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United Township High School

United Township High School

From the Salute to Academics and Achievements series
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UNITED TOWNSHIP High School, East Moline, has selected these outstanding seniors from its class of 389 students:

Academics

PERI OPPENHEIMER, daughter of Jeff and Angie Oppenheimer of East Moline, plans to major in business at Indiana University, Bloomington.

Top achievements:

• Ranked 1st in class

• Honor Roll

• National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A classroom learning experience that I will never forget is the hands-on learning that we did in AP Biology. We did many labs and activities that made it feel like you were not even in school but still learning a lot. I enjoyed observing the pig dissection and all of the other great opportunities. Thank you to Mrs. Austin for making her class a fun learning environment and very enjoyable. I will never forget my experience in this class.

THOMAS McGEHEE, son of Alex and Liz McGehee of East Moline, plans to major in biology and Spanish at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. (Thomas also was honored in the Leadership category)

Top achievements:

• Valedictorian

• Illinois State Scholar

• President's Award for Educational Excellence

 Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will always remember AP Biology with Mrs. Austin. From dissections of squids to lectures over cellular respiration, I enjoyed every class period and learned more than I ever imagined. I cannot pick one specific memory from that class because I loved every minute. Thank you Mrs. Austin for teaching the best class I took at UT.

The Arts

ALEX VERSCHOORE, son of Kevin and Wendy Verschoore of East Moline, plans to major in education at Missouri State University, Springfield.

Top achievements:

• All-State musician

• Academic All-American

• John Deere Harvester award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will never forget the moment when I got to walk the halls as an All-State Musician with my best friends. I loved the feeling of achievement and appreciation from my peers as they clapped for us.

MADELINE NEUMANN, daughter of Harlon and Tammy Neumann of Hampton, plans to major in mechanical engineering at Cedarville University (Ohio).

Top achievements:

• Honor Roll

• Academic excellence

• National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My experience in the studies program has allowed me to grow academically and has exposed me to many different opinions and world views. The teachers are caring and always push us to do our best. Their funny comments make the class fun and very memorable. My art teacher is also very caring and is always encouraging us.

Humanities

LINDSEY HART, daughter of Melissa and Ryan Hart of East Moline, plans to major in human performance and fitness at St. Ambrose University, Davenport.

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Scholar

• Ranked in top 10 of class

• Honor Roll

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will never forget when I got the opportunity to play Shakespeare's infamous character Lady Macbeth for a class project. Getting to put oneself into a role that is completely different from one's everyday life is an eye-opening and exciting experience. Bringing such beautiful, classic literature to life is fruitful for all students and learning environments.

DAVID NEVAREZ, son of Ignacio and Gloria Nevarez of Moline, plans to major in chemical engineering at Augustana College, Rock Island.

Top achievements:

• Ranked in top 10 of class

• Illinois State Scholar

• President’s Award for Educational Excellence

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will always remember when a substitute teacher fell asleep in the front of the room right after telling us all to stay awake and pay attention.”

Leadership

JENNIFER OSBORNE, daughter of Jim and Carla Osborne of East Moline, plans to major in nursing at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis.

Top achievements:

• Ranked in top 10 of class

• Illinois State Scholar

• President's Award for Educational Excellence

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will always remember when I was listening to a history lecture and David Nevarez pushed my desk and it collapsed on me.

Thomas McGehee

Math/The Sciences

JACOB VARBLE, son of Randy and Kari Varble of East Moline, plans to major in electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.

Top achievements:

• Ranked in top 10 of class

• Illinois State Scholar

• IHSA All-Academic Team nominee

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Sophomore year for our critical thinking class, World Studies, we made a short movie in small groups for our last project. My group's movie was based on the essay that we read as a class earlier in the year called "A Modest Proposal." I had a blast working on the movie with my group!

KARLEE STAPF, daughter of Richard and Konni Stapf of Hampton, plans to major in education at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.

Top achievements:

• Ranked in top 10 of class

• Illinois State Scholar

• National Honor Society, president

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will always remember dissecting a pig in AP Biology and enjoying the experience by the end. It did however prevent me from eating lunch for a week!

Vocational Education

SETH VERGEYLE, son of Paula Kirkwood and Robert Vergeyle of Moline, plans to major in MIS at Black Hawk College, Moline.

Top achievements:

• Ranked in top 10 percent of school

• Honor Roll

• National Honor Society

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will always remember when my class took a difficult math test and I was the only student to receive a 100% on the test.

TAYLOR WORKHEISER, daughter of Kathi and Gary Workheiser of Silvis, plans to major in early childhood education at Black Hawk College, Moline.

Top achievements:

• Honor Roll

• Student of the Month

• Attendance

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: “I will always remember when my friend and I were watching a video in Mr. Schou's class and we were doing Jazzercise moves with the music in the video.”

Young Journalist

SAMUEL BRENNAN, son of Shannon Cartee of East Moline, plans to major in conservation at the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

Top achievements:

• Symphonic band

• Superstate qualifying musician

• Poetry published in class book

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Winning the spot for superstate honor band in 2015 was an amazing experience. At first it started off as a regular performance, and to be quite frank, most of my fellow bandmates assumed we did poorly. It was almost like a coping mechanism, to let ourselves down as a measure to prevent from becoming overly disappointed, and it would've worked, but we ended up winning. Everybody in symphonic band was overjoyed, filled with the same serendipitous cheer as the next guy and it was amazing. It's an amazing feeling to have multiple people collectively work toward one common goal, that's the definition of community, and that's what keeps this world going.

ADRIAN COLE, daughter of Jill Cole of Silvis, plans to major in writing at Illinois State University, Normal.

Top achievements:

• Illinois State Poetry Contest, first place senior

• Top creative writing student

• Author of poetry portfolio

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My first time in this semesters creative writing class. It was one of the first times I was allowed to write what I wanted and it would be graded. I was pretty nervous about it but I was encouraged to keep writing. I love being in class with Ms. Clearman, she really helped me get over my fear of people reading what I write and encouraged me to go into a English/Creative writing degree. She really makes what I already love so much more fun and challenged me to be better at it.

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