2010 Academic Tab

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THE MERCER COUNTY

CHRONICLE
~ FEBRUARY 2010 EDITION ~

2009 - 2010

Plumbing, Inc. Page 2
• Sales & Service •
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~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ February 25, 2010 419-678-2385 Toll Free 1-866-PBC BANK

gratulations Judy McCullough 911 N. Second Street, Coldwater, Ohio 911 N. Second Street, Coldwater, Ohio 419-678-4877 Congratulations On A Great Year! 911 N. Second Street, Coldwater, Ohio 419-678-4877 Congratulations On A Great Year! To All The 419-678-4877 Congratulations To All Area Academic Achievers! THE MERCER COUNTY emic Achievers!
Congratulations To Those Who Have Sparked Their Studies To The Fullest In Which Will Weld A Bright Future!
~ SINCE 1874 ~ ~ SINCE 1874 ~

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to read the whole textbook the night before the test. Have confidenceP.O.yourself and your in Box 139 COLDWATER, ST. HENRY By Erica s & Equip. Ranly COLDWATER, abilities, P.O. Box Trained Techniciansgem from the magnificent Dr. Seuss: ‘Be who you are and say what you ST. HENRYand you will do just fine. Also,MINSTER (kind of cheesy, Coldwatereven if that • Industrial & Precision Gases be yourself 139 I know), & “I try to live sion Gases by this COLDWATER, ST. HENRY Coldwater means going against the flow because chances COLDWATER, mind • 419-678-2397 feel because those who OHIOdon’t matter and those who matter don’t mind,’” said Coldwater& MINSTER -2397 & you just High School senior Katherine Bruns. “You can be your own person, MINSTERmeans acting are there are people out there who like CELINA, OHIO even if it CELINA, won’t like a goofball because the people who really care about you OHIO mind that everyone else the way you are.”

LEFELD HogenkampHogenkamp D blends ‘character, personality, FUNERAL HOME Hogenkamp HOME personal experience’ Bruns FUNERAL Lehman-Hogenkamp-Dzendzel
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Some of Bruns’s favorite high school is looking at you funny.” memories are times when she and her Such has been Bruns’s approach to high school and to life. Not only has she achieved www.hogenkampfh.com much success in her many endeavors, but she has also maintained the humor and personality classmates decided to enliven their high school class time with a little unorthodox behavior. www.hogenkampfh.com necessary to make life and its opportunities and challenges all the more enjoyable. “My most memorable experience from high CHS Spanish instructor Sophia Rodriquez speaks to Bruns’s unique blend of academic CELINA, OHIO CELINA, OHIO day in advanced placement history school is the prowess and personality. CELINA, to those Why should she be titled as an academic achiever? The partial answer OHIO questions when we decided to assign everyone in the is partly due to her test scores, class grades and class placement, but that does not complete class, including Mr. [Mark] Hamberg, a character Office, based on behavior, attitude the answer,” Rodriquez said. “Her proficiency is not only built of academia, but entwined with from Thewww.hogenkampfh.com and general appearance. (I was Angela.) I think www.hogenkampfh.com character, personality and personal experiences.” www.hogenkampfh.com Encouraging Bruns in all her experiences and success are her parents, Laura and Duane. pretty much everyone in that class enjoyed the show, and we referred to it all the time, so it is Bruns said her mom, especially, has been one of her biggest supporters. “She always encourages me to do my best and encourages me in everything that I do,” only natural that we should spend the time doing Bruns said. “Also, I have always looked up to her because she is a strong, hard-working this.” Bruns admits that advanced placement U.S. woman.” history with Hamberg was “without a doubt” her favorite high school class. Bruns has also been inspired by the example set by her younger sister Beth. “The class was comparatively small, and everyone got along really well, so it was more “Beth has Cri-du-chat syndrome, a form of mental retardation, which has interfered with close-knit than most others. People usually dread history classes because they’re ‘boring,’ her development,” Bruns said. “As such, she has problems with learning and communication, and many times she gets frustrated that we don’t understand what she is trying to tell us. On but Mr. Hamberg made the class really fun. I don’t think we had a boring class all year. He is a great teacher and always made class interesting.” the other hand, she is a very happy girl who never lets problems bring her down.” In the fall, Bruns hopes to attend either University of Dayton or University of Notre Dame Through her sister’s example, Bruns has been able to tackle one of her biggest where she plans to major in English. challenges—a tough senior-year courseload complete with more than one advanced “I have loved reading my whole life, and I would love to someday work at a publishing placement course. From her experiences with tough classes, though, Bruns is able to offer advice to house where I can be a part of the production of books for other people to enjoy,” she said. While in high school, Bruns participated in band, choir, scholastic bowl, Drama Club, underclassmen for handling the challenges of high school. Math Club, Spanish Club, Key Club, 4-H and National Honor Society. She also served as a “Don’t stress out too much,” she advised. “Even if you’re certain that you’re going to fail your exam, you will fare better if you just calm down and go over the notes rather than trying catechist, mass server and choir member at her church.

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Wellman pursues musical passion
of effort in everything she does, and I have never seen her unprepared. Being a well-rounded student with such a high GPA makes her truly stand out among students,” said Coldwater High School band director Dan Ruckman. Ruckman describes the reasons why Jessica Wellman, a senior at Coldwater High School, is recognized as an Academic Achiever in the Class of 2010. Wellman’s passion throughout her high school years has been music. She has been involved in a number of musically-related activities including band, jazz band, pep band, high school choir, show choir, youth choir at her church and drama. She is also a cantor at her church. “My favorite classes have been my music classes,” Wellman said. “It is my passion, and anything that I get to do involving music is always going to be my favorite. I have been privileged to have wonderful teachers in these classes and this adds to the class enjoyment.” Wellman said Ruckman, especially, has greatly influenced her music and her high school career. “He has taught me for the past seven years, and his lessons have gone above and beyond what an eighth-note count is,” Wellman said. “I have always admired Mr. Ruckman for his ability to be a friend to his students as well as a teacher

Page 3 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ February 25, 2010

se replace the ads that you already have on the academic tab with the ones below (these have n corrected). The page numbers to which these ads need to be replaced on our listed below ad. If you have any questions, let us know!
By Erica Ranly An example of academic excellence at Coldwater High School is senior Janelle Wolters, the daughter of Roger and Nancy. Her successes throughout the last four years have distinguished her as a Mercer County Academic Achiever. High school social studies teacher Thad Forsthoefel

