Chloe Van Caeseele, 2019 Hornell High Valedictorian continues to make the Maple City proud
By Andrew Harris, pictured is Van Caeseele with the Frankmobile
CBS News did a report recently on their “Saturday Morning,” show which told the story of this years Oscar Mayer Frankmobile drivers. Yes they renamed the “WienerMobile,” that has been traversing the nation for decades. Only six of these iconic vehicles are on the road each summer, all driven by go-getters who want to see the country in a most unique way.
Hornell’s Chloe Van Caeseele, already a bona fide over achiever, is one of those lucky drivers and was a big part of the recent CBS News feature below.
In a simple twist of fate, a Wellsville native, Katie Krupnik, was one of the CBS producers who worked with Van Caeseele and other “Hotdoggers,” on the prime time feature.
As you can tell by watching, Chloe is all-in on this opportunity and is already on the road.
We asked Van Caeseele the first and most obvious question: Why did you decide to do become a Oscar Mayer Frankmobile driver?
“I had seen the then Wienermobile parked in the Eastview Mall parking lot probably around my sophomore year of high school and my mom took a photo of me in front of it. It was my first time seeing it. Around the end of my sophomore year of college I had this epiphany and I thought to myself “I wonder who drives that thing?” So I looked it up and very quickly I found that the program has been a legacy for decades, was all about travel, and making connections and magic for people all around the country. This immediately got me excited. The role seemed like a perfect fit for my values, personality, and goals. I knew the role was extremely competitive, getting over 2000 applications a year and only 12 getting chosen, but why would I not at least give it my best shot? So I did and I ended up cutting the mustard and now I get to live my absolute dream every single day.”
Chloe has been working toward her dreams with great success since graduating at the top of the Hornell High School Class of 2019. She was accepted into the prestigious Binghampton University and was one of the select few students chosen to make a graduation commencement address. Prior to graduation, Van Caeseele had made quite a name for herself on campus as an future “Hotdogger.” Chloe is very clear about her success and the role her hometown as played, especially her high school education. We asked her for some background on her Hornell roots:
“I graduated from Hornell High School as the valedictorian in 2019. I was very involved in the arts being a member of the HHS vocal and instrumental music programs, the HHS varsity cheer team, took dance lessons, and was in musicals since I was in fourth grade. These are the things that set me up for success so well. Constant dedication from the staff taught me skills that are so unique to the arts like team building, being confident in front of crowds, time management, and the importance of human connection. It was these arts programs and the investment of my instructors like Chris Van Leeuwen, Christina Rawady, Dawn Hopper, Kevin Weber, Christa Fortin, and Ed Belin from Hornell that gave me the foundation of who I am today and I am 100% certain that without them I would not be living every day working my dream job.“
Coming from a relatively small town has never stopped Chloe from pursuing her ambitions and in this case dreams! Being from Hornell is a major point of pride from Van Caeseele, she’s always been motivated to make her hometown proud and leave her mark:
“Coming from a small town, sometimes the odds are against you. When I came to college at Binghamton University I saw how much of an advantage some of these students had coming from gigantic high schools on Long Island, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from any accomplishments. What I had from Hornell and especially my Hornell music education was determination, a strong work ethic, self-motivation, and a purpose to make life about forming connections with other people. There are more people that have been to outer space than have driven the Oscar Mayer Frankmobile/Wienermobile and one of them is from a small town in the 607, Hornell, New York. It feels great to be approaching the same league as Bill Pullman. “
Recently Chloe and the Frankmobile have been spotted in Nashville, bringing back memories and making people smile. We hope to bring you more reports from Chloe’s adventures on the road this summer. Here is a recent update followed by links to her Instagram and related websites.
“I’ve been on the road for about three weeks now and have felt like I have lived so many lifetimes. We meet so many people, and sometimes pets, and we learn their stories and about their communities that we’re visiting. We are in Nashville right now and were able to visit a bride and groom after their wedding, letting them get photos and even some special “Wienermobilia”. That was pretty special to be a part of one of the biggest days of someones life, bringing so much added joy to it. There are only six Frankmobiles traveling the country right now, so it is incredibly special to spot one!”
Follow Chloe on her journey this summer on Instagram: @om_chlowienie