2010 Academic Tab

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time and effort to his studies. With this commitment to his schoolwork, he “My father has been the biggest has maintained a 4.0 GPA, while also participating in many extracurricular influence in my life,” he said. “He has www.hogenkampfh.com activities at CHS. supported me with all my decisions and www.hogenkampfh.com High school calculus teacher Mike Bruns speaks to Brunet’s dedication to in all my activities throughout high school CELINA, OHIO his academics. and junior high.” CELINA, OHIO “Tim has the work ethic and motivation to put inCELINA, OHIO the time it takes to be Brunet also looks up to two of his successful,” Bruns said. “Tim is an excellent role model for other students to teachers—Bruns and high school science follow and has been a true pleasure to have in class. Tim is always prepared for teacher Chuck Alig. www.hogenkampfh.com class and is ready to perform at his best. Tim gives me nothing but 100 percent “Mike Bruns, my math teacher, has been www.hogenkampfh.com in the classroom.” my most influential teacher. He has taught www.hogenkampfh.com Throughout the last four years, Brunet has committed to giving 100 percent me about trigonometry and calculus, and not only in the classroom, but also in the outside activities in which he has he explains why things work,” Brunet said. been involved. While in high school, he has participated in basketball, baseball, “Mr. Alig thoroughly teaches everything, football and math club. He is the vice president of the National Honor Society and I hope to one day teach the exact same and is a greeter at his church. way he does.” “I believe outside activities are important because they help you with life a Brunet plans to follow in Bruns’ and lot more,” he said. “They give you a realization of what you must do to succeed Alig’s footsteps in the fall when he attends Wright State University in Dayton and help the community.” to major in middle-childhood education. Brunet said he has grown much through his position with the National Honor “I love teaching students,” he said. “I have taught children since I was young Society. in youth sports leagues. I would love to know I made a difference in a student’s “It helped me take a leadership role, and I volunteered many hours in the life.” community,” he said. In moving on to college and his career, Brunet leaves underclassmen with this Brunet also said he will never forget the memories he has made in athletics. piece of advice: “Always prepare for the future,” he said. “There will always be “One of my most memorable moments comes in varsity basketball,” he said. another day. I have learned that you must always organize for anything coming “We made it to the district finals. I was the third player to come off the bench up and for any changes as well.” like most games, but I helped our team come back from a significant deficit to

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Homan prepares for next chapter
By Erica Ranly “Enjoy high school while you can because it really does go by quickly. I can’t stress enough how fast it goes. When people told me that is goes fast, I always thought, ‘It’s four years! How fast can it really go?’ But I learned that it really is over in a blink of an eye. It still seems like just yesterday I was a shy little freshman walking into English class, and now I’m a confident young woman who can’t wait to start the next chapter in her life,” said senior Molly Homan. Though the time has passed swiftly, Homan, the daughter of Ed and Carolyn, has made the most of her four years in the halls of Coldwater High School. CHS senior English teacher Chris Miller appreciates Homan’s efforts in her academic studies. “Molly is unflagging in her tenacity for learning, period. If she doesn’t understand something, she works it until she does. As a teacher, I can appreciate and admire her for that—so can her other teachers and peers. Couple this with her warm personality, and you have the perfect student,” he said. Homan credits her success to the influence of her family. Each member of the Homan family, she said, has supported and encouraged her along the way. “My parents have instilled in me good, strong values and morals and the importance and reward of hard work,” she said. “My oldest sister Sarah keeps me in check and is always there for me when I need advice or just want someone to talk to. She has led through example and created some very large shoes to fill. My other sister Katie has dealt with many trials in life and has taught me to keep smiling and push through the hard times. I am very close to my family, and they have made me who I am today. They are the reason I work hard and strive to succeed.” The keys to Homan’s success at CHS lie, first, within her commitment to hard work and, second, within her refusal to be ordinary. “I’ve seen too many people slack off the first couple of years of high school and get to their junior or senior years and not have a plan for their future,” she said. “It pays off to work hard early in high school. I was also at a

Page 3 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ April 29, 2010

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By Erica Ranly “You only have one life to live, so make the best of it. Never be afraid to pursue your dreams or passions, and never let anything or anyone hold you back. This is your life. Make of it what you want, and don’t ever let anyone tell you

leadership workshop last year, and one of the speakers said something that I really took to heart. He told us to ‘refuse to be ordinary.’ It was a new spin on the old adage ‘Dare to be Different.’ I loved it! I think it’s very important to be unique and to think outside the box. It takes people who ‘refuse to be ordinary’ to put spice into not only their own lives, but into the lives of others as well.” Homan has had the opportunity to add spice to the lives others through the many extracurricular activities in which she has participated: Spanish Club, Math Club, National Honor Society, FCCLA, Scholastic Bowl, Tutoring Turtles, show choir and youth group. She is president of the symphonic choir, volunteers at the hospital, is a lector at her church and has participated in the March for Life. Two of her favorite activities, however, have been Drama Club and 4-H. “I absolutely love getting on stage, being in front of people and the pressure that goes

along with it,” she said. “Last year, I played Annie Sullivan in the production of Miracle Worker, the story of Helen Keller. It was the only performance where I was so completely into the role I had tears on stage. Just the emotions and energy that I found inside myself were unreal, and I was able to communicate that to my audience. That has been, by far, my favorite role ever. It was a very powerful and rewarding experience,” she said. Homan is currently president of the Happy Hearts 4-H Club. Through 4-H, she has been a member of the Food, Fashion and Design Board and 4-H Committee. She has been a camp counselor, is the current special interest queen and participated in two interstate exchange programs. “I have definitely grown the most from 4-H, hands down,” she said. “I have been able to meet some absolutely incredible people who have influenced me in more ways than one. 4-H is such a positive organization that teaches positive life lessons, and I love being able to help younger members grow.” In the fall, Homan will be attending the University of Findlay, where she will major in accounting with a possible second major in finance.

Sudhoff ‘never lets up’


you’re too young, old, big or small Senior English teacher Chris to reach your goals. If you believe Miller has observed Sudhoff’s in yourself, you have the power consistent hard work in the to achieve anything,” said senior classroom. Alysha Sudhoff, the daughter of “Alysha is quite simply one of Mike and Donna. the hardest working students I’ve In her years at ever had,” Miller said. “She never Coldwater High lets up. Some students only work School, Sudhoff Congratulations On A Great Year! 121 EAST MAIN, ST. hard in their 419-678-2425 HENRY • field of interest. But has done just this. from what I have seen in class Marathon Products other She has believed ~~ Quality Pennzoil &and what I have heard from ~~ in herself, pursued teachers, Ms. A Smile! Gas For Less & Service WithSudhoff works hard her dreams and all the time! All the intelligence in passions and has the world is for naught if there is let nothing hold her Hemmelgarn Marathon Ad - PageThis no work ethic backing it up. 4 ~ SINCE 1874 ~ back. As a result, is precisely why Alysha will be she will graduate successful in college.” from CHS this spring as a top Sudhoff plans to attend the Ohio State achiever in Mercer County. University in the fall. She has not yet decided To achieve success in high upon a major in college. “When I look at my future, the one thing I want COLDWATER, ST. HENRY school, Sudhoff encourages & MINSTER underclassmen to begin working out of my career is the sense of accomplishment hard from day one. and the sense that I’ve helped someone somehow,” “Don’t have the attitude she said. of just trying to get by in high Sudhoff admits that she has been interested school,” she said. “High school in many of her high school subjects. She said is the first stepping stone when she enjoyed Miller’s senior English class and considering what your future appreciated the instruction he offered. will bring, and how much effort “What he teaches goes beyond solely the you put forth could affect the subject English,” Sudhoff said. “In his class we CELINA, OHIO opportunities presented to you have learned a broad range of things such as in the future when it comes to English literature,Recovery, of a resume, how Box 549, Fort preparation Ohio scholarships, awards or even to properly carry out a professional interview 419-375-2514 college acceptance. In order to and the power of persuasion among many others. OH License # 27353 be successful in the future, you The aspects we learn in his class are things we Instant Farm Power By better ourselves www.hogenkampfh.com must start now.” will forever use and will help