Wolters excels at CHS

By Erica Ranly “Jessica has demonstrated that even with the amount of extracurricular and co-curricular activities in which she participates, she can still achieve at a high level academically. As her band director, I have witnessed her maintain outstanding grades while participating in band, choir, private voice lessons, church activities, work, drama and athletics. Her performance in all of these areas is a result of the pride she takes in her work. She puts forth a maximum amount

and knowing how to walk this fine line. He has taught me my love of music which I will carry with me throughout my entire life as well as many other life lessons that only a teacher that knows you well can give.” Partly due to Ruckman’s leadership, Wellman said band has been one of her favorite activities outside the regular school day. “I have gotten the most out of my band activities because you meet and become a family with a wonderful group of people,” she said. Because of her love for music, Wellman plans to pursue a degree in music therapy in college. “I want to combine my love of music with my desire to help people, especially children. I will be able to use psychology and combine it with the workings of music and the brain. Music therapy is a job that I hope will make me want to get up and go to work everyday because I’ll enjoy it so much,” Wellman said. She plans to attend either the University of Dayton or Immaculata University in Pennsylvania to pursue her studies. Supporting Wellman in her decisions is her family, especially her parents, Dan and Diane, and her older sister Kristie. “My parents have always pushed me to do my best and always supported whatever decision I made. They let me make my own decisions while

still giving me all of the best information in order to make these decisions. They keep me wellgrounded and support my initiative,” Wellman said. “My older sister Kristie followed her dreams no matter what. She chose a profession that people told her would not be easy to find a job in and made it work. She had done what she thought was best for her, and this makes her my role model.” In addition her musical activities in high school, Wellman has also taken part in cross country, track, swimming, scholastic bowl, FCCLA and Spanish club. She is also a catechist and altar server at her church. In reflecting upon her own high school years, she encourages her underclassmen to become as involved as possible in extracurricular activities. “I will never regret that I was involved in so many activities throughout high school,” Wellman said. “I quickly found out my interests, and I learned great time management. High school is your chance to try anything that you want to try, so do it. I live my life by the rule that God only gives us what we can handle. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I just try to remember that God wouldn’t give me something that he knew I would fail at. This always helps me to keep striving and persevering.”

Lehman-Hogenkamp-Dzendzel

appreciates Wolters’ dedication and excellence in the teacher, and English teacher Chris Miller—made these classroom. classes interesting as well. “It is quite evident that Janelle is at the crescendo of “My most influential teachers this year would be her current work in high school. Her performance is well Mr. Forsthoefel and Mr. Miller because they are very above many of her classmates,” he said. “The reason passionate about what they do,” Wolters said. “Their for her success revolves around her crisp writing and energy makes the class interesting and helps me to fluent reading skills. Janelle will elaborate constructively learn more.” on ideas and theories. Overall, I am impressed with Because of her own experiences, Wolters Janelle’s demeanor and diligent encourages underclassmen to also sample the varied Congratulations On A Great Year! work ethic in and outside of school. class offerings available in high school. 121 EAST MAIN, ST. HENRY • 419-678-2425 In other words, we need more “I would advise underclassmen to take a variety of ~~ Quality Pennzoil & Marathon Products ~~ a students like her.” classes throughout high school,” she said. “By taking Wolters’ commitment Gas For Less & Service With A Smile! what I to variety of classes, it helped me to narrow down education grows from her love wanted to major in at college and what I didn’t. I would of learning. Throughout her high also advise them to never slack off in any class because school career, she has varied the it can greatly affect your future.”Ad - Page 4 Hemmelgarn Marathon has decided to pursue ~ SINCE 1874 ~ types of classes she has taken The major that Wolters in order to explore many different in college is nursing. She has not yet decided which subject areas. college she will attend. She decided to major in From her sampling of many nursing because of her love for math and science and academic fields, Wolters discovered because of the experiences she has had through her extracurricular activities. COLDWATER, ST. HENRY her love for math and science. “I liked these classes, such as “I have chosen this major because I love to help & MINSTER trigonometry and chemistry, because people,” she said. “I always look forward to volunteering they have been challenging,” she in the emergency room of Mercer Health, volunteering said. “I love working through a at the Mercer County Home and helping the young problem and achieving a definite campers at 4-H camp. I feel being a nurse will allow me answer in the end. The hands-on to fulfill this desire of helping others while providing me experimenting to prove a theorem with other opportunities, such as the chance to travel.” is another reason why I have In addition to volunteering at Mercer Health and enjoyed all of my math and science the Mercer County Home and being involved in 4-H, Wolters has also participated in National Honor Society, CELINA, OHIO classes.” Although she did not enjoy her Leo Club, KeyFort Recovery, Brothers/Big Sisters, Box 549, Club, FCCLA, Big Ohio English and history courses as student council, math club and yearbook. She is also a 419-375-2514 much, she said the teachers she mass server atLicense # 27353 OH her church. had for these subjects—especially Of these activities, Wolters said she has benefited Instant volunteer work www.hogenkampfh.com Forsthoefel, her social studies most from her Farm Power Byat Mercer Health,

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especially because it cemented her desire in a nursing career. She also valued all her experiences as a member of the Happy Hearts 4-H Club and of the 4-H Food, Fashion and Design Board. “4-H has provided me with many opportunities, such as being a camp counselor, that have taught me so much about myself and about life,” she said. Supporting Wolters in all her activities is her mom. “My mom has been a major influence in my life,” Wolters said. “She has always expected a lot from me and pushed me to do above and beyond what I thought was possible. She has taught me to be driven and responsible through her own actions. I greatly admired her ability to balance her busy schedule, and she has shown me I can accomplish any goal at any stage in my life. I have always looked up to my mom and continue to look to her for advice.”

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Page 4 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ February 25, 2010
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he answer for all our national problems - the answer for ELECTRIC, INC. all the problems of the world - come to a single word. That word is "education."

By Erica Ranly “All students should graduate with the knowledge that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. Motivation and determination produce success,” said Becky Dirksen, a senior at St. Henry High School. Motivation and determination are two qualities Dirksen, the daughter of Gabriel and Shirley, possesses, as evidenced by her success throughout her four years at SHHS. The secret to Dirksen’s success is her willingness to approach every challenge and every goal “one step at a time.” “A task may seem out of reach when you look at it as a whole,” Dirksen said, “but in parts, anything can be accomplished. My basketball coach likes to enforce this rule by proposing the way to eat an elephant is not to try to swallow it whole, but take one bite at a time.” In fact, Dirksen said she has learned that simple “persistence and hard work do pay off.” High school chemistry teacher Randy Hoying said he notices Dirksen’s motivation in the classroom. “Becky Dirksen is an outstanding student at St. Henry High School,” he said. “She has an excellent work ethic, always strives to do her best and is a very pleasant person to be around. She is an outstanding role model for other students.” Box 549, Fort Recovery, Ohio As a role model for other students, Dirksen offers a bit of advice to her underclassmen. “Work hard on academics,” she said, “but still have fun and be involved because high school ends before 419-375-2514 OH License # 27353 you know it.” Constantly challenging Dirksen to work hard in her academics is Hoying, her chemistry teacher. Instant Farm Power By “In his class I had to work really hard to earn good grades. He would challenge us every day and would leave it to the student to search for the answers,”~ Lyndon B. Johnson she said. Featuring KATOLIGHT By MUT Onsite Energy In addition to Hoying’s class, Dirksen said she has also valued her anatomy and physiology and math AUTHORIZED KATOLIGHT classes. GENERATOR SALES & SERVICE all its systems work together,” Dirksen said. “Math class “The human body constantly amazes me on howSTATION has always been one of my favorites because numbers just make sense to me. The numbers either fit or don’t fit.”

