Blake Porter presented MCC Courage of Gabe Award

June 9, 2023

From left: Teachers Zach Steuck, Kevin Pribnow, Blake Porter and his mother, Janyl Breitfeld, Principal Kevin Kimes.

Blake Porter presented MCC Courage of Gabe Award

Spartan News is a presentation of Mason County Central School District in partnership with Mason County Press. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

SCOTTVILLE — For 11 years, Mason County Central Upper Elementary School Principal Kevin Kimes has awarded the Courage of Gabe Award to a fifth grade student who has over come obstacles. It is named after 2021 MCC graduate Gabe Sessions, who was the first recipient of the award. Sessions has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rapidly progressive form of muscular dystrophy.

  This year’s 2023 Courage of Gabe award recipient was Blake Porter, son of Janyl and Michael Breitfeld.  

“Blake was new to our building this year,” Principal Kevin Kimes said. “His school experience up until now has been met with huge challenges and struggles. In fact, the last few years, he was assigned to the West Shore Educational Service District’s reintegration program, which is a school for students who have challenges adjusting to elementary school.”

Kimes said in his 29 years experience as an educator, he considers Blake as being on the top of his list of who have displayed the most resilience, courage and desire to be “the best person possible.

“From the first day I met him, I saw something that said ‘I want something more, I want to be respected, I want to respect others, I want a place to belong, I want adults who will give me a chance and believe in me.’

“Our staff here latched on to Blake and helped provide those very things he needed and wanted.”

Kimes said Blake did not enjoy school until this year. 

“Blake bought into the expectations and the realization that things were different here at MCC. This is a place where one is valued and appreciated. Now, he loves school and he loves MCC Upper Elementary. We’ve seen social growth, emotional growth, academic growth and amazing friendships develop.

“I couldn’t be more proud to be a Spartan today because of Blake,” Kimes said. 

The award was presented during the school’s end-of-the-year awards ceremony held this morning. Rosanna Van Wyck received Volunteer of the Year Award, which is presented to an adult volunteer.