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DAVENPORT WEST High School has selected these outstanding seniors:

Academics

MADISON COUSINS, daughter of  Heather Cousins and Aaron Cousins of Davenport, plans to major in microbiology at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top 3 achievements:

  • AP Scholar with Distinction
  •  "Worth-Less" Campaign for Education Funding Equality Student Leader
  • National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Over my career as a student at Davenport West, I experienced many valuable learning environments, created by innovative, knowledgeable, and all-around wonderful teachers. However, one of my favorite memories is from Junior year; while in Ms. Sheehey's AP English class, the students act out Shakespeare's "Hamlet" every year. My experience analyzing literature while acting with my friends is irreplaceable; I gained so much from similar interactions throughout the course, and will always value the time I spent and the skills I developed in all of my AP courses.

ALEXANDER HUNT, son of Cristy Tackett-Hunt and Allen Hunt of Davenport, plans to major in biomedical engineering at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Governor's Scholar Award
  •   National Honor Society
  •   Academic All-State, football 

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A learning experience that I will always remember was when my Advanced Writing instructor taught us about all the different ways to use punctuation. I learned that there was so many more meaning to things like colons, semicolons, and commas. I was able to learn how to write properly and efficiently and has turned me into a much better writer than I used to be. I am now much more prepared for college and feel like I am a step ahead of other students in my grade. Without Advanced Writing, I would still be struggling in writing and literature.

The Arts

MOLLY KRETSCHMER, daughter of Mark and Deb Kretschmer of Davenport, plans to major in music education at Drake University, Des Moines.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Junior Rotarian
  •  National Honor Society
  •   AP course credits

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: During my senior year I was given the opportunity to be the assistant director of West High's junior varsity show choir This Just In! directed by Colleen Schloemer. As I do plan to teach and run my own show choir in the future, this experience was invaluable to my education; it gave me a taste of the show choir process from a director's point of view. Assisting throughout the show choir season brought me tremendous excitement to one day teach show choir and inspire my future students to make music of their own.

KATIE MELVILLE, daughter of  Rob and Angie Melville of Davenport, plans to major in art education at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

Top 3 achievements:

  •  2016 Congressional Art Competition
  •  National Honor Society
  • Quad-City Arts staff award 

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My AP art class has been an amanzing learning experience I will never forget. I have not only built great relationships threw this class but most importantly, it has pushed me to expand my talents as well as the confidence I have toward my art. If it weren't for this class and this teacher, I probably would not have found my true passion for art.

Humanities

ALYSSA VICK, daughter of Dave and Tanya Vick of Davenport, plans to major in English and creative writing at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top 3 achievements:

  •  4.0 GPA
  •   "5" on AP Psychology Exam
  • "4" on AP Human Geography Exam

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: In my AP English this year, we did an entire unit on poetry. It lasted over a month, and every single day, we studied multiple poets and their poems in depth. It taught me to appreciate poetry so much more, and even though it was a lot of work, I'm glad I had the opportunity. Now, I understand poetry so much better, and I am so thankful for my AP English teacher Ms. Sheehey for everything that she has taught me.

BEATRIZ GARNICA, daughter of Yolanda Garnica and Teodoro Garnica of Davenport, plans to major in physical therapy at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Honor Society
  • Silver Pin
  •  AP Spanish

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A few weeks ago, some classes volunteered for an environmental project where we had to wrap trees and bag them. I think this is a really important project because it inculcates values such as team work and it teaches students how important it is to protect the environment.

Leadership

SOPHIA BUCKLEY, daughter of Shannon and Matt Buckley of Davenport, plans to major in music education at University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

Top 3 achievements:

  • All State saxophonist
  •  Senior Class president
  •   National Honor Society, president

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: One of my most memorable experiences of my high school career is when I made All State my junior year. My band director, Maggie Oates, and I were up listening to my friend's audition when I got a text telling me to go downstairs to go look at the accepted list. Without hesitation Oates took off her shoes and started running down the hallway to go look at the list. Eventually we both made it down to the gym, winded from running, and amazed that I had been one of the three alto saxophones accepted out of 41. We cried and hugged and were thrilled that I had finally done it. This is one of my favorite memories and captures Oates' and my relationship perfectly. She is an amazing teacher and never stopped believing in me. I am so grateful to have had her as a teacher and friend.

WHITNEY MARTINEZ, daughter of Mary Jo Martinez and Paul Martinez of Davenport, plans to major in communications at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top 3 achievements:

  • National Honor Society, treasurer
  • Student Council, vice president
  • Environmental Club, vice president

Describe a classroom learning experience you'll remember forever: One experience that stands out to me most comes from governing student council/senate. It was my second year in senate and I was put in charge of organizing and planning the Student Hunger Drive. The year before, I had not been on the committee so I had no idea what I was doing. However, when senate saw that I was struggling, they didn't hesitate to help. All of senate dropped what they were doing to, came together, and helped me plan for the hunger drive. I will never forget that moment.

