Try 3 months for $3

ROCK ISLAND High School has selected these outstanding seniors from its class of 348 students:

Academics

SYDNEY BRANSON, daughter of Evan Branson and Shellee Showalter of Rock Island, plans to major in psychology at Drake University, Des Moines.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Charles O. Austin Scholar 
  • Illinois State Scholar
  • IHSA Scholastic Achievement Award, swimming

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: In my senior year AP English Literature and Composition class, I learned that one of the many keys to success is confidence. As a perfectionist, I have always second guessed myself and sought reassurance. Mrs. Hayek taught me how to rely on myself. Her class is tough, so I often found myself walking up to her desk and asking her to reassure me that I was on the right track with interpreting whichever 15th century poem we were reading at the time. However, Hayek constantly pushes her students to be independent and I learned through her “tough love” that I needed to start believing in myself without any second guessing. In preparing for college next year, I fully expect my professors to use the same MO as Mrs. Hayek, and therefore I will remember her as a lesson to have confidence in my intelligence.

ALEXIS DILLENDER, daughter of Kim and Steve Dillender of Rock Island, plans to major in pre-veterinary medicine at Kansas State University, Manhattan.

 Top 3 achievements:

  •  Ranked 1st in class
  •  National Honor Society
  •  IHSA Academic Award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will always remember going to Anatomy and Physiology class. We are always learning new and interesting things about the body and are able to actually work with the organs we study. I will always be grateful for Mr. Campbell in how he is always looking to give us new and amazing experiences. The best experience I have had was going to the cadaver lab and being able to hold someone’s organs. Holding a heart is probably one of the most interesting things I have ever done, and being able to see all the organs is really eye-opening to how we live and how it affects our bodies.

The Arts

ALEX GANT, son of Gail Gant and Bryon Gant of Milan, plans to major in music education at Illinois State University, Normal.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Top 25% of class
  • Winter Academic All-Conference Athlete
  • IHSA Scholastic Certificate

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I don't have any too many specific classroom learning experiences, as they all just blend together. The classroom environment in itself is an experience. My band director, Peter Carlin, has inspired me to continue sharing my passion by pursuing a music degree in college. Through him I have learned to appreciate music as well as teaching it. One thing that sticks in my mind though, is when the Symphonic Band plays for the 5th graders to show them what they can do in band. Seeing the kids eyes light up is one of the things I live for. From Marching Band, to Symphonic Band, to the Pit orchestra for the musical, I am nothing but proud to be apart of the band program here at Rocky.

JADA VEASEY, daughter of Carla and Ed Veasey of Rock Island, plans to major in nursing at Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Quad-City Youth Symphony flutist
  • National Honor Society, president
  • Two Star Thespian in International Thespian Society Troupe 5079

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Something that really sticks out to me is when we were reading "The Crucible" in Ms. Miers' AP Language and Composition class during junior year. I will never forget the chilling last words of Giles Corey. When faced with choosing between falsely admitting to witchcraft and being pressed to death, Giles chose the honorable death. As the stones were laid on his chest, Giles said his last words, "more weight." That phrase has really resonated with me, and I love the strength it carries. I'll always love the crucible because it's what made me decide to try acting. I actually made my stage debut in the show, where I played Tituba. It was so cool to be up on stage, because I was so used to being below it with the pit orchestra!

Humanities

KIERAN BENSON, daughter of Angela and Bret Benson of Rock Island, plans to major in history and political science at Scott Community College, Bettendorf.

Top 3 achievements:

  • National Honor Society, vice president
  • Illinois State Scholar
  • Charles O. Austin Scholar

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Last year I had the pleasure of taking Mrs. Greenwood's AP English Language class, where we had many graded class discussions. These were always my favorite, and they still are in my current English class. But, in this class we had many disagreements. OK, a lot of disagreements, but they helped me. More so, they moved the conversation down deep and more interesting paths. Although these conversations and discussions were difficult to have, I learned that it is completely OK for someone to like "The Great Gatsby" even when I can't stand it. But really, I've learned that everyone has something to offer, that everyone has something to bring to the table.

CADE GREEN, son of Marvin and Stacy Green of Rock Island, plans to major in marketing at Black Hawk College, Moline.

Top 3 achievements:

  •  RIMSD Medal of Honor
  •  Junior Rotary
  •  Neil Anderson Youth Advisory Council

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My physics teacher Mr. Wolber was attempting to teach how some forces are naturally stronger than others, and rubbed two balloons onto his head and stuck them there. He ran around the front of the room laughing, looking like Mickey Mouse. He made all the kids in the classroom laugh, and everyone learned what he was trying to teach.

Leadership

PAW KU, daughter of Sha Roe and Pah Doh of Rock Island, plans to major in nursing at Emmaus Bible College, Dubuque.

Top 3 achievements:

  •   National Honor Society
  •   Medal of Honor
  •   Top 25% of class

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Math wasn’t my favorite subject, however, a learning experience I'll always remember is from my junior year of Integrated Math 3. This was my favorite experience because I had the best math teacher, Mrs. Evanchyk. She taught me how to learn math in an easy and understandable way. I always looked forward to go to math class and learn new math material. I also loved taking notes in math class and doing my math homework because I really understood what I was doing. She prepared her students well for quizzes and tests. My teacher helped me feel excited about learning a difficult subject. I appreciated how she helped me and am very grateful for this experience.