in the process of accomplishing our individual potentials in the future.” She said she also enjoyed her science classes— biology, chemistry, physics and physiology. “I have always found these classes to be interesting, and in the past they have come easily to me,” she said. “I feel the teachers in our science department at Coldwater High School have done a great job of teaching the information in a way that makes it fun and easy to understand.” Encouraging Sudhoff in her studies and supporting her in her future plans is her mom. “When things in either my life or school seemed complicated or too difficult, she has always been there to give advice or encouragement. If I’ve ever needed someone to give me the extra push to pursue my dreams and do the best I can, it has been, without a doubt, her doing so. In the past she has always been there for me no matter what and always will,” Sudhoff said. Sudhoff said she also admires her older sister Ashley. “With only being two years older than me, she has always been someone I could look up to and receive guidance from,” she said. “She has been a very important role model throughout my high school career, and I am confident she will continue to be a role model to me in the future. I only hope that at some point in my life I can return the favor and be a role model to someone else.” While in high school, Sudhoff was a member of the National Honor Society, FCCLA, student council, Spanish Club, Math Club, symphonic choir and yearbook staff. She played CYO basketball, served as a mass lector and volunteered for the St. Anthony Dinner Theater.

Page 4 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ April 29, 2010

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By Erica Ranly “The single dictation I adhere myself to across all my endeavors pertains to my personal requirement of my utmost effort in all activities in order for any measure of success to be achieved,” said St. Henry High School senior Jeremy Barlage, the son of Charlene Barlage and Joe Barlage. Such has been the key to Barlage’s success throughout the last four years—a commitment to putting forth his best effort in every endeavor he undertakes. This is the advice Barlage passes on to his underclassmen at SHHS. “The primary realization that I have come to through my four years of high school pertains to the reality of the amounts of labor necessary to accomplishing high aspirations. Due to the truly excessive amounts of labor needed for academic success, I suggest to all underclassmen to put forth the utmost effort in order to ascertain true success and well-being,” he said. Barlage credits his mom for impressing upon him the value and necessity of hard work.

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“My mother’s parental instinct to instill the ethics of determination, resilient willpower and tenacious drive in accomplishing all my aspirations has served as the utmost stimulation for my continued endeavors in academics and community service,” he said. While a student at St. Henry, Barlage said he came to most enjoy his science and math classes. LAKE reverence “I hold a deep SHORE REALTY • 419-586-6427 for the importance Congratulations On All Your Achievements these fields hold to the progress McCullough Judy of mankind, and therefore I greatly enjoy solving the problems of these studies,” he said. High school science department head, Randy Hoying, said he noticed Barlage’s aptitude in his science classes. “Jeremy is a very bright student,” Hoying said. “He was always near the top of his chemistry class, as well as physics. He was always showing a much deeper understanding for these subjects than most

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students, and was willing to show how to solve even the most challenging problems. His questions were usually in depth, and showed his intelligence. Jeremy was an outstanding student.” Barlage said he appreciated Hoying’s instruction and guidance in his chemistry and physics classes. “The high demands that he places upon his students continually elevate me and my peers to greater heights,” Barlage said. Because of his interest in science, Barlage plans to major in pharmacy in ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ the ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ fall at the Ohio State University.★★★★★★★ ★ ★ Ohio ★ ★ “I will be attending the ★★★★★ State ★ University due to the great amount of diversity and possibility for educational pathways that this institution provides for its students,” he said. In addition to his academic work during high school, Barlage has also dedicated his time and effort to extracurricular activities.

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While in high school, he was a member of the football team, the bowling team, Science Club, JETS team and Spanish Club. He also worked for his uncles at Leonard Otte and Sons Dairy Farm. “Activities outside the realm of high school are essential to providing students with valuable connections to others without the primary goal of the activities being to educate on various studies. This presents a worry-free environment in which individuals are able to prosper in new friendships,” Barlage said. Through his own activities, Barlage said he has experienced and learned much. For example, Barlage said he will never forget placing third with his physics class at the JETS engineering testing state competition. Through bowling, he said, he was educated “on the values of teamwork and dedication to a vigorous practice schedule.” By working with his uncles, Tom and Rick Otte, on their dairy farm, he said that “a reminder of the principles every man should adhere himself to continually 124 WES Refer to Winter presented itself through the dictations ofSp year for ex both of my uncles’ examples.”




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News From Your Hometown Area

Elking earns success in life
By Erica Ranly “All students should graduate with knowledge on how hard work will bring you success in life,” said St. Henry High School senior Brandi Elking. This is a lesson Elking herself has learned through her own dedication to her studies throughout her four years at SHHS. Encouraging Elking in all her endeavors inside and outside the classroom have been her parents, Ron and Angie, and her older sisters, Lindsay and Kylie. “My biggest supporters would be my parents. They have taught me nothing is impossible and they have supported me in every way possible,” Elking said. “My role models during high school would be my sisters. Lindsay and Kylie have set great examples as successful and educated college graduates.” This support has been important for Elking in the classroom as she strived to attain high marks in her classes. High school biology and anatomy instructor Jennifer Niekamp has noticed Elking’s dedication in the classroom. “Brandi should be considered an Academic Achiever because she demonstrates academic excellence as well as an extraordinary work ethic,” Niekamp said. “She is a very busy student with athletics, work and her coursework requirements, but has maintained a high level of excellence in her work at all times. She is a good role model for her peers to follow.” Niekamp’s anatomy and biology classes were some of Elking’s favorite classes in high school. Elking also said she enjoyed advanced placement calculus. “I have always had a strong interest in science and math,” she said. Because of this interest in these subjects, Elking hopes to major in biology and minor chemistry next fall in college in preparation for a career in the medical field. She plans to attend the Ohio State University to pursue her studies. In using her high school years to prepare for these future studies, Elking said she is thankful for Niekamp’s guidance in the classroom. “Whether it is in biology or anatomy class or outside of school, she has always been very motivating to push her students to do their best,” Elking said. Outside the classroom, Elking has been involved in a variety of activities. These include basketball, softball, Junior Scholars, Spanish Club, Art Club, Drama Club, Tech

