CADILLAC — Cadillac High School was gearing up for a busy weekend of events including a parade, football game and a dance, but for a brief moment Friday homecoming took a back seat.
No one in the Cadillac High School gymnasium was more surprised that at that brief moment than Calvin Sipe and Goldie Beebe.
Calvin has worked for Chartwells K12 cafeteria and catering teams at Cadillac Area Public Schools for the past four years. The 22-year-old is an alumnus of Cadillac High School and completed his vocational education program with Chartwells K12 during his senior year.
Everyday Calvin connects with the students of Cadillac High School as he talks, smiles and serves them lunch. He also has a special bond with several sports teams at the high school including the baseball and hockey teams.
Calvin has cognitive and learning disabilities but that hasn't stopped him from working hard as an assistant cook. His hard work and determination are what led to him being recognized by Chartwells K12 this past summer. On Friday, in front of the entire high school, Chartwells K12 CEO Belinda Oakley announced that Calvin was the 2019 National Be A Star Hourly Associate of the Year.
The award is given annually to a Chartwells team member who goes the extra mile, whether it’s engaging students or working with team members and school district partners and the community. Calvin was picked out of Chartwells K12’s 16,000 associates nationally.
Calvin had no idea he was getting the award so when Oakley made the announcement, it was clear that he was surprised and overcome with emotions.
As a National Be A Star winner, Calvin will attend the annual Compass Night of Stars event in Orlando in October. There, he will accept the award which recognizes the extraordinary achievements of the organization’s top performers. The highlight of the event is a gala awards banquet at Universal’s Hard Rock Live, where Calvin will be a featured honoree.
Calvin, however, wasn't the only Chartwells employee Oakley came to recognize.
Chartwells Chef Manager for Cadillac Area Public Schools Goldie Beebe was one of only two National Super Chef finalists through Chartwells parent company Compass Group. Online voting concluded on Sept. 22 and Friday Oakley announced Beebe had won.
"I was very shocked and very surprised. I didn't have a clue and I thought with all the wonderful chefs there was no way, she said. "I had lots of support from the community and it is because it was a vote of the community and the kids that got me this award — it means everything.
Beebe has been instrumental in fundraising for student programs, created the Culinary Scholarship for a Cadillac High School graduating senior, coordinated tailgate parties and special events that include, but are not limited to, alumni events, school events, booster events and community outreach including developing and serving meals at the Cadillac Senior Center along with her role as chef for school lunch and specialty catering.
Beebe will receive Chef of the Year distinction at the same event in Florida Calvin is going to. She also receives a culinary trip to Washington D.C.