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She has also been involved in her high school. Some of the activities in which she has participated include basketball, Spanish Club, Science Club and 4-H. She also volunteered at the hospital and traveled to Haiti for a mission trip. “I think being involved in the community is important because it shows you care about others,” Dirksen said. Some of her most valuable activities included playing basketball and traveling to Haiti. “I have really benefited from being a part of the basketball team. It not only has kept me active, but also has taught me teamwork and character,” she said. “As a junior, I traveled to the poor country of Haiti with a group led by Linda Thieman. This experience was very humbling and taught me to really appreciate the opportunities I have. I plan to return to Haiti on another mission trip this June.” Supporting Dirksen in her many endeavors are her parents. “My parents have been my biggest supporters in my life and high school career by providing me with the opportunity to become the best that I can be. Although my parents have six other children and manage their own farm, they support me in everything I do. They have always encouraged me to dream big,” she said. Dirksen has also appreciated the encouragement of her older sister. “She has strong faith and has overcome many obstacles and challenges in her life,” Dirksen said. “The way she lives provides me with a great example on how to live my life.” In the fall, Dirksen plans to attend either Ohio Northern University or Wright State University. She will major in nursing. “As a nurse my job will be to help people, which will bring me great satisfaction,” she said.

Class of 2

120 SOUTH FIRST STREET, COLDWATER, OHIO • 419-678-2324 News From Your Hometown Area!

By Erica Ranly An example of academic excellence at St. Henry High School is senior Lisa Knapke, the daughter of Ed and Linda. Her effort in the classroom and in her extracurricular activities sets her apart as a Mercer County Academic Achiever. Knapke’s passion throughout her years at St. Henry has been for math and numbers. “It is not too often when you find a student who has taken every math and almost every science course that our school offers,” said high school math teacher Jerry Mestemaker. Knapke, herself, admits she has always found math to be interesting. “As a young child in elementary and on to middle school, I have always enjoyed math class. It has always come the easiest to me. It was just something about the challenge of having one answer and trying to find it that intrigued me,” she said. Mestemaker, with whom Knapke has taken advanced math and advanced placement calculus, has been one of her favorite high school instructors. “Because of my love of math and numbers, I would have to say Mr. Mestemaker has been my most influential teacher,” she said. “He is always willing to help and make sure his students understand the material to their fullest potential before moving on.” In keeping with her interest in numbers, Knapke plans to major in accounting next fall at Bowling Green State University. “My love for [accounting] has grown more and more by taking two accounting classes in high school,” Knapke said. “Ms. [Betsy] Armstrong is fantastic and has deepened my love for it.” Mestemaker expressed his confidence in Knapke’s future success in the field. “Lisa is the type of student that, as a teacher, you hope to have about a dozen or so of in class every year. What is great about Lisa is that you know when she is in your class; you are going to get 110 percent worth of her effort. She definitely understands the importance of hard work when it comes to academics, and it has paid off for her. She has been and I am sure will continue to be very successful in her chosen field of study,” he said. In addition to her teachers, Knapke’s parents have also been very supportive of her goals “Ever since I can remember, they have always been there for me and have pushed me to do my best in school,” Knapke said. “They have made me realize that with a little hard work, anything

Knapke excels at SHHS

Page 5 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ February 25, 2010

By Erica Ranly “Ultimately, we want to use education to improve the world around us and help others,” said St. Henry High School senior Rachel Niekamp. With this desire to make a difference, Niekmap, the daughter of Carol and Dan, has dedicated herself to her education at SHHS and to the many school and community organizations of which she is a part. Throughout the last four years, Niekmap said she has learned that “you will never regret doing your best.” “Go the extra mile, and challenge yourself,” she encourages younger students. Niekamp also said she has learned that every single person she meets is able to teach her something and that she, too, serves as an example for all those she encounters. “Learn from others and encompass the best characteristics of everyone you meet into your daily life,” Niekamp said. “At the same time, Mother Theresa of Calcutta encourages, ‘Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes and kindness in your smile.’ Success is not measured by school grades or number of awards received.” Some important people who have influenced Niekamp’s life include her family, her teachers and others in the community. “My parents have always encouraged me to strive for the top and follow my dreams,” she said. “These people have encouraged me to try new things and perform at my personal best. Although I do not have a specific role model, my older brother Matthew has set an excellent example. He pushes himself to overcome and master his weaknesses.”

Niekamp uses education ‘to improve the world around us’

is possible.” Her parents have supported Knapke not only in her academics, but also in her extracurricular activities. These activities include National Honor Society, band, cheerleading, Science Club, Spanish Club, OFEA, SADD, Junior Scholars, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Buckeye Girls State, St. Henry Cluster Youth Group and St. Francis/St. Aloysius CYO. “Being involved in outside activities is important because, without them, a person will not be able to enjoy their high school years to the fullest,” Knapke said. “High school only comes once, and believe me, the four years go by so fast! The activities will be the things you will remember for a lifetime. No one will remember whether you had gotten an A or B in a class, but they will remember the impact you may have on them personally.” One of Knapke’s favorite high school activities has been youth group. “It has always been something I could always turn to for inspiration and direction,” she said. “Whether it be delivering baked goods to third shift workers or care packages around Christmas time or being involved in numerous retreats, it has always been a valuable part of my life.” Knapke has also valued her time in band. She said she will never forget going to state with the band each year for the last three years and the many relationships she developed through the activity. Because of how valuable these friendships have been for Knapke, she encourages her underclassmen to foster similar relationships with their peers outside of the classroom. “My advice would be to get involved in anything that interests you, whether it be sports, clubs or extracurriculars,” Knapke said. “High school is some of the greatest memories that will stay with you forever. It is an excellent way to meet new people and form a bond with them.”

