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UNITED TOWNSHIP High School, East Moline, has selected these outstanding seniors from its class of 365 students.

Academics

BRANDON MORENO, son of Luis Moreno and Kim Moreno of East Moline, plans to major in exercise science at St. Ambrose University, Davenport.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Illinois State Scholar
  • Top 10 
  • Salutatorian 

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: During Chemistry my sophomore year, my partner Nick Fedele and I were doing our first lab, and while we were changing out objects under the bunsen burner we left the thermometer sitting there. After a couple of minutes the thermometer suddenly exploded and glass went flying. No one was hurt, but we learned to actually pay attention during labs.

SAMANTHA O'DONNELL, daughter of Cole and Peggy O'Donnell of East Moline, plans to major in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology at Drake University, Des Moines.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Valedictorian
  • Illinois State Scholar
  • Illinois Principal Association Student Leadership Award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: During my sophomore year, I was enrolled in the World Studies Program. For our final project of the year, we were required to produce a short movie that encased ideas we learned about throughout the year. Our group decided to make a collection of movie previews. My group traveled throughout the Quad Cities filming in areas from Black Hawk State Park to our own backyards. We laughed a lot and had a lot of fun. We even ended up with an A on the project. This project allowed me to experience and create amazing memories with my friends and classmates.

The Arts

MADELINE MORRELL, daughter of Conni Witherspoon and Mark Morrell of Silvis, plans to major in art and graphic design at Augustana College, Rock Island.

Top 3 achievements:

  •  Top 10 
  •  Metro Arts Youth Apprenticeship
  •  President's Education Award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: When I was in elementary school, I had a very unique art teacher. I remember one time when he taped several papers on the bottom of the tables, and we had to crawl underneath the desks and try to draw something on the papers. The lesson that we were learning was about Michelangelo and how he would have to paint ceilings. It made me appreciate the effort that goes into creating an art piece, and the dedication required for it. I remember how much my neck and hand hurt trying to look up and draw the picture. I recall that the picture that I was drawing too. I believe there was a house and a superhero flying in the sky. Though it irritated me at the time, that was an experience I'm glad I could have.

GAGE TITTLE, son of Sam and Moya Jackson of Silvis, plans to major in music at Western Illinois University, Macomb.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Top 10% of class
  • 1st Chair ILMEA District 2 musician
  • All-State musician

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: Sophomore year we had an assignment to act Julius Caesar scenes. After Julius had died, we brought ketchup to simulate blood. During the scene I took a handful of ketchup and exfoliated my face with it. My face smelled like ketchup all day.

Humanities

CLARICE BROWN, daughter of Mary Ann and Rod Brown of East Moline, plans to major in secondary education at Augustana College, Rock Island.

Top 3 achievements:

  •   Golden Apple Scholarship finalist
  •   John Deere Harvester Award
  •   Two-time Regional Speech Finalist

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My history teacher, Mrs. Monson was teaching about Judaism and I had an overwhelming feeling that I would be a good teacher and I would enjoy my job. I knew that I loved history and I would be able to help others learn about my passion.

NICHOLAS FEDELE, son of Nicole Fedele and Peter Fedele of East Moline, plans to major in biology at Augustana College, Rock Island.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Illinois State Scholar
  • John Deere Harvester Award 
  • Top 10 

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: In tenth grade chemistry we had a lab over lab safety. Brandon Moreno and I put an open flame over a thermometer and it exploded. It was extremely loud and sounded as if a bomb went off. There was no damage and no one was injured, but Brandon and I learned how to be safe in the lab.

Leadership

GARRETT MASSA, son of John and Gina Massa of East Moline, plans to major in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, Ames.

Top 3 achievements:

  • President's Education Award
  • First Team All-Conference All-Academic, football, wrestling
  • Elizabeth M. Anderson Award
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Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: When me and my buddy Harrison made a Hovercraft in my backyard out of Duct Tape. When we brought it to school nobody including ourselves thought it would work but it blew away the competition.

