By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Principal William Bo Ford and Dan Chelko at the 2014 Brookwood Hall of Fame Induction.
Brookwood High’s Hall of Famer... Dan Chelko
By Beth Volpert

“Making a difference” is a label that carries many meanings. Often, those who make differences are also humble in their efforts. Such is the case with Dan Chelko who was recently inducted into the Brookwood High School Hall of Fame along with former student Sean Johnson, goalkeeper for the Chicago Fire and the USA National team. 


After a 32 year career at Brookwood High School as both assistant principal and director of the community school, Dan Chelko retired in 2013. During that time, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the school in 2007, Dan and the former principal, Ms. Jane Stegall, developed the idea of a Hall of Fame. “I was appointed head of the committee and then continued on to run the selection committee for the Hall of Fame  until I retired,” says Dan. 

Over the years, students and faculty have been inducted based upon various achievements. “We have had a wide variety of recipients,” says Dan. “They have included Good Morning America’s Amy Robach, a chef, secret service agent, actors and former NFL kicker Jason Elam.” 

Former Brookwood Principal, Debbie Dees was delighted to be a part of the induction ceremony. “There is no one more deserving than Dan to be a part of the Brookwood Hall of Fame,” says Mrs. Dees. “He truly knows the Brookwood history better than anyone I know.” 

“I am humbled by this,” says Dan. “For me, education has been a reward in itself.” Dan describes his time at Brookwood as an honor to be able to make the kind of differences in a kid’s life that stick with them. He reminisces about the many years spent as an educator recalling students who went on to become successful in a variety of endeavors. “It is tough for the 30 years, but at the end it is so rewarding,” says Dan. “I have a whole passel of those stories and it is great to think, ‘Wow, look at them.’”

dan-w-fam-190
Dan’s wife, Melba, feels very much the same way. She refers to her husband as one of the “Original Pilgrims” at Brookwood High School. “I am just as proud of him as I can be,” says Melba. “He was there when it all began and I am proud that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

As with any school, community extends far beyond the grounds of the campus. Making differences in the lives of students is a calling for which one must be suited. Dan Chelko certainly heeded the calling to educate

Brookwood High’s Hall of Famer... Dan Chelko
By Beth Volpert

“Making a difference” is a label that carries many meanings. Often, those who make differences are also humble in their efforts. Such is the case with Dan Chelko who was recently inducted into the Brookwood High School Hall of Fame along with former student Sean Johnson, goalkeeper for the Chicago Fire and the USA National team. 


After a 32 year career at Brookwood High School as both assistant principal and director of the community school, Dan Chelko retired in 2013. During that time, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the school in 2007, Dan and the former principal, Ms. Jane Stegall, developed the idea of a Hall of Fame. “I was appointed head of the committee and then continued on to run the selection committee for the Hall of Fame  until I retired,” says Dan. 

Over the years, students and faculty have been inducted based upon various achievements. “We have had a wide variety of recipients,” says Dan. “They have included Good Morning America’s Amy Robach, a chef, secret service agent, actors and former NFL kicker Jason Elam.” 

Former Brookwood Principal, Debbie Dees was delighted to be a part of the induction ceremony. “There is no one more deserving than Dan to be a part of the Brookwood Hall of Fame,” says Mrs. Dees. “He truly knows the Brookwood history better than anyone I know.” 

“I am humbled by this,” says Dan. “For me, education has been a reward in itself.” Dan describes his time at Brookwood as an honor to be able to make the kind of differences in a kid’s life that stick with them. He reminisces about the many years spent as an educator recalling students who went on to become successful in a variety of endeavors. “It is tough for the 30 years, but at the end it is so rewarding,” says Dan. “I have a whole passel of those stories and it is great to think, ‘Wow, look at them.’”

dan-w-fam-190
Dan’s wife, Melba, feels very much the same way. She refers to her husband as one of the “Original Pilgrims” at Brookwood High School. “I am just as proud of him as I can be,” says Melba. “He was there when it all began and I am proud that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

As with any school, community extends far beyond the grounds of the campus. Making differences in the lives of students is a calling for which one must be suited. Dan Chelko certainly heeded the calling to educate both on and off campus with students present and past all while considering the future students who would walk the halls of Brookwood. From educator to hall of famer, Dan Chelko is a true class act.