You are the owner of this article.
Bettendorf High School

Bettendorf High School

From the Salute to Academics and Achievements series

BETTENDORF High School has selected these outstanding seniors from its class of 382 students:


JOSEPH FROMMELT, son of Mia and Steven Frommelt of Bettendorf, plans to major in biology at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top achievements:

• National Merit Scholar

• AP Scholar with Distinction

• Iowa Governor's Scholar Award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Where were you on November 12th, at 10:30 in the morning?” “I was in Ms. Ager’s AP Psychology class.” “And what were you doing in Ms. Ager’s AP Psychology class on November 12th, at 10:30 in the morning?” “We were learning about the human mind’s magnificent ability to recall memories, from one’s first kiss to how beautiful that one movie was and all of the trivia in between. We also learned that our memories form a less than perfect record of the events around us. I think.” We watched a terrific Ted Talk about how inaccurate eyewitness testimony can be. A suspect can go from “he looks like the culprit” to “he is the culprit” in just a few days. And the victim genuinely believes this; perception becomes reality. Psychology reminds us of our human superpowers … and our limitations. Armed with this knowledge, we become more empathetic and kind people.

JULIA KRIST, daughter of Cynthia and Ernest Krist of Bettendorf, plans to major in environmental policy at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top achievements:

• Governor's Scholar Recognition Program

• AP Scholar

• Academic Letter

Describe a classroom learning experience you'll remember forever: In a class of 15 on the second floor of Lourdes Catholic School, I will never forget the day I learned about mummification and the process of embalming. Mr. Andrew Werling, an enthusiastic, hands on, and passionate seventh grade geography teacher, dressed up as an ancient Egyptian embalmer and "embalmed" a student for an entire class period detailing the process and utilizing one of the most entertaining and creative teaching methods that I have ever observed. I will always remember the excitement and love for learning that I felt that day and am grateful for this experience and the many others provided by numerous teachers over the years that have kept me inspired and interested in learning and my education.

The Arts

MADISON GULLEY, daughter of Jeff Gulley and Marta Allison of Davenport, plans to major in art at St. Ambrose University, Davenport.

Top achievements:

• First quarter Honor Roll, senior year

• “3” on AP Psychology exam

• No grade lower than a B- for all three quarters

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My best learning experience was in my freshman year English class. We were about a week or so into the class and all was fairly normal until my English teacher, Mr. Hanske, walked into class wearing a toga with tights underneath. He smiled as he walked up to his desk in his strange outfit. Mr. Hanske knew he had our attention because no one said a word, so he turned and proceeded to say, "Today, we will start to read the ‘Iliad’ by Homer." In normal circumstances, this would sound very drab and boring, but he made it the most entertaining experience. He had some willing students of the class, and himself, act out scenes in the book. Most of the students acting were not very good, but Mr. Hankse was a pro. He made freshman English fun to be in every day. Even the shy students had fun.

COLE HARKSEN, son of Amy and Harry Harksen of Bettendorf, plans to major in musical theater at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

Top achievements:

• All State Honor Choir, 2 years

• Best Male Soloist/Best Performer, Show Choir

• 4.0 GPA/High Honor Roll

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My most meaningful classroom experiences have been within the fine arts. Through vocal music, show choir, and drama, I have gotten the opportunity to grow, learn, and develop in ways that have impacted me far beyond the classroom. These learning opportunities have required me to analyze text, interpret notes, lyrics, and script. I have learned from and collaborated with teachers and peers to allow me to bring music, dance and performance to life and convey this experience to others. There is no other academic experience that has required so much of me or brought me so much joy and fulfillment.


ALYCIA DAMANI-LADHA, daughter of Ty and Jennifer Schafrath of Bettendorf, plans to major in marketing at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top achievements:

• AP Scholar, 9 AP classes

• 4th place in the state in a marketing competition

• 3.95 GPA

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: During my Sophomore year, I was enrolled in AP Biology. I had an extremely hard time keeping up with my teacher and assignments, while still learning. Unlike my other classes, this subject was very difficult for me. Not only this, but I was also involved in various clubs and activities, making it hard to find extra time to study. Because of these challenges, I learned the importance of time management. I also learned that not everything is going to be easy, and to always try my best.

MADI HORNBUCKLE, daughter of Todd and Hornbuckle of Davenport, plans to major in Spanish, counseling or non-profit leadership at Iowa State University, Ames.

Top achievements:

• 4 Academic Letters

• Honor Roll

• National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: In Spanish class we FaceTimed people from Mexico and Peru and just got to ask them any cultural questions we had. It was really fun to use the language outside of the classroom and having a conversation with a native speaker was really unique. We also had the chance to learn about an educational support program for Peruvian children that could not afford to go to school. Our class had the opportunity to donate and eventually sent the kid to school for a year.


KATHLEEN BYRNE, daughter of John and Joan Byrne of Bettendorf, plans to major in management information systems (MIS) and computer science at Iowa State University, Ames.

