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ROCK ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL
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ROCK ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL

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ROCK ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL has selected these outstanding seniors from its class of 417 students.

Academics

 ANDREW PEARSON, son of John and Lorene Pearson of Milan, plans to major in meteorology at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb.

Top achievements:

  • University Honors Scholarship from NIU
  • Valedictorian
  • Rock Island Rotary Academic Achievement Award  

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Be more outgoing, and don't worry about every little thing.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Being the captain of Rock Island High School's first Regional Academic Team Champions in 2014. It was an incredible moment.

JINESH SHAH, son of Jitendra and Monica Shah of Rock Island, plans to major civil engineering at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Top achievements:

  • Valedictorian
  • National Merit Commended Scholar
  • AP Scholar

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: I have enjoyed my four years here at Rock Island High School. All of my teachers have taught me so much and I am thankful to have gone to such a great high school. The advice I would give to freshmen is don't procrastinate no matter how tempting it is.

FAVORITE MEMORY: I will always remember how the boys’ basketball team won state my freshman year.

The Arts

MARCUS JACKSON, son of Marcus Jackson Sr. of Rock Island, plans to major in music education at University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.

Top achievements:

  • National Honor Society
  • Honor Roll
  • Medal of Honor

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: In high school, I have met many people and done much good. I have influenced others and allowed myself to be influenced by great people. Freshmen,  be flexible and do not allow what’s in style dictate your actions or the character you are.

FAVORITE MEMORY: My sophomore year I was given a $1,300 and went on a weeklong choir trip to Florida, I spent five days in a seven-hotel resort and visited all of the Disney parks and Universal Studios. It was the most memorable experience of high school.

 STEVEN NOWINSKI, son of Frank and Roxanne Nowinski of Rock Island, plans to major in music ministry at Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais, Ill.

Top achievements:

  • Valedictorian
  • “Best of Day” in solo and ensemble contest
  • Junior Rotarian

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF:  Rocky is pretty diverse. So much so that I think we’ve evolved beyond the cliché’ cliques you’ll see in most high schools. Still, every place has its good and bad crowds so if you want to make the most of high school find the right people to share it with! Despite being nominated for the Arts, my greatest achievement is purely academic.

FAVORITE MEMORY: I am proud to be tied for valedictorian while being a dyslexic and ADHD student. My hope is that my academic achievement will inspire others with learning disabilities.

Humanities

JENNIFER MICHEL, daughter of Holly and Larry Michel of Rock Island, plans to major in biology/pre-med with a minor in music at Loyola University, Chicago.

Top achievements:

  • National Honor Society
  • Loyola Dean's Scholarship
  • 1st place, RIHS Fine Arts Scholarship

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: I, as well as most high school seniors, have often looked upon my freshman self and frowned. Back then I was socially awkward, painfully shy, and a little too sarcastic for my own good. My advice is to always say what is on your mind. Bold is beautiful.

FAVORITE MEMORY:  I will always remember the feeling that I had after the speech I delivered at National Honor Society. The speaking in itself was okay at best. The feeling I had afterward, however, cannot be described. Hearing people react in such a positive way to my words was life changing.

KATHERINE PHILLIPS, daughter of John and Karen Phillips of Rock Island,  plans to major in international studies at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.

Top achievements:

  • Charles O. Austin Scholar
  • Illinois State Scholar
  • National Honor Society

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: My high school experience has had its ups and downs but often I found that when it was most stressful was also when my best work happened. I would tell my freshman self to try harder to make friends! Good grades are cool but never underestimate the importance of having a group of friends around you through good and bad.

FAVORITE MEMORY: I will always remember the wonderful times I had in theater, marching band and choir. I will especially never forget those days when the cast for the musical would be painting the set and singing along to the radio and having the best time just working together.

Leadership

 ALEX HARDCASTLE, son of Adam Burke and Jennifer Rentfro of Rock Island, plans to major in pre-med at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top achievements:

  • Charles O. Austin Jr. Leadership Scholarship
  • National Honor Society
  • Gold Honor Roll, 4-year

 ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: Get involved with as much as you can as soon as you can, study more often, meet as many people as you can, and when someone is walking in the hallway in front of you at a turtle’s pace, stay calm and patient.

 FAVORITE MEMORY: I will always remember when we won the state championship in basketball my freshman year and how excited I was watching the game and also going to Buffalo Wild Wings every Friday night after our basketball games with my friends.

HELENA SMILEY, daughter of Rob Smiley and Debbie Smiley of Rock Island, plans to major in secondary education and history at Augustana College Rock Island.