MYKEISHA WELLS, daughter of Tinisha Craig and Michael Wells Sr. of Rock Island, plans to major in psychology/sociology at Coe College, Cedar Rapids.

Top 3 achievements:

  • University of Illinois' annual 4-H Illini Summer Academies state planning committee
  • Citizen of the Year (youth)
  • National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: The classroom experience I will remember forever is actually quite ironic, owing to the fact that my category is leadership. I was in my 6th period choir class, and I had been having a pretty tough day, so I was not participating as happily as usual. At the end of class, Mr. Swessenger pulled me to the side and expressed that he noticed I was not enjoying class that day. He went on to tell me that he viewed me as a leader in the choir room. That when I sang with a smile and with joy in my heart, it was almost contagious. From that encounter, I learned that it is very important to always stay positive because someone could be relying on your positivity. So now, no matter what kind of a day I am having, I always wear a smile and act with joy in my heart!

Math/The Sciences

GALENA FESSLER, daughter of Carol Stream and Paul Fessler of Rock Island, plans to major in environmental economics and policy at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Top 10
  • Illinois State Scholar
  • Charles O. Austin scholar

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Last September my environmental science class visited Nahant Marsh for a field trip. We got to swim in a small lake as we dove for mussels and other creatures to take a survey of them. It was the coolest field trip I’ve ever been on and showed us careers in the environmental field.

JAMESHIA WALLS, daughter of Angela Teague of Rock Island, plans to major in nursing or pre-med at Augustana College, Rock Island.

Top 3 achievements:

  •  Charles O. Austin Scholar
  •  Illinois State Scholar
  •  Winter Academic All-Conference Athlete

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Having many great classroom experiences, my favorite would have to be in my Anatomy and Physiology class. I have always been interested in the body and how it works, so the class was really fun for me. My favorite part of the class was always the dissections. While some people would freak out about a goat eye, or brain, or heart, I would happily be the one to dig in and start cutting first. Besides the dissections, we would also use ourselves as experiments to see how the body works in different conditions. Overall, I think the class was a very good step and fun experience that really pushed me into wanting to be in the medical field. How could I ever forget this experience?

Vocational Education

ME LA, son of Cary Paw of Rock Island, plans to major in entrepreneurship at Scott Community College, Bettendorf.

 Top 3 achievements:

  •  National Honor Society
  •  Honor Roll
  •  E.A.C

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Two years ago when I was a sophomore in high school, I took an accounting class and I didn’t know anything about it. Mrs. Stephanie Dieudonne (Mrs. D) taught it along with other classes. The class involved skills, for example knowing how to write a check and to keeping track of how money is spent. I learned all of those things in that class that year. It truly was a learning experience.Then my junior year I took Accounting II as an independent study for the class. So I started to think about whether I should study Accounting after high school. I heard about an Entrepreneur class and that’s when I decided I was going to sign up for it my Senior year. It was life changing. We work in groups of five students and we started a business called Unique Unity. It is again one of the best class.

TY LEWIS, son of Tammy Young and Roy Lewis of Rock Island, plans to major in business/accounting at Black Hawk College, Moline.

Top 3 achievements:

  •  Academic All-Conference
  •  National Honor Society
  •  Gold Honors 

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: One afternoon in accounting class, we were playing Monopoly. Our teacher had picked our groups and we started playing. As the game went along my group mates had started to buy property, while me, on the other hand, sat back and waited. I started to land on their property which meant I had to pay rent. This process went on for a hot minute until I finally started to buy property as well. I had not been real familiar with Monopoly but I started to get the hang of it. The lesson I learned by playing this board game is no matter where you start or how you start it does not matter. All that matters is how you finish, and I won the game. This lesson I learned will be with me for the rest of my career.

Young Journalist

SARAH McCULLOUGH, daughter of Craig McCullough and Gena McCullough of Rock Island, plans to major in history at Illinois State University, Normal.

Top 3 achievements:

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

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A classroom learning experience I will never forget would have to be in first semester when the journalism class created the yearbook. It was an incredible journey, to go from blank pages to a full two hundred page yearbook. In creating the yearbook, I learned a few lessons. First time management, since there were due dates for every page, we had to learn how to use our time wisely. Second was to expand my outreach. I realized I do not know a lot of people at the school and I had the opportunity to interview more students because of the yearbook. And finally, look on the bright side of things. The yearbook is a place for reflecting on all of the accomplishments of clubs and athletic teams and it is no place for negativity. I truly enjoyed putting the yearbook together and I would do it again if I could.

KATHERINE MOORE, daughter of Debbie Blaylock and Jeffrey Moore of Rock Island, plans to major in political science/creative writing.

Top 3 achievements:

  •  National Merit commended scholar
  •  Trumpets section leader
  • "Gladys" in the spring musical "The Pajama Game"

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: It's hard for me to write about a single favorite learning experience at Rocky because I've had so many fantastic ones. So I'll choose a favorite class: AP European History. When the bell rings, signaling the start of fifth period at Rocky, Robert Smith steps to the center of his classroom, smiling happily, holding his favorite pointer stick with both hands like a tennis racket. “OK, kids,” he says. “It’s time to learn.” And we do. We can't help it. Every day, he radiates happiness and positivity. He's taught us more than history: to work hard, to look on the bright side, and to "never sweat the small stuff."

1
0
0
0
0