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WHS ceremony honors high achievers in academics, clubs

WORTHINGTON -- Students were rewarded for their academic excellence with something far better than certificates: lip-syncing teachers.

A large group of red-shirt-clad District 518 faculty members wrapped up Wednesday's 21st annual Academic Awards Ceremony with a performance of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" in the Worthington High School gymnasium. Students were unable to contain their laughter at the group's synchronized dance moves and theatrical "solos" by teacher Sam Becker and coach Eric Lindner, and gave the educators a standing ovation for their efforts.

The program was themed "Imagine, Believe," and began with a Bel Canto Chior performance of John Lennon's "Imagine."

"Our objective today is to help students see the many opportunities they can pursue on the way to the ultimate goal of graduation," began Worthington High School Principal Paul Karelis.

Students were honored for their achievements in Mock Trial, writing and journalism, Business Professionals of America, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), art, Knowledge Bowl, Trojan News and music.

"Today, the Worthington High School Music Department celebrates the achievements of our music students who have chosen to go above and beyond to reach their musical potential by participating in the annual solo-ensemble contest for band, choir and orchestra students," said band director Jon Loy.

Seventy students participated in the regional competition April 5 in Fulda, and 85 percent of them earned a Superior medal.

Teacher Pat Rolfes reported the WHS teams finished eighth and ninth of 33 teams at the regional Knowledge Bowl competition. FCCLA adviser Bonnie Bents also awarded Courtney Meier with the family and consumer science department's first-ever Nutrition and Food Service Award.

"She is going to continue her education, and I know she is someone who will make a difference," Bents said.

Heads of each academic department presented Senior Student of Excellence awards. Recipients were Maggie Fornoff, agriculture; Jesus Ordaz, art; Shelby Gravenhof, business; Jennifer Froderman, communication arts; Susana Murillo, family and consumer sciences; Evan Almberg, industrial technology; Ann Zaske, math; Kathleen Fleming, music; Aaron Grafing, physical education and health; David Sorensen, science; Sameera Nalla, social studies; and Laura Huls, world language.

Danny Khounthavong received the Outstanding Achievement Award, and Travis Meinders was awarded the Daily Globe's Outstanding Senior Award.

Karelis finished the program by presenting the senior academic letters and named the seniors graduating with honors.

BPA: Alana Ablog, Jeremy Clark, Will Collin, Brandon Heidebrink, Cheniqua Johnson, Danny Khounthavong, Larry Leovan, Shane Pedersen, David Sorensen, Boualom Souvankham, Ricky Thonglyvong.

WRITING: Daniel Anderson, Genevieve Bern, Jeremy Clark, Ellen Dudley, Laura Leiting, Jacqueline Martin, Jocie McDonald, Alexis Melendez, Stephanie Pavelko, Emily Penning, Amy Schutte, Rachel Sternke.

ART: Aric Ablog, Fayise Abrahim, Irene Amezcua, Gabrielle Amundson, Shi Shi Chen, Brianna Dodgen, Shelby Gravenhof, Michael Harberts, Laura Huls, Miguel Jimenez, Danny Khounthavong, Mindy Kuhl, Kari Li, Cody Livingston, Heather Loy, Brooke Luing, Virginia Magana, Alexis Melendez, Susana Murillo, Deann Naab, Sameera Nalla, Jonah Oberloh, Jesus Ordaz, Shane Pedersen, McKaylla Powles, Kelsey Ray, Katrin Staudacher, Anthony Tran, Jerry Tran, Brenda Velasquez, Yunuen Velasquez, Katie Van Watermeulen, Ann Zaske.

TROJAN NEWS: Genevieve Bern, Marcheta Fornoff, Traci Krumm, Melissa Ramirez.

MOCK TRIAL: Emily Anderson, Claire Bents, Brianna Darling, Mariah Haffield, Kayli Kuhl, Whitney Prins, Rachel Sternke, Kari Suby, Lexy Teerink, Rachel Terhark, Anna Tims.