Page 5 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ April 29, 2010

By Erica Ranly “My advice to underclassmen is to have fun, but maintain your grades in high school. High school is a ton of fun, but don’t forget about your studies. They are extremely important. I have learned that hard work actually pays off in the long run,” said senior Alicia Puthoff. Puthoff’s own hard work in high school has paid off. Because of her efforts in the classroom, Puthoff, the daughter of Ken and Deb, earns recognition as a top achiever at St. Henry High School. SHHS biology and anatomy instructor Jennifer Niekamp speaks to Puthoff’s hard work and success in her academic curriculum. “Alicia has such a wonderful, outgoing personality, which makes her a joy to have in class,” Niekamp said. “She works hard to attain good grades and continues to maintain them even with a busy schedule. In the classes of mine that she was a student in, she always worked very hard and was not afraid to ask questions when needed. She has handled the academic responsibilities of high school very well, and I have no doubt that this will carry over into her postsecondary education as well.”

Puthoff’s hard work pays off

Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Athletes Promoting Excellence and Grand Lake Volleyball Club. She was captain of the St. Henry volleyball team, is treasurer of the National Honor Society and is co-president of the Science Club. She also volunteers as a school tutor and a mass server. “Being involved in outside activities is important because it feels good to give back to your community,” Elking said. “Outside activities allow you to become more responsible. It makes you a well-rounded person, and you can meet a lot of people.” Elking encourages younger students to become involved in as many activities as they can. “Make the most of high school and be involved in as many activities as possible because high school goes way too fast. I have learned that hard work and dedication in school pays off,” she said. One activity that Elking said has been most important in her high school career is volleyball. “During this sport, Coach [Lori] Schwieterman and my teammates have helped me to grow as a player and a student,” she said. Elking said one of her most favorite high

school memories has been playing volleyball for St. Henry and making it to the Regional Finals in the sport. “One of my biggest challenges occurred during my junior year of volleyball,” she said. “Our season started off with very few wins, and our chemistry between us was very weak. As a team we overcame our weaknesses, and we became a team focused on the game of volleyball. Even though we ended up losing in the regional finals, I was still very proud of the team.”

For her next educational step, Puthoff has decided to attend Wright State University in Dayton, where she will major in nursing. “I have always loved helping others and want to be able to do that on a daily basis,” Puthoff said. “I feel I can make a difference in others’ lives the most in a nursing career.” Puthoff said that Niekamp also helped inspire her to a career in nursing. “As my biology and anatomy teacher, she has made science so much fun,” Puthoff said. “I knew after anatomy I wanted to become a nurse, and I give a lot of finding my career to Mrs. Niekamp. She knows an abundant amount of information and is willing to help or teach any individual who wants to learn.”

Niekamp’s anatomy class as well as Puthoff’s advanced placement calculus and advanced placement government classes were some of Puthoff’s favorites in high school. “I loved anatomy because I love learning about the human body and how it works,” she said. “AP calculus challenges me, and it feels rewarding when I finally understand the material. My AP government class participated in the We the People competition at the State House, and it was a great experience and a lot of hard work was put into it.” Outside of the classroom, Puthoff has stayed busy with many school and community activities. She is vice president of student council and the National Honor Society and secretary of the Science Club. She has participated in choir, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Spanish Club and volleyball. She has served on the lunch committee and volunteers at Mercer Health. “Being involved in outside activities is important because it’s a way of giving back to the community. It’s a privilege to live in a close knit community like Mercer County. I feel it is my duty to do as much as I can to give back to a community that

has given so much to me,” she said. Puthoff said one of her most valuable activities has been Big Brothers/Big Sisters. “It’s such a rewarding feeling be looked up to and knowing you’re improving one child’s life. The joy my buddy has when she hangs out with me makes me feel important, and I know she looks up to me. Therefore, I must set a good example.” In her high school classes, her extracurricular activities and life in general, one of Puthoff’s biggest supporters has been her mom. “She has consistently been there for my athletics and if I needed help with school,” Puthoff said. “My mom has always known how important it is to me to do well in school and in life. Anytime I need her, she is there to give a helping hand. She has also brought me up to know what is right and wrong, and I feel I will continue to do well in life due to her example. She is the most dependable, giving person I know. My mom constantly puts others first and still manages to keep our house clean. I’m amazed at all she accomplishes and hope to one day become at least half the person she is.”

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FIRST STREET, COLDWATER, www.cooperfarms.com www.cooperfarms.com OHIO • 419-678-2324 Bob Perkeybile. “I’ve had her in several 120 SOUTHwww.cooperfarms.com she plans for her mother’s footsteps as News From Your Hometown Area! classes over the last three years, and own career in nursing. She will attend she has always been an outstanding, Wright State University in Dayton to hard-working student. You can depend pursue her degree. on her to do things without needing A career in nursing appeals to O’Dell constant oversight, and she is very self- because of her interest in “how the body motivated. She has a great personality works” and her desire to “do something and a great attitude toward school andENGLISH will help others.” that • CALCULUS • HISTORY • WRITING ARITHMETIC • life.” Many of O’Dell’s favorite classes in For the above reasons, senior Stacey high school all relate to her interest in O’Dell has earned a top spot in the nursing. FRHS Class of 2010. “My favorite classes have been Encouraging O’Dell in her studies biology, sociology and health,” she and in life are her parents, Jeff and said. “These classes are my favorites Laura. because I like learning about the body “My biggest supporter has been my and how the mind works, as well as dad. He always encourages me to get learning about genetics, heredity and good grades and try my hardest in all ecology.” that I do, even when I don’t feel like it,” O’Dell said she also enjoyed she said. “My role model during high Perkeybile’s social studies classes. school has been my mom. She always “He always tells us about current has the energy to run errands and drive events, which makes me want to know us kids around to everything we need to more about the world around us and be at. She always works hard whether learn new things,” she said. “I think all its housework, finishing her bachelor’s students should graduate with a basic degree, her job as a nurse or taking care knowledge of the world around them so of the family.” that they can apply it to their everyday In fact, O’Dell plans to follow in her lives.”

In her own everyday life outside the classroom, O’Dell has been involved in many extracurricular activities. These include band, Art Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Spanish Club, Math-Science Club, 4-H, show choir and National Honor Society. “Being involved in outside activities is important because you get the chance to do something that you really like and meet new people,” O’Dell said. She encourages underclassmen to become involved in activities outside the regular school day. “The advice I would give to underclassmen is to stay involved in school activities and just have fun,” she said. The activities in which O’Dell said she had the most fun have been her musical activities—band and show choir. “I think I get the most out of these activities because I really enjoy music, and I like going to the concerts, games and competitions,” she said,” and one of the most memorable moments from my school years is band camp.”

