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DURANT (Iowa) High School has selected these outstanding seniors:


SAMANTHA KUTCHER, daughter of Tim Kutcher and Cherie Kutcher of Durant, plans to major in elementary education at University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Des Moines Register Academic All-State
  • Honor Roll
  • Distinguished Scholars Award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: During my sociology class, we were assigned to a mock trial case. We set it up just like a courtroom with the jury, prosecutors, witnesses, etc. I was the defendant's attorney. It was a really cool experience, because it was something unique. We had never done anything like that, so it was interesting to see the whole class interact with each other, We were able to learn how the court system worked, but in an interactive way. It's one of my favorite assignments I've ever done.


AMORAE MYERS, daughter of Tracy Myers of Durant, plans to major in English at Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa.

Top 3 achievements:

  •   Academic All-Conference
  •   Honor Roll
  •   National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A memorable classroom learning experience for me was when I had to give a speech/presentation ... in Spanish. In this presentation, we were given a place in South America. The point of the project was to persuade someone to travel there. On the outside, it seemed like an easy project. However, the difficult part was the presenting itself. When we presented, it had to be in Spanish and we could only use notes as if we were giving a speech. This meant that the slides couldn’t have bullet points directly on the slides. Spanish and Math are not my fortes. While I can read, write, and understand grammatical Spanish concepts to some extent, speaking and hearing are two separate things. Fortunately, I did well and was able to receive a good grade.


AMANDA WIESE, daughter of Gaylon and Brenda Wiese of Bennett, plans to major in elementary education at Iowa State University, Ames.

Top 3 achievements:

  • National Honor Society, president
  • Academic All-Conference, basketball, volleyball
  • Muscatine Council on Youth Leadership Award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: When I look back on high school, some of my fondest memories come from Spanish class. My class was very unique, but our teacher never backed down from what he came across with us. I learned so much in that class, but it wasn't just Spanish. My teacher really showed us what it meant to be a good person. I learned how to use my strengths to my advantage, how to work out things I thought impossible at first, and how to find the fun in everything I do. He also taught us that life isn't always about being the best at everything, but rather finding what you're good at and never looking back.

Math/The Sciences

KAITLYN WIESE, daughter of Greg and Cindy Wiese of Bennett, plans to major in exercise sports science at Creighton University, Omaha.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Muscatine Community College president's list
  • Academic All-Conference, volleyball, basketball, track
  • National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: For anatomy, we went on a field trip to the University of Iowa. While we were there, we toured the new Children's hospital, went into a lab and learned what they were trying to figure out, and experienced a cadaver lab learning about the heart and the brain. The cadaver lab was an awesome experience, and I learned more about the heart and the brain when I could actually see the organs than I can learn by reading and seeing pictures. In the lab, they were using fruit flies to see all their different mutations; whether it was curly wings, being chubbier, having red or white eyes, or even if they were darker. We were able to see them through a microscope that really defined their differences. This experience makes me excited for the next phase of my life.

Vocational Education

COLE STINEMAN, son of Brian and Rebecca Stineman of Walcott, plans to study EMT/Paramedic at Scott Community College, Bettendorf.

Top 3 achievements:

  •   Building a multi-purpose building in West Branch, Iowa
  •   Building a house for Habitat for Humanity in Tipton
  •   Building a model house in Durant

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: In the two years I have been a part of the ACE program we have worked on multiple projects. The largest project was in West Branch where we helped design, then build a multi-purpose building. We had another project in Tipton where we built a house for Habitat for Humanity. We have multiple projects in Durant also. In Durant we built boxes to hold toys for the Elementary kids, as well as refurbishing the shed that the recess equipment is kept in. We are also refurbishing the doors for the local community center. The kids in the ACE program including myself were recognized for our efforts by Hills Bank and Trust Company. The bank awarded each of us with a Carhartt jacket.

Young Journalist

LAUREN RALFS, daughter of Joel and Kim Ralfs of Durant, plans to major in exercise science at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top 3 achievements:

  • National Honor Society
  • Honor Roll
  • Academic All-Conference

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: One learning experience I will always remember is when I took part in a debate in my American History class. I had to research information about World War ll and prepare what I was going to say before hand. This experience taught me a lot because I had to work on my public speaking skills and my debating skills. It was also a topic I was passionate about so the debate was very interesting to me. I felt that I took a lot from this learning experience and will use these skills in the near future.


Night City Editor