In the classroom, Niekamp said many teachers have taught her important lessons. One teacher who especially encouraged Niekamp is high school German teacher Linda Schwegman. “She went beyond the call of duty,” Niekamp said. “She administered to each student and taught us how to succeed in life. Mrs. Schwegman places high standards on her students because she wants us to fulfill our potential.” Niekamp has worked to fulfill her potential not only in the classroom, but also in the many extracurricular activities in which she has been involved. These include National Honor Society, academic team and band. She is president of the St. Bernard Youth Group, she donates blood and she volunteers as a lector and server at her church. Of these activities, Niekamp said band has been one of her favorites. “Band has been a very rewarding experience,” she said. “I have been challenged to improve upon my weaknesses. I have had the opportunity to learn from others and develop into a leader. This organization has allowed me to be a part of a greater whole.” Niekamp said she will never forget performing with the band at the state football game her freshman year and at state contest for three years. In the fall, Niekamp will attend Wright State University-Lake Campus. After a few years at the Lake Campus, she plans to transfer to the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana Niekamp plans to major in graphic design. “This degree is very versatile and encompasses the artistic aspects that I want in my future career,” she said. Schwegman, Niekamps’s German teacher, expressed her confidence in Niekamp’s ability to continue to succeed in college. “Rachel Niekamp quietly commands the respect of her teachers and peers for her devotion to excelling in her class work and to becoming the fine and highly principled young woman that she is,” Schwegman said. “Her tireless devotion to understanding the tools of learning German and incorporating those tools into her written, listening and spoken work were exemplary. More important, however, is Rachel’s individual drive to garner as much knowledge as she can in all her classes in order to successfully pursue higher education. She has always prioritized her goals and has never faltered in her pursuit. She has become a master of time management in dedicating herself one hundred percent to her church, community and school. Her future success is guaranteed.”

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Faller succeeds at FRHS

Page 7 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ February 25, 2010

By Erica Ranly “Kelsey Faller’s strong work ethic has helped her succeed in many aspects while at Fort Recovery High School,” said Fort Recovery band director Meg Beavers. “Not only has she been extremely successful in academics, but Kelsey has also been a standout student is music and athletics. Her work ethic combined with her many interests and successes make Kelsey a strong example of an Academic Achiever.” Beavers pinpoints the reasons why Fort Recovery High School senior Kelsey Faller, the daughter of Nick and Stacy Faller and Jane and Jeff Romack, earns recognition as a Mercer County Academic Achiever. One very important part of Faller’s high school career has been her music. She has been a member of the band, show choir and By Request, an auditioned choir group. She has participated in solo and ensemble contests all four years of high school and performed in show choir musical. “I love my music classes because I enjoy every minute of them,” she said. “I love working on a piece of music and being able to hear the end product. It makes me feel like I accomplished something big.” Faller said band has been one of her favorite activities because she not only works with music, but she also is able to travel and meet new people through the activity. “Marching band has also taught me how to be a leader,” she said. “From August to November each year was nonstop work, but it was also nonstop fun.” Through her participation in band, Faller said she has come to respect and appreciate Beavers leadership. “For a first-time band teacher, she did amazing,” Faller said. “She taught me how to be dedicated with the things I love to do. Miss Beavers really pushed the band this year, and I felt that I have greatly improved my instrumental skills because of her.” In addition to Beavers, Faller said she has also appreciated the guidance of high school chemistry teacher Robyn Armstrong. “I have known Mrs. Armstrong for three years now, and taking chemistry and advanced placement chemistry with her was a blast,” Faller said. “She pushed me to do my best, and I wanted her to be proud of me. I always worked hard in her classes, and she taught me a lot.”

Outside of the classroom, Faller said her father has been her most faithful supporter. “He has always gone to my school events, and I don’t think he has missed one,” Faller said. “My father also pushes me to do my best. He pushes me to my limit, and I love that. Being pushed teaches me hard work and determination. My father just also happens to be my role model. I look up to him because he is a very optimistic person, and he looks at everything with a positive perspective. I want to live my life in a positive way just like he does.” Her dad’s example and encouragement was especially important as Faller struggled with one of her biggest challenges—Tourettes. “I have had Tourette syndrome since I was in first grade, so I have lived with this disorder most of my life,” she said. “I have now learned to cope with my disorder and how to talk about it to other people. I believe having Tourette syndrome has made me a stronger person, and I am not embarrassed of it anymore. It makes me who I am.” Despite any setbacks Faller has had, she has overcome them, keeping a full schedule at FRHS. In addition to all her musical activities, Faller has kept busy with the National Honor Society, softball, Spanish club, SADD, FCCLA, Future Teachers of America, student council and Winterguard. In the fall Faller will begin classes at Wright State University-Lake Campus, where she will major in early childhood education. In moving on to this next step in her life, Faller leaves some advice to her underclassmen. “Don’t follow the crowd,” she said. “Be your own person. What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular. I have found out who I really am by being my own person. I am who I am, and that’s the person I want to be.”

Pottkotter considers education ‘a gift’
By Erica Ranly “I think that the opportunity to receive an education is a gift that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is the chance to expand and develop your mind to ultimately further yourself in life. Knowledge is the power that cannot be bought, sold or stolen; it can only be built upon and expanded,” said senior Paige Pottkotter. With such a view of the education she has received at Fort Recovery High School, Pottkotter, the daughter of Joseph and Marie, has dedicated herself to her studies, and in the process, she has gained the knowledge necessary to ‘expand and develop’ her own mind. Fort Recovery German teacher Angelika Schade Hein testifies to Pottkotter’s commitment to learning in her classroom. “Paige is a young woman who set goals for herself very early in life,” Schade Hein said. “She has been extremely determined to reach those goals and has had the ability to overcome any obstacles that come her way. Paige puts everything she has into whatever she’s doing and therefore is very successful. As a foreign language student, she grasps concepts and can use them very quickly because she puts in the effort and enthusiasm needed. Paige is a model student and model citizen.” Two of Pottkotter’s main interests in high school have been her math and language classes. “Math-related subjects like general math classes, accounting and chemistry have always been my favorites,” she said. “Math is one thing that I feel that once I learn it, it sticks with me. I like working with numbers and can easily understand them.” She also places emphasis on her language studies because of globalization. “I think that all students should graduate with at least one year of a foreign language. The

United States doesn’t have an official language, and as our involvement in other countries increases, the need for understanding languages other than English is increasing,” she said. Pottkotter will need both her mathematics and language skills in the future she has planned. On September 1, she swore into the United States Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program. “I ship to Parris Island, South Carolina, for boot camp on June 21. My military occupational specialty, or job, is supply and accounting. In the future I hope to also become a linguist in the military,” she said. Supporting Pottkotter in these goals is her friend Kelsey Brockman, who has also joined the United States Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program. “Since we first became friends, we’ve always been there for each other, pushing each other to reach the highest standards possible,” Pottkotter said. Pottkotter said she’s also been grateful for her family’s support. “No matter how much we argue, I know that they would do anything for me,” she said. “One of my role models during high school has been my mom. Born into a family of seven, she has also given birth to seven children. She was the one of the first in her family to acquire continuing education after high school and has inspired me to choose a different path than the norm in my family also. Although she has a full-time job and also sells Mary Kay, she always devotes her free time to us kids. In the midst of all the chaos and confusion, Mom is always someone that I can count on and talk to.” Pottkotter’s family has been supportive not only in her career decisions and academics, but also in the many extracurricular activities in which she has participated. These include Sports Medicine Club, student council, SADD, show choir, basketball, CYO and CYO basketball and Mercer County Junior Fairboard. She also served as secretary of the German Club, president of the National Honor Society, treasurer of Future Business Leaders of America and secretary of her senior class. She is the president of her 4-H club, worked as a 4-H camp counselor, reigned as the 2009 Junior Fair Queen, participated in the 4-H interstate exchange program and volunteered with the St. Anthony Dinner Theater and at the St. Joseph Cemetery. Looking back over all her activities and accomplishments throughout the last four years, Pottkotter leaves younger students with this bit advice about high school. “Underclassmen need to remember that no matter how far off graduation sounds, it really is right around the corner,” she said. “Every year of high school goes faster. These are four very special years that you will never get a chance to redo: seize the day!”