Pottkotter achieves with hard work, dedication
By Erica Ranly “With hard work and dedication, nothing is impossible,” said senior Nicole Pottkotter, the daughter of Ted and Lori. Pottkotter’s four years at Fort Recovery High School validate the truth of this statement. Her own hard work and dedication have helped her achieve high levels of success inside and outside the classroom. Pottkotter’s drive to succeed results from the influence of her family. “My whole family has been a huge influence on my life and throughout my high school career,” Pottkotter said. “They have supported me in every challenged that I have faced both in and out of the classroom. They would do anything to help me succeed in both my academics and athletics. I know they will always be proud of me as long as I try my best, so I have always challenged myself, knowing they won’t be disappointed.” Her older sister Jill has been especially important in instilling within Pottkotter a desire to do her best. “I look up to her in everything she does, and ever since I have been little, I always wanted to do exactly what she did. She always did very well in her studies, which made me want to do the same. I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for her,” Pottkotter said. In school, Pottkotter has been most interested in her many science classes. “I’d say my favorite class was anatomy/physiology because I love to learn about the human body and its functions,” she said. Pottkotter said anatomy/ physiology instructor Kathy Schwieterman helped make the class interesting. “[Schwieterman] was my teacher for biology, anatomy/ physiology and advanced placement biology,” Pottkotter said. “By taking her classes along with Mrs. [Robyn] Armstrong’s chemistry classes, I leaned a lot more towards the medical field for college. She made even the most boring parts of science into something very interesting. She was also an athletic trainer for Ohio University, so she has firsthand experience on a lot of the topics we discussed in class.” Next year, Pottkotter hopes to begin her own career in the medical field. She will be attending Ohio Northern University and majoring in pharmacy. “I knew I wanted to study a major in the medical field, but I can’t handle the blood and guts aspect of nursing,” she said. “I really enjoyed taking chemistry and advanced placement chemistry in high school, so I thought pharmacy, which incorporates all aspects of science, would be the perfect career.” After observing Pottkotter in her science classes, Schwieterman voiced her confidence in Pottkotter’s ability to succeed in her chosen profession. “Nicole is a very honest, hard-working young woman who has the work ethic to be successful in any career that she chooses,” Schwieterman said. “She has a very positive, contagious attitude that makes everyone around her want to be a better person. Nicole is an outstanding example of academic excellence.” Pottkotter’s hard work and dedication in the classroom has extended into her extracurricular and athletic activities. While in high school, she participated in basketball, volleyball, National Honor Society, sports medicine club and FCCLA. She also served as a class officer for four years. Of these activities, Pottkotter said her participation in basketball and volleyball has shaped her high school career the most. “I have made good friends through these

Page 7 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ April 29, 2010

Pottkotter reaches her full potential
By Erica Ranly Senior Kayla Pottkotter has achieved much success throughout her four years at Fort Recovery High School. Her secret for success: “Reach your full potential by doing your best and having fun.” With such an approach to her studies, Pottkotter has not only distinguished herself academically in her senior class, but has also made many memories along the way. Sometime during the last four years, Pottkotter discovered her love for the human body and decided to pursue a future career in physical therapy. In fact, her favorite class in high school has been anatomy and physiology. “I love anatomy and physiology because I love learning how the human body works,” she said. Pottkotter plans to begin working on her doctorate in physical therapy in the fall at the University of Findlay. She hopes to specialize in sports therapy or pediatric therapy. In preparation for this course of study, Pottkotter has been taking classes as part of the Tri Star Med Prep program. Tri Star Med Prep instructor Janet Nelson has appreciated Pottkotter’s efforts in the program and is confident in Pottkotter’s future success in her chosen field. “Kayla Pottkotter is a very polite, mature, responsible young woman. I am very impressed with her values and determination. She is an intricate member of an award-winning Health Knowledge Bowl team. I know that she will be a significant asset to the medical profession,” Nelson said. Pottkotter said she also appreciated Nelson’s guidance in the program.

sports that I will have the rest of my life,” she said. Pottkotter said one of her most memorable high school moments was winning the sectional championship in volleyball her senior year. “We graduated a lot of seniors last year, so nobody thought we would be that good,” she said. “Nobody has won sectional champs for Fort Recovery in 15 years, and we broke that losing streak by beating one of our rivals, the Coldwater Cavaliers. They beat us in the regular season, so it was bittersweet revenge for the whole team,” she said. While her senior volleyball season brought the exhilaration of victory, Pottkotter’s senior basketball season unfortunately brought challenges and disappointment. “The biggest challenge I have faced was tearing my ACL in the first tournament game of basketball my senior year,” Pottkotter said. “I had very high expectations this year for both the team and myself. It was a very emotional challenge for me to overcome because I have worked hard for four years, and to have it end like that was really hard for me. I hope to still pursue playing college volleyball, but that will be the bigger challenge to overcome. I have overcome the emotional aspect of this challenge, but there is a lot more yet to come.”

“Ms. Nelson has been my most influential teacher because she believes that I will do great things in my life,” Pottkotter said. “She also helped me to realize that I need more confidence in myself and my work.” Pottkotter’s parents, Les and Marilyn, have also been very encouraging throughout the last few years. “I think my parents have been my biggest supporter in my high school career,” she said. “Any time I start to fall behind, they are there to remind me to do my best.” Outside of the classroom, Pottkotter has been dedicated to a variety of extracurricular activities. These include cheerleading, student council, 4-H, National Honor Society, Health Knowledge Bowl, St. Anthony Dinner Theatre and CYO basketball. Pottkotter is her senior class president, treasurer of Skills USA, president of the Spanish Club and FCCLA secretary. She also volunteers with Joint Township District Memorial Hospital (JTDMH) Pediatric Summer Camp. “It is important to be in outside activities to expand your horizons, build your confidence, meet new people, find your interests and to help others,” Pottkotter said. From her own activities, Pottkotter said she has learned much. Through volunteering

with JTDMH’s pediatric summer camp, she was able to help with occupational, speech and physical therapy for young patients. “In a camp form, it was a lot of fun for [the patients],” Pottkotter said. “I loved being able to help the kids out and being proud of them when they made even the littlest accomplishment.” Pottkotter also said that cheerleading was a valuable experience for her. “I had to break out of my shell and build my confidence by cheering to a crowd of people. Also, I loved seeing the young girls look up to us and how we were leaders in our school,” Pottkotter said. She said that her favorite high school memories have been the many sports games she has attended in high school. “Cheering for our football team and basketball team, whether in my cheer uniform or in the stands, were some of the most exciting times,” she said. In looking forward to graduation, Pottkotter leaves upperclassmen with this bit of advice: “Watch out for good opportunities, and take advantage of them,” she said. “High school allows you to figure out who you are and who you want to be. Live up to your fullest potential, give things a chance and have fun while doing it.”

