ll go to classrooms and work with other students on how to change school to work better for children and their mental health. . . .”
Langenbrunner suggests creating “more places where children and teenagers can use music and exercise for more of a mental health outlet in our community”. He suggests offering recreational soccer, basketball, and football leagues, as well as a recreational orchestra and band.
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos feels that this is a very worthy effort and commends Langenbrunner for his service to the youth in Los Alamos.
Langenbrunner is the son of Rebecca Tredway and James Langenbrunner. He named Los Alamos High School science teacher Stephanie Mitchell as the teacher who has been most influential in his life.
Rotarian Vincent Chiravalle chairs the Distinguished Students of Service awards program.