VASJ students recognized at Cuyahoga County Council meeting

On Tuesday, November 1, 2011, Principal Dave Csank and Communications and Media Coordinator Emily Robinson, took seven VASJ students to a special Cuyahoga County Council Meeting where they were recognized for their services this summer building a catalogue of over 1,300 veteran graves at All Souls Cemetery. At this special County Council meeting, "A Salute to Veterans," the following resolution was passed in Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School's honor:

"A Resolution recognizing the service of Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School students in honoring veterans by cataloguing more than 1,300 veterans' graves at All Souls Cemetery to ensure their continued proper and dignified upkeep, and declaring the necessity that this Resolution become immediately effective."

After the resolution was announced, VASJ senior and orchestrator of the cataloguing event, Kaja Kijauskas, took the podium and gave a presentation about the project and why she thought it was important. It should be noted that Kaja was unaware that she was going to have the opportunity to speak at this event. She didn't bat an eye when she arrived at the meeting and was asked if she would like to speak. Instead she quickly said yes. Her words, both eloquent and moving, were impromptu and from the heart.

"We appreciate this honor very much but don't feel it is necessary. We did this because it was the right thing to do to honor those who lost their lives fighting for our country," Kaja stated. After the meeting, Kaja and the entire group of students received many compliments and sincere thanks from veterans and community members in attendance, several of which were St. Joe's alumni.

Fox 8 was also moved by Kaja's presentation and interviewed her after the meeting. The interview aired on channel 8 on Tuesday night and the school is in the process of obtaining a link to the video clip. WKYC was also in attendance and we are working with them to find out if and when they ran a story and obtain a video link if possible.

It was an honor to be there with our students who were so deserving of this recognition and we couldn't have been more proud of them. It was a great night for VASJ!

VASJ senior Kaja Kijauskas addresses the Cuyahoga County Council

Kaja Kijauskas ('12), Kovas Kijauskas ('15), Amanda Gornik ('12), Ed Beuck ('14)
Casey Timko ('14), Brijae Journee ('14) and Jacob DiDonato ('14) were all recognized
at the Special Cuyahoga County Council Meeting on Tuesday, November 1, 2011.

The following are the names of the students who volunteered their time build a catalogue of more than 1,300 veteran graves this summer:

Kaja Kijauskas 2012
Amanda Gornik 2012
Carmen Johnson 2013
Jordan Walker 2013
Casey Timko 2014
Jacob DiDonato 2014
Ed Beuck 2014
Connor Gail 2014
Malia Harvey 2014
Brijae Journee 2014
Kovas Kijauskas 2015
Read the WKYC article here.