Page 8 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ February 25, 2010

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“My sister is the one person who I can count on to be there when I need someone to talk to,” she said. By Erica Ranly G get INC. Inside G “You don’t always get what you wish for,” said Marion Local High School senior Allison Bruns. “YouR I N D I Nthe classroom, Bruns said she found encouragement from high school English teacher Lynne Yates. what you work for.” St. has really pushed With this attitude, Bruns, the daughter of Kerry and Shelly, has put forth the effort 752 Jim Lachey Drive,“She Henry, Ohio me to do my best in not only my schoolwork, but also in life. Miss Yates wants necessary to achieve Cassella-Montezuma Road • Maria Stein, Ohio to see all of her students succeed, and she has helped me to use my knowledge to the fullest with lots of 640 levels of success throughout the HENRY, OHIO high E. MAIN STREET • ST. last four years. 419-925-7222 choose the easiest route, Bruns saw the value in challenging herself academically in high hard work,” Bruns said. Never one to • Fax: 419-925-6222 Bruns’s favorite high school. This is wisdom she passes on to other students now entering that stage of life. the standards for tool regrinding services. school class is human Setting “I encourage underclassmen to take the challenging classes,” she said. “Although these classes may physiology. “I find learning about the body, the body’s functions require more time and work, you will benefit more in the long run from the hard classes in comparison to the easy classes. The most important thing that I have learned throughout high school is to never procrastinate. and how the human body works to be fascinating,” she said. It is less stressful once you complete your work early instead of waiting until the last minute.” Because of this interest, Bruns plans to attend the In addition to challenging herself academically, Bruns also challenged herself in her activities outside University of Dayton and major in pre-medicine. She the classroom. “My biggest challenge has been being a member of my school’s cross country team,” she said. hopes to become a doctor. “I want to make a difference in people’s lives, and I “Running long distances was not something I was used to, and I found it hard and tiring. However, I told myself that I was not a quitter, and I looked towards the fun side of cross country, such as being able to believe that I will be able to do so as a doctor,” she said. After observing Bruns in her English classroom, Yates spend time with the fun teammates.” Other activities in which Bruns has participated include art club, Varsity M, National Honor Society, expresses her confidence in Bruns’s ability to succeed in CYO basketball and track, in which she was part of a relay team that placed at state. She is president of her chosen profession. “Allison is an outstanding student, often exceeding FTA/FCA, vice president of the math and science club, secretary of the pep club and secretary of St. John’s 2411 Cassella-Montezuma Road youth choir. Stein, Ohio 2411 Cassella-Montezuma Road • Maria the expectations of class assignments,” Yates said. “She CYO. She also sings in her parish’s • Maria Stein, Ohio is meticulous and poised, always portraying herself as a Encouraging Bruns in all•her 419-925-6222 419-925-7222 • Fax: activities and in the goals she had set for herself is her family. 419-925-7222 Fax: 419-925-6222 “My parents have been my biggest supporters throughout high school,” she said. “My mom is always charming, self-assured individual. Often found smiling, she helping me do what’s best. Whenever I need help with schoolwork, my dad is always there to try and figure is calm and well-mannered. And since she is extremely out the problem even though sometimes he can’t. My parents are supportive of my sports, as they came bright and mature, I am sure that Allison will become a caring and personable physician that any of us would be to watch every track meet or cross country meet I ran.” fortunate to have.” Bruns said her older sister Megan also provided the support she needed.

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By Erica Ranly “There is no question that Kayla’s exuberant and humorous personality adds to the high school atmosphere,” said Marion Local High School English teacher Lynne Yates. “Whether she is reading the morning announcements or adding her opinion about a poem during AP English, her personable attitude is always noticed. She is intelligent and perceptive, thereby earning the respect of her peers. And even though she insists that she can’t write seriously or compose an effective poem, she is talented and caring, which will definitely be an asset to her future patients when she enters the medical field.” Yates’s comments highlight the reasons why senior Kayla Schwieterman shines in Marion Local High School’s Class of 2010. Schwieterman, the daughter of Jim and Theresa, said her faith has been an important part of her life and of her ability to succeed. “It may sound cliché,” she said, “but God has definitely been the one sitting on my shoulder telling me I’m doing pretty well or that I need to kick it in the butt a little harder. I come from a very Catholic family, so God’s influence is a big part of who I am. I figure, He’s pretty good at keeping the whole world aligned, so I’m betting He’s a pretty legitimate role model.” Schwieterman’s faith is reflected in many of the activities in which she has participated while in high school. For example, she is the CYO president, a member of the youth choir, an officer in Marion Youth Ministries and a reader at her church. In addition to these activities, Schwieterman is also student council president, band vice president and pep club president. She is a class representative and is the head of scenery for the drama club. She is a member of the scholastic bowl team, National Honor

Schwieterman: ‘talented and caring’

Page 9 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ February 25, 2010

By Erica Ranly “Always try your best, and never give up,” said Marion Local High School senior John Will, the son of Andy and Shirley. This simple, yet wise advice has been Will’s method for achieving success throughout his four years at MLHS. Instrumental in inspiring Will to achieve high standards is his dad. “He is always pushing me to do my best,” Will said. In addition to encouragement and support, Will also looks to his dad as an example as he plans his future career in engineering. “My dad went into the same major that I am planning to go into,” Will said. Will will begin studies in mechanical engineering in the fall at Wright State University. “I can start at the branch—close to home—and [Wright State] has a good engineering program,” Will said. Engineering appeals to Will because of the field’s reliance on math and science. “Math and science have always been my favorite classes because I find them interesting, and I excel in them,” he said. In fact, because of his success in these subjects, Will was awarded the Honda-OSU Partnership Math Medal Award. High school English teacher, Lynne Yates, is confident in Will’s success in his future career path. “As a senior, John has grown into a witty and congenial member in class,” she said. “He is personable and self-motivated, always putting forth his best effort in his assignments. He is precise with his work, yet tolerant of others, which will definitely be an asset when he begins his studies in engineering.” In preparing for college and the work that lies ahead, Will said he is thankful for Yates’s guidance in the classroom.