Top achievements:

  • National Honor Society
  • Amy Helpenstell Liberal Arts Scholarship  
  • Top 10 percent of class

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF:  I would tell my freshman self to work as hard as I possibly can. I would also tell my freshman self to get as involved with extracurricular activities as much as possible!

FAVORITE MEMORY: I will always remember my senior night cheerleading dance at the halftime basketball game. We seniors put in so much time and effort and to see how successful the dance was made it all worth it!

Math/The Sciences

KYRSTIN PLOHR, daughter of Chris and April Plohr of Rock Island, plans to major in actuarial science at Maryville University, St. Louis, Mo.

Top achievements:

  • Illinois State Scholar
  • Charles O. Austin Scholar
  • Mathematics Department winner

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: One thing I’d say to my younger self would be, don't be afraid. Too many people lose their chance because they aren't willing to take the risks. Another piece of advice would be, "Hakuna Matata, it means no worries."

FAVORITE MEMORY: Enjoy your time because you'll blink and it's over. I will always remember my volleyball senior night. That game still gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes. That team beat Quincy for the first time, set a school record, and became the first Western Big Six champion. I'll never forget that season.

JACOB SIGLER, son of Tim and Kelly Sigler of Rock Island, plans to major in aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Top achievements:

  • Charles O. Austin Scholar
  • Valedictorian
  • Math Department Scholar

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: I thought high school was pretty good experience overall. I met a lot of cool people who I've spent the last four years with and it’s going to be sad leaving. If I could give advice to my freshman self, it would be to try more new sports and clubs.

FAVORITE MEMORY: My most memorable experience would probably be when our symphonic band performed at the All State Band Showcase in Peoria. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work and we preformed the best we'd ever had. It was really cool to be a part of that whole experience.

Vocational Education

DILLON CRALLE, son of Jerry and Traci Cralle of Rock Island, plans to major in auto mechanic at Illinois Central College, Peoria.

 Top achievements:  

  • National Honor society
  • Student of the month
  • Medal of Honor

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: I would advise to make many friends and enjoy the time you are in high school. It is a short time and you'll miss it once you graduate.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Being on National Honor Society each year. I take great pride in maintaining above a 3.8 GPA.

TREY SIGEL, son of Thomas and Alicia Sigel of Rock Island, plans to major in civil engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.

Top achievements:

  • National Honor Society
  • Charles O. Austin Scholar
  • Junior Rotarian

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: My high school experiences taught me how to deal with multiple versions of adversity, with those being either in the classroom or on the playing field. I would tell my freshman self to make sure you're careful with the decisions you make.

FAVORITE MEMORY: I have had many athletic memories with coaches and friends that I'll remember forever, but the one thing that will stick with me is being able to play Rock Island basketball for my coach/dad.

Young Journalist

JASMINE BABERS, daughter of Robert and Teresa Babers of Rock Island, plans to major in business marketing at the University of Illinois, Springfield.

Top achievements:

  • National Honor Society president
  • Gold Honor Roll, 4-year
  • National academic and volunteering ambassadorships

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: Throughout high school, I was hungry to learn, especially since my teachers had so much knowledge to give. I developed amazing relationships, danced and flipped in cheerleading, and explored my wild side by taking up pole vaulting on the track team. I volunteered at school and in the community. I learned not do an activity just because you feel obligated. I also learned to do what you love even if you're afraid. Do it because you are passionate about it, because it will enrich you. Be brave. The classes, teachers, and activities I had taught me invaluable lessons about life, and myself as a person. I am forever grateful for that.

FAVORITE MEMORY:  I simply wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't started the magazine Sophomore year. It has changed my life significantly, and the relationships I've made and the places I've gotten to go has all been a perfect dream. I won't ever forget all the volunteers who've helped and the girls who have been featured throughout the last 2 1/2 years. My high school experience was so fun and absolutely unique, because of Love GIRLS Magazine.

ANASTASIA JONES-TOWNSER, daughter of Angela Jones of Rock Island, plans to attend the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top achievements:

  • Gold Honor Roll
  • UI National Scholars Award
    • IHSA Scholastic Achievement Award

ADVICE TO FRESHMAN SELF: If I could give advice to my freshman self, I would tell myself to have fun and love whatever you do wholeheartedly, and to appreciate every song

FAVORITE MEMORY: One thing I will remember forever is our senior night basketball game, when our student section was packed and we were all celebrating after we beat Moline.