Page 8 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ April 29, 2010


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By Erica Ranly Brand has been involved in many “Katrina is a very hard-working activities at MLHS during the last student who is very persistent in the Cassella-Montezuma Road • Maria Stein, Ohio four years. In addition to marching pursuit of • Fax: 419-925-6222 419-925-7222her goals. She is always band, basketball and cross country, smiling in class and maintains a she also participated in Big Brothers/ positive attitude through the most Big Sisters, pep club, youth ministry, challenging situations,” said Marion track, scholastic bowl, Junior Scholars Local High School chemistry and and the JETS team. Brand is secretary physics teacher Todd Ashbaugh. of the National Honor Society and of Because of her hard work, SADD and treasurer for the Math and persistence and positive attitude Science Club, her senior class and throughout her high school years, her 4-H club. senior Katrina Brand, the daughter of Of course, balancing all these Edward and Judy, earns recognition activities with her schoolwork has as a Mercer County Academic been a challenge for Brand. Achiever. “My biggest challenge throughout Brand’s high schoolRoad • Maria Stein, Ohio school has been effectively days have Ohio high 2411 Cassella-Montezuma Road • Maria Stein, 2411 Cassella-Montezuma been 419-925-7222 • Fax: 419-925-6222 filled with Fax: 419-925-6222 419-925-7222 •hard work and fun managing my time between school, with her classmates both inside and work, sports and friends,” Brand outside the classroom. said. “It gets crazy running from “My most memorable moments from cross country meets to band contests high school are the accomplishments and still finding time to hang out with my senior class and I have been a part friends and do homework. It definitely of,” Brand said. “My experiences took me a while as a freshman to of earning three superior rankings adjust to the hectic lifestyle of a high in marching band, earning MAC school teen-ager, but through setting Champs in basketball or running at my priorities and being organized, I the regional cross country meet are learned to cope. I know these skills of memories not forgotten. I loved being time management developed during a cheering fan encouraging my fellow my high school years will be needed classmates and friends as they won and much appreciated next year in state champs in volleyball or travelled college.” far into tournament for football. These For college, Brand plans to attend experiences have brought the Class Ohio Northern University. She plans of 2010 together and will always be to major in pharmacy with a focus on the memories holding us together as oncology. we go our separate ways.” Her interest in this field stems from

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thorough teachings,” Brand said. Also encouraging Brand in her career is her older brother. “He has influenced me to strive to the optimum level,” Brand said. “Following in his footsteps, I also want to become a pharmacist through attending Ohio Northern University. He has shown me the hard work needed to excel in the rigorous courses at ONU. Through his advising and encouragement, I know I am capable of achieving my dreams of earning a pharmacy doctorate.” With graduation fast-approaching, Brand leaves her own advice and encouragement for younger students at MLHS. her love for math and science. “My advice for underclassmen is “My favorite classes have always become involved, try your best, stay been in the math and science true to who you are and have fun. Be departments,” she said. “I love yourself in high school, and do not let learning about chemistry and calculus others define you. Dare& to be different, Specializing InWood Laminated because they are structured and and take risks to Wood Products CARRIAGE WERKES put yourself ahead. definite. The formulas, equations and I learned from experience not to 419-678-4530 rules used to solve problems never The Movie procrastinate and take responsibility TRU-EDGE & change; one just has to learn how to Gift Shoppe for your own faults. You control your apply these rules.” 419-678-4991 419-678-8284 own destiny and the outcome of your Brand said one of her most efforts,” Brand said. “I have learned influential high school instructors in the support from my community and Use the the area of math and science has been the stuff below for Filler Stuff For Anywhere surrounding communities will need it; or create something similar: Ashbaugh. always be there to lift you when you “He is very passionate about his fall.” job and has inspired me to enter into the pharmacy field. I know he has well prepared me for my future chemistry classes through his

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By Erica Ranly “Rachael is very active in extracurricular activities, as well as being an excellent scholar, but it is her experience in athletics that has influenced her the most. Her leadership and teamwork skills are evidenced on the court and field, as well as in the classroom. Always cooperative, Rachael is determined to achieve. She is honest, open-minded and meticulous,” said Marion Local High School English teacher Lynne Yates. The above reasons indicate why senior Rachael Puthoff, the daughter of Russ and Patti, deserves recognition as a Mercer County Academic Achiever. Puthoff shares that the secret to her success is her determination to “set a goal and work hard to achieve it.” “But if I don’t achieve it, it’s okay,” she said, “because I know I have given it my best effort to accomplish it.” Puthoff has put forth her best effort in the classroom throughout her four years of high school. Her favorite classes have been her math classes. “I love math because I strive for that pride of accomplishment after I spent all night trying to figure out the problem and then finally get

Puthoff desires to help athletes
the correct answer,” she said. “I love the challenge that math gives me, and I also love how math is concrete and the same in every country. Two plus two equals four no matter where you are on this planet.” While math has been one of Puthoff’s strongest subjects, she admits that English has been one of her weakest. Despite her challenges with the subject matter, however, Puthoff said she has come to appreciate Yates and Yates’s English classes. “[Yates] has challenged me to my core,” Puthoff said. “But I know after walking out of that class, I have given it my best effort. It is very hard to earn a decent grade in her class, but once you do, the reward is unbelievable because you know the effort you put forth to earn that grade.” Puthoff has not reserved her hard work and effort for only the classroom. She has also dedicated her time and energy to many extracurricular activities: Students Against Destructive Decisions, Future Teachers of America and Future Careers of America, Art

Page 9 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ April 29, 2010

By Erica Ranly “I believe that in the end it’s not the years in your life that count but the life in your years,” said Marion Local High School senior Megan Schaefer. “I dream as if I’ll live forever, but live as if I’ll die today, so that when I stand before God at the end of my life, I do not have a single bit of talent left in me. Then, I can say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’” Such has been Schaefer’s approach to high school and to life. Because she has poured so much of herself into all her endeavors, Schaefer, the daughter of Dave and Cheryl, stands apart in the Class of 2010. The key to achieving in life, Schaefer explained, is learning to challenge oneself. “I have learned to challenge myself,” she said. “By challenging myself throughout high school, I have surprised myself with strengths that I never knew existed and with what I could actually accomplish. Every journey to success begins with one single step, and that step is challenging yourself to succeed. There is no such thing as the impossible.” Schaefer has been encouraged in her many challenges and accomplishments by several individuals in her life. “My parents have both been huge supporters throughout my high school

Schaefer focuses on career in oncology
career,” Schaefer said. “My dad has taught me to never give up on my dreams, for if one dream shatters into pieces, it’s never too late to pick up one of those pieces and begin again. He is the one who has instilled a confident and diligent mindset in me, and now I strive to achieve everything. My mom has always been there for me for emotional support and love. My mom can take the place of all others in this world, but no one else could ever take her place.” At school, Schaefer has been encouraged and challenged by high school English teacher Lynne Yates. “She has taught me the value of hard work, willpower and confidence,” Schaefer said. “She has forced me to understand that you don’t get what you want in life: you get what you work for. She always offers challenges, which I believe develops a student’s character more because they learn to overcome obstacles. However, what I love most about her is her generosity and kindness. She always has time to help students with various other things not relating to school, and she always welcomes her students with a warm heart.” For a role model, Schaefer looks to the example set by Martin Luther King, Jr. His example has inspired Schaefer to pursue a career as a pediatric oncologist. “He once said, ‘Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.’ I admire him for his bravery and audacity because, even when no one else believed him, he never quit trying. His outlook on life has affected me as I begin my 14-year journey of becoming a doctor one day. The road will be tough. I am taking my first step as I major in premed, and hopefully I reach the staircase of becoming a doctor and saving lives from cancer.” Schaefer will begin her journey into a career in pediatric oncology in the fall at Miami University, where she will major in zoology. She has chosen this career path because of her love for children. “I want to be the hand the children hold when they are receiving chemo, and I want to be the one that tells them they have survived the battle of cancer. I want to save

