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Moline High School

Moline High School

From the Salute to Academics and Achievements series
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MOLINE High School has selected these outstanding seniors from its class of 525 students:

Academics

SANEHA BORISUTH, daughter of Navaneet and Kiran Borisuth of Moline, plans to major in biology at the University of Chicago.

Top achievements:

• 2017 Coca-Cola Scholar

• 2017 AXA Achievement Scholar

• Ranked 1st in class

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: The most memorable part of my high school experience has been my involvement in Sports Unlimited, a club that pairs special needs students with student athletes through monthly non-competitive activities to foster a safe social space of mutual respect and collaboration. It has taught me the importance of integrity in my daily conduct and the value of empathy. Most of us encounter acts of kindness and insensitivity in our everyday lives that help us shape our opinions of the world around us. Integrity is the principle of standing up for the unempowered especially in the face of adversity from another in a position of power. I have tried to incorporate these principles in my daily life and have seen these values spread throughout Moline High School. It is now very common for special needs and general ed students to interact with mutual respect for one another to positively impact MHS.

CONNOR DESSERT, son of Rebecca Harris and Michael Dessert of Moline, plans to major in architectural engineering at University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

Top achievements:

• National Merit finalist

• Ranked 1st in class

• National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My teacher sat across from me with interested amusement in his eyes. He was enjoying my struggle to do that which should have been simple; defend a belief system both he and I shared while he argued against it. When I became frustrated with my inability to counter that which he presented, ideals which he and I both knew were unspeakably wrong, yet from which he drew so effortlessly and coherently the most plausible argument I had heard, I knew I had lost."Mr. Dessert," he said, "the reason I believe what I do is because I understand not only it and every aspect of its nature, but I am equally intimate with those views that seek to eliminate mine from reason." He then walked me through the deconstruction of his argument.

The Arts

MADISON PERRY, daughter of Jim Perry and Stephanie Perry of Moline, plans to major in nursing at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.

Top achievements:

• Solo and Ensemble Division 1, French horn and vocal, 4 years

• Western Big Six Academic All-Conference award

• Junior Rotarian

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: One of my favorite memories from high school was during my freshman year in my Algebra 1 class with Mr. Karl. He made up fun ways to remember the formulas, as in putting the formulas into songs. The most memorable formula would have to be the quadratic formula. When he first introduced it to my class, we all thought he was crazy. We weren't going to learn this song and especially sing it in front of everyone else. Long story short we all sang the song whenever we had to use in class. Still to this day I could recite the song from memory. This might have been a silly memory but without Mr. Karl making fun ways to remember different formulas, I would have never developed the love that I have for math to this day.

Hannah Frye

Humanities

KATHERINE DOUGLAS, daughter of Kristin and Greg Douglas of Coal Valley, plans to major in kinesiology at DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana.

Top achievements:

• Top 3 percent of class

• National Honor Society

• Western Big Six Academic All-Conference

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Since freshman year, I've striven to better my vocabulary as I knew college was right around the corner. Luckily for me, my ninth grade Honors English I teacher, Mrs. Meneses, had a similar priority. Whenever the class had a reading assignment from a novel, each person would choose a few "Red, Hot, Spicy Words" to share with his or her group and subsequently choose just one to contend against the other groups' words in a class competition. Because I was so driven to find the most unique terms to share, I scoured my often-bland readings to find the reddest, hottest, spiciest words possible. Looking back on this genius exercise, not only did Mrs.Meneses help me broaden my vocabulary, but she also made otherwise boring assignments quite fun. Now, three years later, I still look all around myself for the next great "Red, Hot, Spicy Word" thanks to this memorable learning experience.”

LINDSAY GOLDEN, daughter of Steve Golden, Kris Seran and Dave Seran of Moline, plans to major in human physiology at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top achievements:

• Encore (competitive speech)

• Eating disorders support group facilitator

• Project HEAL's Moline Chapter founder/president

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A.P. American History is a class that I remember as one long memory. Late night readings and extremely extensive notes, starred and marked up with definitions and snide comments, blur together with tests sprinkled with very specific questions about people that'd appeared in the textbook for maybe a sentence at most. I remember reading those questions and realizing that I knew the answers because and only because I'd worked hard. I remember the rare feeling of complete competency when faced with a difficult task. I remember “APUSH” as a class that stressed me and pushed me and, most of all, taught me that, while putting a lot of effort into something can be trying, that feeling of complete competency makes every reading and every 7AM Panera cram session worth it.

Leadership

KARA CHRISTIANSEN, daughter of Kami and Scott Christiansen of Moline, plans to major in business or education at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top achievements:

• National Honor Society

• Academic All-Conference, swimming and diving

• Senior Class Co-President

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My favorite classroom learning experience was my Freshman year in Ms. Sausedo's world studies class. Myself and six others had to make a video reenacting 'The March to Versailles.' At the time we were all dreading finding a time to get together and do this, but now I am so glad we did. Making this video ended up being so fun and is not only one of my favorite learning experiences, but also one of my overall favorite memories in high school. I loved getting to dress up in weird costumes and make some better friendships. It was hilarious watching all the different videos in class the next day, but especially fun to watch our own. To this day I still remember everything about 'The March to Versailles' because of this project. It was not only educational but fun and that's my favorite way to learn.

ANNA FINCH, daughter of Steve and Liz Finch of Moline, plans to major in biology at Greenville University (Illinois).