FCCLA: Vanessa Alvarado, Genevieve Bern, Paulina Bouavichith, Monica Campos, Estefany Castillo, Alejandra Cerda-Sanchez, Velavanh Chairakoun, Elizabeth Dickey, Dayana Fuents, Maria Garcia, Stephanie Garcia, Nybol Gew, Michael Harberts, Laura Huls, Miguel Jiminez, Cheniqua Johnson, Destiny Johnson, Nicole Kremer, Ana Lozano, Rosalind Madrigal, Maggie Malathip, Dorian Martinez, Courtney Meier, Susana Murillo, Sameera Nalla, Stephanie Noerenberg, Mark Ngamsanga, Vicky Phannara, Maravic Phothichack, Diana Phrom, Amanda Poppema, Lucia Prado, Lily Ramirez, Tommy Sithad, Lena Sithithongtham, Anny Sompamitwong, Brett Spartz, Takesha Willis, Vanh Xayasane.

KNOWLEDGE BOWL: Daniel Anderson, Thomas Burns, Caleb Dirksen, Brianna Dodgen, Michael Harberts, Alex Hayenga, Nathan Landwehr, Gordy Moore, Jesus Ordaz, Isaac Wass.

MUSIC: Daniel Anderson, Emily Anderson, Alexie Becker, Michael Benitez, Claire Bents, Brandon Berger, Wesley Berger, Megan Blanchard, Joe Christensen, Kevin Coriolan, Whitney Coriolan, Brianna Darling, Caleb Dirksen, Ellen Dudley, Nicole Eknitphong, Loany Flores, Maggie Fornoff, Jen Froderman, Stephanie Garcia, Leeta Gnotsavath, Aaron Grafing, Michael Harberts, Grace Harms, Mitchell Huisman, Allison Jaycox, Emma Jirele, Amber Kelley, Ian Krekelberg, Ann Kruger, Traci Krumm, Kayli Kuhl, Mindy Kuhl, Laura Leiting, Kari Li, Heather Loy, Elizabeth Luke, Jennifer Majerus, Meagan Meier, Hannah Mick, Gordon Moore, Kinzie Myrom, Deann Nabb, Sameera Nalla, Esly Ovando, Stephanie Pavelko, Dillon Pedersen, Whitney Prins, Ahron Reif, Keirstyn Sanders, Chelsea Schmitz, Jennifer Scholtes, Peter Scholtes, Timothy Skog, Matthew Sorensen, Katrin Staudacher, Nick Steinle, Rachel Sternke, Ian Stewart, Brittany Thiel, Sam Thuringer, Anna Tims, Eric Van Der Linden, Yunuen Velasquez, Krista Vogt, Travis Vuong, Eli Wass, Isaac Wass, Matt Wesselink, Ann Zaske.

SENIOR ACADEMIC LETTERS: Evan Almberg, Alana Ablog, Fayise Abrahim, John Craig, Erin Ebbers, Marcheta Fornoff, Jennifer Froderman, Kaitlin Gerber, Leeta Gnotsavath, Shelby Gravenhof, Zachary Houselog, Laura Huls, Allison Jaycox, Amber Kelley, Mindy Kuhl, Samuel Landberg, Courtney Meier, Travis Meinders, Deann Naab, Sameera Nalla, Zachary Nerem, Jesus Ordaz Adame, Max Pierson, Kelsey Ray, Emily Rogers, Jennifer Scholtes, Amy Schutte, David Sorensen, Samantha Tang, Ricky Thonglyvong, Derik Verdoorn, Melissa Waldner, Nicole Windschitl, Ann Zaske.

SENIOR GRADUATING WITH HONORS (3.5-3.74999): Jessica Chilel, Kevin Coriolan, Kathleen Fleming, Aaron Grafing, Michael Harberts, Zachary Houselog, Laura Huls, Haley Jansen, Mitchell Jensen, Patrick Johnson, Randa Knutson, Samuel Landberg, Laura Leiting, Susana Murillo, Zachary Nerem, Thanh Nguyen, Pruthill Patel, Kelsey Ray, Alison Synavone, Samantha Tang, Caleb Terhark, Ricky Thonglyvong, Paige Westphal, Dayton Williamson, Nicole Windschitl.

SENIORS GRADUATING WITH HIGHEST HONORS (3.75-4.0): Evan Almberg, Alana Ablog, Fayise Abrahim, John Craig, Erin Ebbers, Marcheta Fornoff, Jennifer Froderman, Kaitlin Gerber, Leeta Gnotsavath, Shelby Gravenhof, Allison Jaycox, Amber Kelley, Mindy Kuhl, Travis Meinders, Courtney Meier, Deann Naab, Sameera Nalla, Jesus Ordaz Adame, Max Pierson, Emily Rogers, Jennifer Scholtes, Amy Schutte, David Sorensen, Derik Verdoorn, Melissa Waldner, Ann Zaske.