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Orion High School

Orion High School

From the Salute to Academics and Achievements series
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ORION (Illinois) High School has selected these outstanding seniors from its class of 82 students:

Academics

NICK KLINE, son of Don and Donna Kline of Lynn Center, plans to major in engineering at Iowa State University, Ames.

Top achievements:

• Scholar Athlete

• Top 10 percent of class

• National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I remember one day in T.L.C. returning to school after a dentist appointment. As a 5-year-old, my nerves (and my stomach) were a bit rattled, but I tried to just go about my business and play with my favorite blocks on my favorite corner of my favorite rug. Keifer, one of my favorite peers, was also playing with blocks, and Luke, whom I had never really talked to decided to try to join in the fun. Unfortunately for him, shortly after he sat across from me, my stomach made the executive decision to end our play session, and I vomited directly into his lap. From this, I learned that getting nervous about things I can't help and letting fears control my physical reactions to the world would only lead to crying 5-year-olds and shorter play sessions, and it's a lesson I will carry with me forever.

The Arts

HAILEE FAIR, daughter of Jen Fair and Brian Fair of Andover, plans to major in music education at Lake Forest (Illinois) College.

Top achievements:

• ILMEA District 2, French horn

• Honor or High Honor Roll, 4 years

• Augustana Honor Band, 4 years

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: When I first realized that I wasn't completely satisfied with playing the trumpet, I asked my band teacher to help me learn French Horn. She was more than willing and pleased to help me learn. It wasn't during class but my first private lesson with her was something that I will cherish forever. My teacher found an old horn for me to play on, gave me a fingering chart to read off of, and she taught me everything with enthusiasm. Seeing her passion to help others and to teach music inspired me so much during that first lesson that I finalized my decision to become a music major. She may not have done anything in specific but her attitude and mannerisms enlightened me and helped me decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: exactly what she is doing, helping students learn what they love.

Humanities

GABRIEL CLARKE, son of Scott and Michelle Clarke of Orion, plans to major in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, Ames.

Top achievements:

• Top 10 percent of class

• Honor Roll

• National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: When learning a new language, confusion is commonly prevalent within the classroom. One day one my friends, like most of us in the class, had a difficult time describing what he was going to do over the weekend. He proceeded to tell the class of his plans, but the arrangement of his words did not quite suffice at informing the class of his intentions. Instead, his innocent mistake turned into high comedic value as the interpretation from high school students created a roar of laughter and an unforgettable memory. Because of the restrictive word count and public display, I'll spare the details of the story, but because of the event, I will never cease to smile at the memory, and I will make sure to choose my words wisely.

Leadership

HOPE STROPES, daughter of Leigh-Ann and Chad Stropes of Orion, plans to major in elementary education at Judson University, Elgin, Illinois.

Top achievements:

• National Honor Society

• High Honor Roll

• Honor Roll

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: It is hard to pin point a specific experience that I can remember vividly. I would say that every time I have an "aha!" moment, is a moment worth remembering. Generally, I struggle with science; however, I have taken a science class every year in high school. I've done this because I want to challenge myself to work hard. This year I am taking physics, and it's not an easy class. I will always remember the "aha!" moments that I have had in that class because it is a great feeling to have figured out a topic that is very challenging.

Math/The Sciences

PAIGE STROPES, daughter of Leigh-Ann and Chad Stropes of Orion, plans to attend St. Ambrose University, Davenport.

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Scholar

• Scholar Athlete

• Top 10 percent of class

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I cannot think of a specific example, but taking chemistry my sophomore year really intrigued me. I was really interested and naturally good at most of what we were studying. This class caused me to take chemistry II and physics the following years. It made me realize that I love math and science and that I want to do something involving that for my career. I think when we started studying organic chemistry last year in chemistry II was when I really started to get interested. I realized that I love problem solving and evaluating different situations. This class helped me narrow down my career options.

Vocational Education

KAITLYN SEABLOOM, daughter of Tom and Julie Seabloom of Lynn Center, plans to major in nursing at St. Ambrose University, Davenport.

Top achievements:

• Top 10 percent of class

• High Honor Roll

• State FFA degree

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Throughout my years in high school, I have had many experiences but, the ones in my Agricultural classes will be the ones that I will never forget. My agriculture teacher, Mr. Solomonson, is a great role model who exposed me to many different topics. There is one particular experience in his class that I will never forget: dissecting a fetal pig. When he told the class we would be doing this, I was nervous but excited at the same time. I had never dissected anything before. This left me clueless but, curious. He made the experience comfortable and fun, allowing this experience to be even more memorable. By dissecting the fetal pig, I grew a passion for how humans and animal bodies function. This experience was very eye opening, exhilarating, and helped me choose the career that I will pursue in the future.

Young Journalist

GABE McHUGH, son of Sherri George-McHugh and Robert McHugh of Andover, plans to major in creative writing at Blackburn College, Carlinville, Illinois.

Top achievements:

• Honor Roll

• IMEA District Choir

• Blackburn Leadership Scholarship

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My journalism class runs the school website. This year we decided to change hosts for it and, in the process, several filler articles were put up. One of these articles had a stock photograph of a lacrosse team. This created a great deal of confusion amongst the students, and I decided to capitalize on it by creating a fake lacrosse team. First, I asked the people in my study hall which of them I could use as characters. The study hall teacher would act as the coach and the people in my study hall would tell everyone that they were, in fact, on the team as I began writing stories about their games on for the sports section of our school website. I am still maintaining this hoax and it is exceptionally fun. I even got the principal’s approval in this endeavor.

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