CLASS OF 2014

Shelby Abrams, Elijah Adams, Musabe Adorocasse, Aime Masengo, Tabarek Al Oraifi, Tyler Albert, Travon Aldridge, Nikiza Alexis, Patrick Alongi, Ashly Anderson, Janesha Anderson, Laetitia Anderson, Lea Anderson, Mason Anderson, Arrian Andrew, DeMarianna Angel, Kilie Angusich, Courtney Arnold, Alec Aunan, Alexia Avena, Katie Axline, Antonetta Axup, Ashley Ayala, Jasmine Babers, Claire Bacon, Benjamin Barnes, Tonya Barnes, Shannon Barnett, Keontaye Beason, Tavian Beason, Michael Beyne III, Ran Bhandari, Gina Blair, Adriana Blanco, Erinnd Blanco, Nicole Blood, Andrew Bloomfield, Joshua Bourrage, Jordan Bowden, Eboni Boyd, Allyson Boyle, Donald Bradley, Lexis Bragg, Edgar Brown III, Joshua Bushnell, Raven Byrum, Jeffrey Campbell Jr., Stephanie Carey, Connor Carmen, Matthew Carr Jr., Samantha Carr, Jaime Carrillo-Castaneda, Christopher Castaneda, Michael Cavins, Shamia Clark, Benzell Clay, Dustin Coats, Hunter Collins, Christian Colmenares, Randi Constantino, Felicia Contreras, Karen Costilla, Delema Cowan, Dillon Cralle, Anthony Cross, Leah Daugherty, Dustin Davis, Eric Davis, Malik Davis, Torianna Davis, Laura Dees, Tyler DeHaven, Mark Dennhardt, Ashley DeRoo, Katherine Dix, Bailey Dooley, Haley Dorman, Alberto Dunbar, Rayvon Dunbar-Wilson, Craig Durbin, Victoria Eastman, Christopher Ehimwenman, Molly Eirinberg, Bucumi Emmanuel, Niyonsaba Eric, James Ewing, Hailey Feldhahn, Austin Fields, Hayley Finelli, Christopher Fischer, Lilly Fischer, Amanda Fleener, Andrea Flores, Kilee Foster, Kristine Francis, Mary Freeman, Alicia Freiburg, Tee Ga, Jorge Galeana, Rebecca Galvin, Victoria Garcia, Nikki Garrison, Nekai Gay, Cullen George, Charles Giles, Chastity Gingry, Oral Gordon, Rolanda Gordon, Xaviere Granado, Jane Gray, Abrienne Green, Cody Green, Draisan Greer-Turner, Jordan Griffin, Laxmi Gurung, Steven Gustaf, Jade Gustafson, Michael Gustafson, Bernard Haliburton, Dejoun Hampton, Alex Hardcastle, Hannah Hart, Destiney Hearn, Keonica Hearn, Camie Herbert, Andrea Hergert, Bibiana Hernandez, Dennicia Hickman, Estellanee Hickman, Jeffery Hickman Jr., Collin Hill, Krystal Hilligoss, Courtlynd Hinson, Mitchell Hodge, Quinton Holmes, Carlee Hoover, Nikkiela Hudson, Christopher Hummel, Nshimirimana Imelde, Devin Jackson, Marcus Jackson Jr., Corey Jacobs, Ryan Jacobs, Julianna Jespersen, Nickolas Jett, Ndayikengurukye Jire, Katherine Johnson, Sydney Johnson, Andrew Jones, DayQwon Jones, DeWan Jones, Jerry Jones Jr., KiAnna Jones, Michael Jones, Anastasia Jones-Townser, Nimpaye Joselyne, Hailey Jungjohann, Ndayiringiye Juste, Sina Kalhor, Issac Katzenburger, Anthony Kavanaugh, Zachary Keehn, Mariah Keever, John Keiffer, Sydney Kelley, Joseph Kelly, Keelyandra Kirkbride, Isabella Kong Kousonh, Alliyah Kowalik, Eh Ku, Moe Kyaw, Keonna Lampkin, Sidney Laughlin, Randie Lawson, Mackenzie Leatherman, Brandon LeBarge, Tianna Lecander, Brandy Lewis, LaCresha Linton, Brett Livingston, Kiaree Loggins, Alejandra Lopez, Stephen Lucas-Heinrich, Alecia Mallek, Amanda Manary, Amanda Manning, Tyler Manuel, Analisa Marceleno, Diego Marceleno, Jesus Marceleno, Cheyteria March, Jasmin Martin, Ciara Martinez, Laura Martinez, Samantha Martinez, Alyssa Matejcek, Cain Matter, Kelsie