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ERIE (Illinois) High School has selected these outstanding seniors from its class of 47 students:

Academics

CHANCE JOHNSTON, son of Dan and Amy Johnston of Cordova, plans to major in health and exercise science at Colorado State University, Fort Collins.

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Scholar

• Academic All-Conference

• Quad-City Times Salute to Academics & Achievements 

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: When I was in first grade our teacher at the time had us dance to old songs like "The Twist" on a daily basis to get us a moving. While I don't necessarily jump up from my seat every day for a dance break, it taught me that breaks are important and sometimes you just need to get up and get loose to make it through a haul of assignments.

The Arts

ARRIANNE LENNOX, daughter of Jon and Cheryl Lennox of Erie, plans to major in music business at Western Illinois University, Macomb.

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Scholar

• National Honor Society

• Academic Excellence 

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My sophomore year we had to make a video about Julius Caesar. The assignment was to tell the story in a different way. My group ended up making a gangster parody. It was a lot of fun and we got to work with acting, video editing, and learn about Caesar. We wrote our own script then found places around the town we could film. We probably looked ridiculous to anyone who didn't know what we were doing, but it was definitely a great learning experience that I even got to share with my friends.

Humanities

JAMES STRATTON, son of Traci and Eric Stratton of Cordova, plans to major in history at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois.

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Scholar

• 2nd Team All-Conference, Scholastic Bowl

• Academic Excellence Award, 4 years

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I learned the importance of studying history very early on in my education. I also learned that a lot can be learned from the past and if we do not learn from past mistakes we will repeat them. I'll always remember the fun I had in my many history classes with the amazing teachers I have had through school. I will defiantly use them as inspiration if I pursue a job in teaching. We all need to learn from the past and get along in this crazy thing we call life. Carpe diem.

Leadership

COURTNEY KRUTHOFF, daughter of John and Gretchen Kruthoff of Fenton, plans to major in psychology (pre-occupational therapy program) at Central College, Pella, Iowa.

Top achievements:

• National Honor Society

• Academic All-Conference

• National Spanish Exam Honorable Mention

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My most memorable learning experience is when Marion Blumenthal Lazan, author of FOUR PERFECT PEBBLES and Holocaust survivor, came and spoke to our school. She is the true meaning of strength and taught me to never let the world break you. No matter the circumstances someone is dealt, how you deal with it is what matters. Having the opportunity to meet and hug someone who has fought through so much brought me to tears because I knew she still loved the world even after all she had endured.

Math/The Sciences

TRISHA NAFTZGER, daughter of Tina Naftzger and Keith Naftzger of Albany, plans to major in biology (pre-med) at University of Illinois at Chicago or Western Illinois University, Macomb.

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Scholar

• Academic Excellence Award

• High Honor Roll

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: In history class sophomore year, we had to create a fifteen minute presentation about another Country. The country that I chose was France, and my partner that I got to work with was my best friend. Because I got to be partners with my best friend, not only did I learn a lot about France, but I had fun in the process. In the end, we got a wonderful grade on the project, tying for the best score the teacher had ever given on the project, with missing only one point.

Vocational Education

SERA BEBON, daughter of Andrew and Mary Bebon of Erie, plans to major in nursing at Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois.

Top achievements:

• 1st Team All-Conference

• National Honor Society

• Honor Roll

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will never forget how hands on Health Occupations was. I always looked forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays because it was either a lab day or a clinical day. It is a great feeling passing those 21 skills! It is a positive experience and I will look back on the clinical site memories and knowledge I learned forever.

Young Journalist

ANDREA DAIL, daughter of Todd and Rebecca Dail of Erie, plans to major in architecture at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Top achievements:

• High Honor Roll

• National Honor Society, 4 years

• Departmental Scholarship for Architecture

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My favorite part of school is whenever I have to make a presentation to the class. At some point in every class, I have had to make a speech. I like to be able to create a slideshow or a short video for most of my presentations. In 2015, I took a speech class through Black Hawk College dual-credit. I will never forget my speech teacher. His style of teaching was very memorable. Everyday I knew he would give a different learning experience to the class. The speeches I gave were some of my best work. I had never worked so hard for a class before. It was a class that became my favorite part about going to school, and I can honestly say I will never forget it.

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