RYLEIGH O'BRIEN, daughter of Gene and Marcy O'Brien of Hampton, plans to major in business at Loras College, Dubuque.

Top 3 achievements:

  • John Deere Harvester Award
  • Top 10% of class
  • WB6 All-Academic 

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: In World Studies, we had re-enacted Julius Caesar scenes, where my group of girls had decided to act as Starbucks girls with North Face jackets on, where we were acting like we were 13. We played out the drama that unfolded as 13 year olds yet, from an olden age. From this experience I will never forget how much we had matured from seventh grade to sophomore year

Math/The Sciences

SARAH ALLEN, daughter of Scott Allen and Susan Cruz of East Moline, plans to major in secondary education at Augustana College, Rock Island.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Illinois State Scholar
  • John Deere Harvester Award
  • Top 10 

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My most memorable learning experience would have to be every math class I have taken. I have always thought I wanted to be a teacher, but it was not until my senior year in high school that I realized I want to teach math. My junior math class, Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry, and my senior math class, Calculus, truly made me realize my passion.

IVAN POON, son of Ming Fong Poon and Gui Hui Lin of Colona, plans to major in chemistry at the  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Top 10% of class 
  • John Deere Harvester Award
  • WYSE state qualifier

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: My junior year, in Physics, we had a bottle rocket project. I pulled the string to launch it but it did not. I went to check on it and without thinking I put my face right above it and looked down. The rocket decides to go off at that moment. I had a black eye for about a week and I learned to be less inane.

Vocational Education

SARAH JONES, daughter of Regan Borman and Russell Jones of Silvis, plans to major in nursing at Black Hawk College, Moline.

Top 3 achievements:

  • All-Academics, volleyball
  • Illinois State Scholar
  • John Deere Harvester Award

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I will never forget Mrs. Howard and how influential her teaching was. She could teach us terminology and diseases by telling us stories about her experiences in the field or by how she would remember them from nursing school. I know for a fact Mrs. Howard has givin me a little insight into what nursing school will be like and I am ready to join her in the field.

CALIE WALKER, daughter of Carie Walker of Hampton, plans to major in elementary education at Black Hawk College, Moline.

Top 3 achievements:

  • National Honor Society
  • Western Big 6 All-Academic
  • Top 10% of class

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: A classroom learning experience that will always stick with me is the time I was in my early childhood education class and I had to present a lesson to a group of kindergartners. I did a lesson about math, where we used hands-on skills that involved forming various numbers out of play-dough to help create a better visual of what the numbers looked like. This lesson demonstrated to me that education was the perfect field for me to pursue a career in. I'll always remember the little things that this class taught me on how to prepare lesson plans as a teacher one day.

Young Journalist

JAYDA BROWN, daughter of Christopher Brown and Jennifer Brown of East Moline, plans to major in pre-veterinary medicine at Augustana College, Rock Island.

Top achievement:

  • Honor Roll

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: One classroom learning experience that I will remember forever is creating a portfolio of 12 different types of poetry for creative writing. This was an amazing learning experience because it really helped me to express myself and cross my own boundaries. Poetry allows me to be creative and have a broader perspective. It was also awesome to hear my teacher, Ms. Clearman, tell me my portfolio was "one of the best she had read in seven years."

CHANCE DARBY, son of William Darby and Melissa Smith of Moline, plans to major in special education and business at Western Illinois University Macomb.

Top 3 achievements:

  • Skyline editor-in-chief
  • John Deere Harvester Award 
  • Producing 2 yearbooks

Describe a classroom learning experience you’ll remember forever: I'll always remember all the fun Mrs Green and I had while learning how to use Pictavo or the fun we had after finishing the yearbook. It was a long road for the both of us, but we figured it out at the end and now we have two yearbooks under our belt. I'll also never forget all the amazing yearbook staff we had. They all did great in contributing and helping finish the yearbook.

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