“The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.” Will always gives his best

Society, SADD, art club, Junior Scholars and math and science club. She has also participated in basketball, volleyball, swimming, cross country and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. “I think outside activities reveal who you are,” Schwieterman said. “You really show who you are when you’re helping an opposing teammate off the gym floor or cheering on your teammates to hope they take off a few seconds from their personal record. They also expose you to a whole new spectrum of people that you may normally never associate with, but discover are some pretty neat people.” The time and effort Schwieterman has poured into her extracurricular activities is matched by the devotion she gives to her studies. While in high school, Schwieterman said her favorite classes have been human physiology and art. “I love art because it is so subjective, and you can choose exactly how you want to create something,” she said. “For opposite reasons, I enjoy human physiology because everything is very precise and concrete. It’s reassuring to know that no matter what, the thigh bone is always connected to the hip bone.” With this enthusiasm for science and the human body, Schwieterman plans to embark upon a career in medicine. Schwieterman will begin her studies in the fall at Marquette University in Wisconsin. One teacher who has continually encouraged Schwieterman in her studies is Yates, her English teacher. “It’s pretty ironic that freshman year I was nervous to even get a glance from her, but now she’s my favorite teacher,” Schwieterman said. “She’s extremely relatable and has a way of teaching that really gets through to students. She’ll let you know how it is, but is always very helpful and really knows her stuff.” As Schwieterman embarks upon the next leg of her educational journey, she leaves younger students at MLHS with a bit of wisdom. “I would give the advice to dare to be different, never let others make you feel inferior and be with people who make you laugh. I’ve learned that in high school it’s fine if you blend in, but if you stick out, people respect you a lot more for the fact that you had the initiative and confidence to be different,” Schiweterman said. “Also, all students should graduate knowing that in life there’s never a dead end. There’s always some way to make something work or adjust to do it differently. After all, when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.”

You and/o you h keybo it sho with t re

“Miss Yates always T.B. Macaulay hepresents her class with a challenge and makes you work hard to earn your grade to ready us for college,” said. Will admits, thought, that keeping up his grades in Yates’s English classes has been a challenge. “To overcome it,” he said, “I put forth my best effort and tried to get as much help as possible.” Getting help when it’s needed is something Will believes all students need to do to be successful in high school. “If you don’t understand something, ask someone for help,” he said. “Eventually you will need to know that information.” Will also believes students should become involved in activities outside of the classroom. “Being involved in outside activities helps you to get your mind off of school for awhile and relieves some stress,” he said. Will, himself, has found some stress relief by taking part in band, math and science club, scholastic bowl, math league, JETS, bowling, CYO, Marion Youth Ministries and the Crescent Players Orchestra. Of these activities, Will said he has learned the most from his years in marching band. Through the activity, he said, “you learn good life skills, and you have the chance to meet many people.”

"The secret to education is respecting the pupil.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dicke never gives up

Page 10 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ February 25, 2010

Matthews plans future in agriculture

Rodriquez: dedicated to education
By Erica Ranly “My favorite classes have been philosophy of physical science, modern European history, general physics and advanced ceramics. I could go on,” said senior Erica Rodriquez. With this love of learning, Rodriquez has poured herself into her studies across the disciplines at Parkway High School and at Wright State University-Lake Campus, where she takes classes as a post-secondary option student. Her academic success earns her recognition as an Academic Achiever. Education is important to Rodriquez because, she said, “it is the most valuable tool for success.” “Education does not necessarily guarantee success,” she said, “but it does create opportunities that would have otherwise not existed.” Helping others attain an education has been one of Rodriquez’s passions in high school. Tutoring other students has been one of her “most meaningful activities.” “I have gotten the most out of my time tutoring others,” she said. “I spend a great deal of time helping others who are struggling academically.” Other important activities in which Rodriquez has participated are bowling, mock trial team and Cultural Enrichment Club. She also served as a FOR leader. “Being involved in outside activities is important because it gives you a chance to go beyond the school setting,” she said. “I also find that there are more opportunities to reach out to people in the community through outside activities.” Being able to help those in the community has been important for Rodriquez. “I live my life by the golden rule,” she said. “I always help someone in need when I can because you never know when you are going to be the one needing the help.” Some who have helped Rodriquez tremendously throughout her four years of high school include her parents, Joseph Rodriguez and Angela Park, and her entire family. “My family has been a major influence in my life as well as in my high school career. My parents have encouraged me to do my best in school so that I may have a successful future,” she said. Rodriquez said she also appreciated the guidance she received from high school English teacher Leah Etgen. “She has presented the biggest challenge in the classroom for me, and as a result, I believe that I have grown academically from the experience,” Rodriquez said. Rodriquez will continue to grow academically in the fall when she begins her college career. At this point, she has not yet chosen a school or a major, but she said she has “strong interests in law, education and public policy.” High school visual arts teacher Ed Kuhn expressed his confidence in Rodriquez’s academic abilities. “To make this brief, she is an excellent student,” Kuhn said. “Erica is self-motivated and driven to excellence. She helps others a great deal. She seeks additional work and is a pleasure to have in class. Everything I’ve seen her do makes me believe she is an academic achiever. I would take a hundred students like her. “

