The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce announced the Students of the Month for January at their Monthly Networking Coffee, Jan. 13, at Orangefield Cormier Museum hosted by Orangefield ISD. Bree Newsom was chosen as the Bridge City High School Student of the Month and Kristen Blanke was chosen as the Orangefield High School Student of the Month.
Bridge City High School Student of the Month, Bree Newsom is the daughter of Daniel and Renee Newsom. Bree is ranked 11 of 187 with a GPA of 4.37. Bree’s awards and honors include:
  • Presidential Honor Roll (2011-2015)
  • Honors Chemistry, Physics and Algebra II
  • AP English III and IV and United States History
  • College Algebra, Psychology, Government and Economics
  • Geography Award (2012)
  • Biology Award (2012)
  • World History Award (2013)
  • English II Award (2013)
  • AP US History Award (2014)
  • Chemistry Honors Award (2014)
  • Spanish I Award (2012)
  • Yearbook Leadership Award (2012-2014)
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Nominee (2011-2014)
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Award (2014)
  • All Region Choir Member (2014)
  • State Solo and Ensemble Choir Advancer (2012-2013)
Bree’s clubs and organizations include:  National Honor Society 2012 to present, Cardinal Singers Varsity Choir 2011 to present, Yearbook Editor 2013 to present, Newspaper UIL, Current Events UIL.  Bree’s community service includes: serving at the Hospitality Center with her church youth group, tutoring fellow classmates and younger students, caroling to the elderly in nursing homes, and volunteering at the Humane Society.
Cathy Riley, English Department Chair, said “Conscientious and studious, Bree Newsom, is an exemplary student who focuses on accuracy and details in her classes.  I have observed that she opts for the most challenging assignments and projects because that is what Bree loves the most – a challenge.  She is above the norm and is never satisfied until excellence is reached.  Bree also encompasses a wonderful sense of humor and is a stellar role model for others to emulate – every teacher’s dream.”
Genevieve Garrison, Business Department and Cardinal Yearbook Advisor, said “Bree is an awesome student.  She manages her time well while in class and with completing her assignments.  She works well with others during group projects and under strict deadlines.  She understands the significance of a strong work ethic, diligence and academic integrity.  She is a very responsible and determined individual.  As the Cardinal Yearbook editor, Bree was always willing to assist me when needed.  She proofread pages ensuring accuracy, organized data files when needed and ensured my entire yearbook contents were in order at all times.  She is a very generous individual with her skills, time and resources.”
When asked about her future plans, Bree said “I plan to attend Texas A&M University in the fall of 2015 to pursue and education as a communications major.  With this degree, I hope to one day become a human resource manager for a company of some kind so I can put my various problem solving skill sets to good use.”
Kristen Blanks was named student of the month for Orangefield at the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce's January Coffee.

Kristen Blanks was named student of the month for Orangefield at the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce’s January Coffee.

Orangefield High School Student of the Month, Kristen Blanke, is the daughter of John and Marla Blanke.  She is ranked number 1 out of 136 with a 4.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.  Kristen’s clubs and organizations include:

  • President of the National Honor Society
  • Vice President of the Texas Association of Future Educators
  • Class president
  • Participates in Volleyball and Track
  • UIL Accounting and computer applications
Kristen’s awards and honors:
  • National Merit Scholarship Semi-finalist (finalist status determined in February)
  • Texas Bluebonnet Girls’ State
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
  • Accounting UIL state qualifier
  • Scholastic All-District athlete
  • Cross Country regional qualifier
In community service, Kristen has volunteered as a lifeguard at Great Escape Camp at Southwind, First Presbyterian Church Vacation Bible School and Trunk or Treat, Christmas in Orangefield.
Misty Bellard, UIL sponsor, says, “Kristen has been a member of my Computer Applications team for three years now and I would describe her as an intelligent, dedicated, and hard-working student. She is involved in many other clubs and extra-curricular activities and is the one her sponsors count on and her peers look to her as a leader. She is a wonderful choice to represent our school.”
Jennifer Rumsey, English department head, says, “Kristen Blanke is one of the most brilliant young ladies that I’ve ever had the pleasure to teach. She is a natural leader among her peers, rising to the top of the class with her outstanding character and kindness. Kristen was a true joy to teach, and I know she has a very successful future ahead of her.”
Fred Cascio, AP English 4 teacher, says, “Kristen Blanke is the quintessential student. Her work ethic and performance are above reproach. It’s a pleasure to teach such a bright, energetic, and diligent student. Her contributions to the class are always perspicacious and most welcome.”
Grant Gilson, physics and engineering teacher, says, “Kristen is an excellent student who exemplifies leadership in the classroom. She is the type of person who helps others and she does it in a way that makes that person feel good – not like she know something and they don’t. She has the highest grade in physics for the entire year and won the Big O Award for physics last year. I know Kristen will accomplish anything she sets her mind to and will be a leader in whatever field she chooses.”
After graduation, Kristen will attend Texas A&M University and study business.
Both students of the month received gift certificates and gifts from:  The Classy Peacock, Walmart, Wellspring Credit Union, Tiger Rock Martial Arts, Central Office Supply, Sabine Federal Credit Union, Michele Michelle Day Spa, Little Caesars Bridge City, Complete Staffing and Comtex Wireless.