Matter, Tristan Mattson, Signe Maurus, Dania Mayren, Hanna McCraw, Morgan McCready, David McNichols, Carolina Medina, Elijah Meek-Bobb, Rosa Mejia, Omar Mendez, Jordan Mewes, Jennifer Michel, Jayvon Millbrook, Austin Miller, Benjamin Miller, Rajabu Mmende, Brady Moeller, Som Mongar, Ywa Hai Moo, Ashlee Moore, Sean Moore, Citlalli Morales-Guzman, Adrianna Morgan, Patricia Morgan, Evan Morris, Jamal Morrow, James Morrow, Ashlyn Mumma, Erin Munson, Melissa Munson, Grant Myers, Isabella Naab, Ndagijimana Necode, Cole Neder, Nicholas Niles, Prince Nombre, Faith Northcutt, Seven Nowinski, Dieudonne Nsengiyumva, Emmakire Nyamwiza, Hannah Ohlsen, Tairik O’Leary, Okito Olenga, Ciza Olevia, Gabriela Orduna De Leon, Rebecca Ornelis, Lovie Orr, Tyree Orr, Ryan O’Shea, DyNayus Owens, Emily Pagel, Nicholas Painter III, Alex Palos, Tlang Par, Van Par, Tyneisha Parker, Isaac Patrick, Hser Paw, July Paw, Andrew Pearson, Devan Penry, Gabrielle Pepping, Mario Peques, Maria Peques, Austin Perez, Joseph Perez, Luis Perez, Omar Perez, Dominique Perkins, Michael Peters, Katherine Phillips, Melissa Phillips, Elizabeth Phillis, Carissa Pierce, Kyrstin Plohr, Alyssa Pool, Breanna Popp, Tatyana Pore, De’Shavonne Pulliam, Gay Pweh, Pinka Quaye, Logan Rade, Jasmine Ragusi, Mercedes Ramirez, Thomas Ramirez, Jacob Ramos, Jillyan Randle, Alejandro Rangel, Jacqueline Rangel, Desirae Reading, Avanish Reddy, Breayona Reed, Tytiana Reed, Samantha Reichert, Steven Rench, Robby Rhoads II, Brandon Richardson, Devin Rochelle, Mariela Rocillo, Jamasha Rockett, George Roderick, Hannah Rodgers, Miguel Rodriguez, Derrick Roland, Jeremy Romero, Stephanie Rosas, Veda Rossi, Keenaen Ruiz, Nubeonna Ruiz, Yesenia Ruiz, Cristian Rivalcaba, Braxton Sanders, Jean-Jacques Sawadogo, Jean-Luis Sawadogo, Gerald Schadel, Amanda Schaecher, Tyia Schauland, Taylor Schiller, Nicholas Schmidt, Emma Schneekloth, Joseph Schultz, Hay Seet, Stephen Selsor, Jeffrey Serrato, Jinesh Shah, Zaira Shaikh, Kyndall Shaw, Paw Shee, Tyler Shewell, Keenan Shorter, Stuart Shuck II, Bukuru Shukurani, Trey Sigel, Jacob Sigler, Tiarra Simelton, Austin Simmer, Ndabishuriya Simon, Charlesreka Singleton, Helena Smiley, Jameila Smith, Luke Smith, Morgan Smith, Sharmaine Smith, Vanessa Spidle, Trevor Staes, Blue Stallings, Quineesha Steele, Brittney Stevenson, Emily Stockdale, Morgan Stoever, Rachael Stotts, David Straw, Deannea Tanner, Alyse Tate, Kirsten Tauke, Sydney Taylor, Quavanese Teague, Taj Teague, Anna Teggatz, Efrem Tesfamichael, Charday Thomas, Jerome Thomas Jr., Allyssa Thomas-Smith, Mystique Thompson, Carly Thornton, Jennifer Trevino, Brandi Trice, Heavenly Triplett, Bailey Trude, Jacob Umlandt, Isabel Vallejo, Bailey VanDerGinst, Rebecca VanSeveren, Nidia Villalpando, Devon Wagener, De’Aysha Walker, Jacob Walker, Jasmine Walker, Alyssa Walton, Christopher Watkins, Frankie Wells III, Justin Whitcomb, Abigail Wieland, Elizabeth Wieland, Abby Williams, Albert Williams III, Isaiah Williams, Jerra Williams, Kayla Williams, Selina Williams-Perez, Jason Willis, Danny Wilson Jr., Paul Wilson, Phillip Witmer, Sean Wolking, Chandler Work, Jarshay Wright, Adam Young, Jacklyn Yo

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