By Erica Ranly “I live my life by one rule, and that rule is to never give up no matter how tough life becomes. With this rule, anything can be achieved if you are willing to work for your goals,” said Alex Dicke, a senior at Parkway High School. As a result of his refusal to give up during the challenges high school brings, Dicke, the son of Brian and Joyce, achieved much success during his four years at PHS. Dicke thanks high school science teacher Patricia Wilson for offering him two of his most difficult high school classes—chemistry and physics. “I am very thankful that I was given the opportunity to take classes that were as challenging as the ones Mrs. Wilson taught,” he said. “Mrs. Wilson challenged me to think beyond the conventional ways of science and to find other paths to answer many questions science has to offer. It would be a good assumption that I would not be where I am today without her classes,” he said. In addition to Wilson’s science classes. Dicke also enjoyed his history courses. “I loved history because history felt like a story that never ends and is replete with new turning points that shift the balance of power from one nation to another,” he said. Because of his love for the subject, Dicke hopes to major in history in college with an emphasis in pre-law. He has yet to choose which college he will attend. In this decision, though, Dicke said he has the support of his parents. “Throughout my life and my high school career, I would have to say that my parents have been my biggest supporters, mainly because my parents were always there for me in my times of need,” he said. “They taught me to never give up no matter how tough life could get.” Dicke’s parents have supported him not only in his academics, but also outside of the classroom where Dicke has enjoyed a variety of extracurricular activities. These include Future Business Leaders of America, scholastic bowl team, mock trial, art club, science club and robotics team. He is vice president of the student council, treasurer of the National Honor Society and an American Legion Buckeye Boys State delegate. Through these activities, Dicke said he has made many memories and has learned valuable lessons. For example, he said he will never forget the National Honor Society trip to New York City. “There I had a blast with all my friends exploring a whole new frontier and a way of life,” he said. He said, too, that activities like scholastic bowl and robotics team taught him how to think on his feet. “However, the most influential activity has to be the 2009 American Legion Buckeye Boys State Conference,” he said. “The conference showed me how government works and how to live a productive and fruitful life in a way that is independent.” Dicke said that all his activities outside the normal school day have helped teach him time management and responsibility. “I believe that taking part in extracurricular activities helped cultivate who I am today,” he said. Wilson, Dicke’s science teacher, is also the advisor for the high school science club. She said that she has noticed and appreciated Dicke’s hard work not only in the classroom, but also in his extracurricular activities. “He works to his potential, always doing what was required to get top grades,” Wilson said. “He is very cooperative, doing whatever is asked without any hesitation. He is one of a few science club members that will always clean up at the end of a meeting and then ask if there is anything else he can do. Alex is a pleasant, friendly young man to work with.” In moving forward from high school to college and career, Dicke leaves underclassmen with this bit of advice. “Life during high school should never be taken for granted,” he said. “In my four years, I have learned that you should use what time you have at high school to be yourself and to just enjoy high school while it lasts because moments like that may never come again.”

By Erica Ranly Setting an example of academic success at Parkway High School is senior Danielle Matthews. Her hard work throughout the last four years has earned a place among the top achievers in Mercer County. Matthews attributes her ability to succeed to the many individuals who have encouraged and supported her throughout her life. Foremost among these are her parents, Todd and Brenda. “My parents have been a big influence because they push me to be the best I can, and whenever I lose focus or am about to give up, they always help me get back on track,” she said. “Both of them have been really supportive no matter what my choices and have pushed me in the right direction. My dad is a great role model because he has a lot of common sense and he pushes my brothers and me to do the best we can in everything. My mom is a role model because she puts us kids first. She helps us with our homework and gives advice on many different subjects.” Matthews’ Grandma Berniece Baker, too, has been a valuable supporter. “My Grandma Baker has been a huge supporter because she comes to almost every one of my sporting events and she always finds the positive side to everything I do. She also showed me how to stay strong through the tough times and keep my head up,” Matthews said. Inside the classroom, Matthews said her first-grade teacher Linda Stelzer encouraged her take her studies seriously. “She showed me a positive outlook on education,” Matthews said. “She retired a few years ago, but she still works in the school and asks me about how everything is going. Her interest in my life and how I am doing has made her not only an influential teacher, but an influential person.” Outside of the classroom, Matthews’ friends have had a tremendous influence on her high school career. She said she will never forget the fun times they have had during and after high school sporting events. “Football games and basketball games were exciting and to spend time with my friends, and hanging out with them afterwards was always a great time. I have plenty of laughs from those nights,” she said. Matthews encourages underclassmen to develop close friendships with their classmates. These relationships will last far beyond their high school graduation day. “Surround yourself with people who like you for who you are,” she said. “I have surrounded myself with the best of friends that bring out the best in me. Never change who you are no matter what someone else tells you. Every person has their own personality and has their own morals and values. Your true friends will like you for who you are, not the person they think you should be. Throughout high school I have had plenty of people tell me to change something about my personality, but if I would have listened, then I wouldn’t be the same. I just found the right friends, and they will probably be my best friends for life.” In addition to the time she has spent with her friends in high school, Matthews said she also values all the time spent in her agriculture classes. “My favorite classes have been my agriculture classes,” she said. “This is probably because I live on a farm outside of Ohio City, and my everyday life revolves around what happens on the farm. I loved ag science and ag biology. In ag business, we learned about the futures markets and grain contracts, and I understood it real easily. This pushed me to get a job at Mercer Landmark and oversee how a real business runs and uses what I learned in class in real life. I really enjoyed it.” Because of her interest in agriculture, Matthews plans to attend the Ohio State University in Columbus in the fall to major in ag business and applied economics. In the future, she hopes to continue working with Mercer Landmark and with her dad on their family farm. In addition to her high school job with Mercer Landmark, Matthews has also participated in a variety of extracurricular activities: softball, volleyball, basketball, FBLA, FCCLA, science club, book club, Friends of Rachel and district newspaper. She also serves as the FFA reporter, National Honor Society reporter and senior class secretary. She is a teacher’s helper in FTA and volunteers as an AM newscaster. She also worked at Celina Westwood Car Wash.

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By Erica Ranly “I don’t know if I have had a finer gentleman in my class than Adam Carr. He never gives less than 100 percent—and all the while taking four advanced placement classes and participating in basketball. His self-discipline and responsible attitude set him above his peers,” said Celina High School advanced placement calculus teacher Patricia Franzer. For these qualities in the classroom and in his extracurricular activities, senior Adam Carr, the son of Cynthia and Gary, earns recognition as an Academic Achiever in the Class of 2010. Carr’s excellence in the classroom can be traced to the value he places on his education. “Education sets the path for success in life,” he said. Carr encourages underclassmen to take this lesson to heart and to put forth the best effort possible in the classroom. “I would tell underclassmen to do their best, and that is all anyone can ask. Just stay focused and refuse to become frustrated,” he said. Throughout four years of high school, Carr admits he did have plenty of opportunity to become frustrated—especially in his English classes. “My greatest challenge in high school had to be the tedious English courses I took,” he said, “but through the help of amazing English teachers, I have been able to succeed in them.” More enjoyable for Carr have been all his math and science classes. “All the math and science courses I have taken always keep me very interested,” he said. In fact, Franzer, Carr’s advanced placement calculus teacher, said she noticed and appreciated Carr’s enthusiasm in her classroom. “He takes advantage of each and every minute of class time,” Franzer said. “Adam does not just ‘do’ AP Calculus; he works hard to ‘understand’ the course.” Carr said that Franzer has been one of his most influential teachers in high

Carr ‘never gives less than 100 percent’

Page 11 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ February 25, 2010

school. “She is a fantastic educator, excellent leader and all around great person,” he said. Others who have influenced Carr’s high school career include his parents. “My parents have been my biggest supporters because they are always there to encourage me,” he said. Carr also admired many of the previous valedictorians at Celina High School. “I really looked up to them and did my best to get grades like them,” Carr said. His last four years have not been full of only books and studying, however. Carr has also participated in a number of activities outside the classroom. Some of these include volunteering on the Appalachia Service Project, serving with the People to People Ambassador Programs and participating in basketball, National Honor Society, Junior Engineering Technical Society, Applied Physiology Training Program, Junior Scholars, Varsity C and Mercer County Youth Leadership. He also received the Carolyn Bair English Excellence Award. Of these activities, Carr said he has benefited most from his participation in varsity basketball, Mercer County Youth Leadership and athletic training because all three activities cultivated skills he will use in his future. For the future, Carr plans to attend either Ball State University or the Ohio State University, where he will major in pre-medicine. He plans to become an orthopedic surgeon.