Math/The Sciences

PAMELA FRIEDE, daughter of  John and Ann Friede of Walcott, plans to major in mechanical engineering at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top 3 achievements:

  • National Honor Society
  •   Academic All-Conference, track, cross country
  •   Fluent in Spanish

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My favorite classroom experience was my senior engineering project. I helped to design and prototype a water filter to send to Kenya to combat the water crisis. I also helped to send water testing equipment and a solar backpack to Moamba and Kilawa, two villages in Kenya. Working on this project has been very fulfilling for me and has given me valuable connections beyond the United States. I plan on continuing my work on this project after I graduate.

ABBY RATERMANN, daughter of  Marsha and Doug Ratermann of Walcott, plans to attend Scott Community College, Bettendorf.

Top 3 achievements:

  •  4.0 GPA
  •  7th in FRC Robotics Competition
  • National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: The engineering class I took this year is project based and the students choose to what we want to work on. This year, we decided on a water filtration system or Kenya. In class we completed lots of research in order to know what direction we wanted to take. As a class we decided on a slow sand filter which uses layers of sand and gravel to filter out the bacteria in water. This filtration project is going to last for the next three years and the students following us will continue the project. It is great how we have the opportunity to solve real world problems in a classroom setting with the help of mentors and others around us.

Vocational Education

CJ BUSCH, son of Phil and Melodie Busch of Blue Grass, plans to major in sports management and marketing at St. Ambrose University, Davenport.

Top 3 achievements:

  •   Military Youth of the Year, Rock Island Arsenal
  • Football team captain
  •   FRC Robotic Rookie of the Year 

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I have had plenty of great experiences through my four years at Davenport West. A couple experiences standout in particular was the capstone I was in Junior year for the Robotics team that won Rookie All Star which means it was the best All around rookie team. Another great classroom experience was in Spanish Class with Mrs. Burton. She was not only a teacher but a great person to go to anything about and would stay till 7 o'clock at night to just help you understand something.

JACEN PETERSEN, son of Craig and Diane Petersen of Davenport, plans to major in exercise science at St. Ambrose University, Davenport.

Top 3 achievements:

  •  Scott Community College president's list
  •   National Honor Society
  •  Honor Roll, 4 years

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Taking psychology my junior year we started our unit on classical conditioning. Our teacher explained the experiment of Pavlov's dogs using a dog puppet, a bell, and a plastic steak. It was a really interesting to see how the teacher was able to take something as simple as explaining an experiment and make it somewhat entertaining. The demonstration made the experiment very easy to understand and really imprinted the concept of classical conditioning into my mind. It took the interest I already had in psychology and made it something I truly enjoy studying. I completed the standard psychology course, am currently taking AP Psychology, and plan to minor in psychology in college.

Young Journalist

JORDYN DRISCOLL, daughter of  Carry Thiessen and Daniel Driscoll of Davenport, plans to major in early childhood education at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Yearbook editor-in-chief 
  • National Honor Society
  • Falcon Friends Club president

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Yearbook staff holds one of the biggest projects the school has: It's a large task for a small group of students. Working closely with the 1,700 students we have here at West is a challenge, but our staff managed. Leading such a large project was the most stressful thing I've taken on, but it was the best thing I could have done. Guiding my peers to make the best book possible was something I will never forget. It was seriously life changing and will forever be in my heart. Yearbook is something I wish I could do forever, and will cherish the moments I had with both my advisers and my friends.

HANNAH JONES, daughter of   Ann Jones and Jeff Jones of Davenport, plans to major in biopsychology at Monmouth (Illinois) College.

Top 3 achievements:

  •  Yearbook co-editor
  • National Honor Society, vice president
  •  4.0 GPA

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A classroom experience I will remember forever is my time in yearbook laboratory. For two years, this classroom was considered my second home. From making dozens of new friends, staying hours after school to make deadlines, and to getting a new adviser, my career in journalism was one that I'll never forget. One person that especially made an impact in my journalism career at West is Mrs. Choate. Her dedication and effort to our staff was seen by all and very much appreciated. She has taught me so many life lessons, both in and out of the classroom. Creating the yearbook with her was fun, but being able to call Mrs. Choate not only a teacher, but a friend is something that I will cherish forever. Overall, joining the yearbook staff was the best decision I've made because the memories and relationships I've created along the way are irreplaceable.

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Night City Editor