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Scholar

• National Honor Society

• DAR award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: During my sophomore year, I was assigned to research an author and then write a paper on her. I was really nervous about the assignment because I had never written a research paper before and I also did not know my author at all. Despite my fears, I ended up really loving the process of doing the assignment. I worked my hardest on the project, and it was the best work that I have ever done. I was really proud of my final paper. In addition to taking pride in my work, I read several novels that were written by my author, and I was able to really connect with the characters in her stories. Also, I really admired my author's style of writing and how honest she was about her life experiences. She became my favorite writer, and I continuously reread her novels.

Math/The Sciences

ASHLEY BARKER, daughter of Greg Barker and Audie Barker of Coal Valley, plans to major in mechanical engineering at Valparaiso University (Indiana).

Top achievements:

• Moline Senior High School Board of Excellence award

• Ranked 1st in class

• Illinois State Scholar

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: First, mapping. Pencil gridlines, binary tables, circles simplifying. Next, computers and labels and color coding. Always building up – eventually armed with a logic board and power cord. White rectangles with holes sit atop a black panel. Three input switches connected with three white wires. Red is power; ground is blue. Three inputs tangled in a web of colors: blue, red, yellow, green, black, white. Building and testing and deep breaths and fresh starts and building again and again and again. A, B, C, D, E, F, and G all weaving through 7408s, 7404s, 7432s, all leading to seven resistors, and all concluding in a seven segment display in order to present one date: 01-28-99.

PRANJAL KADWE, daughter of Prashant Kadwe and Pallavi Kadwe of Moline, plans to major in pre-medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Top achievements:

• Ranked 1st in class

• School newspaper editor-in-chief

• National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Staring at an enormous sheet of cardboard, I couldn't help but wonder how we could possibly transform it into a functional boat. In the beginning of the year, we had already attempted building one, yet I ended up soaking wet in soggy cardboard during the first test run. This time around, our group had a game plan; we debated over designs, sketched them out on the cardboard, and experimented with various waterproofing methods. We dedicated hours in the classroom and after school perfecting our design and preparing for our final test run. When the day finally arrived, we had nothing but smooth sailing. The task may have seemed impossible at first, but I will never forget the extent to which our hard work in the classroom paid off.

Vocational Education

COHL FITCH-HUGHES, son of Jaime Hughes of Moline, plans to major in sports management at Eastern Illinois University, Charleston.

Top achievements:

• IHSA Academic Excellence, football

• Honor Roll, 4 years

• College academic scholarships

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will never forget going to Vibrant Credit Union and competing in the JA Titan competition. It taught me key factors in learning the aspects that drive business. I learned how competition compels a company to try and make their product the best above all. The program also taught me the importance of advertising and marketing as well as the significance of how critical it is to have capital in what you are selling, so you are able to stay in business. Though my team did not win the actual game, we won the logo competition in which we had to create a logo that looked aesthetically pleasing and good be used on a variety of objects. It is important for a business to have a good looking logo that will attract a large amount of customers. This program taught me many business strategies and I will cherish those forever.

JUSTIN KELLY, son of Kacy and Jenna Kelly of Coal Valley, plans to major in business at Black Hawk College, Moline.

Top achievements:

• Top 10 percent of class

• Multiple departmental honors

• Highest number of vocational semesters taken

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will always remember Wood Tech 1 & 2 with Mr. Thompson. This was a class where we were expected to build a number of projects using tools that I, and many others, have never had experience with before. After learning the tools and proper safety procedures it was up to us to build what was directed and teamwork was crucial to success. If you or any other student became stuck, everyone chipped in to help. It was not about how well your project turned out (although we all wanted to have the best) but the learning experience that went into it. Basic skills are what build your future. Going back to basics in Wood Tech was not only thought-provoking but something I will never forget from my years at Moline High School.

Young Journalist

RIYA PATEL, daughter of Sam and Trupti Patel of Moline, plans to major in business at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Top achievements:

• Newspaper editor-in-chief 

• Top 2 percent of class

• National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Some of the best classroom experiences during high school happened in my engineering classes. Working in groups for projects was not only entertaining but also competitive amongst ourselves as well as against our teachers expectations. I remember working late on our projects multiple times to finish them for competitions the next day. With our trebuchet launchers it was just fun to compare ourselves to other teams and evaluate the many things that went wrong. Also for our cardboard boat races, after spending all night finishing an amazing boat (that should have won), we ended up with the longest time ever to finish the race. Of course I was the partner who was chosen to actually race the boat, so my arms definitely feel it the next day after a half hour of trying to row.

DANA PLAGENZ, daughter of Paul Plagenz, Jodi Fisk and Trevor Fisk of Moline, plans to major in business at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.

Top achievements:

• Ranked 1st in class

• National Honor Society, treasurer

• Moline High School Board Award of Excellence

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Entering high school, I never thought that I would be trying to figure out which of my classmates was a communist. Nevertheless, In my AP US History class that was exactly what I did. Last year, my teacher designed a game to illustrate the Red Scare to my class. We all picked a note card that told us our identities and got into groups of four. If you were a communist, the object of the game was to penetrate a non-communist group. If you were a non-communist, the object of the game was to avoid having a communist in your group. Naturally, the competition was fierce because extra credit was offered. After much debating came the big reveal. In the end, my group was the only group without a communist in it. Not only did I earn extra credit, but I also earned a better understanding of early 1900s America.

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