Club, Math and Science Club, Pep Club, Varsity M Club, Junior Scholars, National Honor Society, yearbook and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She is also a communion distributor, reader and youth choir member at her church. Puthoff’s passion in high school, nonetheless, has been for athletics. She has participated in cross county, softball, basketball and cheerleading and serves as a youth softball coach for the community’s youth softball program. “Sports have taught me valuable life lessons that will prepare me for my future,” Puthoff said. “To name just a few, I have learned the importance of respect, selfdiscipline, teamwork, leadership and perseverance.” One memory Puthoff said she will never forget is playing in the sectional championship game her senior year of basketball. “In my basketball career, I have never had the opportunity to cut down the net, and that has been one of my goals. So, with 4.4 seconds left in the game, New Knoxville was

up by one. After a timeout was called, the ball was inbounded to me on the sideline. I dribbled around a few New Knoxville players, and with less than two seconds in the game, I shot a pull-up jumper for the win. The ball took four bounces around the rim, the buzzer sounded, and then, finally, the ball went through the hoop. We won the game due to my buzzer-beater shot. I finally achieved one of my goals, to cut down a net. That shot will forever be imbedded in my memory.” Because of her love for athletics, Puthoff plans to major in athletic training in the fall at Otterbein College. She plans to later attend graduate school for physical therapy. “Since I am very competitive and I have been injured once or twice in my career, I know the will that is built in athletes who are suffering from an injury; therefore, I want to specialize in athletes so I can help them get back to playing the game they love as soon as possible,” she said. Encouraging Puthoff in her goals is her family and friends, especially her parents, grandparents, cousin Dana Hartings and close friend Tara Hartings. “Without them,” Puthoff said, “I wouldn’t be who I am today.”

their lives because there is nothing more fulfilling than that toothless grin from a young child who thinks the world of you. I love children, and I want to help them live because they are all full of so much talent and hope,” she said. Yates feels certain that Schaefer will be a caring and competent professional in her field. “Megan understands the importance of learning and works hard to be successful,” Yates said. “In the past three years, I have never seen her shy from a challenge whether it is a difficult assignment or a demanding class. Regularly smiling, Megan is perceptive and personable, which will be an irreplaceable quality for future patients and their families as she continues her studies to become a physician specializing in oncology. There is no doubt that all of us will someday benefit from such a talented and caring ally against cancer.” While in high school, Schaefer has participated in volleyball, softball, Mercer County Youth Leadership, JETS, Environthon, Math and Science Club, Varsity M, Catholic Youth Organization, CYO basketball, Drama Club, Art Club, FTA/FCA, Pep Club and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She is editor of the high school yearbook, coaches sixth-grade volleyball and elementary girls’ softball and is a lector at her church.

Page 10 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ April 29, 2010

Beahrs personifies an Academic Achiever
By Erica Ranly “Taylor should be considered an Academic Achiever because that is what she personifies,” said Anita Morton, biological sciences teacher at Parkway High School. “Taylor is a quiet student. She puts much of her energies into her academic progress and works to earn her high marks. She knows how prioritize her life by putting her future needs in front of her wants. For some, academics come easy, but Taylor is not that way. She has worked to earn the grades she has attained and is worthy to be considered an Academic Achiever.” Morton highlights the reasons why senior Taylor Beahrs deserves recognition as a top student in Mercer County. Beahrs’ shares that the secret to her success in high school is her willingness to believe in herself. “If you have confidence in what you are supposed to do, you will accomplish the task,” she said. Beahrs credits her parents, Tom and Pam, for instilling within her a strong work ethic. “My parents have been my biggest supporters in my life and high school career,” Beahrs said. “They have always been there when I needed their help and advice. My parents were my major influence because they made me strive for good grades. Academics were what came first before anything else. They told me not everyone can be the best, but everyone should try their best.” Beahrs mother, especially, exemplified for her a true commitment to education. “My role model during high school was my mom because as I was starting high school, she started going to college, which I find really awesome. It made me think if she can do it, so can I,” she said. College is in the plans for Beahrs as she prepares for her high school graduation. In the fall, she will be attending Rhodes State College where she will major in nursing. “I am majoring in nursing for college because I have always had an interest in the medical field, and I enjoy the fact that I will be helping people,” she said. Morton, who taught Beahrs in both her biology and physiology classes, helped Beahrs choose to this career path. “Mrs. Morton was a great teacher and really explained the class material well,” Beahrs said. “By taking her classes, she influenced me to want to be a nurse.” While remaining devoted to her studies during high school, Beahrs also has taken the time to participate in activities outside the classroom. These include band, youth group and National Honor Society. “Being involved in outside activities is important because it gives you a chance to meet new people and explore different things,” she said. Beahrs said she especially valued the time she spent with her youth group. “I have got the most out of youth group because you are around all different types of people, and you get to learn so much about them,” she said. As Beahrs prepares for graduation, college and career, she leaves her underclassmen at PHS with this bit of advice: “Always try your best, and when you set your mind to do something, do it. Anything can be accomplished as long as you try your best,” she said. “All students should graduate with knowledge about what they want to do in life. They should stick with it no matter what it takes and follow their dreams.”