Top achievements:

• 4.0 GPA

• AP Scholar

• Student Hunger Drive committee co-chair

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will always remember my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Manwiller, reading us books after recess every day. She always chose the first book of a series to read to us and then encouraged us to finish the rest of the books in the series on our own. With her guidance, I learned to love to read and developed into a proficient reader. Being a good reader has helped me succeed in my high school academics and will continue to serve me well in college. I am grateful to Mrs. Manwiller for instilling in me a love of reading.

ALLYSA GALLAGHER, daughter of Bob Gallagher and Jennifer Ruggles of Bettendorf, plans to major in broadcast journalism/political science at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Top achievements:

• AP Scholar

• Student Hunger Drive Ambassador

• 5th place, 3000m run, 2016 State Track

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My mom says, “Do what you like and you'll be good at what you do." I never liked math and I was never “good" at it; at least not until Mr. Nagovan's PreCalculus class. In class the first week, I was already confused. I knew I had to change my approach to reach my goal of being awarded straight A’s in math for the first time in my high school career. I had the work ethic, but I was missing enjoying the process. I began studying with friends and meeting before or after class with my teacher, who made learning fun. These new study habits earned me straight A's. But, those A's represented more than just understanding class material. I was enjoying math and, more importantly, I learned that when I excel in areas that don't come naturally to me, those successes positively change how I feel about the challenge.

Math/The Sciences

ANDREJ PENG, son of Chelsea Chen and Kenneth Peng of Bettendorf, plans to major in computer science at Los Angeles Pierce College, Woodland Hills, California.

Top achievements:

• Passed AP calculus with 100%

• No unexcused absences

• No detentions

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will never forget the time I dissected a frog. The chemicals smelled so bad, but it was cool.

BRIDGET QUESNELL, daughter of Tom and Cathie Quesnell of Bettendorf, plans to major in anthropology at Michigan Tech University, Houghton.

• AP Scholar

• National Merit commended scholar

• 2016 Science Bowl

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: As far as academics are concerned, there are no unlikeable subjects. Selecting one classroom, let alone one experience, is challenge enough. Still, the most memorable moments would be when multiple subjects merged during class, creating new and fascinating areas of study. One of these moments, an instance that opened up a plethora of pathways, had to have been watching a documentary in forensics that covered the history of toxicology. Combining science and history, the documentary would eventually lead me to study criminology, toxiciology, and even college curriculums in the 1910s and 1920s. There were no fireworks, no 'aha's, nothing to pinpoint why that particular lesson is so memorable. In fact, the unit itself was much shorter than I would have liked. The best experiences are the ones that leave people slightly unsatisfied, because that is when they are inspired to move forward independently.

Vocational Education

PRESTON McHUGH, son of Thomas and Kendra McHugh of Bettendorf, plans to major in business at Scott Community College, Bettendorf.

Top achievements:

• Honor Roll

• Academic Letter

• JA Titan

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A classroom learning experience that I will always remember is last year during my junior year, third quarter, my business teacher, Mr. Pisel, had us group up into teams of four for a competition. Throughout that quarter we played a game each week that made us work as a team. At the end of each game I learned several things, like one week I learned what it took to be a leader and how to get other people to follow your footsteps. Another week was learning how people can overcome any obstacle even if they have something working against them. Several teachers have different ways of teaching students the curriculum without even going through PowerPoints or a text books. This is what makes classes memorable, being able to interact with the curriculum and other students made the class fun and one I will always remember.

BRETT SPENCER, son of Chris and Michelle Spencer of Bettendorf and the late Monika Staerk Spencer, plans to study machinery at Scott Community College, Bettendorf.

Top achievements:

• Student Spotlight for Industrial Arts

• Varsity letter, track and field

• Honor Roll

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My favorite classroom learning experience is from my Engineering Problem Solving class with Mr. Drexler this semester. Mr. Drexler gave us an assignment to make something useful out of recycled items. I wanted this project to be cool and useful at the same time. After much thought, I decided to make a table out of an old Mustang manifold. My project turned out better than expected. I used pistons for legs and to hold the plexiglass table top. Mr. Drexler is one of my favorite teachers. He is always there to help and encourages me to think outside the box.

Young Journalist

ANNETTE SCHNEIDER, daughter of Julie and Gordon Schneider of Davenport, plans to major in speech-language pathology at Syracuse (New York) University.

• Academic Letter; 2 academic pins

• National Honor Society

• All Academic, soccer

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: One experience I will always remember happened outside of the journalism classroom. I have attended the Iowa High School Press Association for the past three years and every year learn something new. I enjoyed attending with the other journalism students and listening to the great speakers. My favorite speaker talked about going after a dream that you want. He said the one excuse he hears most, I do not have time to make that dream reality. His next words stuck with me because he said everything you do in life is a choice, so what you are doing right now is what you are choosing to do. I think of this often and try to apply this to my everyday life. The copious amount of things I have learned in journalism have prepared me for real world situations and taught me things I could not have learned in other classes.

Noah Johnson


Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News