Gutta aspires to medicine

By Erica Ranly “What would be your description of a highly self-motivated student?” asked Celina High School advanced placement biology teacher Peg Key. “Mine would be Jyostna Gutta. Jyostna’s keen interest in science has been apparent since the first day of class. She goes above and beyond what is required. She has an outgoing personality and many leadership qualities, which, along with her desire to learn, make her an outstanding student and motivator for other students. Jyostna will be successful in whatever career she chooses and an asset to any college she chooses.” With hard work and perseverance, senior Jyostna Gutta has achieved much success during her years at Celina High School and has gained the knowledge necessary to embark upon the next stage of her life journey—college and career. Gutta’s high school interests have revolved around the sciences. Some of her favorite classes in high school were advanced placement biology and chemistry. “The classes were really interesting, and my teachers made science really fun,” she said. “Although they were hard, these classes truly cemented my interest in science.” During advanced placement biology, Key became one of Gutta’s most influential teachers. “She is an extraordinarily kind person, and an excellent teacher. She always has time to help out a student, no matter how busy she is, and she displays a high sense of empathy,” Gutta said.

Because of Gutta’s interest in the sciences, she plans to major in chemistry in college. Not only does she enjoy chemistry, but she also has a high aptitude for the subject. Last year, she was named the Advanced Placement Chemistry Student of the Year at CHS. Gutta hopes to begin her chemistry studies in the fall at the Ohio State University where she has been accepted into the Honors Program. After finishing an undergraduate degree in chemistry, she plans to become a doctor, specifically an oncologist or hematologist. She hopes to attend medical school at Ohio State, Johns Hopkins University or Emory University. Encouraging Gutta in her goals are her parents, Drs. Jayanth and Ramasita Gutta. “In my life, I think my parents have been my biggest supporters,” she said. “They always encourage me to do my best and help me no matter when I need it.” Gutta said she looks up to her mom, especially, as she works toward her future career goals. “My mom is an extremely decent person, and I have always hoped I can be half the person she is. She was an excellent student, and an excellent doctor, and I hope to be the same,” Gutta said. Academics have not been Gutta’s sole occupation throughout the last four years, however. She also has been involved in many extracurricular activities. Gutta participated in mock trial, National Honor Society, SADD, scholastic bowl and the Junior Engineering Technical Society. She is the treasurer of the Spanish Club, and she volunteers at Mercer Health. “Being involved with extracurricular activities and outside activities is incredibly important,” Gutta said. “You make all sorts of new friends, and you get a sense of belonging and giving back to the community. Being involved has helped me grow more confident and outgoing as a person, and I think it is one of the most important things to do while you are in high school.” In reflecting upon her own high school experiences, Gutta offers underclassmen some advice for success at CHS. “For underclassmen, I would advise them to maximize their high school experience,” she said. “It’s cliché, but high school flies by, and it really is one of the best times in your life. I have personally learned to make use of all my time and that procrastinating is the worst choice you can make, no matter how tempting it is.”

Page 12 ~~~ Mercer County Chronicle ~~~ Academic Achievers ~~~ February 25, 2010

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By Erica Ranly “My most influential teacher was my seventh-grade English teacher, Mrs. [Kristine] Winget. She was crazy, funny and spontaneous, and most importantly, she taught me that learning can be fun. School shouldn’t be something you dread, but should be enjoyed because you can never go back and do it again,” said Celina High School senior Amber Jaeger. “Once time’s gone, you can never get it back, so live every day like it’s your last.” In applying these lessons in her own life, Jaeger, the daughter of Angela and Michael, has made the most of her four years at CHS. In that time she has not only enjoyed her many classes, but has also distinguished herself as a high achiever in her senior class. High school American government teacher Bill Sell has noticed Jaeger’s dedication in the classroom. “Amber Jaeger has consistently demonstrated a tremendous work ethic in American Government,” he said. “She has always gone ‘above and beyond the call of duty,’ seeking to do her homework and class work ahead of schedule. Not only is she an outstanding student, she has a positive, friendly attitude that will undoubtedly carry her to a successful future.” In looking forward to the future, Jaeger said she plans to major in nursing at Wright State University. Jaeger’s interest in the nursing field has been encouraged in part by her interest in the sciences. Her favorite classes in high school have been chemistry and biology. Her interest in nursing is further fostered by her compassion for others. “I am majoring in nursing because I love to help people. I want to know that I made a difference in someone’s life, whether I am helping them with their physical health or warming their hearts with a smile,” she said. Jaeger had the opportunity to serve others when she went on a mission trip to Appalachia with her church. “We went to states in the Appalachian Mountains and helped rebuild the homes of those less fortunate than us,” Jaeger said. “It’s an amazing experience to see how happy you can make a family just by giving them a roof that doesn’t leak.” In addition to taking part in this Appalachian Service Project, Jaeger has been involved in her school and community in a variety of other ways. She has been a part of the tennis team, taken

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college-level classes at Wright State University-Lake Campus and participated in St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Youth Group, choir, athletic training and National Honor Society. Taking part in these activities, however, has not always been an easy task. “My biggest challenge was coming out of my shell when I started taking classes at Wright State Lake Campus my junior year in high school,” she said. “It was a hard adjustment being in the same class with all college students at age sixteen. At first, I was very shy and too nervous to talk to most of the people in my classes. I overcame this challenge by having confidence in myself and coming to the realization that I am just as good of a person as anyone around me.” From this experience Jaeger has learned an important lesson that she shares with underclassmen: “Be yourself,” she said. “Never change who you are just to fit in with a certain crowd. If they’re your true friends, they will like you for who you are. Throughout high school I have learned to stop worrying about what other people think and just be the best person I know how to be.” Encouraging Jaeger in being the best person she can be are many influential people in her life including her mom and Joann Shough, a family friend. “My mom has always been there to watch me in anything I wished to partake in, whether it was a dance recital, softball game, school musical or a tennis match. Throughout high school she always helped me keep my head held high and encouraged me to try my best in everything I did. She never fails to tell me, and the whole world, how proud she is of me,” Jaeger said. “My role model during high school has been a friend of my family, Joann Shough. She is one of the most strong-minded, kind-hearted women I have ever met and is always willing to help anyone with anything. On top of her amazing personality, she has also been a very successful registered nurse for many years. I respect her opinions and any advice she gives me and hope that someday I can measure up to be like her.”

ARITHMETIC • ENGLISH • CALCULUS • HISTORY • WRITING

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