Nuttle ‘will be going far in life’ Shindeldecker shines at PHS
By Erica Ranly “I have known Michael for four year in his high school career here at Parkway,” said high school social studies teacher Lucus Minnich. “I can attest to the fact that this young man is and will be going far in life. Michael has always achieved at academics, athletics and extracurricular activities. Michael is not afraid to stop what he is doing to help another student out who may be struggling. His devotion to his school and community is a definite characteristic that most students lack today in our society. I know this country has a bright future ahead with individuals graduating like Michael Nuttle. I recommend Michael for the highest honors that this school and community can give a young individual so talented, but yet so humble, in everyday life.” Upon Minnich’s recommendation, Parkway High School senior Michael Nuttle earns recognition as a Mercer County Academic Achiever. Nuttle credits his success in high school and in life to the influence of many important people in his life. These include his parents, Casey and Karen; his grandparents, Jon and Martha Sidenbender; his friend Josh Fisher and his cousin Craig Bills. “When thinking of my biggest supporter in high school, it is hard to narrow it down to just one,” Nuttle said. “Both my mother and my father have been everywhere for me whether it was a basketball game or a band concert. The same can be said for both my grandparents. On the basketball floor, I always looked up to [Fisher]. Everything he did, I wanted to do just as well. I also really looked up to [Bills]. I followed that kid everywhere. When he wanted to run cross country, I wanted to run. When he wanted to golf, I picked out some new spikes for the season. He and I were always close, so it only made sense that I wanted to do anything he did.” With the support of these many individuals, Nuttle has undertaken many activities during the last four years. He has participated in five sports, including basketball, track, golf, cross country and football. He has been a member of Future Business Leaders of America, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Drama Club, band, choir, show choir, A.M. Newscast, district newsletter, National Honor Society and Foreign Language Club. He also is part of his church’s mission team. Nuttle said that working with his church and other local churches on mission projects has been some of the most rewarding hours he has spent during his high school years. “We don’t go to extravagant places like Africa, just a trip down to the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. We feel that it isn’t where you do God’s work, just that you’re out there doing His work and spreading His message. Just getting to see what we do and how it helps others is one of the most gratifying feelings one can have.” In addition to his mission work, sports have also been an important part of Nuttle’s high school career. “One of my most memorable moments through high school would either be when we won only the fourth sectional championship in school history for basketball or when I reached regionals in just my first year of track as a junior,” Nuttle said. “On one hand, winning the sectional championship was nice because not very many people who have graduated from Parkway can say they did that and just the fun and excitement we shared as a team during this was great, but what I achieved in track seems to be very personal because it was by my hard work I was able to achieve my reward.” Nuttle has devoted himself to hard work not only in these extracurricular activities, but also in his academic studies. Some of his favorite high school classes have been his math and accounting classes. “I love numbers. Math and accounting both challenged me and fascinated me all in one. Everything I learned in those classes I know I will use in my career after college,” he said. The career Nuttle has planned is one in business. He is deciding between accounting and finance and may double major in both. To prepare for this career, Nuttle will be attending the Farmer School of Business at Miami University in the fall. Nuttle passes on this piece of wisdom for students following in the PHS ranks: “The rule I live by is to enjoy everything,” he said. “If I’m upset about things and worrying all the time, I may miss out on something amazing. Life is too short to spend worrying about things that in a year won’t even matter. Also, always smile. It is so much easier to talk to people when you smile.”

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By Erica Ranly “Education helps you achieve your future goals and to succeed in life,” said senior Amanda Shindeldecker. Recognizing the importance of education in her own life, Shindeldecker, the daughter of Loren and Melanie, has invested the time and work needed to make the most of her four years at Parkway High School. Shindeldecker’s educational goal is to become an accountant. She will major in accounting in the fall at Defiance College. “I’ve always enjoyed hearing about my mother’s day at work since she is an accountant. I took an accounting class in school and knew it was something I could do the rest of my life,” she said. In preparation for this career, Shindeldecker said she has enjoyed taking accounting, desktop publishing and digital photography classes at PHS. “Taking these classes has given me a variety of skills to take into the business world. I’ve enjoyed learning the different aspects of these classes and gaining knowledge on them,” she said. Shindeldecker also credits her high school business teachers Kevin Browning and Curtis Hamrick for helping her choose a career in business. “By taking courses taught by them, it has made me define my career and what I want to do with my life,” she said. While academics have been a very important part of Shindeldecker’s high school career, she emphasizes that the most important part has been the relationships she has formed and fostered throughout the last four years. “Looking back, my favorite memories are the just the ones hanging out with my friends, relaxing and having a good time,” she said. She advises underclassmen to “live each day to its fullest” and to “spend as much time with your classmates as possible.” “It all flies by so quickly,” she said. “Before you know it, you and your classmates will be graduating and going your separate ways.” Shindeldecker has grown especially close to her classmates through her participation in extracurricular activities. “By being involved in outside activities you get to meet others outside of your school. You also get the opportunity to make different memories that will last you a lifetime,” she said. Some of the activities in which she has participated are band, cheerleading and National Honor Society. She also is part of her church’s missions team and competes with a nationally-recognized dance competition team. This dance competition team has opened the door for many opportunities for Shindeldecker. With the team, she has traveled around the country to visit many cities, including New York City, Gatlinburg and Las Vegas, and she has worked with famous choreographers. “Dance has taught me discipline, time management and teamwork,” Shindeldecker said. High School business teacher Kevin Browning said he is impressed with the hard work Shindeldecker devotes to both her studies and her extracurricular activities. “Amanda is a great student and a high academic achiever,” he said. “Amanda is a goal-oriented student and is always adjusting her goals as she accomplishes each one. Her dedication to work is why she is a successful student, cheerleader and athlete. Amanda is a wellgrounded individual and has a support mechanism in place that will help her succeed. Her decisions in life are based on what will make her happy, what will bring her great success and what her ethical beliefs would allow. She does not engage in destructive decisions because she has more respect for herself, her community and her family.” In fact, Shindeldecker’s family has had a tremendous impact on life and high school career. “Both of my parents have always been very supportive all throughout my life,” she said. “They have always been there for me no matter what, and I’m so glad for that.”

Page 11 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ April 29, 2010

By Erica Ranly “I would tell the underclassman not to be afraid of failure,” said senior Julia Klosterman, sharing her advice for success in high school. “Be willing to join different activities, and take the difficult classes because it will help you grow and reach beyond your expectations.” Such has been Klosterman’s approach to her own career at Celina High School. She has worked hard, dedicating herself to her studies and to a variety of extracurricular activities. Through it all Klosterman, the daughter of Terry and Angie, has earned much success both inside and outside the classroom. Celina High School advanced placement calculus teacher Patricia Franzer can speak to Klosterman’s dedication in school and outside of school. “Julia is a very dedicated student,” Franzer said. “It is no doubt that she dedicates an incredible amount of her time to her very demanding advanced placement classes. She also, very unselfishly, tutors other math students as part of the schools LRC [Learning Resource Center] program. CHS will miss Julie and what she has brought to the school.” Some of Klosterman’s favorite high school classes have been her math classes

Klosterman reaches beyond expectations
because “there is usually a definite answer.” She has also enjoyed her Tri Star CAD class. “I get to be creative and get a taste of the architectural field,” she said. Because of her interest in architecture, Klosterman plans to major in this field in college. “Through my art classes at school as well as my drafting and CAD courses,” she said, “I discovered a significant interest in the history and design of buildings.” To pursue her degree, Klosterman will attend the Ohio State University in Columbus. While math, drafting and CAD have been an important part of Klosterman’s academic career, she also looks to the humanities—English, in particular—as another important part of her education. “Mr. [Mark] Loughridge, my sixth-grade language arts teacher, was one of my most influential teachers,” Klosterman said. “He helped me find a passion for reading and enjoying books. As I look back, I realize that reading is essential to obtaining an excellent education.” Others who have encouraged Klosterman throughout her school years are her sisters. “My older sister Jamie is my biggest supporter, encouraging me to achieve my goals and reach my potential. She listens to my issues and gives me helpful advice. Since my youth, I have looked up to Jamie. As I’ve watched her experience high school and college, she has been the most significant role model for me. I strive to follow in her footsteps by making good choices,” Klosterman said. She also looks to her sister Kristin for inspiration. “I try to live by my sister Kristin’s motto: ‘Love everyone, do not wish your days away and take each day as a blessing,’” Klosterman said. Her sisters’ encouragement has been important as Klosterman not only works to excel in school, but also takes part in activities outside the classroom. As a high school student, she played volleyball and participated in National Honor Society, Junior Engineering Technical Society, SkillsUSA, Mercer County Youth Leadership, Spanish Club and Catholic Youth Organization. She helps in the high school guidance office and is a mass server and Eucharistic minister at her church. “Not only have I met many new friends through my extracurricular activities, but they have helped expand my interests and develop my strengths,” Klosterman said. One activity Klosterman will miss

especially is volleyball. “The years I have been involved with volleyball have provided me with many important skills,” she said. “Through volleyball, I have gained valuable leadership skills along with the importance of good communication, dedication and teamwork. One of my most memorable moments in high school is winning district finals in volleyball against Bowling Green in a five game battle.”

