Michael Pitz (or "Mike" as he's known to his most, but he will always be Michael to his teacher) was elected president of the ~5,000 member student body of Carmel High School. This is tantamount to being the student body president of a medium-sized college.
He is one of those people I have known well for a long time. Through the years, he started out a student of mine in karate, to a student in the classroom, to a black belt in karate during that year, and since then I have tutored him and stayed with him while his parents are out of town and just remained tight with him and his family ever since.
It is without hyperbole that I say that it doesn't surprise me that Michael won CHS student body president. Not at all. What does surprise me is that anyone bothered to run against him. Seriously. He's the type of guy who is a friend to everyone. He is genuinely concerned for everyone out there. He's probably the nicest person I've ever met. If anyone deserves to have been elected, and I do mean anyone, it's Michael.
In my classroom, a sign still hangs that Michael made. It's says "The Circle of Manhood: Be a Man." It was in response to all of the gossip that inevitably goes on in the fifth grade (let alone middle school), and to "Be a Man" according to this, you have to refuse to gossip about anyone. It really turned things around that school year (at least as far as the guys go--I'm sure the girls were affected too...).
In the selfish sense, I love that I have been a small slab of cement between the bricks that have made Michael into the young man that he already is. I really hope that he will be able to come to my class next year to address my class, not only as an alumni of Area 51, but also as an important part of the CCS community.
I'm so proud of who he has always been, who he has become, and that he is a Ripper (long story). He's another one of the good ones.