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SHERRARD (Illinois) High School has selected these outstanding seniors from its class of 114 students:

Academics

GRACE PECKENSCHNEIDER, daughter of Mark and Karen Peckenschneider of Sherrard, plans to major in communication sciences and disorders at Augustana College, Rock Island.

 Top 3 achievements:

  • Illinois State Scholar
  • National Honor Society, vice president
  • Drum major, junior and senior year

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: In my Honors English II class, we had the opportunity to learn about the similarities and differences in high school between our generation and the generation of our grandparents. During one of our class periods, we were able to invite our grandparents in for coffee and interview them about their high school experiences. After the interview, we got to write a compare and contrast paper on the similarities and differences between our high school experiences. I loved the time I was given to spend one-on-one time with my grandparents and the chance to learn more about their lives and memories. Time with my grandparents is a gift, and this experience is one that I will always remember and appreciate.

The Arts

LILLY RYNER, daughter of Sara and Joe Ryner of New Windsor, plans to major in psychology at Illinois State University, Normal.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Illinois State Scholar
  • Division 1 rankings on all choir solos
  • Rotary Student of the Month

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A classroom experience that I will never forget is when my choir director my sophomore year decided that we would be putting on a madrigal concert and dinner to help raise money for us to participate in difference competitions. All of the high school choir members had to have a part in the small play we were putting on. I was the lead and I will never forget how hard my teacher made us work. But the surprising part was that I learned how much I loved acting as well as singing. That experience inspired me to be a bigger part in our drama department. It opened new doors for me to be a part of a new community within our school and I will always be grateful for that. Mrs. Rahn's encouragement made my high school career much more enriching.

Humanities

RYAN SACKFIELD

Leadership

AUDREY EPPERLY, daughter of Annette Epperly and Michael Epperly of Sherrard, plans to major in engineering at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

 Top 3 achievements:

  • Top 10, 4 years
  • Illinois State Scholar
  • Honor or High Honor Roll, 4 years

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: The past three years I have spent in Mr. LaRoche's class is a learning experience I will never forget. Mr. LaRoche has taught me what science is like in the real world. I was able to see the real-world application in both courses of physics and both courses of chemistry through the realistic problems and labs. Those two aspects of his classes made learning more entertaining since I could see the true purpose of these concepts applied to realistic situations. The knowledge I have attained because of him is what locked my interest in becoming an engineer and being able to have the rewarding job of solving problems in our world today. Mr. LaRoche has made science classes educational yet fun and because of this, I will remember forever this classroom learning experience I had the opportunity to be a part of.

Math/The Sciences

NICOLAS McDANIEL, son of Robyn and DJ McDaniel of Matherville, plans to major in biology at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Honor roll, 4 years
  • Student of the Month in social studies
  • Being accepted into UIS

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A classroom experience that I will never forget would have to be a moment I had in my chemistry class. We were all completing a lab where we created aspirin. The fact that we were roughly replicating a chemical substance that is widely used in the world today amazed me. Another great aspect of this lab is how helpful my teacher was. When I asked my teacher about how aspirin is commercially produced and refined he told me about the scientific processes that they use to do so. This was a classroom experience that has influenced my future career path and what I wish to pursue in college.

Vocational Education

KENZIE McWADE, daughter of Nicole McWade of Viola, plans to major in accounting at Illinois State University, Bloomington.

Top 3 achievements:

  • 3.0+ GPA
  • Student of the Month, business
  • Honors/AP Program, English and math

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: At Sherrard High School, the learning environment is truly one used to empower and inspire. My experience at SHS in the vocational program started freshman year and has continued into my senior year. Because of the guidance provided to me and the inspiration I have received it will follow me into my career and future. I will always remember Intro to Business, learning of career paths and how to take steps to get a job. Personal Finance, learning to budget and about finances to help prepare for life outside of school. Accounting, which after taking this class I was inspired to go into that career field. Business Law, learning of potential contracts I may enter into and the consequences. The Vocational Program at SHS has pushed me to succeed and follow this path,I will always remember that.

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