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Riverdale High School

Riverdale High School

From the Salute to Academics and Achievements series
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RIVERDALE High School, Port Byron, Illinois, has selected these outstanding seniors from its class of 68 students:

Academics

GRACE MERCER, daughter of John and Karla Mercer of Port Byron, plans to major in science with a Spanish minor at Iowa State University, Ames.

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Scholar

• Larry Molitor Most Improved Golfer award

• Spanish 1 and 2 award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My favorite learning experience was planning a two trips for my World History Class my sophomore year; one outside of the country and one in it. I love having the freedom to work on a project like this and being able to choose what to research and how to design it. We were given an expense budget for each trip, which made it a little challenging. Budgeting for plane tickets, food, hotels and more was a eye-opening experience to the cost of traveling around the U.S. and beyond. I look back on these projects on occasion for inspiration for other projects. I hope to travel immensely when I am in college and older, and this experience has educated me on budgeting and world cultures.

The Arts

SAMUEL BARBER, son of Cynthia and Alvin Barber of Cordova, plans to major in business at Black Hawk College, Moline.

Top achievements:

• Three Rivers Conference Honors Choir

• IHSA Scholastic Achievement award

• 2016 Winter Blues All Stars

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: The first day of choir our director Mr. Reece explained the three rules of his classroom. Rule 1 was take care of yourself. Rule 2 was take care of each other. And rule 3 was take care of our turf. I always remember these rules because they apply everywhere in life. Whether it is at home, a job, a sports team, or just a group of friends, those rules apply. The most important is rule 2, take care of each other. This is much more than getting along. It is about caring for each other because we are a family. That is something I will take with me wherever I end up in life.

Humanities

JURNIE HINDE, daughter of Pat and Amy Hinde of Port Byron, plans to major in pre-medicine, biochemistry and Spanish at Iowa State University, Ames.

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Scholar

• DAR Good Citizen award

• National Honor Society, president

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: “Spanish has always been one of my favorite classes in high school. Over the years, we have built piñatas, learned extensive vocabulary, studied grammar and have made lots of memories with this teacher. After years of learning and studying the Spanish language, we have finally advanced to reading an entire Spanish novel. Señora Guenther has taught us culture, language, and the importance of communication. I will never forget how she has influenced my love for the Spanish language. Even though I am a science major, I understand how valuable it is to learn another language, so I am furthering my education in Spanish as well. Because of Señora Guenther, I think of myself as a more diplomatic, educated, compassionate, and well-rounded student.

Leadership

LINDSEY BERGE, daughter of Bill and Chris Berge of Port Byron, plans to major in dental hygiene at Black Hawk College, Moline.

Top achievements:

• IHSA Scholastic Achievement award

• TRAC Academic All-Conference Team

• Perfect attendance

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Throughout all four years of high school there have been many classes that I believe I will remember forever and that will help me with my future career. A couple classes that always stuck out to me were Mrs. Henricksen's classes whether the class was keyboarding, accounting, or any other computer class with her, I was always excited to go to her class. No matter what the class was Mrs. Henricksen made the class fun and easier to learn. My personal favorite was accounting. The skills I learned in accounting will be very useful in my life no matter what career I choose.

Math/The Sciences

ALLEN PRATT, son of David and Amber Pratt of Port Byron, plans to major in engineering at Western Illinois University, Moline.

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Scholar

• QCESC Scholarship

• Tied for 1st in class

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My overall experiences in Mr. Campbell's chemistry and physics classes have made a lasting impression on me and stand out more than any one particular moment. His approaches to difficult topics allowed me to learn and excel with "watt" he was teaching. Mr. Campbell's sense of humor and encouragement of independent thinking have greatly contributed to my success in high school and the foundation on which I hope to build in both college and my future career.

Vocational Education

KEATON SMELTZLY, son of Mike and Marla Smeltzly of Port Byron, plans to major in agribusiness and geospatial technology at Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids.

Top achievements:

• FFA Chapter Star Farmer

• Three Rivers Academic All-Conference Team

• Ag Mechanics award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A classroom learning experience I will remember forever is when I was in the driver education car with my partner Tanner driving. We were learning how to drive during wet conditions. Tanner successfully stopped without sliding into the cars in front of us, but the car coming down the hill behind us was unable to stop. We braced ourselves knowing we were going to be hit causing a chain reaction. The driver education car was totaled! There were no injuries. We got to experience filling out an accident report with the Police Officer before we had our license. It was our Driver Education teacher's last year before retiring. This was his only accident in his entire teaching career. Whenever it is raining while I am driving I always recall this event.

Young Journalist

SAM BRUNER, daughter of Dean and Pam Bruner of Cordova, plans to major in arts technology at Illinios State University, Normal.

Top achievements:

• Young Emerging Writer's internship

• American Literature award

• Keyboarding award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A classroom learning experience I'll remember forever is not just an experience, but an entire class. The lessons that journalism has taught me the two years that I have taken it have been lessons that have changed the way I see the world. Journalism has given me the opportunity to get closer to the students at my school, as well as the members of my community. This class has helped me form close friendships that I know will last a lifetime. It is one of the few classes I actually look forward to going to.

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