Mendota High Schoolís top 10 students for the Class of 2013 are, front row left to right, Stephanie McDowell, Britney Miers, Michaela DeLong, Hollie Reppin and Ashley Piskie; back row, Kyrsten Zinke, Tori Schimmer, Michael Happ, Reid Wixom, Brady Hughes and Kristen Fagerman. (Reporter photo by Bonnie Morris)
MENDOTA - Mendota High Schoolís top 10 students for the Class of 2013 include three valedictorians, Michael Happ, Brady Hughes and Britney Miers, who all achieved a grade point average of 4.0, and salutatorian, Michaela DeLong, who earned a grade point average of 3.9787. The remaining top 10 include Kristen Fagerman, Kyrsten Zinke, Victoria Schimmer, Stephanie McDowell, Reid Wixom, Hollie Reppin and Ashley Piskie. (Eleven students are included in this yearís top 10 due to a tie.)
Valedictorian Michael Happ, son of Joseph and Karen Happ of Mendota, is a member of National Honor Society (secretary) and participates in Math Team, Scholastic Bowl (captain), Academic Challenge, Band (secretary), Madrigals, Jazz Band, Rhythm Express Show Choir, drama, tennis and cross country (captain).
He qualified for the WYSE Regional Competition and received second place in math and English in 2012 and first place in English in 2013. He is a state qualifier for the Illinois Personal Finance Challenge, a member of the Big Northern All-Conference Scholastic Bowl Team (2012, 2013), Sons of the American Revolution Award recipient, LaSalle County Student of the Month Award, Boys State 2012 participant, 2011 Illinois Leadership Seminar Representative and News Tribune All-Area Academic Team.
Happ plans to attend Carleton College and major in either political science or environmental studies. After college, he hopes to pursue a career in either environmental law or teaching at the college level.
Valedictorian Brady Hughes, son of Amy Shaddick of Mendota and Dan Hughes of Virden, participates in Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Concert Choir (president), Madrigals, Rhythm Express Show Choir, All-State Honors Chorus (two years), fall and spring plays, National Honor Society (president), Spanish National Honor Society (president), Math Team, Scholastic Bowl, Academic Challenge and yearbook. He also takes part in Mendota Community Theater productions.
He attended Boys State, received the Best of Day Award for vocal solo at the 2013 Solo and Ensemble Contest, was the recipient of the John Becker Memorial Award and was grand prize winner at the 2013 Spanish Cultural Contest.
He plans to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study Spanish and accounting.
Valedictorian Britney Miers, daughter of Jim and Dawn Miers of Mendota, participates in Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Marching Band, Pep Band, Flag Corps (captain), Concert Choir, Jazz Choir, Madrigals, NCIC and BNC Music Festivals, IMEA Festivals, Solo & Ensemble Competitions (first and second place awards), Scholastic Bowl, Drama Club, Enviro Club and National Honor Society. She also takes part in Mendota Community Theater productions.
She received the Presidentís Education Achievement Award, Lions Club High Honors medals, was on the high honor roll and received first place for poetry reading in the Spanish Cultural Competition.
She plans to attend Roosevelt University in Chicago to pursue a Masterís degree in psychology with a focus on human sexuality and gender identity. She hopes to eventually have a career in the newly-established gender identity clinic at Chicagoís Lurie Childrenís Hospital or a similar facility.
Salutatorian Michaela DeLong, daughter of Michael and Janet DeLong of Mendota, participates in Choir, Band, tennis, basketball, bowling, softball and the spring play.
She is a member of National Honor Society, an Illinois State Scholar and she received the DAR Award.
Her future plans are to attend Judson University, where she will major in music business and play tennis.
Kristen Fagerman, daughter of Glen and Tami Fagerman of Mendota, participates in volleyball (four years), softball (three years), National Honor Society (two years), and is a guidance office worker (three years). Outside of school, she has been involved with her churchís LYO (Lutheran Youth Organization) group for six years.
She is an Illinois State Scholar, All-Academic in the Big Northern Conference and on honor roll for seven semesters.
She plans to attend the University of St. Francis in Joliet to pursue a Bachelorís degree in radiology. She hopes to become a radiology technician and later specialize in MRI.
Kyrsten Zinke, daughter of Jennifer Truckenbrod of Mendota and Brian Zinke of Mendota, participates in band, cheerleading, Interact, National Honor Society, Math Club, yearbook, volleyball, Enviro Club and Academic Challenge. She is also a member of the Illinois Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra.
She is an Illinois State Scholar and was named to NCIC Honor Band, WIU Honor Band and BNC Honor Band.
She plans to attend Northern Illinois University to study neuroscience psychology and pre-med with a minor in nutrition.
Victoria Schimmer, daughter of Jeff and Kim Schimmer of Mendota, is student council president, senior yearbook editor and played basketball (four years). She is a Red Cross blood donor, a member of Holy Cross SHINE Youth Ministry and Holy Cross Peer Ministry and CCD catechist.
She is a member of National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and has been on honor roll seven semesters.
She plans to attend Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio for four years where she will major in communications journalism.
Stephanie McDowell, daughter of Jim and Teri McDowell of Mendota, participates in cross country, soccer (JV captain), indoor soccer, Spanish Club, Regional Spanish Competition, fall play and fall play crew, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, guidance office worker and principalís office worker.
She has been on honor roll and high honor roll, received NCIC Honorable Mention in cross country and attended the Lions Club Honors Banquet.
She plans to attend North Park University in Chicago to pursue a Bachelorís degree in nursing.
Reid Wixom, son of Mark and Juli Wixom of Mendota, participates in Spanish Club (treasurer), Spanish National Honor Society, Academic Challenge, boys soccer (manager), tennis, Peer Ministry and SHINE Youth Group.
He received a first place in biology at the regional Academic Challenge.
He plans to double major in interactive media and computer science at Bradley University in Peoria.
Hollie Reppin, daughter of Tim and Candi Reppin of Mendota, participates in volleyball, band, choir, bowling, softball (manager), tennis (manager), spring play and yearbook.
She is a member of National Honor Society.
She plans to attend Judson University, where she will major in physical education, play volleyball and manage the tennis team.
Ashley Piskie, daughter of Paul Piskie of Mendota and Michelle Dolan of Antioch, participates in FFA (four years, historian one year), National Honor Society (two years) and soccer (three years, co-captain one year).
She is a member of the National Honor Society, All-Academic Big Northern Conference and honor roll seven semesters. In FFA, she earned Greenhand, Chapter and State degrees.
She plans to attend Illinois Valley Community College, where she will complete general classes her first year, then take massage therapy classes and earn a certificate. She hopes to eventually start her own business.