Schroeder aspires to medical career
By Erica Ranly “Sydney is one of the most outstanding young people I have ever had the privilege to work with,” said Celina High school biology teacher Maria Elshoff. “Not only is she highly motivated, but she also has a rare enthusiasm for learning. Sydney is always looking for a new challenge, constantly going above and beyond what is expected of her. She plans to pursue a career in medicine, which is well within her realm of possibilities. Success for Sydney is assured, no matter what obstacles she may face.” For these very reasons, CHS senior Sydney Shroeder, the daughter of Robert and Ria, has been named a Mercer County Academic Achiever. According to Schroeder, her life has been shaped into what it is now by one important person: her brother Cory. “When Cory was five years old, he was diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial and central nervous system condition called Leigh’s Disease,” Schroeder said. “Most children with this disorder die by the age of three and the rest by six. My family was devastated when we realized that meant Cory had no more than one year of life left. My family and I made the most of the time we thought we had left with Cory, appreciating every single day. Fortunately, that time never ended. Cory is still living today! Cory’s 16 years on this earth have not been easy as he has been hospitalized over 100 times, life-flighted 12 times, been on life support six times and more. Through it all, Cory continues to smile.” Because of all she and her family have gone through with Cory, Schroeder has decided to pursue a career in medicine. In the fall, she plans to attend either Miami University or Otterbein University. She will major in biology with an emphasis on premedicine and will minor in Spanish. She hopes to become a bilingual physician, and she has a special interest in the emergency department or the pediatric intensive care unit. With these career goals, it is fitting that Schroeder most enjoyed her math, science and Spanish classes in high school. “All three subjects pertain to my future career as a bilingual physician,” she said. Schroeder said Elshoff’s biology class

freshman year was one of her most valuable in helping her choose her career. “[Elshoff] helped guide me onto the path to becoming a physician,” Schroeder said. “When my brother was in the hospital at the end of my freshman year, she was always concerned, asked multiple questions about his condition and was just there for me to talk to. I really appreciate her for being there for me because she helped me deal with the situation.” Schroeder’s interest in medicine has grown further through her time spent shadowing doctors at St. Vincent Mercy Children’s Hospital in Toledo, where her brother has spent a lot of time. “I shadowed Dr. Vineet Gupta, Cory’s pediatric intensivist, for one week the summer after my sophomore year. I learned more than I could ever imagine and could not picture myself becoming anything but a physician. Dr. Gupta invited me to come back the next summer, but suggested that I shadow in other departments as well. The summer after my junior year, I returned to Toledo and shadowed in four different departments,” she said. Schroeder said she will never forget one experience in the emergency department. “Around two in the morning, a young man arrived by ambulance to the [emergency department]. His car had caught on fire and

55 to 60 percent of his body was covered in third-degree burns,” she said. “I was intrigued by the procedures and fascinated by what the human body can endure and how it can heal.” While a student at Celina High School, Schroeder has been involved in scholastic team, National Honor Society, basketball, volleyball, track and field, JETS team, powder-puff football, spring musical, fall play, Students Against Destructive Decisions and Stay Tobacco-free Athlete Mentor Program. She served as public relations officer and secretary for student council and president of the Spanish Club. She tutors and volunteers for the American Red Cross, Mercer Health, Immaculate Conception School and Habitat for Humanity. She is also a server and youth religious leader for her church. She leaves her underclassmen with this bit of advice for their own high school years: “I advise underclassmen to stay away from drugs and alcohol,” she said, “focus on their studies and work hard now to ensure a better future. I have stayed drug and alcohol-free my whole life. I am very proud of myself because I have watched other high school students ruin their life while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. One thing people need to understand is that I have had fun my whole life without using drugs and alcohol.”

Page 12 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ April 29, 2010

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By Erica Ranly Self-motivation is key for Celina High School senior Matthew Seffernick. By consistently setting and achieving his academic goals, Seffernick, the son of Bryan and Carol, has placed himself at the top of his class. High school science teacher Dave Scott observes Seffernick’s drive to succeed in his advanced placement chemistry class, one of the most challenging at CHS. “Matt has the rare ability to remain extremely focused on tough concepts until he has truly internalized the ideas and mastered the ability to apply them and solve the related chemistry problems,” Scott said. “Matt is one of those rare students that push me to stay on top of my own game when it comes to teaching chemistry. He can ask those probing, insightful questions that cause a teacher to reach and stretch for the deepest and most thorough answers. I must admit that I have enjoyed the academic challenge that Matt has presented me with as his teacher. With most students, the hardest challenge is motivating them to want to learn the material. With Matt, it is providing him


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with high level of mental challenge that he seeks and desires.” Seffernick said he also appreciated Scott’s efforts as teacher. “Mr. Scott has been my most influential teacher because he taught me to ask teachers for help if I needed it,” Seffernick said. This lesson is one he passes on to underclassmen. “Don’t be afraid to ask teachers for help. Even if a teacher seems intimidating, odds are he or she is willing to help you do well and simply needs to know how to help before he or she can help,” he said. While a student at Celina High School, Seffernick said some of his favorite classes have been physics, advanced placement calculus and psychology. “Each class has helped me understand how the world works, each in a different way,” Seffernick said. This, he said, is the goal of education. “Education helps us see the world around us for what it is and use that understanding to improve the lives of ourselves and others,” he said.

Through psychology, especially, Seffernick said he gained insight into “how the human mind works.” Understanding how and why individuals think and act as they do is important to Seffernick. “Always remember that other people are complex individuals with their own lives, thoughts and beliefs, just like yourself,” he said. Seffernick’s insight into his world has been cultivated not only by his academic coursework, but also by the activities in which he has participated outside of the classroom. Some of these activities include band, JETS and scholastic bowl team. He helped with special effects for the school play and moderates chat rooms, forums and game servers for various online communities. His involvement in online communities has been an important learning experience for Seffernick. “Out of all the activities I do, I get the most out of getting involved in online communities because by doing so, I gain exposure to a variety of people, and I spend a lot of time around self-motivated people whose accomplishments helps me motivate

myself to accomplish my goals and try new things I wouldn’t otherwise consider,” he said. In the fall, Seffernick will begin his college career at Ohio State University. He plans to major in computer science and engineering. “I enjoy using computers, solving problems and optimizing processes,” he said.


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